These are a few of my favorite things: DAY 5 – The unexpected positives

So every day this week we all shared our favorite things. We did podcasts, tv, internet haunts and books. And today we’re doing something a little different. This pandemic is bullshit and hard as hell for everyone. Victor and Hailey and I haven’t seen anyone but us in real life in close to seven months and god only knows when this will be over, but one thing keeping me sane is looking at the positives.

Things I’m happy about:

Because Hailey is staying virtual she can sleep in later and that’s great for her mental health.

So many of the rules that we thought were set in stone are becoming more lax. The level of acceptance and compassion is on the rise if you know where to look for it.

Every time I see someone walk by my window with a mask I am reminded that they are doing it to protect others.

Reading is keeping me sane right now. I have not read this much since I was in high school and it’s made me rediscover the joys of hiding in my stacks of books.

I get asked to speak at a lot of places but I say no to almost all of them because my anxiety is just too overwhelming. But in the last six months I’ve been able to speak to libraries and on zoom calls with my book club and at conferences that I’ve always wanted to go to but never could before. I still can’t do as many as I want because even online it’s overwhelming but this week I got to meet Allie Brosh (of Hyperbole and a Half) online when we had a live keynote conversation especially for independent booksellers. She was in her blanket fort and I was hiding in my office and after so many years of being friends it was the first time we’d ever really “met”.

I’m just noticing that you can literally see my bra because the neckline of my dress is too low and I can only hope people thought it was an intentional fashion choice rather than me flashing everyone on purpose.

We’re both naturally reclusive so I’m not sure we ever would have met without this strange time and so it’s moments like these when I try to appreciate that there are some golden spots that shine. (PS. You should read her new book. SO GOOD.) I suspect we won’t be asked back as we ended up going way over our allotted hour and talked about completely inappropriate things but it was too much fun to stop. She says “hi” by the way.

So how about you? What’s something lovely that’s keeping you going right now? Someone who inspires you? Something you’re grateful for? A product or person or moment that makes this weird time a little easier?

Thank you for being one of those golden spots for me. Even introverts are struggling and I can’t tell you how much your interaction means to me.

PS. I’m not doing a lot of events at the moment because I got overwhelmed and need a tiny break but I am doing a virtual event at the Richland Library in November if you want to check it out. It’s free and I think there are still spots available. 🙂

75 thoughts on “These are a few of my favorite things: DAY 5 – The unexpected positives

Read comments below or add one.

  1. This may be silly, but I have been working from home the past 7 months, and being able to spend the day with my pets is wonderful. I work in the den, and the dogs lounge around me all day. Sometimes, my tripawd, Freya, hops over and demands pats, shoving her head under my arm, jerking the cursor all over the screen. I love her so much. The four-legger sprawls over the couch, yipping in her sleep. And the hairless guinea pig (skinny pig but he is definitely not skinny!) comes squeaking down the hall from the office/small animal room to tell me it’s time for snackies. He plants himself on the little mat we put down by the dog bowls and awaits his parsley. After he eats, he roams around the den, chews on the dogs’ tails, then squeaks his way back to the office where my husband works. Oh yeah – also, my teenager is schooling from home, and I love seeing her in between classes. Sometimes, I even get a hug!

  2. Rediscovering my back yard to get my need for outside time. I am just outside Phoenix AZ, and October is perfect evening out side weather. I bought some solar outside lights and I just sit in the quiet darkness looking at them. So peaceful.

  3. Spending a lot more time with my beloved animal companions, which makes them very happy. They keep me alive, getting out of bed in the morning, and mostly somewhat sane.

  4. It turns out that the weather at my house during the day is actually pretty nice during summer. I’ve lived here for almost ten years, but have been working full time with a two hour each way commute until this year. I’ve really been enjoying being able to have lunch outside, at a shady table, bird watching and listening to the trees move in the breeze. I’ve also discovered that the birds I though were seasonal actually stay for the summer. I never knew, because I was never home to see them!

  5. Every week I choose one of my friends or family members and send a surprise, anonymous delivery. I’ve been using small businesses in my area to send cupcakes, cakes, cookies, flowers, etc. I love waiting for the Facebook posts after I send surprises to those people I know who have Facebook, and watching the happiness and positivity spread is infectious. I actually sent myself something and posted it, too, just to throw anyone off my trail. 🙂

  6. This may sound strange, but I know several very fragile people – anxiety/depression/etc. And I am just so proud of how they are dealing with what is going on. I know they have bad days, and very bad days, but they are pushing through this. So I guess my happiness is coming from the fact that they are still here, struggling, but making it through.

  7. Warms my heart and thrills my brain to see the two of you “together” in one picture. Both of you, each in your own way, have put into words what my brain can’t seem to word. I am not the only one who self medicates with humor and laughter even in the roughest times.
    “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”
    – Truvey Jones

  8. I’m in Canada – getting to do Thanksgiving with my family by Zoom, when we all live far apart and haven’t done a Thanksgiving together for at least 25 years; this one was really special because it included meeting my brand new grand-niece who was just born two days before. Also – got a cat 😁

  9. Right before lockdown came, my parents told me I could get a cat. So we got Ellie on March 3, and on March 23 we started working from home. She’s been my rock and brought us so much joy.

    Also, I’ve been lucky that my parents had let me live with them when my mental health took a nose dive and I could not longer look after myself. So I’ve been with people who love and care for me during a strange time.

  10. I too love that we are, as a society, re-evaluating certain norms – like commuting to work/having to live in an overpriced city to have a great job – am so grateful for the 2 extra hours a day I have gained by not driving to work – more time with my partner and my garden was awesome this year. And although the pandemic has been hell on many people’s mental health, it has served to raise awareness of the mental health crisis and made more people aware so that they can be better allies or so they can ask for the help they need in their own mental health.

  11. I heard a terrific racket outside and looked out on the fence in my yard between the bird feeder and the flagpole, there was a hawk, and just to the right our neighborhood grey striped cat who is a terrific hunter was stalking the ground behind the fence, and all the blue jays were losing their ever loving minds about the two predators.
    Usually the American Kestrels and hawks when they catch one of our Mack truck sized squirrels get so stuffed that they can’t take flight. If you disturb them post meal, they stagger off to the nearest bush like they just ate thanksgiving dinner. My downstairs neighbor let out her miniature Yorkie on the leash to bark at all of them and the cat and hawk took off. The birds will usually eat even if both the mini yorkie and the upstairs neighbor’s grand puppy yorkie are out on the lawn with their owners, because then they know it’s safe. I’ve walked right up to the birds within an arms reach of the birds on the feeders and they won’t take off until the last minute because they know we feed them and chase off predators.
    Feeding the birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and occasionally the hawks and cats or foxes or coyotes or coywolves (we have had both in our neighborhood,) or watching the skunks, opossums, deer or turkeys on our lawn right next to city limits makes me happy and provides hours of entertainment. Nothing is sillier than a squirrel fighting with the other squirrels and chasing them all to back off to pig out on the seed and nuts from the feeder. And nothing is cuter than the chipmunks dashing about to fill up their little cheeks to bursting with yummy food to take back to their hidey-holes for winter.

  12. I have three chinchillas (Shadow, Stitch, and Kikwi), and I bought them a new set of 12 perches so they can bounce around their cage in new and always impressive ways. I placed some of the perches at the front of the cage so their fur sticks through the cage in geometric patches of floof that feel incredible against my nose when I boop them. That, and the swirl of cream in my coffee, being immobilized by my electric blanket, and watching baking shows with my ten year old. Today I’m at work watching the wind outside blow the piles of leaves into crinkly whirlpools I want to go run around in. Everything is about the little things these days. Glad to see you’re doing well. Thanks for the thankfulness post. It’s so easy to forget.

  13. I started a drunken virtual book club with my library school friends a couple of weeks into lockdown. We didn’t think it would last more than a month or two but we’re still going strong 30 weeks later. It’s turned into more of a group therapy/gab session than a book club but we’ve all needed that connection to each other so much during this awful, bullshit time. I’ve also been reading much more this year, due to both my book club and the Fantastic Strangelings, and it’s been wonderfully soothing to my anxious, paranoid brain. Bless you, Jenny, and everyone else on this wonderful site.

  14. After seeing your super fantastic haunted house dollhouse some time ago, I really wanted to build one of my own and now I am! It makes me so happy to retreat upstairs to my work room and block out all the crap going on in the world. It’s giving me something to focus on and enjoy and has really helped my anxiety. I doubt it’s going to be as grand as yours, but I’m trying! Thank you, Jenny, for your inspiration!

  15. I just watched Dolly Parton Answers the Web’s Most Searched Questions and one she did for Vogue on some of her fashion choices over the years and GOD if I didn’t love Dolly Parton already, I would be falling in love with her because of those videos. She is just so damn sweet and so real and I would love to meet her in real life, just to say hi and thanks for all the stuff she’s done over the years. But I probably wouldn’t be able to say all that because my anxiety would kick in and I’d oly be able to squeak like a mouse before running and hiding under the bed.

  16. I live in a beautiful place and have been taking hour+ walks with my three dogs, focusing on them, the clean air, the views of the nearby mountains – and I went to the beach just a couple of days ago. Focusing on the moment has kept me sane(r).

  17. We adopted a giant floofy dog from Great Pyrs & Paws, a rescued transplant from TEXAS to Oregon. We like to say his bark has a Southern drawl. I have gone full DOG MOM and even started his own Insta ( He loves to snuggle on the couch, and gets me through the tough days.

  18. I finally decided to hire a part time caretaker, which I’ve wavered on for quite a while because I’m young and I feel like I should be able to do alllll the things but I just can’t. And I used to be able to. Chronic physical and mental health can be such a bitch. It’s a reality I didn’t want to face, but I did, and ultimately I think it’s going to improve my quality of life. Having someone do things for me that I feel like I should be doing is going to be hard, I don’t want to look like a lazy lump, but the reality is sometimes I need to be a lump so I can function the next day, etc. I think I need to sleep for the next 24 hours just after sitting down and doing the interview with her.

  19. Oh yes, working from home with my pets is the absolute best!! Outdoor seating for meals, little pop ups where you can get delicious treats in an odd way…

    Not having the stress of a commute and traffic is also wonderful. I can control the climate at home or at least wear a robe if I want.

  20. (1) You are keeping me going; knowing that you’re surviving your autoimmune disorders gives me hope that I survive my ever growing list.
    (2) Live online comedy shows are my everything. My anxiety has kept me from going out and doing fun things for years so now I get to do them from home. It’s amazing!
    (3) Instagram DeeJay parties/ concerts making my entire life.
    (4) I have a love/hate relationship with physical therapy but it’s mostly a good experience besides the physical agony.
    (5) Last week I did my first photoshoot as a photographer since my foot bone fusion surgery last year. Just being able to do it was awesome!
    (6) The love and compassion shown to me by my friends aka extended family has truly warmed my heart.

  21. My core group of friends and I all travel a lot for work so the pandemic has grounded all of us and in the process we’ve spent a lot more time together and grown closer in ways we probably never would have. Now I’ve taken a job in another country, moved 2 weeks ago, and am really missing them so much! I don’t recommend moving countries during a pandemic. Luckily I have my dog with me and we’ve really enjoyed all the at-home time together too!

  22. Unexpected positive of the pandemic has been connecting more with friends via group texts. Also have taken a daily walk, no matter the weather, every day since mid March. Usually around my subdivision, and I tend to visit 2 horse stables and bask in the glory of the horses, but we’ve also driven to different neighborhoods and walked there…have seen a lot of different areas we never knew about.

  23. We have actually gotten to know our neighbors because we live in a cul de sac and all of the kids started coming out to play last spring. Now every Friday night we all stand or sit far apart outside and have drinks.

    My husband is working from home part of the time and has spent more time with our daughters (2 and 4) than ever before. They get so excited just about getting to have breakfast or lunch with him.

    No deciding which set of parents to visit and which to disappoint for Christmas. We’re going nowhere. Yay! I love being home for Christmas.

    My friend who lives not that far away but I never see because her work schedule/my kids and I realized we can just FaceTime and then we don’t go months without talking. Which made me start setting up FaceTime happy hour with another friend who does live far away.

    Take out cocktails. Amen.

  24. It’s my 50th birthday today!! I asked my friends to send me cards with a little piece of art and I have a pile of cards. Since we can’t meet in person, I have scheduled several online events including an on-the-spot poetry competition, tea with fancy hats, and yoga nidra led by me.

    (Happy birthday! ~ Jenny)

  25. Having time to focus on writing chapters for my StoryWorth gift to my son and grandchildren (shh … it’s a surprise).

    Daily walks with my husband and waving at strangers as they drive by.

    Pen pals I connected with from this blog last year.

    My adorable, crazy cat.

    My hero … the grocer who delivers food every week and keeps my husband and I safe.

  26. I’m changing my facebook background photo every day with a scary photo: ghosts, clowns, zombies, demons, more ghosts in honor of Halloween. I’m really concentrating on Halloween. Then I’ll be concentrating on Thanksgiving a bit (when not losing my mind over the election), then end of year stuff. I’m just taking it a day at a time. Please check it out or reach out and befriend me at Laurie Fellezs. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one with that name! Love you, Jenny, and this tribe of interesting people.

  27. What I find interesting is that while FB Messenger video calls has always been available to me…suddenly my family and I are using it to keep in touch and see each other. Since we know we can’t in person any time soon.

    I just really love how it seems families are reverting back to simpler times. Spending time together doing the fun stuff my family did when I was a kid.

    I also really like seeing people, safely, get out and explore their areas while they can’t travel internationally or even to other states. Sometimes we have such fun little getaways just a car ride away that we overlook.

    I’m definitely using this time to slow down and appreciate all the tiny joys that happen each day so I don’t get mired in the crap. I miss my family big time but, in a way, I love how this has brought us even closer together.

  28. I work at a computer most of the day. When at work, I often get so caught up that I lose track of time. Breaks, lunch and the end of the day pass me by. But at home, my dog makes sure I take regular breaks. He must have an internal alarm clock. Every hour he comes and drops a toy at my feet with that irissistable “come and play” look in his eye. If’ I don’t get up, he will bring another toy. And another toy. Eventually, I give in and we head outside to play catch, water the flowers and just goof off for a few minutes. I feels so refreshed when I return to my desk.

  29. Having my husband as my coworker since this started has been a HUGE plus (for me; I haven’t sought his opinion). Normally he has an hour commute each way to his office. Now he gets to sleep in later and also stay up later to watch Steven Colbert with me. I’ve volunteered to host Zoom meetings for the groups I belong to (because I’m the youngest member by far I’m more tech-savvy…theoretically) and that makes me feel capable and helpful. And I’m reading all kinds of new genres (after sorting through our book collection and making a big donation to our library).

  30. The ocean is a soothing balm I have enjoyed over the past months. Paddling out and feeling the breeze on me as I look out to sea, to waves flowing in, to rides of other surfers calms and at the same time focuses. Sports and activities are a great way of being in the moment and letting go of anxiety and stress, if only for a short while. I can breathe out there, I can smile and find joy in nature, I can get my heart rate way up with the exercise!

  31. I was able to do some massive landscaping (with a lot of help from underemployed friends) in my back yard and garden while being laid off work for six months. In one season we did what would otherwise have taken three summers. It will probably take one more year to be completely done with putting in new beds and perennials but I am so thrilled with everything we will have completed before the snow comes to stay.

  32. My gratitude for my PCP is overwhelming me at the moment. I battle CPTSD and treatment-resistant depression. He’s an immensely empathetic young man. He just called!!! to tell me he’d contacted a Ketamine clinic here and told them of my struggle and particular needs. I’m waiting for a phone call from the clinic, now. I had one Ketamine treatment 18 months ago, which went really well. However, in discussing it afterwards with the male dr, he made a suggestive remark, which triggered me anew. I’m incredibly lucky to have my doctor and analyst, who care so much about me.

  33. Hi back Allie! I bought your book from Jenny’s store, though I’ve not gotten to it yet.

    My husband and i got married in May in mid-pandemic, moved in together in August, and his mother died in early September (Which is why we pushed up the wedding) So while learning how to be married is hard under the best of times, and you’d think it would be even harder during a pandemic. But we’re actually doing pretty well with it – we’re being careful to communicate and since we only have each other for company most of the time we are super-mindful of the other person’s feelings. Not having “real life” distractions means we have to make our own fun – so we’re sharing weird movies and learning that if he wants to watch a movie that I don’t want to I’m ok with lying on the couch next to him with my book and that he is super weird about crossing the street against the light and he loves garlic (which i hate) and i love ginger (which he has a low tolerance for). So all things considered, it’s a good time to learn to be married

  34. Due to a temporary stint working entirely remotely, I got to stalk Fredrik Backman on his book tour. That was probably a lot healthier than the copious amount of YouTube and TLC watching that I’ve been doing in down time. We don’t need to talk about the pursuit of skull handled silverware, and skull/ skeleton dinnerware ebay-ing that’s currently happening (anyone in the UK who wants to be an archived Royal Stafford/ Victorian English Pottery mule for me?).

  35. Every year as a children’s librarian, I do a full day of programming at the Twin Cities Book Festival. Standing in an unheated building on concrete for a 12 hour day. Every year I am wrecked. I am in excruciating pain for the next week. Every year, I say oh, I will never do that again. This year, I got to sit in my big comfy chair with my tiny old fluffy dog and do livestream interviews with my favorite authors.

  36. Hi, Is it possible for us to see your conversation with Allie Brosh? I love both of you, and it would be beyond awesome to see you both together.

  37. Today I went for a walk with my 6 year old in the first snow of the year – which is awesome in October because the snow was falling in huge clumps – almost the size of my palm! I live in Minnesota, so the snow becomes tiresome at some point, but the first snow is always a treat. My neighborhood also hit peak color today, which made the snow globe-looking snow even more beautiful against the yellow, red and lime green background. (Plus the ground is still warm so no ice, no mess, no shoveling!)

  38. Working from home has been a god send. I have finally been able to build annual leave so I can go see ny sister in l.a. next September or maybe even go for Christmas/new years for the first time! I live with my aunt so im able to do shopping deliveries. That was a huge blessing because she was able to quarantine for 2 months without feeling pressured to go outside for necessities.

    I have my quarantine pod of 3, and another that im building with my 2 collage friends. My friendships are everything.

    I have text groups as well. Im too anxious to eat at restaurants but I did finally do that two days ago. And books, tv, online shopping which I must say I have found sites that sell plus size clothes that actually fit so no more driving store to store. I now understand why people shop online. Once you peg your size its win win from there.

    I cant have a pet here but I do have 1 plant. I used to have a jungle before I moved. But the one plant could use more attention. 🤔

    Change is hard. But necessary. And it can be good when I stay focused on my blessings.

    Love yawl

    >*< peace

  39. Because the business had switched to phone and video from in person interviews The Other Half was able to apply for and got a job on the other side of the country (where I’m from) turning our 10ish year moving plan into a 2 month plan. It was crazy hectic and terrifying but So Worth It.

  40. I love that everyone has found the way to slow down and appreciate life. Me, I’ve been knitting. A lot. The little things are helping ground me and I’m learning that it’s okay to not push myself to do more than I currently have the spoons for.

  41. My old dance school from when I was a professional dancer, started offering classes live on zoom and it has been so wonderful to be able to take these classes since they are in Philly and I am in Florida. There is so much joy in dance, not to mention the weight loss, and I have missed it so much!

  42. I’m positive I haven’t seen Gary reply lately and I’m positively worried about him.

  43. I am positive Gary has not left a reply in a while. I am positively worried. ☆Kat

  44. Not commuting 2-3 hours a day and yoga classes on zoom means I can practice yoga almost every day. Cats who wander into my zoom meetings. And getting to spend more time with my teenage kids than I usually would – though I know they’d much rather be able to be out seeing their friends.

  45. I haven’t worked since mid-March. Not having to wake up to alarm clock 5 out of 7 days and then feeling like a zombie has been absolutely wonderful. I rediscovered the art of sleeping in, something I thought I’d never be able to do again, my body was so used to waking up at 6am every day. I have much less stress and anxiety due to not having to make the long commute every day and work at a job that I sometimes hated (the coworkers were great though). But unemployment just ran out and it’s time to start looking for work again.
    I am grateful that I get to spend so much time with my super cuddly pit bull who thinks she’s a lap dog, Arya.
    I’ve been enjoying reading a lot.

  46. I’ve long asked myself the question “How would you live life if you had but 6 months left?” as a way to make sure I’m following my heart, my enthusiasm. ‘Rona and other recent reality tumults have made it easier to live in the moment. It’s pointless to worry about a future that is so uncertain or regret a past that is long gone, and so delicious to just Be. Here. Now.

  47. I love having the quietness to be in constant touch with my inner voices. I’ve been a lifelong codependent people pleaser and that has all changed now, just because I’ve gotten so close to myself.

  48. Nearly weekly backyard dinners with our next door neighbors, who happen to be an amazing gay couple (our gay uncles, if you will). We’ve lived next door for 11 years and this year has brought us so much closer.

  49. I wrote a book of recipes for my granddaughter and now all the other grands want one too, so I have time to do it, it’s handwritten with little jokes and memories throughout. I’m also starting a E cookbook. I wrote a memoir that I’m thinking of publishing on Amazon. I also planted a garden and baked lots of bread and goodies which hasn’t been great for our waste lines but was fun to do. The best is all the time with my husband. We’ve been married 6 years and both had failed 1st marriages and lots of trauma included. We both dealt with issues with grown kids in our new marriage. Now we moved near the beach and are falling in love all over again and letting the traumas melt away.

  50. Both of my grown children are home and we have family dinners again at least five times a week. I am closer to my mother than ever because I write her a card EVERYDAY!! She live in a care home and she is not allowed to leave the facility and I’m her only designated visitor. I have had to be more creative in my job as a preschool atelierista, I am also thankful that I can leave my house 5 days a week and be a part of the outside world, that I still have a job and that I get to be with the children in person, although we all wear PPE’s. I love all of the small businesses I’ve discovered online that I’ve started supporting, especially on Etsy. I too have read more in the last four months than I have in years, it took me a while to be able to concentrate on them though. I am closer to may husband than ever, I have a new appreciation for really long walks and I get to spend more time with my fur babies.

  51. Jenny, you really outdid yourself with this final topic for the week. What a wonderful idea.

    With my hubby home during the day, he can help with our complicated cat situation (old cat and a sick cat difft kinds of food, meds, etc) when I’m not feeling well, and he is so loving and patient with them. It has really reduced my stress levels and I so very much appreciate him being there for all of us.

    Quick book rec: Texts From Jane Eyre. She creates modern day versions of all kinds of literary characters, texting each other. (For example, emo Hamlet!) It’s brilliant and hilarious and I wish it would go on forever. You don’t have to be well-versed in all the characters to appreciate them, either. I suppose everyone has read this since it’s from 2014 but if you haven’t, you must!

  52. 1. There are a bunch of professional comedians in the UK who currently can’t work, so they do their material tests online every Wednesday. I watch a live stream, some people watch via Zoom and the comedy is varied, some great laughs, some rubbish material that doesn’t work. The best thing (or one of), is the regulars who watch via Zoom, so you get to see and hear them and the compère talks to them, so they are familiar and feel almost like friends. (You can sign up via a process, starting with signing up for Sarah Millican or Gary Delaney’s mailing list).
    2. My dogs.
    3. My partner being at home.
    4. Less pressure to go out to do things has made me more able to leave the house occasionally.
    5. Social distancing – people keeping further away from me and less crowds.

  53. Spending time in my backyard and reinvigorating my interest in photography. I’ve been watching birds, plants, bugs, animals, etc in depth and noting behavior. I have googled numerous bug related info and have found it fascinating, Look right under your nose – your backyard has a lot to offer!!

  54. *gasp* I worked in the Richland Library system for close to 6 years before moving away! I’m so happy it continues to be such a great system with amazing programs! There were about 16 spots left when I signed up. (Sorry, totally geeking out right now >.< Really excited about this!)

  55. I was sitting watching TV yesterday and decided to watch “Birds of Prey”. There was a scene where they showed the character Harley Quinn’s apartment. There on display was a stuffed beaver, standing on her hind legs and wearing a tutu. Who did I think of instantly? Of course, I thought of you, Jenny, and if that’s not a positive thing then I don’t know of one.

  56. This crazy year has proven to me that my migraines are not “stress triggered”–I have had only 2 times where I had to take PTOfor a migraine since we went remote.
    Despite hella-stressful schedules.
    So there is something about working in a standard office building that has my triggers. It explains why my other periods of low-migraine coincided with work space near frequently used doors and/or windows that open.

  57. I’m too lazy to read through all the comments so my bad if someone has already said this, but I am really jazzed that I can sit my fat ass on the couch and read all day with a cat on top of me and get food delivered when I want it. This is the only miracle in 2020 as far as I’m concerned and I hope it never goes away!

  58. A lot of unexpected positives for me revolve around masks believe it or not.

    I like that masks take up 75% of my face space, which saves me time in front of the mirror and aggravation. I’ve always had acnegenic skin (even at 36 years old I still break out) and I hate doing systematic stippling with concealer to hide my breakouts. Nowadays I just fix my hair, mask up, and go out. Thank you masks!

    I’m also a very expressive person and I appreciate that I can hide my facial reactions (in public anyway) because of the masks. This has been a life saver when I see or hear something brazenly ridiculous which is common place nowadays. Thanks again, masks!

    I’ve also discovered the magic of pop-up drive in movies.

    I like being in my own little cocoon/car, under the stars listening safely to others react/clap/honk/laugh at the movie we’re watching. There is a sense of community while still being apart…a reminder that we’re still here, 2020 and all… laughing, crying, engaging, and smiling while we persevere. It’s a good thing.

  59. Allie is writing again?



    Suck it 2020. You couldn’t ruin everything!

  60. I am a Chinese reader,and really admire of your books. There is a question for me. In the book of Broken,what the phase of “spring scenes” mean in the sentence of “It reminds me of the hollowed-out Styrofoam eggs my mother would fill with miniature spring scenes at Easter when I was little, and I realize I haven’t thought of those magical things since I was small.”
    So,I hope you can tell me more information by Email,my email dress is: Thank you for your kindness!

  61. You. Not kissing ass, and no joke. I have struggled with anxiety and depression all my life and this COVID thing nearly pushes me over the edge. You, along with sleep meds, got me through a near breakdown by the skin of my teeth last month as I entered the classroom -against my will- to teach art during Covid. I cannot thank you enough for your bravery. I go back to your books and blog posts again and again for comfort, humor, and sanity – although I know you will laugh at that last one. Thank you for the beautiful way your mind works -and for sharing it with us all. -Tab

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