Showing posts with label Bad days. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bad days. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Bad Days and Good Days in the Year of the Coronavirus

So...which do you want first?  

The good days or the bad days?

Well, since it's my blog, I get to decide, and I always think it's best to get the bad news, er, bad days out of the way first because, then the good news, or in this case, the good days seem even better, right?

Looking back on my early blog posts that I wrote when we were first sheltering in place ("What I Have Learned While Sheltering in Place...Parts 1, 2 and 3"), I was all full of hope and going on and on about gratitude, having a sense of humor, telling you what to do if you were having a bad day and yada-yada-yada. But what I didn't do was actually talk about those bad days.  Now almost three months later, I am really pissed off.  

I've had it with reminding myself what a good life I have had, with masks and Zoom, with feeling like I need to be productive since I have all of this time on my hands (yesterday I defrosted the freezer and cleaned out the refrigerator - not fun), eating at home and bingewatching TV.  Yes, folks, even I can get overdosed on the telly.  And it doesn't help that in the midst of it all, there are those really... 

Bad Days

  • It's a bad day when I wake up with a sense of dread because of the state of the world.  It doesn't help that along with a worldwide pandemic and overt racism, I just found out there is an asteroid the size of a football field headed toward earth, and to make matters even worse, the gardener from hell is outside my bedroom window with his weed wacker or leaf blower (same thing) before 9 am. That's the beginning of a bad day. Okay, judgy, so I like to sleep in.  Shoot me.

  • And when I do get up, this doesn't help. I get on the scale...

  • Next, I get in the shower after realizing I haven't bathed in days only to discover there is no water pressure.  Oh, that's what those guys from the water company were doing out there.  Trying to ruin my life on this already very, very bad day.

  • Then, I look in my closets (I have three of them) and realize I will never wear all of those clothes in my lifetime, because I haven't been out of my pajamas in weeks! Now it's not only a bad day, I'm disgusted with myself!

  • And then, if I want to go out, I have to wear a mask - not a particularly good look.  I didn't let my ass get big to save my face only to have to cover my face up! (and if you don't get the reference about saving your face versus your ass, here it is). Having to wear a mask when I go out makes for a bad day. But I can add a positive spin.  I now have masks in a variety of prints and colors to match all of those clothes I will never wear!

  • When "The View" is on hiatus, I am bummed.  I need those ladies to get me started. Bad day when they are not around.

  • And then I get an invitation to Zoom.  I'm sorry, folks, but for me, Zoom overdose has set in. Yes, it's wonderful to keep in touch with friends and see them face-to-face, and I am grateful that anyone gives a crap about keeping in touch with me, but don't you find that hanging with people on Zoom for hours at a time can be exhausting? Sitting attentively and everyone getting a chance to share is one thing, but there is always someone who can't stop talking.  At least when we used to meet in restaurants and bars, when that happened we could excuse ourselves.  On Zoom?  Awk-ward.
  • But finally, after an already bad day, I settle down in the living room, only to discover that there is nothing on the television that I actually want to watch.  That's a very bad day.
  • And then, the next day, I wake up to find that yet another black person was killed by the police or white vigilantes. The worst day.

So those are the bad days. 

But what makes a good day?

  • I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and I can walk to practically everything. When I do that, it's usually a good day! However, I have to get myself off my butt and out the door, which is a bit difficult wearing pajamas.  But I can sometimes do that.

  • The family comes to visit. That's a good day!

  • And when I wake up to find a new email from my nine-year-old and seven-year-old grandsons, that's a good day!

  • Likewise, when an old friend calls out of the blue to tell me how much our friendship has meant to her. That's a good day!

  • And as things start to open up, we can go to a restaurant for some outdoor dining and pretend that things are sort of normal. That's a good day!

  • And then, these guys. Humans can learn from the unconditional love and purity of heart demonstrated by dogs. Looking into those little faces always turns a bad day into a better day.

  • It's also a good day when we find a way to hang out with friends outside. I like seeing my friends in person! 
  • Helping other people takes my mind off of myself, so when I am able to do things that help others, that, in turn, helps me, lifts my spirits, and makes for a good day. (In general, I have always tried to not just live my life for myself but for others too.  I don't have much patience with people who only live for themselves. When I encounter those people, that's a bad day).

  • Young and old coming out all over the world to protest racism gives me hope. Yes, it's scary considering the pandemic, but I have a good day when I see that my fellow humans care about this, that white people understand white privilege and that the hope for real change is in the air. When we are all anti-racists, it will be the best day ever!  

Here is a start...

So there you have it. While this whole Covid-19 pandemic really, really sucks and the world seems to be going to hell, there are those bright spots.  I have to cling to those until life improves for all of us. 

Until then, I will try to follow the sage advice of Elizabeth Taylor:


So how are you doing?  Bad days or good days?

Thanks for Reading!

And I Hope to See you Soon... 

Here and on my Rosy the Reviewer Facebook Page!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

What I Have Learned While Sheltering in Place During the 2020 Coronavirus Pandemic, Part 3: What I Do When I Am Having a Bad Day!

In this time of the Coronavirus, where most of us are in lockdown and facing fear and uncertainty, it's natural that we would have some bad days.  I know I do. It's only natural that after almost six weeks in quarantine I would miss my friends, my family, restaurants, live music, shopping -- my freedom!  Yes, despite my active inner life, there are days when I want to SCREAM!

But being in lockdown, I have learned what makes me happy when I am having a bad day, so I thought I would share with you in case some of these ideas might help you, when you, too, are having a bad day.

  • I dress my dogs up as famous literary characters. (See if you can guess before looking at the answers).

Okay, Miss Havesham in "Great Expectations," you remember the old lady who never got over being jilted at the altar and not only lived in her wedding dress but still had her wedding cake out on the table - ew- and Hester Prynne from "The Scarlet Letter." The "A" is the giveaway, right?  Oh, c'mon, Mildred loves this.  

Duh...I know it's so obvious. It's Laura Ingalls Wilder in "Little House on the Prairie."

This sort of thing never ceases to cheer me up.

Believe me, I really am trying to be helpful here.

But moving on to some more practical things.  

  • I remind myself what a good life I have had and still have.
I look at family pictures, past and present, and linger on some happy memories that remind me that I have had a good life.  And I still do, despite the inconveniences and challenges of the present. That helps bring me out of my funk.

  • I read.
My mother once said that if I read books, I would never be lonely and she was right. When I am reading, I don't think about being lonely for one second.

(I just finished Elton John's memoir and it's one of the best rock and roll autobiographies I have ever read).  He is funny, self-deprecating and knows everyone so the whole experience brought a smile to my face! I felt like I was spending time with Elton himself. Reading can do that!)

  • I Meditate.
I wrote a post about how I came to be interested in meditation ("A Little Meditation on a Little Meditation by an Unlikely Meditator") and my unlikely journey, because, believe me, I am not the sort of person you would think would be into meditation. But after practicing it off and on for several years, I find it has helped me, especially in times of crisis.  Ommm...

  • I exercise.
I am fortunate to live in a beautiful town by the ocean so when it's a nice day outside, a walk in nature can take me away from my troubles.

  • I drink wine!


(Well, not really, but decluttering is certainly a thing that can take your mind off yourself for a bit).

Marie Kondo is a decluttering fanatic who tells us that we should get rid of anything that doesn't "spark joy."  We are supposed to hold the object up to our hearts and ask ourselves "Does this spark joy?"  So...

As I set about cleaning out my sock drawer I am asking, "Do these "You guac my world" avocado socks spark joy?  Maybe not.  Out they go!

 What about these "Nasty Rosie" socks? 

Well, for one thing, I think they are funny as hell and if thinking something is funny doesn't fall into the sparking joy category I don't know what does. KEEP!

But whatever clutter you are dealing with, there is a certain satisfaction in decluttering. Doing menial tasks can relax your mind, though, don't you find it frustrating when you always seem to end up with one sock without a mate? What's the deal with that?  Why is there always one sock left over? Where do missing socks go to die?

  • I binge-watch TV.

I have already talked at length about my TV addiction ("Confessions of a TV Addict"), about my discovery of TV at the age of five, my happy memories of watching old movies with my Dad, 

the television keeping me company when my husband was sent to Vietnam six months after we were married, which was a very difficult and lonely time... 
I was at college and every night when I would get home after play rehearsal, Johnny Carson would keep me company (the picture is mostly for some context but try not to focus too much on those pants and glasses I am wearing. It was the late sixties before I discovered fringe and bell bottoms)!

There are those who delight in shaming those of us who enjoy television, but I am a child of television and am unashamed. It has played a role in various times of my life and now, once again, television is providing some companionship and diversion.  

When I am feeling down, settling in front of the TV with a glass of wine and some snacks takes me away from my troubles. And this whole binge watching concept is perfect for these endless days of sheltering in place, perfect for working my way through a series and watching it nonstop.  

I have already seen all episodes of the dramas "The Stranger (Netflix)," and "Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu);" two really good reality shows about fashion design, "Making the Cut (Amazon Prime)," and "Next in Fashion (Netflix);" the quirky Australian baking show, "Zumbo's Just Desserts (Netflix)," and now I am working on "Mrs. America (Hulu)" and reruns of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."  A strange by-product of a stay at home order is actually a television addict's dream. 

So if you love television, let your freak flag fly and indulge!  You may not get this chance again!

  • I Bake
"The Great British Baking Show" (original title: "The Great British Bakeoff") isn't considered a panacea for practically everything for no reason. Watching that show can put you into not just a sugar buzz but a dream state (just ask Hubby who falls asleep as soon as the theme music comes on)!  

It's amazing that watching a bunch of amateur bakers can be so compelling, but it is. They are all talented bakers, but I think the show's popularity has something to do with the bakers being SO NICE!  They are in competition, but are also just so damn supportive of each other. It restores your faith in human nature.  And since they seem to be just regular folks, watching the show you might say to yourself, "I can do that."  Well, you probably can't, but there is a certain satisfaction in trying to, putting eggs, sugar and flour together to make something delicious. That you can do. 

And not only do you have the reward of eating what you bake, baking can return you to some happy childhood memories (I hope you have some!). 

  • I reach out to someone who might need a boost.
I might check in on a friend who is sheltering in place alone, who might be depressed or I might make a point to remind a friend of a happy memory or something I like about them. Thinking of others and trying to do something nice for them or to help them is the best way to stop thinking about myself.

  • I write down my feelings.
If you haven't figured this out already, writing down what I am feeling, sharing my thoughts, is something I like to do, hence my blogging history.  Whether it's ragging on a movie I didn't like or raving about a book I did like or just sharing with you my pet peeves, I have a need to communicate, to share my feelings, and when I do - I feel better!  We all want to be seen and heard and when we get that, a bad day can turn into a good one.

  • I have a laugh.

Whether it's playing virtual games of "Cards Against Humanity" with friends or watching Ricky Gervais or "This is Spinal Tap" or even making fun of myself, I find a way to have something to laugh about and that usually makes me forget I'm having a bad day.  

I am particularly partial to dog vs. cat cartoons!

See, don't you feel better now?

  • I have a routine and a schedule.

But when all is said and done, this is a time when we don't have control over events, and a loss of control can cause all kinds of negative feelings.  So for me, during this challenging time, having a schedule helps me cope with my bad days.  I treat this staying at home thing like a job, and like most jobs, there is a routine.  There is comfort in having a routine and some days I even write down what I want to accomplish in the coming days, whether it's cleaning out my sock drawer or cooking a nice dinner, I have a list of activities to choose from when I am at loose ends.  Having projects and things I plan to do, and then accomplishing them can turn a bad day into at least a better one.

  • I let myself feel bad.

Sometimes, though, I just go with my feelings, feel sorry for myself and wallow a bit. And that's okay, too, because I know that there is one thing I can count on.  Change. Just as this pandemic will eventually pass, so will this bad day.

So I hope that in sharing what I do to keep my head up during this challenging time, some of these ideas might help you to keep your head up, too.

Take care everyone and stay safe!

Now it's your turn.

What do you do when you are having a bad day? 

Thanks for Reading!

And I Hope to See you Soon... 

Here and on my Rosy the Reviewer Facebook Page!

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