I was born for this Coronavirus crisis. My office is in full-blown panic mode. You can’t walk five feet without seeing a bottle of hand sanitizer and a sign warning you not to shake hands, or wash your hands for 20 seconds, cover your mouth when you sneeze, eat your broccoli but don’t eat the yellow snow. Things as a germophobe I do on a regular basis. It’s very disturbing to me that my co-workers need to be told this. Note to self: skip the next office pizza luncheon.
The best part of this panic is that I can sit in my office with the door closed and say I’m quarantining, when really I’m writing blog posts, or sexting, or selling the office hand sanitizer on eBay. (Why is there a shortage? Because my office bought it all.) In all seriousness, I’m pretty sure if there is an outbreak in my office, I know who Patient Zero will be and I’m making damn sure she stays away from me. This situation also gives me the opportunity to tell the story of how I fell victim to a chickenpox outbreak in college, and I have no desire to do that again. I have Miss Daisy to protect. Fear of germs seems like a legitimate reason to stay locked in my office now and no one has questioned it. I hope this goes on indefinitely.
I read an article last night about two white giraffes in Kenya who were poached on an animal preserve. I remember seeing a photo of them about a year ago on Facebook (in a story, not their profiles) and at the time, I thought, “Great. Now Trump Jr. is going to go kill them
for fun to prove his dick is bigger than his daddy’s micropeen.” I assume he wasn’t the murderer, because surely he would have tweeted it by now. Anyway, this story was a harsh reminder that so much of what I see on the news and on Facebook I internalize and it makes me overwhelmingly sad and demoralized. It sucks all the positive energy out of me until I end up in the bottom of a box of wine wishing for a meteor strike.
And if that isn’t enough, add in our corrupt banana republic government that will perpetuate itself for another four years, killing countless endangered species and destroying the planet beyond repair. There isn’t enough time or money for me to travel to see everything I want to see before it vanishes. That’s not even me being cynical. It’s reality in all its bleak and disconsolate glory.
I’ve decided in the last few days that I need to change my state of mind. I will never be truly happy if I keep doing the same thing, day in and day out. I need to take better care of myself. I realize that seems counterintuitive when I just said the planet is on fire and polar bears will be extinct and giant snow crabs will mutate from some nuclear disaster and kill the rest of us who survive the holocaust. I can’t stay in that mindset or I’m not living. I’m existing. And what’s the point of that.
It’s time to Marie Kondo my life. “Does this person/job/habit bring me joy?” No? Then fuck it. It’s going.
I’m done putting myself in situations where people expect me to be something other than just me, enjoying what I like and instead making it about them. That happens way too often. I’m not a comedian/therapist/hooker/mime there to entertain on demand. Sometimes I just want to eat my dinner or watch a game without constantly having to be “on.” I don’t get that luxury for some reason. Same goes for people who expect me to always be responsible, shouldering obligations because they know I won’t say no. One of the toughest lessons my family has taught me is that it becomes very easy to become a doormat. 12 years of Catholic school education makes you feel guilt at a droplet of holy water. It’s finally time to be selfish and put myself first.
There’s other changes I’m making too. I admit I need to cut back on the wine, unless I’m writing. I’m thinking of getting certified in reiki, to get more centered and heal myself and my dog. I’m giving up dieting, because that brings about as much joy as a colonoscopy. So far these changes have led to me writing more, so cheers to keeping that trend going. Maybe after these changes my soul mate will finally show up with a giant Publisher’s Clearinghouse prize check and sweep me off my feet.
Quarantine is a good thing. It shows you just how much of the world you don’t really need to survive. All you need is toilet paper apparently. It reminds you that the relationship that matters most is the one with yourself, so work on that. And you learn you don’t need to use so much hand sanitizer. That shit dries out your skin.