Staying sane, happy, grateful in times of self-isolation

When I was 12, 13, 14ish-years-old, I had this fantasy I liked to run in my head, that in some futuristic timeline as an adult I could just live an isolated life as some sort of, I don't know, vague space pirate? There weren't exactly specifics in this fantasy, but I liked to think about a day to day life living an entirely solitary existence in space for weeks and months at a time (or that is, a near solitary existence... I'm pretty sure there was also some sort of loyal dog or cat companion in this fantasy too. Also probably some random space pirate-adjacent adventures thrown into the mix.). So yes, I was a big ol' nerd, and in retrospect this was a hilariously bleak fantasy for a kid to have, and probably reflective of my feelings at the time that I was unloveable, that solitude was the only realistic aspiration I could have, so I better make the most of loneliness. Don't worry y'all, friendships, love, and therapy over the past decade have been pretty great, and in fact, I forgot this fantasy used to play in my mind all the time... until our current state of quarantine and self-isolation. I'm kinda-sorta living that fantasy at the moment, only, uh, in a 450 sq. ft apartment in Seattle with Kerbey Dog and with Zoom. I hope y'all are all doing as well as you can! These are weird times, and years from now I will never want to hear buzzphrases like "social distancing" or "flattening the curve" ever again, but all things considered, I'm doing relatively good, and I'm relatively calm (shoutout to all the other generalized anxiety folks who have put so much energy over the years catastrophizing every life event, that our current state of life doesn't feel TOO overwhelming?). I'm fortunately still working, I'm talking to friends (and in fact catching up with a number friends I haven't spoken to in a while), my cocktail game has improved, I have a home workout plan, I've been taking meditative walks, taking in the blooming cherry blossoms, and like every other basic bitch millennial I've been baking bread. I don't want to fixate on productivity during this time, but I'm trying to remind myself of the joys some of my habits and projects do give me. Also trying to remind myself that sometimes sitting down and binging Love is Blind over a weekend on Netflix has its own joys, and that's perfectly fine.

Other various things giving me joy right about now, in no order: Seattle Public Library e-loans- hands down, the best part of Seattle is their public library system. I was technically on the bad list recently / my account was temporarily deactivated because uhhhhhhhh I have a very overdue real life book but a) no fines! and b) they removed the deactivation right now, so I'm free to check out as many e-loans as I like. I promise I will return my book when y'all open back up, SPL. Overtone Ginger Coloring Conditioner- keeping hair/skin/makeup routine normal feels important to me right now, and to the 1% of readers who may have a similar hair color, this stuff is my saving grace at the moment. I suspect the other colors are great too! Nordic Ware Baking Sheets, quarter size- as someone living alone and in a smaller space, I love using these smaller sized baking sheets for roasting smaller amounts of vegetables/potatoes/chicken thighs/chickpeas, or reheating leftovers... also they make you feel sorta like you're prepping in the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen, and that's a plus.

Foam Roller (no link, just go buy a foam roller)- how did I not use a foam roller all these years I've moved my body? Trying to roll out my legs/hips/glutes/back a couple times a day, especially when I start to feel my body at my desk starting to stiff shrivel in. Special mention, a lacrosse ball for self-massaging shoulder blades and hip flexors. Friendship- I know I've mentioned friends already, but I have a lot of gratitude for friends checking in, making time for phone/zoom/fb messenger/google calls, and just looking out when I know we're all dealing with the weirdness. I'm doing relatively well all things considered, but I've still had my share of rollercoaster moods, restlessness, and neuroses over the last month... and really appreciate friends taking the time to be there <3. During this time, I'm sorta starting to dip my toes into some REALLY INFORMAL baking livestreaming. This is new territory for me, and I'm sure I'm gonna mostly awkwardly look like a high school teacher trying to get a VCR to work, but if you're interested in checking it out, follow my Instagram/Twitter/FB (I've been doing some short Instagram Lives so far, BUT I do have a Twitch Channel, and may start some streams there... a sentence I thought I'd never say...). Take care everyone! Also, let me know what you're baking!

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Hi, I'm Jo.  I live in Marfa, and seem to be fixated on trying to master baking a perfect New York bagel.  In the west Texas desert.  Yep. More about me.

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