Jane Lately #53: COVID-19 BS

1. Mental health

I’ve been so caught up in work, then sleep, because of this pandemic. Some days, I feel like I’m barely holding my head above the water. So, as much as I wanted to, I’ve not been able to keep up with the other shit in my life.

One of the things I find really important, at least when working in retail, is to have a life outside of work — not a work/life balance, per se, but rather have a life so you work to live, not live to work. Because if all I do is work to make money and live so I can continue to do that, there is no fucking point in anything.

COVID-19 complicates this. I’ve PTSD, major depressive disorder, Tourette Syndrome, and a tendency to take stress out on myself through physical harm (cutting, starving).

I had a panic attack at work because an older woman, cashier, kept berating both myself and a coworker because we didn’t something without making mistakes caused by our own flaws. It’s essentially a new position for retail that, no, requires not many parts, but that takes time to adjust to and master, and we’re all fucking fallible human beings. Thankfully, I’ve an amazing manager, but geez. These are stressful times for everyone, and bitches need to take their chill pills — or just, you know, do shit themselves if they think they can do it better.

I send my laundry “out”.

It’s just that, by “out”, I mean I take it downstairs to my cousin, because I’m one of laundry clients now. The general, biased, socially acceptable ideology is,

Using a laundry service — that is, paying someone else to wash, dry, and fold your laundry — is lazy.

But it’s actually one of the most genius-ever things to exist.

I work in apparel, which is like doing laundry all day. I get paid for that. I don’t get paid to do my own laundry, so there is zero motivation to do it beyond the need for clean clothes. I do, however, have the money to pay for it to be done. So why not?

Lots of things in our lives are delegated, whether it’s to save time, money, sanity or whatever — including online grocery pickup at major grocery stores, like Target and Walmart. When you get your hair or nails done, you’re delegating to someone else the time, effort and resources to learn how to do that service, then provide the service.

And, even if you still deem it lazy, I don’t care. I’ve the means to afford it. I consider it “self-care”. I also don’t have as many issues with carpal tunnel syndrome, having not personally done my laundry for a few weeks now in addition to working.

I can go to work and come home to a basket of folded clothes, if I work that day. Or I can clean, organize, read, watch TV, or literally anything else I want whilst my laundry is being done by someone else — which definitely means I get to fully enjoy my days off now and don’t have to devote them to keeping up with my fucking laundry.

Bullet journaling

I fell behind on my BuJo last month — March — and it’s as if that thing was directly tied to my mental health. As odd as it seems, keeping up with it helped me keep my mental health and general livelihood on track.

Monthly BuJo spread for April 2020

So I’m back to it, although I’m still figuring out a system that works best for me in regard to the monthly trackers/collections.

Keeping a physical planner helps me visualize things better in my head, e.g. the monthly spread. I’m a visual thinker, and my visual memory is better than other forms of my memory, just not always including the words.

Something really helping me get through this pandemic bullshit is fiction.

So I’m watching a lot of TV, reading a lot of books, and dreaming a lot of dreams starring me and my future girlfriend like we’re in a Hayley Kiyoko music video.

2. I hate wearing the fucking mask.

Oh, my God, save us from this shitstorm already because I AM LITERALLY DYING FROM BREATHING MY OWN CARBON DIOXIDE.

I am low-key glad they’re cutting hours because wearing a face mask 8 hours a day, five days a week, is taking its toll — and it hasn’t even been a whole fucking week!

I have many 4.5-5.5-hour days, an occasional 6-6.5-hour day, and maybe two 7-8-hour days max. thanks to COVID-19 — but, suddenly, I am fine with this! Because it means I won’t have to wear the fucking mask as much!

Because my asthma, anxiety, sensory sensitivities, brain cells — they’re all screaming at me constantly, the whole fucking time I’m wearing my cute-ass mask, to TAKE THE FUCKING THING OFF.

I did try the company-provided ones on for size, for a 5.5-hour shift, but it was more annoying despite being easier to breathe in because I had to keep adjusting it and had to wear a particular way so as to avoid my glasses fogging up.

Caucasion, tattooed arm holding two fabric Tootsie Roll Pop fabric face masks
Charlise’s arm. I’ve no tattoos ’cause I’m probz allergic.

After this pandemic, Char is going to turn the masks into cloth pads or something. “I can’t believe THIS is what I use my good fabric on,” she said.

3. New tech

In trying to keep my life routine so I don’t fall off the wagon and lose much of the progress I’ve made in regard to eating disorder (ED) recovery, major depressive disorder (MDD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the purchases I have made have been justified by I-would-have-bought-this-anyway.

MPOW Earbuds

If I recall correctly, I bought my MPOW Earbuds before this pandemic erupted, but they’re still new tech! I don’t know how to rename them, or if it’s even possible, so they just have the generic production name to them.

I considered these a “work expense” because the music that plays over the radio is annoying, overrated, and repetitive. Nothing makes me feel unproductive like country music. Sometimes I want to listen to epic trailer music, sometimes I want to listen to upbeat pop, and sometimes I want to listen to classical music — more specifically, Vivaldi.

Amazon Fire 7″

I want to say I’d not have bought this if I knew then that Amazon Fire tablets are forked Android versions, but I doubt it’s true. I wanted a device that let me play games and read, without eating too much into the disk space. I was keen to have an Amazon device for books and watching Netflix.

Now, I have Amazon Prime for Prime Video and better music, and the tablet — named Fire & Plum, which is supposed to be a fucking pun because it’s a FIRE tablet and the color name is PLUM, and the phrase is typically fire and ice, but no one gets it aside from me.

I’m now more keen for a Samsung tablet and just splurging on a dedicated Kindle e-reader, at a later date. I need a new phone more than I need a new tablet/e-reader, especially now that I have Fire & Plum.

Echo Dot

I call her “Echo”, because Charlise got one for each of her kids’ rooms, and they activate my tablet with “Alexa”, so I didn’t want the cross-activation shit happening with Echo.

A feature I know I’m not the only one wanting is to only allow the Alexa AI to respond to recognized/profiled voices — that is, no strangers — but it’s a feature Amazon has yet to program into the AI, despite people asking for this since at least 2017.

My Dot is also Plum.

4. My new normal

I surmise we all have new normals.

Instead of walking through the front door, I’ve to go to Automotive for a COVID-19 screening. They typically say my temperature is “strangely low”. I’m keen to tell them that a 98-point-anything would be cause for concern, because I’ve had the flu with a 98.6-degree Fahrenheit temperature. Because my regular teeters between 96.4°F and 96.7°F.

But we haven’t arrived there yet.

Now, I put on my face mask on the ride to work. I have to wear it all day. I don’t follow all the mask guidelines, in that I touch it to pull it down so I can breathe, take a drink, apply lip balm, or have gum — but then, as per CDC guidelines, people with breathing problems shouldn’t wear masks anyway.

I don’t wear lip color anymore; there’s no point, but I do feel naked, as if a piece of my identity has been stripped away.

It’s harder to work, masked, so I’m slower and out of breath more easily. Is there even a point to coughing into my elbow now that I’ve a mask? But I like that I can yawn with my mouth open wide and basically no one will know. I like that my cheeks are hidden, so when the cute new obvious queer woman turns my naturally rosy cheeks a shade rosier in my attempt to have enough chill to have a minor conversation with her, she can’t see.

My first trip to Aldi was during this pandemic — not how I imagined my first trip would be. But I do love Aldi now, in more ways than one.

I’m prioritizing skincare and nails — skincare, because it takes little effort and makes me feel pampered AF; nails, because they’re a definite expression of my personality, style and much of what makes me who I am.

5. Before the pandemic…

I was going to schedule an optometrist appointment for contacts.

These glasses are from a 2007 prescription that I only started wearing with temporary intentions after birth control fucked up my ability to wear contacts. I didn’t yet have insurance, and it was fine.

But then I had a life-changing event that altered my eyesight, and I borrowed funds from Mimi for an appointment, but then I was insured, and then this pandemic happened.

The CDC recommended optometrists only open for urgent purposes.

This feels urgent, but I have no idea how to convince to my boss my case so as to allow me into the Vision Center.

I was gonna get furniture from IKEA, which is now closed.

But I’m finding that, even now, continuing to set my room up and make it feel like home is important — maybe more important than ever, considering this pandemic shit’s toll on mental health.

Until next time.~

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