I’ve had a good Summer, COVID be damned.

I went to California for the first time with my husband last month, and we had a great time. We ate tacos almost every day and got more than our fair share of vitamin D in San Diego. Palm trees and margaritas… what more can you ask for?

As Fall comes creeping around the corner, I’m already pondering on the inevitability of a long stretch of indoor activities. But that’s ok, I’m looking forward to a change of pace, even if that means continuing to don a mask. Hotels are cheaper in the cooler months, which means we can get back to one of our favorite self-care practices: taking staycations.

There’s something calming about taking a weekend away, even when it’s not far from home. Some of my favorite perks are the little things… like not having to make the bed, taking a shower in a bathroom that’s nicer than ours, blackout curtains, and cable TV. Plus it’s kinda fun to explore an area through the eyes of a tourist.

I have a few tips for those of you who want to follow suit:

  • Try to pack light. Remember, you’re only going for a night. No need to bring 2 extra pairs of shoes, nor your entire medicine cabinet.
  • Keep an eye on the weather. Bring a sweater or jacket for chillier night temperatures.
  • Must haves: an extra pair of cozy socks (use them as bedroom shoes), disinfectant wipes for the remote and other common surfaces, phone charger
  • And most importantly: ENJOY YOURSELF!

The End of the World As We Know It…

2020 has been an absolute nightmare.

If you’re lucky, you’re able to work from home and still get paid. If you’re less lucky, you still have a job, but have to put your health at risk because of the pandemic. And when you’re not working, where do you turn? Your phone.

Except, our screens are no longer used primarily for communication. In this time of COVID and civil unrest, our devices have been used for Zoom meetings, to check in with friends/family, as our tool to research and share news stories, AND as our entertainment.

Social media outlets have always been used as sounding boards for various topics, but now they are being used more and more to out racists and share videos of harrowing encounters with police. There is a lot of frustration and pain being felt right now, and as much as I identify with the posts I’ve seen from friends and the folks I follow,  the avalanche of information sometimes becomes a bit overwhelming. I used to get on Instagram to take a break from the news stories posted and re-posted all over Facebook, but lately, posts of goofy viral challenges have been replaced with pictures of protests and thought pieces on why it’s challenging being a black person in America.

I’m not complaining, trust. I have shared on both platforms and will continue to do so. I guess I’m just pointing out that doing a social media cleanse seems so much more daunting when you’re stuck in the house 24/7 for fear of catching/spreading a potentially fatal respiratory virus.

It’s stressful to not be able to do a fraction of what you were able to do just a few months ago. There are no birthday parties to attend, no vacations to take, no boozy brunches that linger late into the afternoon. Being afraid to hug your parents FUCKING SUCKS. I’m starting to forget what date night feels like. I miss chasing my godchildren around the park, grabbing a drink at a rooftop bar, and taking a walk to the local bagel shop before tackling work e-mails. Being car-less is especially wack right now, as you can imagine. I can’t remember ever feeling this trapped. Add to that the fact that mistrust in 12 is at an all-time high, and it’s enough to make you want to take up drinking as a nightly hobby.

So I take solace in the little things, because being grateful for what I have keeps me from screaming at the sky. I take walks in the courtyard, I blast music while teleworking, I discuss my favorite TV shows with my girlfriends via Marco Polo, and I indulge in delivery once or twice a week.

We will get through this. And my hope is that we’ll be stronger, smarter, and more empathetic on the other side.

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