25 April 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

 

Dear Diary,

I spent hours yesterday trying to write to you before giving up at 3pm, turning on Netflix, and finishing Season 2 of You. (Sidenote: OMG! 😳) The problem was, I wasn’t well, and I also forgot about my vow to take care of myself. Instead, I spent the first many hours of the day chastising myself for failing to be more productive. Failing to keep the kitchen cleaner. Failing to write in my Diary. Failing to write for Other Purposes. Failing to shower. Fail, fail, fail.

It’s all well and good to say we need to be kind to ourselves. We MUST be better friends to our own wonky brains and tender hearts. But putting it into action is MUCH HARDER because kindness as a lifestyle and kindness as muscle memory and kindness as the automatic first reaction takes PRACTICE.

But I’m not going to chastise myself for failing. That feels… like the opposite of the point. I caught on eventually, and then kindness and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream on the couch kicked in.

The main problem yesterday was the fact that I was awake until 2am the night before puking my guts out. 

The reason behind that is a mystery, though.

It could be food poisoning. It could be a gluten or dairy intolerance. It could be a sudden inability to drink two whole beers in a row which I did for the first time during quarantine. It could be my gall bladder. Or infection? Inflammation? Obstruction? Who knows?

Since it was very sudden onset, though, I assume it was food poisoning which is embarrassing because I’m the only person making food around here, so if it is food poisoning, I essentially managed to poison myself, and I have zero restaurants to blame. [Note to Self: Eat out more often so I have a ready scapegoat.] 

Either way, I spent a couple hours draped over the toilet. 

And then I was exhausted yesterday. And so I was unproductive. And so I was unkind to myself. Until I figured my shit out, corrected that oversight, and set my expectations for Getting Anything Done to zero. Lowest setting available. 

What kind of ridiculous, productivity-obsessed culture have I subscribed to, though, that I felt Less Than for being unproductive WHILE SICK during a GLOBAL PANDEMIC? Oh, bless my sweet, darling heart. Also, NO. I refuse to CONSCIOUSLY submit to that level of bullshit. Subconsciously? Can’t always control that. But when it comes to mind? Yeah, NO MORE OF IT. It’s got to go. Adios. No welcome mat for that around here.

Today, I’m still not as productive as I’d like to be, but the difference is that I’m patting myself on the head today, being gentle and kind, living with the mess, and accepting This Is Just How It Is right now. There’s time to DO again later, but doing can wait, and so it will.

With love… and kindness,

 

 

 

P.S. Our Fairy Message Mother left us this message today:

Take courage, my heart. 

And so we shall. 

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
7 comments
  1. I post your blog on my Facebook page quite a bit because I feel you are speaking for so many of us who just do not have a way with words.

  2. Let me suggest that productivity can be a negative number too. The day can end with a messier kitchen, more laundry, unanswered phone calls. And that negative number is a good one too.

  3. I am so glad you caught yourself and realized you needed more kindness. I don’t know if it comes from being the baby of my family or what, but I am usually VERY GOOD at giving myself a break when I need one. Sometimes the Next Best Thing is a nap, or a bowl of ice cream.

  4. Yes, take courage. I’ve been spectacularly unproductive for the past 2 weeks and only slightly feeling guilty because I was also sick (but not puking). The wind chimes are calling me to go shower so I have hope today will be better, and I hope yours is also.

  5. Hugs and love to you, sweet Beth. Be kind to yourself, and know you are amazing!!!!

  6. I hope you feel better! As someone who drowns in the anxiety that comes from bouncing back and forth between ‘not enough’ and ‘too much’, I want to give you a hug, bring you another bowl of ice cream, and then just sit with you in there here and now.

  7. Feel better Beth! As moms we are so conditioned to put everyone else’s needs before our own that it is hard to remember we need taking care of also. Being sick in the midst of a pandemic is worrying whatever the cause so couch and chocolate chip ice cream sounds about right!!

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