I haven’t really spoken out about what’s going on in the world… partly because that’s what everyone is doing right now and I definitely do not consider myself the place someone would go for such information. But the more days that pass, the more I realize that this space has always been my safe space for sharing my life. It’s small, but it’s my small platform, and I own it. I take that very seriously. And my life right now just happens to have me going through something we all are going through at the same time. I can’t think of a time that has ever happened. This is not about politics or religion. This is not something that needs to divide us. This virus has no favorite or chosen one. This virus does not hold back. This virus does not respond or adapt to prayers or meditation (that can certainly and definitely help us get through it and I highly encourage finding your version of that to help you on a daily, personal level.) This virus does not care how you vote or where you live or what car you drive or the color of your skin or how much money you make or what’s between your legs. This virus is not opinion or belief. It is fact.
And it is fact for all.
This page is my safe space where I can get things out. I’ve shared some of my life story here – My sexual abuse by an uncle when I was a baby, when my grandmother passed, my struggles with eating disorders as a teen and young adult, my postpartum depression… all things that are not unique to me, but things that I went through and could personally share with someone who may have gone through, or is currently going through, the same. All of the times that I came here to share those personal moments and feelings, I have felt better in doing so, and found so many of you needing to hear the words that I said for your own reasons.
So many of you have contacted me personally about advice or help on things in regards to food, and I hope what I have said has done something positive in your world. I’ve even helped several of you on DIY beauty and skin care and at-home workouts! I’m honored to have helped in such a small way to help your lives in even the slightest way right now. But this is more than leftovers into casseroles and another bread recipe, it’s more than baking soda as your exfoliant and honey as a blemish fighter, it’s more than step-ups on the bathtub and a push-up challenge. It can be about those things too!! We’re all working to get through this new normal as best as we can and we need daily victories. But this virus is the biggest thing a lot of us have ever gone through in our entire lives, and it needs to be treated as such.
So I’m just going to type. I’m going to type the things that I feel, hopefully offer guidance in spots, share what my little tribe has done to flatten the curve and survive during quarantine, and I’m going to type in hopes to make at least one human feel a little bit better at the end of it all.
I am not an expert, I am only one educated and aware person and we are only one small, educated and aware family. I’m learning new things every day and I am ever-growing, and I have opinions on a lot of subjects, but mostly and mainly I have facts and truths and real stuff backing me up in the things that I am saying, and in the actions I am taking. I feel like I may get into an ALL CAPS situation down there and trot down some tangent roads… And those CAPS are not me yelling at you. It’s not me putting you down. It’s not me trying to hurt you.
This is not the time for egos and bruised feelings and emotions. This isn’t personal.
This is not about who’s winning Quarantine.
This is life and death.
This is humanity.
So the CAPS are just me talking to you more seriously! Like… when I get real close and look you deep in the eyes, and I talk slower… and I enunciate more because I really wanna get my point across. That kinda thing.
Because I love you.
So hey! I’m gonna talk about bodily fluids for a quickie!! Among other things, but yes – Everybody poops. And pees! And snots! It’s true!! If you find this gross, I apologize for making you feel at all uncomfortable, but now is not the time to be precious.
How do we do our duties and such when there’s a paper shortage out there? Here’s what I’m doing :
I have not used one tissue in over 4 weeks. I have had multiple colds, sinus infections, and suffer greatly from seasonal allergies. Oh there’s been snot, y’all. There’s been snots on snot.
Repeat : I HAVE NOT USED ONE TISSUE IN OVER 4 WEEKS.
If I have to blow my nose, and am near a sink (where I often find myself) I do so with my hands- over and into the sink, and then wash my hands directly after.
If I have to blow my nose and I’m away from a sink, I use a cloth bandana or old burp cloth from my babymama days and return to it when necessary throughout the day.
Don’t have either? Guess what that old t-shirt can do for you!
I do this to conserve what we have… but also to keep whatever paper products are in stock out there for the people who weren’t able to get what I got when I got it.
EVERY ACTION THAT I TAKE, OR DO NOT TAKE, IS NOT MERELY FOR MY AND MY SMALL FAMILY’S HEALTH & SAFETY, BUT FOR THAT OF OTHERS’. THAT’S WHAT WE ALL NEED TO REMEMBER RIGHT NOW.
EVERY ACTION YOU TAKE OUTSIDE OF YOUR HOME CAN DIRECTLY AND ALSO INDIRECTLY, AFFECT SOMEONE ELSE.
THIS IS THE TIME TO ASSUME THE WORST OF SOMETHING.
WITH CONFIDENCE, AND SEVERE POSITIVITY – THIS IS THE TIME TO ASSUME THE WORST OF THIS VIRUS. LET IT NOT DEFINE YOU OR SHAPE YOU AS A HUMAN BEING, BUT LET IT STEER YOUR ACTIONS WITHOUT PAUSE OR QUESTION.
THIS IS NOT THE TIME FOR SUGAR COATING AND RAINBOWS AND FAITH IN THE HOPE OF THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE VIRUS. YES, LET’S PLACE POSITIVITY ON OUR DAILY LIVES AND HOPE TO HAVE A BETTER WORLD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, LET’S HAVE A TON OF POSITIVE FAITH IN THAT HOPE. LET’S BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT WE HAVE AS OFTEN AS WE CAN. BUT LET US NOT PLACE BLIND, POSITIVE UNICORN FAITH ON THE VIRUS ITSELF AND ITS POWERS. ASSUME THIS VIRUS IS OUT THERE. ASSUME YOU CAN SEE IT LIKE ZOMBIES IN A HORROR FILM. ASSUME THE PEOPLE YOU COME CLOSE TO HAVE IT – OR HAVE COME IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO, OR IN DIRECT CONTACT WITH, SOMEONE WHO HAS IT.
ASSUME THE WORST WITH THIS VIRUS, AND RESPECT ITS POWERS LIKE YOU DO A SHARK OR A SNAKE WHEN YOU ENTER ITS HOME OR THE OCEAN DURING A THUNDERSTORM.
IT IS MIGHTY AND IT IS REAL AND IT IS GREATER THAN ALL OF US AND ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IN ORDER TO SAVE SOME LIVES IS STAY HOME IF YOU ARE GRANTED THE LUXURY TO DO SO.
Ok the caps started to give me a headache there. But basically, yeah – that’s what it boils down to…
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR HOME, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR HOME.
JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN, DOES NOT MEAN YOU SHOULD.
THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY AND YOU HAVE THE GREAT POWER TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH YOUR ACTIONS… OR LACK THEREOF.
There are people who don’t have the privilege of staying home and joyfully baking bread and going on long hikes in public parks like it’s a holiday. There are people who don’t have the luxury of a large home with enough space for everyone to be comfortable. There are people who don’t have a backyard or any easy access to nature. There are people getting up early every morning after sleeping on a cot in their basement, quarantined away from their families that they haven’t held in weeks, who have to go to work and try to save some more lives today and watch several more die in their hands. There are people who have to go to work and put their lives in danger to scan your groceries all day every day. There are people waiting to give birth to their first child, second child, third child, any child any day now, and the more we put ourselves out there unnecessarily, the more crowded the hospitals will be and the less room and care there will be available for those mothers and new babies.
It’s for those people that we do the things that we do to help flatten the curve.
Back to body fluids and saving paper products.
We use cloth napkins when necessary and I launder them when needed.
I clean up kitchen messes (there are always kitchen messes with me) with a cleaning solution and a washable cloth instead of a paper towel.
If I have to pee, and am gearing up for a shower, I pee in the shower.
…there’s soap and water in there, guys. get to know yourself a little better.
We have a bidet and use it as often as possible to further lessen the use of toilet paper.
I have had many sit-downs with the family reminding them of this and teaching them what we’re all doing. And my family is following suit as best as they can, they’ve been incredible. But we all agree mom is super hardcore.
We have not wasted one food item.
No. That’s not true. Damnit. I forgot. I threw away a pack of expired fresh chicken sausages last week that I had bought before the world changed and forgot they were back there, and I cried when I did it.
But I started a list and a chart of all the items in my kitchen LAST MONTH and organized it by what needs to go first (sorry I didn’t see you, chicken sausages 🙁 ) and that’s how I plan our meals each week and day. No going out for that one fresh, luxury item that would make this meal even better just because I can. No ‘but I need my fresh ____ every day!!!’ mentality. It’s using what we have and changing and adapting.
Everything I cook is repurposed by either turning it into a soup or stir-fry or casserole situation, freezing leftovers, eating leftovers for lunch the next day, making stock out of bones, etc. and using less meat than we’re used to in order to stretch our ingredients. We have had incredible meals out of what we have on hand. And I recognize I am, and we are, very fortunate to be able to do so.
*If you want help or tips on any of that, please continue to contact me and I am happy to help. This is something I’m oddly naturally equipped to take on, so let my strange powers be of use to others. Please.*
When we have to retrieve the mail from the box at the end of our driveway, we let it sit in there for 24 hours after being delivered, we walk out holding a disinfectant wipe or a disinfectant liquid-saturated cloth, and use it as if it were a glove. If anything is in the mail pile that we know we will trash, we trash it outdoors in the garbage before coming inside. We bring the mail into the garage or foyer and wipe each piece down separately, and let it dry on the floor before opening anything. And every door handle, etc. is wiped down when all is said and done.
The same thing goes for anything that happens to be delivered. No outside packages come in the house. And the same for any extra wrapping or packaging that may have recently touched human hands. The inside items are also wiped down and left in the garage if they are safely able to do so.
We have not left our property at all in over 2 weeks. Prior to that, I was the only one who left to go to the grocery store, as infrequently as I did, and subsequently sanitized every . single . item . in my basement before introducing it to our living space. I did not use my normal reusable grocery totes, and I threw into the outside garbage any disposable grocery bag I used (I never do that, but right now it’s more about the contamination). My car’s interior and exterior handles were disinfected after every trip. Then I would take off all my clothes and throw them in the washing machine, wash my hands for the 9th time, and take a hot shower where I made sure to also wash my hair.
The reason it was me leaving and not my husband is because, again, we all agree that mom is super hardcore. I’m more comfortable knowing that I was as meticulously cautious as I was, than having to worry about anyone else missing a step.
Because the worry alone can eat you alive unless you can distance yourself from it, and eliminate any variables that you can.
Repeat : WE HAVE NOT LEFT OUR PROPERTY AT ALL IN OVER 2 WEEKS.
I’m fully aware that we are fortunate that we have the types of jobs that we have, and that we have a lot of private and beautiful nature in our backyard. We sit in it as much as we can during our days and evenings (but damn you, pollen!!). We have all gotten exercise every single day and felt the fresh air. Again, I’m fully aware that we are fortunate in that. We are thankful and yes, I will continue to use the word fortunate, that we have not had to sit inside a small, dark box for weeks.
It makes me feel guilty for admitting that we have had great joy during these hard times. We have been in this together, as a mighty tiny team, and we have built an even stronger bond because of it. My kids are 12 and 9 and they have not complained once about their new lives. Their entire world was just flipped upside down – I am their teacher on call now, they don’t get to play with their friends… everything has changed for them. But they understand the weight of the situation and are completely on board and have not complained an ounce. We have always been a close family – one that enjoys each other’s company and considers the other a friend. I recognize that may not be the case for some, and I have ample amounts of gratitude for that.
*If you want help or tips on how to get good exercise by not leaving your property, please contact me and I am happy to help. It’s not only crucial for your physical health, but also for your mental health.*
I implore you all to take some steps back and look at your daily routine and reconsider anything that isn’t necessary right now. I know it’s hard to change your habits. I know it’s hard to stray from the things you’re used to doing, and the places you’re used to visiting. That can’t be easy for someone who’s followed the same schedule for 10-30 years. But this too shall pass.
And it shall pass more swiftly if we all do our part.
Consider these questions and reconsider your next move :
. breathe .
What am I grateful for today? (That’s always an important start to a day. Especially now.)
Will this thing that I am about to leave to go do, or go see, still be there when the world gets back to a more normal place?
What about the people who are less fortunate than I am who have no choice but to leave their home in order to serve me and others? -What would they say about what I’m about to do? Could this perhaps harmfully impact them? (More about the them’s and less about the me’s.)
Do I absolutely have to do this right now? …
-If it’s going to the post office to retrieve your mail, and any sort of forwarding is not an option, strongly consider cutting that down to a once a week errand and follow all safety precautions when doing so.
-If it’s needing some fresh air, strongly consider using what you may be fortunate enough to have in your backyard instead of using a public place where you don’t know who is going to be there or who has been there before you. (Because it’s been reported that this virus is airborne. It can live (maybe this time amount has changed…) for up to 30 minutes lingering in the air in exhaled particles. That happens when people run or vigorously hike or walk, not just sneeze or cough. Meaning, you don’t know who was there 30 minutes before you. It has been reported that it can enter through your eyeballs. It has been reported that a 6 foot distance is not nearly enough space to allow yourself between another individual, and that 25 feet seems more accurate. That information came from aerosol science specialists. And I trust a specialist and an expert on the subject of viruses and how they are spread, over any source attached to anyone with an assumed ulterior motive or the chance to reap in any sort of monetary gain. This is a new virus and the facts and information are changing daily. Let’s assume the worst.)
-If it’s for exercise, strongly consider something done at home. Go to the amazing world of the internet and find fun workouts to do right in your own living room, or patio, or back yard, or driveway, or garage! We’ve been doing family dance classes in the living room and I’ve been adding a lot of ballet / barre exercises to my day, and it’s been great! I do it while I teach 3rd grade fractions 😉
-If it’s to go out and see and be around people again, I get it. This is hard. But look at the cool resources we have!! FaceTime! Zoom! Ahh!! Amazing! I don’t know… is seeing strangers your thing? Start rando-facetiming some people and see what happens🤷♀️. But we are so incredibly fortunate to have the virtual ability to see the faces of our loved ones right now.
And if you do the right thing, and make the right choices, those loved ones will still be there when all of this is over.
thanks for reading, y’all
Long Distance Love,