Hanging in there? Checking in on you and sending you peace today.
A few things that are helping me keep a (generally) positive attitude, aside from proactively seeking and celebrating the slices of joy that dot my day-to-day:
+Looking at pretty pictures that conjure happier times, like the one above: frothy dresses, bare feet in grass, driving with the windows down, loose hair, cricketsong…
+My mom, sister, and I have a daily virtual prayer circle that we started prior to the crescendo of coronavirus, but that has brought me tremendous peace and comfort in recent days. We pick a new novena every nine days (I love this book) and, whenever one of us is praying it, we text our shared thread the emoji of the praying hands. It’s reassuring to know that two of my most loved women are bowing their heads alongside me throughout the day. Some days, we just exchange the prayer hands emojis. Others, we share particular intentions or observations on the prayer itself. (If you’re not prayer-inclined, you could do something similar by picking an intention — say, mindfulness or a positive attitude or good vibes for healthcare workers — with a few friends you are close to and sending the heart emoji at some point during the day to let them know you are thinking at that moment of that particular intention.) The reward for me is not only the peace of prayer but connection during this time of isolation.
+A calm playlist. My musical tastes are…varied. I can go from Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” to Chopin’s Etudes in no time flat. But these days, I’ve been listening to the songs that make me feel warm and secure:
Have I Told You Lately / Van Morrison
I Left My Heart in San Francisco / Tony Bennett
Autumn in New York / Billie Holiday
Moonlight in Vermont / Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
J’ai Deux Amours / Madeleine Peyroux
La Vie en Rose / Edith Piaf
I Love You / Nat King Cole
The Summer Wind / Madeleine Peyroux
A Wink and a Smile / Harry Connick, Jr.
At Last / Beyonce
Every Time We Say Goodbye / Sarah Vaughan
What about Surprise / Latesha Escalero
I Saw Stars / Django Reindhardt
Lost Stars / Adam Levine
Sparks / Coldplay
Some Place Else / Mor Mor
+Perhaps a bit more of a tough love approach: I saw awhile ago a quote that said something like: ” ‘I can do this,’ she thought. ‘And even if I can’t, I have to.'” Yep. Time to put on our big girl pants and realize we need to muscle through — even if we’re white-knuckling — because we have no other option and because there are probably people counting on us to be strong.
+Remote movie date. We tested this on Friday with our best friends — we played the same movie at the same time (it took some coordination to press the play button at the exact same time!) while FaceTiming and drinking wine. We picked “What about Bob?”, which I’d never seen, and which was a delight. It was the most lovely two hour escape and made me feel, temporarily, normal.
+Routine! Routines are comforting to me. We aim to have everyone dressed and “ready for the day” by nine, when our “activities” / workdays start. Having everyone dressed and brushed, having the kitchen clean, and having the play areas tidy by nine gives me the impression of accomplishment and order. We don’t have one of those impressive hour-by-hour block schedules that I’ve seen on Instagram in place, but we generally follow the same sequence every day and the scaffolding helps me, mentally, make it through.
+Occasionally getting properly dressed up. I get dressed every day — usually in jeans and sweater or Kule tee — but it was unseasonably warm on Friday and because we couldn’t enjoy more than twenty minutes of it outside, I put on a new pretty floral dress (you may have see it in my Instastory) and felt like a million bucks. (And P.S. — more pretty and easy-to-wear home dresses here.)
+Treat yourself! I added a few La Colombe draft lattes (or try Pop and Bottle) to my last Instacart order. A couple of other feel-good/indulgent treats to make life a little more comfortable and joyful these days:
A BOX OF FUN CHIPS FOR YOUR MILLIONTH PB&J
NEW THROW PILLOWS FOR YOUR LIVING ROOM OR FAVORITE READING NOOK
+Online shopping for future special occasions — my current lust list toppers:
THIS FLORAL EYELET STUNNER ($119)
P.S. Some more reading distractions for you — a few of you mentioned you liked my archive picks in this post! —