Love in the time of corona 😷
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A little over two years ago, Hurricane Florence made landfall in my city of Wilmington, NC, leaving destruction and disruption in its wake. Renters at the time, we made a last-minute decision to evacuate before the storm hit. While we were gone a tree fell on our house, and we couldn't move back in for over two months. During that time, we lived in various friends’ guest rooms and then, thanks to renters insurance, in a hotel. It was an extremely stressful situation, and the one thing that would have made me feel better - the comfort of home - was the one thing I could not have.
At the beginning of those long, awful weeks, when I finally understood how long it would take for our home to be livable again, I started a writing streak. 30 minutes a day, whether they were at a kitchen table or a borrowed desk, on a strange sofa or in a hotel bed. On one hand, it felt ironic that finally committing to a daily writing practice was so easy during my displacement. On the other hand, it made perfect sense.
One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Anne Lamott, and it is about the power of routine: "A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time."
When I had no routine, no schedule, no home, showing up at my desk every morning served as that defense from chaos, that scaffolding I so desperately craved.
We're currently living in a similar moment of disruption and uncertainty. This time, rather than being displaced from our homes, we're stuck inside them, which is another kind of loss. Like most of you, I’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, avoiding large groups, and washing my hands incessantly. All the plans I had for the spring have been cancelled. Many of my goals have been postponed. I don’t know what my routine will look like tomorrow - things are changing so quickly, and chaos feels imminent.
But this morning, when I woke up, I wrote for 30 minutes. I’ll try my best to do the same tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. On some level, committing to a daily writing practice feels like a small, dumb thing, the kind of selfish act that helps no one but myself. And that may be true, but even in the middle of a disaster, small, dumb things still matter. We all need some scaffolding to stand on. 💛
🌸 Plant of the Week 🌸
In a surreal twist of fate, this global pandemic is coinciding perfectly with spring in Wilmington. And in Wilmington, spring means one thing: azaleas. Since dog walks are still safe during social distancing, my quarantine buddy and I have been pausing to appreciate all the beauty in bloom, even as we cross the street to keep six feet of distance between us and anyone else with the same idea. What a time to be alive!
(These are purposely NOT about COVID-19. I think we can all use a break.)
The Princess, the Plantfluencers, and the Pink Congo Scam, WIRED. "One look at the pink congo philodendron was all Robert McCracken needed to realize something was wrong." 👑
Will the Millennial Aesthetic Ever End? The Cut. "Upon the terrazzo nougat of the coffee table, a glass tray trimmed in brass. It holds a succulent in a lumpy ceramic pot, a scented candle with a matte-pink label. A fiddle-leaf fig somewhere looms." 🌵
Millennial Women Made LuLaRoe Billions. Then They Paid The Price. BuzzFeed. I will never not click on an article about multi-level marketing schemes, and this one delivers. 💸
Why Outbreaks like Coronavirus Spread Exponentially and How to "Flatten the Curve", Washington Post. I know I promised no COVID-19 articles, but after I drove past a very crowded bar last night, it's clear that some of you are not taking social distancing seriously! The simulations in this article make the case extremely clear. Please read, share, and stay home! 🦠
A Tiny Challenge
Instead of mourning all the things you can't do, let's focus on what hasn't been cancelled. Video chatting with friends. Walking your dog. Anxiety-baking. Reading books. Yoga with Adriene. Reaching out to others, even if it's from a distance.
See you next Sunday. In the meantime, stay safe and be healthy. 💌
Thanks to Matt B. for last week's donation! I spent it on an extra bag of coffee at Costco as part of my quarantine stockpile.
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