Okay hear me out- some days I will make the bed as soon as I get up. Some days I will make the bed around 3 pm after lunch. And there have been days where I have not made my bed until the minute I am about to get inside it to go back to sleep for the night. But! Getting into a made bed at the end of the day feels nice and wholesome. It makes me feel happy. I cannot pinpoint why this is, but- a made bed, for me, is such a nice thing. It doesn’t matter when it gets done, but when it does, I feel happy.
My vacuum is my old lady girl. I talk to her before we start, make sure she’s clean and cleared up before dancing through the house together, and I thank her each time I put her away. She’s had a few surgeries over the years, where I’ve had to take her apart and figure out what is stuck and where. We’ve been together for a long time, and some days she’s my very best good friend. I like talking to my bed every morning, thanking it for a good night’s rest. I'll say hello to my plants and my office chair, expressing gratitude to them for being who they are and there for me in my times of need. Yesterday I high-fived our coffee maker. In these times of being alone, thanking the things I see around me makes me feel less so.
Drinking water is something I have to work on. Dehydration can cause heart palpitations, which can make anxiety symptoms worsen and trigger an attack. When I feel this way, I put down the fear news that I told myself I shouldn’t read and I will immediately (and sloppily) chug a big glass of water. Afterward yes, I am usually covered with more water than what actually got into my body but I’ll have taken my mind off of what was panicking me because now, I need to go change into a dry shirt.
Casablanca. Kramer vs. Kramer. Unforgiven. Rain Man. Out of Africa. Forrest Gump and Shakespeare in Love. Argo. 12 Years A Slave. Here is a list of all the nominees and winners/nominees from the beginning. Many of these titles from years ago I had never even heard of, so I started there. To pay attention and become immersed in a story, to focus and feel it and let it all out with every fiber of your beautiful emotional mess of a face, is incredibly therapeutic. There are many movies not on this list that are fantastic too of course. But this is a good place to start for perhaps something new.
Bonus if it can be a walk inside some good old fashioned nature. Grab your bike, the stroller, your pup, doesn’t matter. Just get a little fresh air, and take a walk!
Whatever comes to mind, whatever you are feeling- look around your home or out your window or pause the TV on something and go for it. Today I chose to draw a vase of dying tulips on my kitchen table, and it ended up looking like a big old blobby mess. But when I look at it, I know that it’s the dead tulips on the kitchen table. Sometimes it is nice to just scribble, even if the scribbles are just that: a big blobby mess. Embrace the blobby mess! Hold on to your art and look at it later. Then you can be like, oh my gosh I remember drawing those dead tulips, right after I sob cried over a Tide Commercial during quarantine. Wow, what a crazy time!
Or chips, or cheese melted on chips, or stuff on the cheese melted on chips, or fine, just call them nachos. Eat nachos on the couch. Followed by cookies. Or more nachos. Maybe cookie nachos. We are living in an unprecedented time. I think anything goes at this point, so. Cookie Nachos. Let’s do this. Why not. Your time is now.
When you strip away the busyness, surprising connections appear. I can’t remember the last time I have seen some of my faraway friend’s faces (outside of a social media post). This past week I have Zoomed and Facetimed with old high school and college friends and it just filled my heart right up. Friends you haven't talked to or seen in years are suddenly and happily on your phone screen- I am grateful for this wonderful and rare time that we get to slow down and talk.
Scrap this whole list! Don’t do any of it. Just slow down and do a whole lot of big fat whopping nothing. Hug on your kids, enjoy the slowness together. We are all in this up to our necks together. We are all making this up as we go along. No one needs to have the perfect routine, be the perfect parent, the model employee. We are all going to get through this together, and we are all going to be okay. Just imagine the wonderful get-togethers that will happen in the future. I plan on showing up to all of them, with a big giant plate of Cookie Nachos, to share. :)