Five things

This is a ‘tag’ I’ve seen going around WordPress lately. I’ve honestly seen it done so many times that I couldn’t tell you who started it. SORRY! That being said, I enjoy reading lists like these because I believe it tells you more about the person who has written them. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the categories, so I left some out and changed two. Otherwise, the following is my addition to the ‘five things’ tag!

FIVE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN GETTING ME THROUGH QUARANTINE:

  1. A foam roller – These are great for helping to relive muscle tightness, soreness and inflammation. The one I own I actually bought at Dollarama for $4.00. That being said, there are various types of these I’ve seen priced anywhere from $4.00 – $120.00. So if you want to spend some real money on it, it’s not hard!
  2. Vaseline Clinical Care Extremely Dry Skin Rescue Hand Cream – My hands were getting so dry from washing them and slathering them in sanitizer 40 times a day that they were starting to crack and bleed. I think it was $3.99 at the local drugstore and it’s been a real gem for my poor hands.
  3. Herbaland Vegan Protein Gummies – Knight was the person who actually found and bought these for me. They’re an extremely low-sugar, vegan protein snack that kind of tastes like candy. I’m not sure if you can get these outside of Canada as the company is headquartered in Vancouver, but if you can they’re definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of protein snacks.
  4. The Ordinary Caffeine Eye Concetrate – My sister in law bought this for me after hearing me complain about stress wrinkles forming under my eyes and, while I’d never heard of this before she left it at my front door, I can without a doubt say that it’s quickly becoming the best eye cream/serum/gel that I’ve ever tried.
  5. Thrifted Nike crewneck sweater – I actually bought this in summer 2019 at a local Thrift Store for $4.00. It’s just the perfectly comfortable, oversized grey crewneck sweater that dreams are made of.

FIVE BLOGS THAT ARE WORTH CHECKING OUT:

  1. Cynical Wordsmith – Poetry, Introspection, Life
  2. Filosofa’s Word – Politics, Snarky Snippets, World Events, Writing
  3. Marla On The Move – Travel, Stories from a world I’ve only ever dreamed of being able to see
  4. RebeccaGoesRendezvous – Travel, Stories from a world I’ve only ever dreamed of being able to see
  5. RTS – Facing the Challenges of Mental Health – Writing, Mental Health, Self Care, Introspection

FIVE YOUTUBE CHANNELS THAT I ENJOY WATCHING:

  1. Abandoned Urbex Canada – Run by a gutsy explorer, this YouTube channel takes a deep dive into abandoned towns, communities, homes and cultures across Canada.
  2. Daniel Schiffer – Daniel is a self-taught videographer who uses his channel to teach, freely, the likes of videography, editing, production and all of the tricks to the trade that he’s learned over the years.
  3. FlavCity with Bobby Parrish – The host talks a lot about nutrition, how to read ingredients lists on processed products and how to understand what’s truly in the food you’re eating. IE There’s a half dozen different terms that can be used on ingredient lists to note sugar, without actually stating that sugar is an ingredient.
  4. Levi Hilderbrand – Levi talks a lot about what it really means to be environmentally conscious and not in the ‘buzzword’ sense of being trendy. Some of his content is a little out there for me, but a lot of his videos really make me stop and think about the choices I’m making and what’s best for the environment and for myself.
  5. True Crime Daily – The content is exactly what the title suggests. I love this YouTube channel because of my deep fascination with true crime and desire to discover what drives people to commit crimes and do horrible things.

FIVE FOODS THAT I LOVE:

  1. Baked sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon
  2. Bananas
  3. Cacao Nibs (if I close my eyes and think really hard about it, I can trick myself into believing they’re chocolate chips)
  4. Mashed Potatoes (Yeah, I clearly like carbs. lol)
  5. Seaweed Snack

FIVE TV SHOWS THAT I LIKE TO REWATCH:

  1. Bones
  2. Criminal Minds
  3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  4. Law & Order SVU
  5. Two Broke Girls

FIVE SONGS THAT I COULD LISTEN TO ON REPEAT:

  1. Arkells – Leather Jacket
  2. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark
  3. Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (this version specifically linked)
  4. Mumford & Sons – I will wait
  5. Otis Redding – Sitting on the dock of the bay

FIVE PLACES I’M DREAMING OF GOING WHEN IT’S SAFE TO TRAVEL AGAIN:

  1. Borneo
  2. Denmark
  3. Las Vegas
  4. South Africa
  5. The Cook Islands

FIVE THINGS THAT FASCINATE ME:

  1. Religious Fundamentalism and Extremists versus Cults
  2. True Crime and what causes people to commit heinous acts of violence
  3. Culture and how it differs not just from country to country but from east to west, and how different regions within the same country can be vastly different cultures
  4. How manipulation tactics drive hyper-consumerism
  5. If there is a difference between being good and doing good and if there’s some happy medium between the two

FIVE THINGS I STRUGGLE WITH:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Admitting when I am wrong
  3. Seeing the brighter side to life when there’s so much bad in the world
  4. Self-esteem
  5. Understanding my value

FIVE PEOPLE THAT I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO MEET:

  1. Anderson Cooper
  2. Jessica Mulroney
  3. Justin Trudeau
  4. Kenny Chesney
  5. I know this doesn’t really count as he’s already passed away, but I would’ve loved to have met Anthony Bourdain while he was still alive. I would’ve loved to just sit and chat about travel and culture and food and life while eating something that scared me but didn’t phase him at all. That would’ve been cool.

FIVE THINGS I WANT FOR THIS WORLD:

  1. Understanding
  2. Progressive governments
  3. Progressive culture so that people don’t have to live in fear of being themselves in the truest and most authentic forms
  4. Belief in climate change followed with effective steps moving forward to help protect the earth and not do unnecessary harm
  5. Equality

Have you seen the ‘Five Things’ tag floating around WordPress? What are your top five? If you make a post about it, let me know and I’ll check it out!

Quarantine Clich├ęs

Perhaps everyone’s in the same boat as I am, or perhaps I’m the only one who has noticed. Over the past month and a half I’ve noticed a distinct trend in content that has ‘overtaken’ social media. It all seems to be different variations of exactly the same thing. It’s trendy to follow suit. And hey, I get it… we’re all stuck at home and there’s a societal pressure to be as productive as possible during this crazy time.

For today’s productivity, I decided to compile all of the things that EVERYONE seems to be doing so that I can make a promise to myself to not do these things and continue to lounge around eating cookies all day long. Please note, the following includes a lot of sarcasm.

  • Buy a ton of canned beans that I am not now, nor ever, going to actually consume.
  • Join TIK-TOK… because the perfect place for an anonymous internet blogger is on a platform where literally the entire point of the app is to show yourself doing ridiculous things
  • Become a fine-dining chef who can cook absolutely anything with the very limited groceries that are presently on the shelves in grocery stores. If it’s not a four course meal, I will no longer eat it.
  • Turn my Lululemon leggings into face masks because $130 pants are sooooooo 2019 and if you don’t turn your most expensive clothing into face masks you’re not doing it right
  • Tie-dye EVERYTHING… because white and grey clothes were so 2019
  • Start using the term ‘groutfit’ to describe my new choices of outfits… because nice clothes all together were so 2019 and all I’m wearing these days is sweatpants
  • Bake bread, learn to bake sourdough bread (what’s the obsession with sourdough bread, btw?), find the perfect banana bread recipe, or pumpkin bread or apple bread or… what kind of fruits or weird additives can you put into your loaf of bread? I may have celiac disease but dammit I need to learn how to bake bread
  • Read all the books. Every book on your shelf. Every ebook you can get your hands on. Every book that’s ever been published, printed or digitally uploaded.
  • Order anything and everything that I can get my hands on from Amazon. Do I need it? No. Should I buy it? Abso-freaking-lutely. It’s Amazon, it’s convenient. I think that’s what people are saying anyways…
  • Pay RIDICULOUS prices for online workout classes because it’s trendy and I should not be saving my money right now
  • Spend all of my money and ensure that I don’t save a dime. I don’t have things I’m looking forward to. I don’t have things I want down the road, I need to spend it all now because quarantine is foreverrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Anybody else have stress wrinkles coming in hot throughout this quarantine? Just me? PS. If you like or enjoy any of the activities above, please feel free to share some positive stories of these activities. Goodness knows, I could use some more positivity in my life. I may be the most unproductive member of society right now, but I know that doesn’t mean that everyone else is lounging around eating cookies all day.

Unrelated but I’m a little excited today because I came up with a stellar design for a #MillennialLifeCrisis sweatshirt last night and my sister-in-law told me that she’s going to make me a sample with her cricut machine and mail it to me. I hope it turns out alright.

I’m seriously considering cutting my own hair

I can live without a lot of things. And, for the past year and half, I have done as much. But one thing that I have made a priority is getting regular hair cuts since I’ve been thirteen. Every three months I’ve saved up the thirty dollars necessary to get someone to trim/cut my hair for me.

I have prioritized getting a haircut every three months because it’s absolutely true what ‘they say’, frequent trims will lead to longer, healthier hair. Three months would have been the beginning of March. I actually had an appointment for March 10th but when everything went down with my uncle’s passing, I postponed getting my hair cut. And… well here we are. Quarantine has been ongoing since mid-March and will last at least until June at this point. My hair is long. Too long.

There are lots of reasons why I should not cut my hair. I have a lot of layers… cutting a straight edge across the bottom would make the layers look crappy. And, since I can’t see the back of my own head, cutting a straight edge seems next to impossible. But hey… my hair is long. TOO LONG. It’s tangled. It doesn’t wrap nicely in a bun anymore. The ends are splitting. The stress has had serious affect on my hair. So, at any given moment the should I/shouldn’t I argument is leaning towards ‘DO IT, YOU IDIOT’.

Yeah, my inner monologue refers to myself as an idiot.

If anyone is reading this, have you reached a point in quarantine where you’ve cut your own hair? Did it go okay? Did it go badly? My biggest fear is that it’s going to go very, very badly. I need to know if someone has had success with it.

Maybe I should get bangs…

Mighty Neighbourly

This morning we found a note on our front door that read:

Hey Neighbour,

We hope you’re staying sane during this crazy time.

If you are unable or afraid to go to the store right now feel free text your shopping list or any singular items that you might need to [insert phone number here]. We will leave any and all of said items at your front door with 24 hours of reading your text message.

Stay healthy and safe!

[Insert their address here so we knew what house the message came from]

The neighbours’ on this street are so nice! I rag on small towns a lot. I’ve always considered myself a city person, and small towns kind of drive me nuts. But, when I see how good the neighbours are to my parents, it really does warm my heart of stone.

At least I’m able to know they will be looked after if this pandemic ends and I EVER get a chance to make a break for the city.

Feeling lonely when you’re surrounded by people.

I’m lonely.

There are six other people in this house and I am lonely.

And the more I read that I should be thankful that I have anyone around at all, the more I think that people equate having a family with having a cohesive family unit.

I’m eternally grateful for my family, but I think it’s important to note that just because they’re my family does not mean that we get along. It doesn’t mean that we act, think or feel the same way. It definitely doesn’t mean that we see eye to eye. I reckon a lot of families are the same. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean that being with them 24 hours a day seven days per week is going to be easy.

I was watching Dr. Phil earlier and he said that, in China where quarantine policies have been in place since January, there’s been a spike in divorce applications. This made me feel a little less awful for how I feel. Because I’m not alone in finding it tough to be at home.

I love my family. I help them when they’re sick, I comfort them when they cry, heck… they go to the store for me when I don’t want to share germs. But, truth be told, this is hard. We’re inherently different in about every category except our genetics. When we each have our own lives, our differences strengthen us. It brings outside perspectives, thoughts, laughs. When we’re each stuck inside together for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, things get tough.

On the good days, I spend the majority of the time biting my tongue. On the regular days, our vastly different beliefs are causing spats, arguments or passive aggressive behaviours that really weigh on one’s mood. And, on the bad days, well let’s not go there. The point is, it’s not easy.

Just because you love someone doesn’t mean that you agree with everything they do. Just because you’re related to someone doesn’t mean that being quarantined with them is going to be easy. Conversations don’t just spontaneously pop up and last for six hours to pass the time in a day. Sometimes, even if they’re family, you really have to work at it. And sometimes you really have to work at it to make sure certain conversations don’t happen.

Why aren’t you married yet?

When you are you going to give me grandbabies?

Why must you always provoke me?

Yeah, I’m sure that you know the typea of conversations I’m talking about. I’m all too sure you’ve had conversations of your own, much like these, in the past few weeks.

Bottom line is, if you’re struggling right now, you’re not alone. I see you and I understand you. Don’t hate yourself for how you feel. We’re all scared and we’re all struggling. Even the people who are driving us crazy.

And yes, it is possible that it can be extremely lonely being in a house filled with six other people. Even if it’s only one other person in your house… sometimes being close together for long periods of time, for events such as home quarantine, well it makes people feel farther apart than ever before. You don’t have to be alone to be lonely. But, if you are alone and lonely, I see you too.

What day is it?

I sent my brother to the store for me this morning.

I have a cold. It’s just a cold. I’ve been through it 15,000 times in my life and I know that it’s just a cold. But, knowing how many people are on edge about germs at the moment, I decided the last thing I needed to do was make anyone in a store worry about me.

So I sent my brother to the store.

I asked him to purchase me cough syrup, cough drops and neocitron… all over the counter items that can help someone fight a cough/cold. Did I need them all this morning? No. But, in limiting the amount of times we visit a store, and in thinking that it’d be smarter to have these things at home for fighting this cold, I asked for each of these items.

While he was standing six feet behind the woman who was already paying at the register, two other women in the store berated my brother for what he was purchasing. One of the women went so far as to yell ‘You’re going to kill us all’, at him.

These women were assuming he was sick because of what he was purchasing. In trying to calm them down, he tried to explain ‘I’m purchasing these things for someone that I know. I’m completely healthy and I’m standing away from everyone. Please do not worry’.

The women then decided to berate him for being inconsiderate to the general public by associating with someone who is sick. Then they told him to go home because he’s a carrier and if he keeps on he’s going to make everyone in town sick.

I’ve largely been held up in my bedroom since my cold symptoms started. Why? Because, while it is just a cold, something that goes around each spring… I didn’t feel like spreading germs to anyone in my home given what’s going on in this world.

No one should be shamed for purchasing medication at the pharmacy right now. I know, the world is stressed out. I know that people are on edge about anyone who sneezes or coughs in public. That’s precisely why I sent my healthy brother and I didn’t go to the store myself. People need to remember that it’s both allergy season while still being cold and flu season. Allergy pills, cough syrups, cough drops, neocitron, nasal sprays, these are all things people still need to purchase right now.

I count myself lucky that I could send my brother to purchase those things for me. I was really disheartened when I heard what happened to him at the store. My brother is such a docile person that when two women started yelling at him all he wanted to do was leave. But, he wanted to make sure that he got me what I had asked for so he just had to stay and listen to them. He was so frustrated that he called to tell me what happened on his way back.

I know people are anxious, but berating someone for buying cough syrup is not going to fix anything. Furthermore, berating someone for picking up goods for someone else is not productive. I thought we were supposed to only send one family member to the store. I thought we were supposed to ask neighbours, friends and family and so on… if they needed anything before going to the store so it could all be bought in one trip. What do I know though?

I’ve been laying pretty low… not leaving my room a whole bunch. And I’ll continue to do so until this passes.

When you know enough to know that you just don’t know.

The key to true wisdom is acknowledging how little you know. I knew a lot more about everything at the age of eighteen than I do now. Is that true? Not really. But I thought that I knew more and no one could have told me otherwise. Now I’m able to acknowledge the extent of the world that I simply don’t understand, can’t understand or have yet to learn.

It’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with not knowing. Sometimes people treat lack of knowledge as though shameful thing. I think it takes a certain amount of confidence and strength to be willing to acknowledge that you don’t know something. You also need to be willing to learn though. Perhaps the shame in not knowing is actually a shame in being unwilling to know and people merely miscalculate reaction timing? I know enough to know that I just don’t know.