Well this has been one of the most god-awful weeks I can remember… ever. I am stuck somewhere between wanting to escape into a cave and not wanting to look away from all the horror, but mostly I’m just trying to get through the day. I want to get out of this house and I also want to never leave my house. In the fight/flight/freeze spectrum I am aggressively entirely rolled in a ball, frozen. I went to the doctor this week for a follow up appointment and he told me that I should ‘try to relax’ and that was SUPER HELPFUL (why isn’t there sarcastic font?) so everything is fine now and I’m cured. Why are men?
Me: Just, you know, near constant anxiety
Him: About what?
Me: gestures vaguely at the world…Coronavirus? Systemic racism?
Him: Well, I mean, let’s start with the Coronavirus, if you’re careful you probably won’t get it. And if you do, you probably won’t die.
Him: What are you doing about the anxiety?
Me: Vodka mostly
Me: Sometimes gin
Me: I got that Calm app
Him: Yes, that’s a good one, are you using it?
Me: I tried a meditation yesterday, it was so long
Him: How long
Me: SEVEN minutes
Him: I’m not giving you Xanax
Me: Then why did I leave the house?
Him: Change of scenery? You’re fine.
So I’m working through it all with a steady rotation of Parks and Rec, The Office and The Great British Bake Off on Netflix, donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, and that damn garlic dip from Trader Joe’s that you can put on almost anything. Coping skills… below average.
Reading is normally always my favorite way to unwind and disengage, and I am noticing my reading habits have completely changed in the past three months. Same with television and movies – I simply cannot handle anything too sad, stressful or violent. I have no interest in an entertainment medium mirroring my current emotional state. I am here for wide swaths of whimsy, fantasy and romance. Here are some recent favorites.
The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward – funny light novel about a mother and her three adult children on a cruise around Greece, Italy and Spain. I was entirely in it for the pretend traveling, but it was pretty funny.
The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene. I have watched every episode of The Office (except Scott’s Tots, obvi. Cannot do it) about six times, so this was such a fun look behind the scenes. There are interviews with all of the cast members, the writers, and producers and more as the walk through all of the seasons of the best show ever.
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner. It’s pretty hard to go wrong with Jennifer Weiner when you’re looking for easy, fun and comforting. Big Summer is no exception, I think I read it in two days.
Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer. The exception to the murder rule is when it is 1926, we are in Egypt and there is a plucky American amateur sleuth. It’s like someone crept into my brain while I was asleep and wrote me a book.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle. You know the drill… the truth will set you free, but first it is really, really, really going to piss you off. Should be required reading.
If anyone else has suggestions for books to take your mind off the world falling apart… by all means.