Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Where's the fast-forward button?

A little update on how life is now that things have changed so drastically...

  • I still can't believe how quickly things got scary with the covid-19 pandemic.  When I left work last Thursday, my co-worker was still insisting their Mexico trip was on, and most of the drastic measures that are now in place still seemed so unrealistic.  By yesterday, I was scared to have to leave the house to come to work.  It still shocks me how much changed in the span of four days.
  • For me, the reality of it all really came down on Sunday.  That was the first day I truly took seriously the "social distancing" measures put in place.  For weeks, I had joked that when that day came, I would be soooo good at it.  As it turns out?  Not so much.  I had anxious knots in my stomach, I was on pins and needles, and by afternoon the tears started.  I couldn't get them under control.  I went to visit my mom, we went for a walk, we talked, and I thought I was OK.  I returned home and started to cry again.  A quick decision was made that I should pack a bag and move in with my mom for the time being.
  • There are so many things about this whole situation that terrify me, but the greatest one on Sunday was the thought of being told not to leave my house - potentially for weeks, maybe even months - and that feeling of total isolation, being completely alone, rocked me to my core.  I am a hermit who lives alone and has never minded being alone - in fact, I usually quite enjoy it - but not this time.  
  • I'm pretty sure I had another mini nervous breakdown yesterday morning.  I was trying to think of any way in the world I could avoid going into the office, but I really don't have any other option.  I know the risk is very low, there are only a few of us in the office and we are at a time of year when the number of people coming through the door every day is small.  But still, I had worked myself into such a frenzy that by the time I got there, I basically walked through the doors and burst into tears.  I don't think anyone knew how to handle me, so things were just very quite for a while.  Thankfully, I calmed down and I actually do believe it was very good for me to keep busy throughout the day.  It just took me a while to get there.
  • For those of us who deal with mild anxiety on a daily basis, this situation sure has ramped things up on that front.  I go through a normal day and I'm usually able to deal with it without having to take extreme measures.  Tea, essential oils, soothing activities.  Now, though, I honestly think I would benefit from some kind of medication.  However, I have no desire to go anywhere near a doctor's office, nor do I think they need to be burdened by the likes of me who just can't keep their shit together while there are much bigger things going on in the world.  So... I will carry on.  I will remind myself that I will be OK.  I will tell myself that this, too, shall pass.
  • My doctor has always had the ability to calm me down better than anyone else can.  I honestly wish I could just sit for ten minutes and talk to him.  I have joked that I wished he could hold a group therapy session.  Of course, that would mean a gathering of people, so no, we can't do that, but maybe he could Skype? Or Facetime?  Talk me through it?  Come on Dr. Mac!!!
  • I think for many of us, the unknown is so very scary right now.  How long is this going to last? There is no end date.  Initially things were closing down for two weeks.  Now in many places that is being extended.  Weeks. Months.  Who knows??  I can think of many scary situations.  Scenarios that terrify me.  But this one is worse because of how long it could possibly drag on.  Take, for example, a tornado.  Scary as shit.  But the tornado hits, and it makes a mess, and it's devastating.  But it goes away.  You check to make sure everyone is OK, then you go to work cleaning up and re-building.  Please don't think I'm downplaying the gravity of a tornado.  I just mean that it happens, it's over, and you start the process of dealing with it.  I CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS VIRUS!!!!!  I just want to push the fast-forward button.  I always say to never wish the days away, but I'm wishing these days away.  BIG time.
  • OK. I'm probably not helping anyone by writing doom and gloom blog posts.  But it does help me to vent about this stuff and get it off my chest.  I hope you are all doing well, staying safe, keeping your distance where it all possible, washing your hands... hanging in there!  We will get through this!  We have to!!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Anxiety Level: High

I saw this tweet this morning on Twitter:  "Not the *best* week for people with anxiety."

Amen, brother.  A-fucking-men.

Dudes, I'm trying really hard here.  Trying REALLY hard to reassure myself, telling myself I'm OK, everyone I know is OK.  Nothing bad is going to happen to us.  Coronavirus is not going to wipe out the whole world.  I'm washing my hands like a mad woman, singing Happy Birthday twice each time I do it, taking every precaution I possibly can just in case.  My hands are quite literally about to fall off they are so dry and scaly from being washed so much.  But I'm willing to do it to keep the fears at bay.

But it's feeling a little scary right now.  I'm having a harder time each day to calm myself down.

Last night was especially bad.  I crawled into bed around 10 to 10 with my book, and before opening it, I thought, "Just quickly check Twitter, see what's going on with the world."  And holy mother of GOD, there was a LOT going on with the world.

Tom Hanks has coronavirus.
Rita Wilson has cornavirus.
An NBA player with the Utah Jazz has coronavirus.
The other day, he joked about it and touched all the microphones and recording devices at a press conference.
They also played the Raptors just a few days ago.
The NBA has shut down.
The NHL is probably going to shut down today.
Ellen is going to be doing her show without an audience.  (I assume other talk shows will follow suit as well.)
Trump put a travel ban in place to Europe.  (which I now understand isn't really a "ban", just restrictions, so maybe not as huge as origianlly thought.)
Pretty much any big event planned for the next several weeks is being cancelled.

It's all feeling very end-timey.  I keep think of the Stephen King book The Stand.  Stephen King himself has come out and said this is nothing like his book, but I can't help but feel there are some striking similarities.  It's alarming how quickly this thing is spreading.  And they are now taking measures that a few weeks ago seemed laughable.

I called my mom right away, and I was like, "Um... the world is going nuts.  Tom Hanks has coronavirus."  And she kind of laughed at me and told me to stop looking at my phone.  Which only makes me want to look at my phone even MORE.

For a worry-wart like me... it's not exactly the most fun I've ever had in my life.

The introvert/hermity side of me is OK with it.  I mean, it definitely seems like the day is (quickly) approaching when they will be telling us to stay home if at all possible, at least for a while.  As I said yesterday - being holed up at home watching Netflix and living in my bubble doesn't bother me one bit. 

But the rest of it?  eek.  I don't like it.  I'm nervous.  Yesterday they confirmed the first case in Ottawa, so it's getting closer to home.  It was easier to ignore when it was all "so far away". 

I am still trying to calm myself.  I read things that tell you to stay calm and be informed.  Take precautions.  Don't freak out.  Be vigilant.  Wash your hands.  I'm not really in the at-risk demographic, so even if I did get it, symptoms would likely be mild and I'd be OK. 

It's still very hard not to get wrapped up in the fear-mongering and panic.  Honestly, there are some friends on Facebook who are sharing some pretty scary posts.  I realize many of them are not true, or are hyped up to sound worse.  I understand that I should not let them bother me.  I am very close to "hiding" some of those friends from my timeline because they are, quite seriously, not good for me.

Not much on social media is good for me right now, though, honestly.  It's too easy to get caught up in and to let the panic take hold.  I need deep breaths and soothing teas and calming essential oils.  Not crazy Facebook posts warning me that in two weeks, our whole country could be on lockdown and our hospitals overcrowded and our doctors getting sick and not able to help the rest of us.

A global pandemic is definitely not my cup of tea.  I really hope that this thing is being blown out of proportion, and it fades like a bad memory very soon.  I was hoping for a stress-free spring with no flooding this year... and now this.  ugh.

I don't really have a way to end this, other than I hope you're all staying healthy and clean and not stressing out about it.  Trust me, I'm doing enough of it for all of us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

What's Up This Wednesday

  • So, we live in a coronavirus world now.  And they keep talking about the possibility of there being a complete shut-down quarantine type situation eventually, like where you'd have to stay home and not go anywhere for 2 weeks.  Am I the only one who thinks that sounds lovely???  I'm sure by the end of it I'd be going batshit crazy, but 2 weeks of staying home, watching TV and movies, hunkered down, in my bubble?  Sounds delicious to me.
  • The only part of it that kind of sucks is the timing.  It would have been much easier to do during cold, snowy months, not now when the days are longer and the sun is shining more and spring fever is hitting.  Now is when we want to get outside, not lock ourselves up.  But I'm willing to do it for coronavirus.
  • I mourn the end of winter.  I really do.  I long for those cold winter days of staying cozy, wrapped up in blankets and warm clothes, huddled on the couch to watch Netflix or read or crochet.  Now that they are ending, I feel sad to see them go.  BUT.  I also went for a walk on Monday without a coat on, and that cheered me up.  It was so lovely.
  • They say you should be able to sing Happy Birthday twice while you wash your hands.  This has made me realize that I have not being doing it properly, as I struggled at first to get through it once during a hand wash.  I am getting better at it, though.  I am dragging it out longer and getting through it twice.  Maybe I just sing Happy Birthday too slow?  I'm not sure.
  • I bought toilet paper at the grocery store on Monday, and I felt like I should go around  shouting, "I actually do really need this!  I'm almost out!"  It's such an odd situation we are in right now, when you feel like people might be giving you side-eye for buying toilet paper.  And why in God's name are people stocking up on it anyways??  Of all the things to stock up on... toilet paper???  Really???
  • Well, it makes me sad to say it, but I think my Peter Kavinsky phase has passed.  At least until the third movie comes out.  I have watched the first two movies on Netflix too many times, and I am also now finished all of the books.  It was hard to let it go, but it was time. My family was starting to worry about me.
  • So this past weekend, I said I was devoting to watching Netflix, but the little people in my life had different plans.  My sister asked if she could leave Caden with me Friday afternoon while the girls went to get their hair done.  He had no suggestions of things he wanted to watch, so we searched Disney + for teenage-boy-appropriate movies.  We ended up watching Guardians of the Galaxy (which I saw in theatre on a date, but I barely remembered it because I was so in my head that night), and part of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie (I have never seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and neither had he).  Then on Saturday, my brother offered to wash my car for me, so I told him the kids could come hang out with me for the day.  When Noah is at my house, he insists on watching ONLY Toy Story movies.  We watched Toy Story 3 and 1, in that order. LOL
  • For those who are concerned I'm turning my nieces and nephews into couch potatoes, I should clarify that both days, I also made them come walking with me.  Caden and I went on a big stroll around town Friday afternoon so I could get my 10,000 steps for the day, and I took Neve and Noah on a walk to the treat store on Saturday after lunch.  So... we did move around, I promise.
  • Despite not getting as much Netflix time as I anticipated, I did still blow through The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, and the first season of Schitt's Creek.  The first was very difficult to watch, heart-breaking really.  The second?  My gosh, I don't know why it took me so long to watch this show.  I absolutely love it.  I literally laugh out loud while watching it, multiple times an episode.  HIGHLY recommend.
  • The time change on Saturday night made me realize I'm really just a gigantic child.  Everyone always says time changes mess with kids, but dudes... it messes with me, too.  I was in such a foul mood on Sunday, and for no good reason.  I got lots of sleep on Saturday night, and I slept in on Sunday morning.  NO reason to be out of sorts.  But man, was I out of sorts.  Thankfully I was feeling back to normal on Monday.
  • This coming Saturday is our Irish Tea at church, and I'm looking forward to it.  Friday I'll be prepping my food, and for the first time, I'm making salmon sandwiches.  We needed one more loaf, and I volunteered.  I hate salmon sandwiches.  LOATHE them.  I'm not sure how this is going to go. Should be interesting!!
  • We have been selling tickets on our Basket O' Irish Fun, a big basket just brimming with all things "green".  It already looks amazing, and I know there are more items still to come.  Whoever wins this baby is going to be one lucky duck!!  
Well, I think that's it for me today!!  Hope you are all having a great week.  Wash your hands!!!

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Thursday Things

  • I'm really glad I have a relatively quiet weekend on deck.  There appears to suddenly be a ton of stuff I want to watch on Netflix.  I'm really enjoying Schitt's Creek (still only a few episodes in, but it's making me laugh.)  And as I mentioned yesterday, I want to check out The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez.  But now, I'm also thinking of checking out Love Is Blind.  They talk about it every morning on Hot 89.9 and they have me intrigued. There has been so much going on while I've been watching Peter Kavinsky over and over, apparently...
  • Seems like a good weekend to commit to Netflix, since I'm seeing on Facebook that it was four years ago this week that I got wifi and Netflix!!  Only four years... that seems crazy to me, I don't remember life before it.  Happy Anniversary to me & Netlfix.
  • There is one TV event happening this week that I am dreading: the farewell to Alex Karev tonight on Grey's Anatomy.  I really don't know if I can survive this one.  I mean, I know I made it through George, and Izzy, and Yang.  I survived McSteamy AND McDreamy.  But Karev??  He's always been my absolute favourite on the show.  I've watched all of the others go, and heard others say they were quitting because of those losses, and I've always thought, "I'll be fine.  I still have Karev."  But now he's gone too.  I don't know if my poor wee heart can take it.
  • Another thing I'm sad about is that I'm almost finished the third and final To All the Boys book.  And I'm not liking the way it's going.  I have a bad feeling.  The fate of Peter and Lara Jean is still unknown to me, but I just don't get the warm and fuzzies about how things are developing.  And I also just don't want it to end.  I know I still have the movie to look forward to, but man... I don't get excited about things like this very often anymore.  I don't want it to fade away so quickly. *sigh*
  • So, we're more than a full week into Lent now, and so far so good for my Lenten promise this year.  I just wasn't feeling giving anything up.  My heart  wasn't in it like it usually is.  So I decided to do the 10,000 steps a day challenge again.  Last year, I combined it with giving up chips, but I couldn't bear the thought of giving them up this year.  I know it's supposed to be hard, that's the point of it all, but I just...refused.  10,000 steps a day is good enough for me.  And I might try to get rid of 40 items from closet/drawers, but that will be tough because I did a complete closet over-haul last spring.  I don't know if I have 40 things to give away.  We'll see.
  • My anxiety level has been high, off and on, for the past couple of weeks.  I have no idea why.  There is nothing bad going on in my life; if anything, things have been pretty calm and copacetic lately.  But I keep thinking up these stupid worst-case scenarios in my head, and somehow convincing myself bad things can happen when they aren't even on the radar.  My face is broken out in my weird itchy stress bumps, which makes it even more awesome.  I understand why this happens when I'm stressed out (like last year during the floods, or in the weeks leading up to Christmas), but when there is nothing going on, it really pisses me off.  Dammit.
  • Speaking of my face... I keep hearing that one of the preventative measures of coronavirus is to not touch your face.  Um.  I'm in trouble, then.  Because I have realized I touch my face a lot.  And I also have this awful lip-picking habit that is ten times worse when I'm anxious so I'm basically touching my face and picking my lips steady right now.  I'm probably going to die.
  • My sister (probably a bigger germaphobe than me, if that's even possible) went out to buy hand sanitizer the other day to be prepared in case, and discovered it's sold out everywhere.  My mom found her a bunch in different sizes in Shawville, but they told my mom at the pharmacy that they can't get anymore, they are out of it everywhere.  Which kind of made me panic, because I have a couple in my car and a couple at home, all little purse sized bottles, and I'm not sure that's enough to get through a pandemic.  I'm probably going to die.
  • Needless to say... I do think about coronavirus more than I probably should.  All I know for sure is that I intend on staying in my bubble for the foreseeable future, with all of my little bottles of hand sanitizer.  A co-worker told me yesterday about plans to go to Mexico later this month, and normally I would feel jealous, but this time I was just like, "See ya, wouldn't wanna be ya."  Never been so happy to stay in my Quyon Bubble.
  • In other news... My Ottawa Senators had another massive blow-up yesterday when news broke that they fired their CEO Jim Little.  He was hired on January 10th.  54 days on the job, and he's out.  He claims, for having a heated argument with our dear darling owner, Eugene Melnyk, and cursing at him.  Lord love a duck.  Melnyk just can't behave!!  I mean, we've been the laughingstock of the NHL for the past few years, with one dumpster fire after another.  Lately, things had kind of been taking a positive swing.  Chris Phillips retirement night was really classy.  Bobby Ryan came back after 100 days of sobriety and was a real feel-good, inspiring story.  Melnyk was keeping his yap shut.  But now this.  UGH.  It wouldn't take much to get fans back on board.  If he could prove he can keep his nose out of it, let the people he hires run the ship, do some fun stuff to attract the fans back... guys like Brady Tkachuk are so likable, they'd take care of the rest for him.  But NOPE!  Eugene seems like having a frigging MESS.  ALL. THE. TIME.  So damn frustrating.  
  • I think I'm going to wash my car this weekend, for the first time since buying it in mid-January.  It desperately needs it.  I really hate washing cars, but this poor thing... it doesn't deserve to be treated so poorly when it's brand new.  It deserves to have the salt and grime washed away on a semi-regular basis.
  • I'm kind of glad that there's not much going on this weekend, other than Netflix, and car washing, and maybe snowshoeing.  Next weekend is a busy one, with all kinds of St. Pat's festivities on, especially our church's Irish Tea.  I'll have food to make, and then most of the day next Saturday will be devoted to being there to help.  I don't know yet if I'll be partaking in any of the other parties in town.  We'll see how it goes.  Regardless, I'll enjoy this peaceful weekend while I have it!

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

This past week, I...

The last time I wrote a blog post, I was anxiously anticipating Snowmageddon 2020.  People had this storm hyped. up.  They even cancelled school the day before, it was supposed to be THAT big.  (It is rare for schools to close around here due to weather, let alone the day before.)  I was giddy.  But literally just as the snow started, the forecast changed.  All of a sudden my 40+ cm of snow turned into more rain than snow, and I was heartbroken.  Nothing worse than a good snowstorm getting ruined by RAIN!!!  ugh.

By Thursday morning, things weren't looking all that bad out my window.  More slop than anything.  Yet still, my amazing bosses (and friends) texted me to say they were giving me a snow day.  I know they didn't have to.  I work five minutes from home, it hadn't even snowed that much, and I definitely could have got there... But still, my heart fluttered with excitement.  I LOVE a snow day!!!  I read for hours (still into the To All the Boys books), I crocheted, I watched The Price Is Right.  I made macaroni for lunch (my fave all-time snow day lunch!), and I had a nap while Disney + played in the background.  Then I spent a big chunk of the afternoon making a pot of chili (because it was also National Chili Day!) and baking cheddar biscuits.  It was true bliss!!  By the end of the day, the "storm" had kind of fizzled out, and it really did seem silly to have stayed home because of it, but I treasured it anyways.  Snow Days don't come around very often.

Friday I didn't have any big plans, so I bummed around home again, did some tidying up and dishes, a quick house cleaning, more crocheting and reading.  Then in the afternoon I played with my alcohol inks.  I got some new colours so I wanted to test them out.  That evening, Lindsay arrived with chicken shawarma platters that she picked up from the best spot in Aylmer, and we settled in to watch my beloved Peter Kavinsky for the next couple of hours.  I think I've won her over to the dark side... well, at least I think she understands why I've become so smitten, at least.  LOL!  That Kavinsky boy is hard to resist...

I had an early start Saturday morning, as I was curling in our local Lions Club's annual bonspiel with friends.  Our first game was at 9AM.  I was a little nervous, because I "retired" from curling on Thursday nights this year, and I was afraid I'd forgotten everything.  Thankfully, it came back to me quickly - surprisingly quickly.  I felt really good out there, and I actually very much enjoyed it!  I had forgotten how much fun it can be.  I also really enjoy the day of sitting around at the curling rink, visiting with friends, chatting and laughing over a few drinks.  It was a really good day.

However, I woke up Sunday feeling rough.  Really rough.  It wasn't a hangover - I didn't have enough to drink to cause that - it was just the aches and pains of curling.  I guess now that I don't play regularly, my muscles had forgotten they could move that way.  I was so sore. Even the palms of my hands were aching.  Still, I made myself get up and move.  I went to church, then out to brunch with the fam.  My brother was playing in a 3-on-3 hockey tournament and they made the finals in their division, so we went to watch. (We were bad luck... they lost... whoops!)  By late afternoon, though, I was settled back in on my couch, watching Peter Kavinsky again.  The good news is that I think I may have finally worn the movies out.  I was definitely tiring of them by the time I finished them this time. LOL!

On Monday, I had big plans.  With the kids on March Break this week, I had decided it was the perfect day to take my niece Danica on her "Day Out" - a day of shopping, lunch, and movies that I promised her on her birthday back in December.  We let Grandma tag along this year, and we shopped at Walmart and Carter's first.  She picked up some super cute outfits, and seemed very happy with her purchases.  Then we met my BIL and nephew at Boston Pizza for lunch, and after that, we headed over to the movie theatre to see The Call of the Wild.  I was a little disappointed in lack of options when it came to movies, and this wouldn't have been my first choice, but it turned out to be really good.  We all really liked it!

By the time I got home late afternoon, my curling aches and pains were bothering me again, and I felt really, really tired.  I plopped down on the couch and slept for over two hours.  BIG mistake.  Then I couldn't sleep that night.  It was the worst night I've had in a long time.  I tossed and turned, my arms and legs were aching, I felt uncomfortably full from all the junk we'd eaten at lunch and at the movies, I was too hot, and I had to pee like four times.  AWFUL.  Finally around 3 AM, I got up and took an Advil, which seemed to help with the pains, and I slept until my alarm went off at 5:45 AM.

When I woke Tuesday morning, I was not feeling too crash hot.  My stomach felt off, but I chalked it up to the crappy eating the day before.  I also just felt out of sorts after the bad night of sleep.  However, because of my snow day on Thursday, and knowing Jared and Lindsay had a big week with a tradeshow on in the city, I knew staying home wasn't an option.  I got myself ready and off to work.  It was a nice, peaceful day in the office, so that was good, but I was definitely not right.  My stomach was very off.  I never did get sick, but I sure felt like I could for most of the day.  I ended up not eating lunch just in case, so by the end of the day I felt pretty lethargic and crappy.  I was determined not to go home and sleep again though.  I couldn't risk another night of terrible sleep.  When I got home, I read for a while, then just had plain rice, applesauce and ginger ale for supper.  I honestly had no appetite at all, but my stomach was empty and I needed to eat something, even if it did still feel weak.  Thankfully, everything stayed put, so whatever it was - too much junk the day before, or some kind of bug - seemed to be over.  I spent the evening crocheting a new dish cloth pattern I found, and I finished off The Marvellous Mrs. Maisel on Prime.  I started into Schitt's Creek on Netflix next, and I think I'm going to love it. It definitely had me laughing!  I also really want to watch The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez on Netflix, but I'm saving it for the weekend.  It sounds like it's pretty intense and heart-wrenching, and I want to be prepared to fully commit to that.  I have a weekend ahead without much going on, so I think it will be the perfect time.

So... that's what's been up since my last post, a week ago today!  A little bit of everything!!  I hope you are all having a good week so far. :)