With more downtime, I haven’t found more productivity. And maybe that shouldn’t surprise me, since stress is a creativity blocker and high levels of stress can keep us from thinking clearly. But if, like me, you are absorbing the message that with all this extra time, you should be catching up on cleaning or creative projects or that backlog of books, I invite you to be gentle with yourself. As my friend Abi said the other day, “I’m saying to myself, ‘I don’t actually have a list of everything I have to get done. There’s not actually stuff I have to get done. Whatever I do is what I do. That’s it, that’s how this goes.’”
Whatever we do is what we do, friends. Take care of yourself and whomever is in your house with you, and anything else that gets done is a happy surprise.
- Plus Size Wedding Gowns on Real Plus Size People, Mechanic Shop Femme. Not even planning a wedding, just feeling the photos in this lookbook. That pink fur dress!
- Yoga for Uncertain Times, Yoga with Adriene. Adriene’s Youtube channel is an old favorite, and I’ll be breathing my way through these videos on my back porch whenever things get overwhelming. There are a few videos in there as short as 6 or 7 minutes, and I think they’re pretty accessible even if you’re new to moving your body in this way.
- Free Colouring in sheets, print and post!, Jacqueline Colley. Planning to color these sweet lil graphics over the weekend. Also these quirky and chunky ones from an illustrator named Geo Law. And this little activity book for kids is pretty cute too, by Daniel Chimal called Stay Home Creative Club!
- “Small Kindnesses,” Danusha Laméris. “Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other. / We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot, / and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile / at them and for them to smile back.”
- A Study in Scarlet Women, Sherry Thomas. I have consumed MANY Sherlock retellings, some good, some not so good. I’d say this has been my favorite — it’s not the only gender-flipped retelling, but the atmosphere of this series has really drawn me in. The Sherlock in this series, Charlotte Holmes, reads as autistic to me, and I also enjoy the jumps from narrator to narrator, so we don’t only get Mrs. Watson’s perspective on her detecting partner, but also from Charlotte’s sister, and a (sexy) friend of the family named Lord Ingram Ashburton. The mystery itself is pretty good; at least, I didn’t solve it before the characters do. Is that a sign of a good or a bad mystery plot? I just learned recently that some people like to try to solve the mystery while they read and I don’t think I’ve ever tried that. I think I’m just a gentle sheep ready to be led around by the author, wherever she’ll take me. Anyway, read this book! (If you have a Frederick library card, they have the audiobook in their Libby app. And if you don’t and you’re an MD resident/employee, you can request a temporary digital library card here!)
Bonus features (aka wholesome content):
- Sleepy chihuahua
- “Dads when their kids give them a homemade present on their birthday”
- Golden retriever living her BEST life
- Rehabilitated sea lion refuses to go without friend
- “A very careful beach rescue”
- “Doggy dance off”
- CZN Burak donating food from his restaurant – This video is a little long but made me smile. Also this dude is awesome, I’d never heard of him before!