Not Just Essential, But Preferred

TODAY’S BREW: Carrot Cake blend from Bones Coffee. Get it.

By Julie 

Social Distancing Captain’s Log, day 748

Sometimes I’m the social distancing captain. I mean, I’m ALWAYS socially distancing, mask, 6 feet, essentials only, to work and home, hand washing, an actual pandemic kit in my car. But it’s the nitty gritty of the emotional response that just plain fluctuates like the dickens, isn’t it! I mean one day I’m ready to help the world, delivering flour to people and whatnot, and the next day I want nothing more than to distance harder and faster. And at least I get to leave to do my essentials shopping, go to work every day–these two are stuck together forever.

sam and ben marshfield park
My children, smaller, and in sunshine

I don’t want to drone on about how trying my daily regiment is–right now. I’m just here frankly because I need to remind the world I’m here. HEY IT’S ME. I WRITE BOOKS AND THEY’RE OKAY I THINK. I am not just essential, I am PREFERRED.

Identity takes a bit of a hit during the pandemic, does it not? Aside from being only half a face and the walking threat of death, most of my identity has become getting to work, homeschooling, making sure everyone is fed and clean, helping friends and neighbors, and more than any of this, playing psychiatrist. Trying to navigate a kid with an anxiety disorder and one with Bipolar Disorder and OCD with a side salad of now-neverending seasonal depression when they can only see each other? Yeah, that’s… Well, we’re all mad here.

Being identity-free and what felt like constantly being in the service of someone else led me to a total SCREW THIS moment where I launched Julie Appreciation Week. I have to say, it went swimmingly. Here’s what I did:

  • gave myself a prize every day. YEAH YOU HEARD ME. EVERY DAMN DAY. Small prizes, big prizes, food prizes, jewelry prizes…hell I even got prizes from friends just because they love me and were unaware that it was Julie Appreciation Week!
  • napped. a lot.
  • used it as an excuse at least once a day.
  • said no.
  • went to bed early.
  • continued to write what I’m thankful for every day.

Simple stuff! Made a HUGE difference and the more I look at it the more I realize that I could pretty much do this all the time, but then it wouldn’t have a title and I’d be more broke. But you guys should do this too! All the stuff that makes you feel BLECH say no to, and do the opposite. Boom, You Appreciation Week.

Okay readeroos, get back in your houses and do something for you. Remember you are more than a creature in a mask!

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Published by Julie Hutchings, Pretty Scary Author

I write scary stories with pretty insides. Mythology-twisting author and editor, reptile hoarder, coffee drinker, harpy. Author of The Vampires of Fate and The Harpy.

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