COVID-19 Journal; Entry 5

“Self-Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman Working at Wal-Mart”
Ball-Point pen on paper.
circa 2009

I wanted to go back to my list. Basically, I can group the entries as “things I do to create” and “things I do to keep busy so I’m not staring at my phone all day”. While it would be really nice to start a creative thing and finish it and have a product at the end, right now, I really have to work at putting my phone away. I’ve become a bit manic about checking Facebook mostly.

Busy Fun

  • Dance (still an option – doing lots of online workouts- yoga too.) Note: not really a creative outlet in this form, but an easy way to do some exercise. (Update: I tried BellyFit this morning for the first time at home. Yes! I like it!)
  • Preparing and consuming food for myself (Update: OMG I went and got groceries today. Several stressful things about this. The line to get into the store was not one of the stressful things, because everyone stretched down the sidewalk, no problem. But then in the store, everyone seemed to conglomerate in the same isle, and in the corner by the eggs *but there were no eggs*. And then fretting about potential contamination when I got home. –E.g. “What exactly have I brought home with me???!”– I washed my hands around 10 times when I got home after touching things.)
  • Colouring/Knitting/Crocheting – mostly not too much brain involved, mostly don in front of TV shows (Update: ok some creation involved in crocheting/knitting and definitely a thing at the end, but once pattern is established, a very repetitive process – at least in how I like to crochet/knit.)
  • Texting friends/Phoning Mum. (In real life this reads having dinner/lupper/breakfast for lunch with friends, and visiting Mum and Dad.) More of this. One friend has suggested snail mail, which I haven’t done in a while. (Update: not a good thing for leaving my phone alone. Consider this an exception.
  • Socks. I really like wearing socks. Preferably more than one pair at a time. Not a creative outlet, but I find I function better with warm feet. (Update: see below for socks of the day.)

Create Things

  • Writing. Here we go. (I’ll expand on this in a paragraph below.)
  • Drawing. OK “Drawing.” Whatever. Filling paper with markings.
  • Keeping a journal, sometimes. Usually there’s nothing to share– I or say there’s nothing to share but I don’t have the time/energy to keep it. Proof that there’s never nothing to share: this week’s entries.
  • I keep looking at the scissors sitting on the desk beside me and I keep wanting to put “scissors”. But at one point I did lots of scissor crafts: sewing, collage-ing, trimming, ransom notes. Good fun.

Secret: usually between the months of November and until the end of February I am miserable: depressed, and/or grumpy. Not motivated to do anything. Unhappy. Not bad enough that I miss work or dance or anything, but awful. This year, I don’t remember when, I picked up the e-pencil for my iPad and started sketching out a story. Or, rather adding to a story I already have. All point form, just getting down ideas without worrying about the final form, just trying to stay big picture about the whole thing. I’m not going to go into the story here at all for my superstitious fear that once I start talking about it too much that I will jinx myself and not want to write anymore.

BUT! I think that having this extra creative outlet going on to look forward to over the dark months have helped with my mental health. I extra-specially noticed over Christmas time**, when usually I am a mess. I kept checking in with myself, just to see what was going on, and I kept finding myself happy. Or at least content. Or just pleased with myself. It was so nice. I checked in a lot over January and in to February with the same result. Just feeling ok.

**At Christmas time, I was crediting my good mood to a Fireball and eggnog combo. But after Christmas when the drinking stopped, I still felt good. I joked about that in early January.

In conclusion, writing is ongoing already anyway. And will not be mentioned here again.

Socks of the Day

I’ve always considered these Christmas socks, but they are super cozy and I wore them today.

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