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May 2020 Wrap-Up!


Photo by negin mrd on Unsplash
I can’t believe May is almost over! May, where have you gone?? You seemed to take so long and yet went by so, so fast! May was another month of staying at home, trying to stay busy, and not go crazy from the fact that I can’t go out! (Even though a lot of people now are going out for fun and to eat, which I don’t really agree with but that’s just my own opinion and I am personally going to try to stay home and social distance as much as possible) My May wasn’t as exciting as April was (and I’m using the term “exciting” very, very loosely!), but hey, I got through it and I can only hope that June is a bit more fun and exciting! But exciting in a good way and probably one that requires me to stay home. (And that I can hopefully be a bit more productive in June, which I totally haven’t been and will discuss later on in this post!) Here’s what I’ve been up to in this fine month of May!

If you haven’t caught up with what I was up to last month, check out my April wrap-up post here!

What I’ve Been Doing in May:

I read 12 books this month! (I’m currently on my 13th!) Okay, I was kind of on a roll this month, when it comes to reading! But again, what other kinds of things do I have to do? (Besides taking pictures of my cat, which I love doing) A bunch of my library borrows came in (e-books, of course, which I read on my phone since I don’t have an e-reader, but it’s better than no library books at all!) so I was busy reading those, plus I’ve been trying to sort through my books, to see which ones I want to keep or give away (and then organize them all!). So some of the books I read this month were rereads of books I had already read, but it was fun to kind of go back and read some of my old favorites and see if those stories still were as great as I thought (some yes, some no).

I started on my minimalism journey and sorted through my DVDs/blu rays! Blog post to come soon! (Fingers crossed!) I know this probably isn’t where most people decide to start decluttering, but I figured, I’m watching so much TV in quarantine right now, why not see what movies I have that I actually want to watch again and keep? It was kind of fun to go through all of my movies, to see what I had, to walk down memory lane (some of my DVDs are so old!), and I even watched a few to determine if I really wanted to keep it or not (which was fun! My taste has changed so much and some of the movies I thought I liked weren’t actually as good as I remembered they were!). While I enjoyed all of the movies I decided to give away, I know I was just keeping them because I “liked” them, not because I was going to watch them again in the near future. If I ever want to watch a certain movie again that I don’t own, I can look for it on streaming services, or to rent, or get from the library! So yay, less clutter!

Have you read my blog post about why I’m trying minimalism? No? *gasp* Well, here's a link so you can read it! 

My mom, sister, and myself sent a super cute care package to my 4 year old niece! Okay, this was super fun! I have a four year old niece who lives with my sister and brother-in-law in California, and back in March my sister, niece, and aunt were supposed to come and visit. And then the virus happened. Boo! It’s hard enough being away from my niece (we live a state away), even with video chatting, so it was extra disappointing when they had to cancel their visit. But my mom, sister, and myself put together the cutest care package for my niece, filled with goodies to keep her occupied (and to buy my sister and brother-in-law some spare time since they’re all stuck at home!). I honestly had so much fun picking out some of the things (I guess I’m still a kid at heart!), plus I was able to include some of my old kids DVDs to share along with her! (Anastasia, Coco, and Annie- I really hope Annie will annoy my brother-in-law! There’s just something about that soundtrack that really annoys dads and that delights me to no end.) Here are some of the magical and colorful things we included:

-A box of Frozen mac and cheese (which really shows that I love my niece because I hate Frozen)
-A Lisa Frank coloring book (because my niece has to know the OG illustrations of one Lisa Frank, seminal 90’s artist!)
-Pearl crayons (I was hoping for glitter crayons, but they didn’t have any, so I thought pearl crayons would be interesting for her to try!)
-My Little Pony Stickers
-A Minnie Mouse Magic towel
-A blue raspberry Push-Pop (because candy!)
-And a pair of heart shaped glasses that I bought years and years ago when I was obsessed with the Veronicas but never wore them.

Photo by That Weird Girl Life. Our care package for my niece! Movies not shown, but we totally included them!
After a Zoom call with my sister and niece, I think it’s safe to say that my niece loved the box! (She immediately put the heart-shaped glasses on and had to go through every page of the coloring book and the My Little Pony stickers) Yay! I’m hoping I can send a part two to her in the mail soon! (It’s also a great way for me to declutter! For some reason, I have lots of trinkets a 4 year old would like. Again, I just think I’m still a kid at heart!)

I've been obsessed with Instagram stories! It’s so weird, because I’ve never really been one for watching anyone's Instagram stories or even posting my own, but one day I saw some cute “This or That” templates and decided to try them out on Instagram. And you guys- I’m hooked! No, I may not be posting that many selfies, but I love exploring all of the filters (I found the horror/weird section and I am OBSESSED! It’s a horror lovers dream and I think all of my selfies will now be made with scary filters!) and posting those cute “This or That’s” (especially Harry Potter themed ones!) or updates with stickers, gifs, and music. So my apologies if I’m posting too much on Insta stories, but it’s been a bright spot in these stay at home months! (Or at least for this month!)

I am loving ASMR soundscapes on Youtube! I may have talked about this before previously on my blog a long time ago, but I have become obsessed with videos of images and animations of pleasant scenarios and lovely, calming sounds aka soundscapes! (It's also a type of ASMR, I think) My favorites right now are the channels Autumn Cozy and Miracle Forest. I love to listen to them when I’m falling asleep (the sound of rain and thunder to me are just so relaxing!), and I love the visuals and scenarios that these YouTubers come up with! Autumn Cozy is more, well, cozy and cute, and Miracle Forest is so creative with her soundscapes and incorporates stories into them! (A lot of them are creepy, which I love! Is it weird I like to fall asleep to creepy sounds? I think that says a lot about me!) Give them a listen! They’re perfect for relaxing or if you want to have some calming background noise or ambiance while you work or read! (My personal favorites from Autumn Cozy is Summer Kitchen Ambiance and Night Greenhouse Ambiance and I love Miracle Forest’s A Night in the Enchanted Forest!)

I’ve got the quarantine blues! Ugh, you guys. Does it seem like quarantine has been going on for eons? Don’t get me wrong, I am more than happy to stay home and stop the spread, but all of this staying at home has got me really down. And tired! So, so tired. It’s amazing how many naps I take nowadays! It feels like I don’t have any energy, and while I want to go out and do things, for me, it’s scary to go out because I run the risk of bringing something home to my immunocompromised father. (Don’t worry, I always wear a mask when I go out, use hand sanitizer, and then wash my hands when I get back home! I also sanitize everything I bring home.) So even though I should be relishing going out (you know, on essential errands like the grocery store and pharmacy, basically that’s all I go to now), I get very nervous and start freaking out (internally, of course) if people aren’t wearing masks. It’s especially scary to me now that my state is lifting restrictions and restaurants and stores are reopening and lots of people are foregoing wearing masks. I may be overreacting because of my dad (I obviously don’t want him or anyone else in my family to get sick!), but I just worry that people are risking their health and safety just a bit too soon. Plus, I miss my friends! Again, I love my family, but I’m getting a little sick of them. I need some new conversation with people who I love but aren’t related to me!

I’m going through a blogging existential crisis! Remember how I said I was feeling tired and have the quarantine blues? I don’t know if this is the reason why, but I’ve been feeling so unmotivated to do anything regarding blogging lately! My scheduled tweets for promoting blog posts? Haven’t done those in forever! All of those pins I was making for Pinterest and totally killing it? (Well, sort of) Haven’t made a pin in about a week or so. Am I filled with blog ideas and the motivation to write them all and just have killer content? Well, I have blog post ideas, but none of the motivation to actually write them. I’m not sure what’s up with me; if I’m having a blogging existential crisis, or it’s just the quarantine blues coming up and affecting my blogging. But I’m in such a slump that I’m purposely staying away from Twitter (all of those productive bloggers! How dare they flaunt that in my face!) and I haven’t even been replying to blog comments or commenting on other people’s blogs! It’s a problem, you guys! It’s almost like I got burned out from blogging, or the work that comes along with blogging, because to me, the writing is fun, but all of the other stuff is just work. Any ideas of how I can be more productive and put the fun back into blogging? (And all of the other stuff that comes along with blogging? You know, like the scheduling, pictures, pin making, commenting, etc.) Any help is appreciated!

Margot the kitten update! I know, this is the section of blog post you’ve all been waiting for, and it’s my favorite too. Margot is just growing like a sweet, floofy weed and I can’t believe how big she’s gotten! It also makes me kind of sad, too, that I know she’s going to be a grown up cat soon! (Though I know she will make an incredibly beautiful adult cat!) Like I mentioned in last month’s update, Margot loves to be brushed, and her cat brush is not enough. She has to go for my hair brush. You know, my eco-friendly bamboo and boar bristle brush that was way more expensive than her cat brush. So I have to be careful not to leave my brush lying around, or else she’ll start rubbing up against it, just all happy and purring. Okay, and I might brush her with it sometimes. She loves it, I can’t help it! I just want her to make her happy. I’m such a sucker for this cat, you guys, it’s not even funny. And is it bad that I just now realized that her whiskers on each side are two different colors? One side is white, and the other side is black! Torties and their markings are so much fun and unique!

Photo by That Weird Girl Life. Isn't she just so pretty?? Look at those tortie markings and her black and white whiskers! 
Are you following me on Instagram yet? If not, you can follow me here. I promise, I mostly only post pictures of Margot, so you don’t have to worry about seeing my face that often!

Blog Posts I Wrote This Month:

My Perfect Weekend, Post Quarantine: Quarantine Dreamin’
Mental Illness and the Art of Pretending
My Unpopular Harry Potter Opinions
And this post you’re reading now!

And, as per usual, I didn’t write a fifth post. One day I will! Maybe. Possibly. Hopefully. Or is this just wishful thinking? No, I’ll do it one day! I will! But not this month. Maybe in June! (Don’t quote me because it probably won’t happen, let’s be honest!)

And that was my May! Was it boring? Kind of. But did I survive it? Heck yeah! Let’s hope that I can make June an even better month and get over these quarantine blues and this blogging hump! If nothing else, I’m going to force myself to be more active and have some fun! Hopefully that will help! What have you been up to in May? How has quarantine been treating you? How are you keeping busy? Let me know in the comments below! And thank you, as always, for reading!

Stay Weird,
Emily

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My Unpopular Harry Potter Opinions

Photo by Rae Tian on Unsplash
Let me preface this by saying that I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter series. It’s one of my favorite books series ever, one of my favorite movie series, filled with some of the most iconic and memorable characters ever, and I’m one of those Harry Potter fans that has said on multiple occasions that Harry Potter has changed my life for the better. BUT… just because I love something, doesn’t mean that it’s perfect. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I love the series, because despite loving all of the characters, they’re all so real, and human, and flawed. J.K. Rowling has created a magical world where despite everything being fantastic and wondrous, it somehow still seems real and raw. I’m not saying that the Harry Potter series itself is flawed, but as much as I love love love the series, there were some things in both the books and movies that I never really agreed with or even kind of liked (mostly the movies, but a few things in the books!). So here, without further ado, are my unpopular Harry Potter opinions, with both the books and the movies!

*Please, no hate, these are just my own personal opinions and again, like I said, I love the books and the movies with all of my heart, and this is in no way bashing them at all. But if you can’t critique something that you love, then what can you critique?? I guess things you hate, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make!*

My Opinions on the Harry Potter Books:

1. Peeves was annoying. I totally get it. Peeves the Poltergeist added even more color and humor and mischief to the Hogwarts castle. But if I were a student at Hogwarts, I would have dreaded going there for fear that he would throw water balloons filled with God knows what at my head all the time! But I did love in Order of the Phoenix how he listened to Fred and George and kept his promise about giving Umbridge hell. It almost made me like him. Almost. But honestly, I was secretly relieved when they left him out of the movies!

2. Why did Fred, Tonks, AND Lupin have to die in the Battle of Hogwarts? (Sorry, spoilers!) Why kill them all??

3. And take away the one connection Harry has to his parents by killing Sirius in Order of the Phoenix? I get it, plot and character growth, but still! To leave another child an orphan (Lupin and Tonk’s son, Teddy)?? C’mon, J.K.!

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4. And then Hedwig??? J.K. Rowling just might as well have had Harry die and Voldemort live in honor of the prophecy, why don’t you! I know it was supposed to represent Harry’s “loss of innocence/childhood,” but that hurt SO MUCH. Too much, in fact.

5. Why was everyone so mean? From the teachers to the students (especially Snape! How did he get away with literally bullying students like Neville and literally everyone else who was not in Slytherin??), to the students to the other students, everyone was super rude to each other! And what’s up with everyone calling each other by their last name/surname? Is that a British thing? I’ve literally never ever called a person I didn’t like by their last name…

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6. Also, why did Harry get to name his kids after his family? Did Ginny get no say in the matter? I mean, c’mon, she was the only girl and youngest child in a family of seven kids! Let her name at least one of her children, dammit!

7. And why didn't we get a great epilogue detailing what all the characters were up to after the books ended??? We got some snippets from J.K. Rowling in post Deathly Hallows interviews, but I would have loved to have learned what everyone did after the Battle of Hogwarts dust and rubble had settled! (You know, and the Dark Lord defeated and all!)

8. Snape’s obsession and love for Lily wasn’t romantic- it was creepy! I get that “Always” means a lot to us Harry Potter fans, but there’s a fine line between love and obsession. And Snape was more on the obsessive side than romantic side, let's be honest. Snape himself is a great, complicated character and he loved Lily enough to protect her son, but not be at least a little civil to him? I mean, I know James Potter was a dick to him, but be a grown up, Severus! Geez!

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My Opinions On the Harry Potter Movies:

9. Ginny had no personality! Why oh why would they do my girl Ginny wrong like this? All of us books fans know that Ginny started out as shy and nervous around Harry (because she was seriously crushing on him), but then she came out her shell and was such a cool, opinionated, and strong character (and Quidditch player!). But in the movies, they really did not do her character justice. Movie Ginny was about as compelling as a dried up leaf (a red one, of course).

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10. Hermione's Yule Ball dress was not pretty- at all. I get that it was Hermione’s She’s All That walk-down-the-stairs moment, but I really did not care for the dress. I don’t know if it was the ruffled individual pieces with the light to dark pink ombre, or the bustier part, but to me, it was not at all beautiful. I know that it’s now an iconic outfit in the HP series, but to me, it just didn’t hit the mark. Also, it was supposed to be periwinkle! That’s a pretty light blue, in case you didn’t know. (I actually just watched a really interesting video about why they chose pink instead of blue for Hermione’s dress and while I don’t like the dress itself, I get why the filmmakers chose pink instead of blue. You can watch it here)

11. I actually liked Michael Gambon as Dumbledore. I know, this one is a bit controversial. I thought Richard Harris totally had the Dumbledore look and twinkle in his eye, but he lacked that dark edge that Dumbledore later is revealed to have in the books. Michael Gambon, in my opinion, was more versatile and was able to handle more of the darker history and moments of Dumbledore. I don’t know if Richard Harris, great actor as he was (RIP), could have done that as convincingly and as compellingly as Gambon did.

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12. I liked the Goblet of Fire movie, but they left so much out of it! And instead of putting more of the plot in it, they just added more of the teenage wizard and witch hormones. Which was all quite fun (especially in the books), but not expanding on Barty Crouch and Barty Crouch Jr. (and poor Winky the house-elf??)? No Ludo Bagman?? Why were all of the Beauxbaton students girls and the Drumstrang students were guys? Also, my favorite task of the Triwizard Tournament, the maze, was totally botched. I wanted to see the Sphinx, the blast-ended skrewts, and more. Also, was anyone else creeped out by Moaning Myrtle perving on a naked Harry in the prefects bathroom giant bathtub? I mean, that kind of made me uncomfortable! (I can only imagine how Harry felt!)

13. The movies gave all of Ron’s lines to Hermione, making Ron look more like the fun, foolish friend, when we know in the books, Ron has his smart and clever moments (even if they took Hermione by surprise at times). Justice for Ron!

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14. They left so much out of Half-Blood Prince! I loved learned about Voldemort's past, but leaving out Merope and Tom Riddle's "relationship?" Tragic! It would have brought Voldemort's upbringing and feelings towards his family and the fact that his father was *gasp* a Muggle to light and add more depth to his evil character. (I mean, he was conceived while his father was under the spell of a love potion, no wonder the guy is evil!)

15. I wasn’t that bothered by Dumbledore shouting “Harry, did ya put your name in da Goblet of Fiyah??” as everyone else seems to be. That seems to be a big complaint (and joke/meme) in the fan community, but for some reason it never annoyed me that much. Artistic liberties, I suppose!

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My Thoughts On Harry Potter and the Cursed Child:

16. Just everything in this...just no. Let’s not even go there. I know this is supposedly canon, but I’m pretending it was just a wild fever dream that never happened.

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And those were my unpopular Harry Potter opinions! Again, don’t get me wrong, I love the books and the movies, but nothing in life is perfect and these were just my humble opinions and thoughts about this magnificent series. Everyone is allowed to agree or disagree about it (our Harry Potter fandom is quite opinionated!) and that’s kind of what I love about the series. We all had different pictures of it in our minds when we first read the books, and then when the movies came out, we saw the story come to life, but maybe not in the exact way we had in our minds. So personally, that’s why I love seeing different artist’s interpretations of the Wizarding World, like Jim Kay and fan art. I like seeing what everyone else had in their minds, whether it be by art or just by their thoughts, because the Harry Potter movies were based on what the people working on the movies had in their minds! And honestly, for every "meh" thing I didn't like about the books or movies, there are about 100 things that I did love about them! The books just prove that nothing is perfect, even if the Harry Potter series is close to perfection.

What are your unpopular Harry Potter opinions? (It's okay, you can tell me. I don't judge!) Are yours the same as mine, or do you totally disagree and have others? Did you want to see more things in the movies (like the giant squid in the lake?) or were there some things you were glad they left out? I’d love to know in the comments below! (But please remember to keep it polite! We can all have our own thoughts and opinions about this amazing series, so be nice, everyone!)

Stay Weird,
Emily

Mental Illness and the Art of Pretending

Photo by Kyle Sudu on Unsplash
In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I have decided to share one of my mental health experiences this month. Writing about mental health can be hard, but I feel it’s worth it to spread awareness and share my story with others, who may have suffered or are suffering with something similar. It’s always good to know you’re not alone with this.

***

When you’re depressed or anxious or are just suffering with your mental health, you become skilled at the art of pretending.

Everything is “fine.” You’re “great.” Nothing "new" is up. Your life is just so boring right now. Nothing new to report. When really it’s the exact opposite. Your life is so hectic. It may all be happening inside your mind: the depression, the anxiety, the panic attacks, the manic episodes, the obsessive thoughts, but all of that still filters out into your physical life and is taking up so much of your time. It's consuming your life. That's "what's up" with you. You just don’t want to tell anyone about it or admit that it’s even happening. To you or anyone.

You’re a pro at make believe, that everything is normal and that you’re not suffering inside.

But what people don’t know is that you don’t want to bother anyone. Bog them down with your troubles. Burden them with it. Your medication and side effect woes. Your psychiatrist/psychologist/therapist/counselor/doctor appointments. The sleepless nights and sleeping all day. Or the fact that you don't have any help or anyone to talk to. That you're alone in this awfulness. Those feelings that you just can’t escape and so desperately want to. So you pretend that everything is just fine and dandy. It's really not though.

Pretending is an art that you’ve mastered and you have everyone fooled. But deep down you know you want help or someone to just ask you if you’re okay, and for you to just say simply and easily, “yes, yes I do need help,” or “yes, I do want to talk about it.”

For most of my life, I have been one of those people who have pretended. Pretended I was okay, pretended I was fine, pretended my life was so boring that there really was nothing up with me, when really everything up with me was a horrible tornado in my mind, spinning out of control, and causing deep depressions, outbursts of anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts, awful compulsions, endless crying, and more. But on the outside, I wanted everything to look as if I was just like everyone else. Someone with a “normal" life, the one I was trying so hard to imitate. I didn’t want to admit that anything was wrong with me. So I lied and pretended.

And I have to admit, I still do at times. I’m afraid to speak up, not just because I don’t want to admit that there’s something wrong with me, but because I don’t know who to talk to about it (besides a mental health professional). Who will understand, who won’t judge me? Who won’t call me crazy? (It’s happened.) It’s a scary thing to admit that you need help or want to talk, but when you finally do get the courage or are desperate enough, who can you turn to talk to or to trust them with your innermost thoughts and feelings? Thoughts and feelings not everyone will understand because they’ve never gone through something even remotely similar? The very idea is terrifying to think that you could tell someone and they wouldn’t understand or get it. (“You do know that’s crazy...right?”- something someone actually said to me once.)

But you know what I’ve learned after years of being silent and trying to be stoic and not be a bother?

People who pretend are strong. They’re trying so hard to keep things to themselves, figure it out on their own, and not burden their family and friends, that they’re suffering even more because of their silence. But that strength will only get you so far until you need help, and then it might be too late. 

But people who ask for help are also strong. Because they have that bravery, and that knowledge to know that it's time to ask for help. That they realize they need help, and they have the strength to seek it out and ask for it, even if they're at the brink of something terrible. And I applaud them for it. (That's called advocating for yourself, people!)

I hope that one day asking for help won’t be so shameful and that you don't have to pretend that you’re okay when you're not okay. (You can always keep things to yourself, of course, because it's your life and it is your choice whether or not you want to tell people what you’re going through. You don’t have to tell any old person, just someone you trust, whether it’s a friend or a mental health professional.) That it’s acceptable to tell the truth. To ask for help. To know that you’re not a burden.

Because you’re not.

And I’m not, either.

Never be ashamed to ask for help, especially professional help. We all deserve to get the help we need, to be able to ask for it, without drama, without judgement, and with compassion. If you need help, and you’ve been pretending, I hope you can find a person you trust, and ask for help if you need to. Or even just someone to talk to. (Though I really would suggest professional help if you're having serious problems. There's only so much a friend can listen to and try to help, so getting professional help is a must, sometimes. And something I definitely encourage for people!)

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength and that you know it’s time that you speak up for the help that you need and deserve. Let's do away with pretending and start speaking up for ourselves. Because it's about damn time.

***

I know May is Mental Health Awareness Month and is a great way to remind people of everyone who suffers from mental health and obviously bring awareness to it, but just remember that it doesn’t have to be May for you to speak up and get help. Any month of the year, any day of the year, is the best time for you to ask for help. And I hope you do. To everyone else who may not suffer from any mental health conditions but is friends with someone who has them, please listen. It will mean the world to us if you do.

Have you ever hid your mental illness behind the art of pretending? Have you learned to be more open about it, or do you still keep it quiet? (After all, it's a personal choice whether you want to talk about it or not!) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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My Perfect Weekend, Post Quarantine: Quarantine Dreamin'

   Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash
Now, over the past month or so, I’ve thought so much about what I want to do when all of this craziness is over. No more worrying, no more fear, finally being able to be in contact with humans again without trying to understand the muffled words from behind a face mask. Ah, that’s the world I miss. I hate gesturing with my hands so much and waving to let people know that I’m friendly behind my mask. (“Hello, I come in peace! Do you like my floral homemade face mask made from leftover fabric that was definitely not my first choice?”) Life is so unpredictable and scary right now, and I’m doing my best to keep my head above water, and keep my spirits up while I stay at home to keep others safe (it’s really the least we can all do!). So when I was tagged by the delightful Renata Leo over at Buffalo Sauce Everywhere to write about what my first post-quarantine weekend would be like (her original post and idea is brilliant and you should read it! Also, she is wonderful and so is her blog and you should subscribe to her!) this writing/wishing/dreaming experiment came at the perfect time, because I could use a little break to imagine what good things the future will hold, and all of the things I’ll be able to do again! Here’s what my perfect first weekend would be like, after quarantine.

*Please note that I probably wouldn’t do these all in one weekend because I am not Superwoman and scheduling with friends can be a nightmare (how are we all so busy now that we’re all adults??)- but if everything could just work out for once and I had a bottle of Felix Felicis to last me through the weekend, this is what it would be like! And also if I could control the weather and other things that a person physically cannot. I guess that’s what the Felix Felicis is for! But hopefully someday over the course of time, I can do all of these things!

Friday:

Morning: Guess what? It’s a freaking three day weekend! Which starts on Friday! Nice! An out of town friend is in town and we meet up for brunch. Now, I haven’t seen my friend in what is probably years now, and now that everything's back to normal, she can safely fly in for a visit and so we do a much needed catch up session over a delicious and yummy breakfast. I expect much laughing and gossiping and reminiscing about the past will be going on that morning, which is something I am sorely missing right now. Also, at the end I’ll give her the biggest hug because that’s what I missed the most during quarantine: giving my friends hugs. And I’m not usually a hugger!

Afternoon: Now, I’ve been reading all throughout quarantine, but I’m still going to read. Except instead of borrowing books from the library’s online resources, I’m actually going to go to the library! Physically go to the library! Meaning I get to step inside, wave hi and smile to the librarians (no face masks on us, baby!), see what new releases they have (including movies, because I’m all about saving that coin), and see what fresh, unread books are on hold just for me. I’d have just a lovely afternoon of looking at the books, people watching as they read, study, or use the computers (and with that one older gentleman who always naps in the armchair), and enjoy that soft, safe, comforting murmur and atmosphere that the library always holds. (I really miss my local library, you guys!)

Night: Friday night means it’s time to go out to dinner! Finally! I’ve missed going out to restaurants (like a kid, I still think places like Olive Garden are quite fancy and are a treat), so I’d love to take my family to an Italian restaurant in the outdoor mall close to us (which is such a stupid idea, because I live in the desert, who would build an outdoor mall in the desert? Sigh.). We binge on pasta and other yummy Italian food, and walk around the mall for a bit, just window shopping and seeing the stores all lit up and full of people, shopping like it’s Christmas. I, of course, will need to stop at Barnes & Noble to look at all of the books (and make mental notes of new releases I can check out from the library) and their Harry Potter section. And because this is my perfect weekend I just might buy myself a little HP souvenir to add to my collection! (It’s post-quarantine, treat yo self, right??) And after walking around, we stop for gelato (to go with the Italian theme) and because it’s the perfect weekend, my cookies and cream gelato does NOT trigger my IBS. Wuhoo!

Saturday:

Morning: Up somewhat early this morning, and I enjoy a leisurely breakfast while I check the news and social media on my phone. This morning will be spent walking around the park (in this scenario the weather is pleasant, not hot and gross like it is currently). Lots of other people are out walking, with kids playing on the playground (it’s not roped off anymore), people are walking dogs and running on the grass, and no one is worried about staying six feet apart. It’s utterly delightful and relaxing and refreshing, to be out in the open and not have a care in the world. Just the sun on my face, a nice cool breeze, and the perfect soundtrack of songs thumping through my earbuds as I walk. (Also, I’m not at all out of breath and am not sweating profusely)

Afternoon: I don’t know about you, but going to the movies for me is such an exciting time for me. I don’t go that often, but there’s nothing I love more than going to the theater during a hot afternoon to escape the heat, and cool off in the theater’s freezing cold A/C, and disappear into a film. I’ve missed going to the movies so much these past months (especially since I have a few theater gift cards burning a whole in my purse!), so that’s what Saturday’s afternoon activity will be! Hopefully there will be a new horror movie out that just has “EMILY” written all over it (supernatural with ghosts and/or demons, hopefully based on a true story, lots of scares, but an excellent story-line). People rarely go see scary movies with me, but during this perfect weekend, I’ve found a friend who’s game and we get popcorn, drinks, and snacks, and have the whole theater to ourselves so we can chat and scream during the movie and not bother a soul. Also, the movie is a modern horror masterpiece. This weekend is amazing!

Night: Now, tonight’s the night to party! During quarantine, my sister and I have been desperate to see friends and just have fun, so tonight we’ve invited all of our friends over for a get together. We’ll get pizza or make dinner (meaning my sister will make it, since I can just toast, well, toast. I’m really good at it), and have everyone bring over a different dessert or side. We’ll gab, laugh, watch funny clips off of YouTube, play games, and most likely there will be some drinking involved (for everyone else, not me, because I have the palate of a five year old and think booze tastes “yucky”). It’ll be fun to let loose, see good friends, and catch up on everything we missed while all of us were in our own little bubbles. The party will last late into the night, but not too late, since some of my friends are in relationships and have kids now, so responsibilities. But the night was a success and everyone goes home happy, full of good food, and tired from all of the fun times that were had. (But me doubly because I’m an introvert and human interaction drains me.) And also we all hug multiple times because we missed each other so much and can’t say goodbye so we do it all over and over again and I’ve missed human contact for so long- who am I??? Look what social distancing has done to me!

Sunday:

Morning: After last night’s ruckus, I think a morning of sleeping in is much needed! (I also need to recharge my introvert battery!) After a good night’s rest, I awaken to my cat Margot being sweet and cuddly (which she usually is not. At least not when I wake up!). Breakfast is something simple and sweet like pain au chocolat (have you had the frozen kind that you bake from Trader Joe’s? They are the next best thing to fresh chocolate croissants! Also, I miss going to Trader Joe’s!) or a fresh bagel from that one bagel shop near us that supposedly gets their water from New York. I don’t know if they’re telling the truth, but their bagels are so good that I’ll believe anything they tell me!

Afternoon: My afternoon will be totally lazy! I’ll read a new book I got from the library yesterday, maybe doze off for a little bit (Margot at my feet, of course. Which in reality she does not do. Damn her for being an independent kitten!), and then later video chat with my sister, niece, and brother-in-law. My niece will entertain my family with chatter about her favorite cartoon characters at the moment (thank god she’s not obsessed with Frozen anymore. I’m ready for Elsa to head to the guillotine, to be honest. Do they have guillotines in Arendelle? Because they should!) and show off her coloring and writing skills to us (my niece is incredibly smart and I’m not just saying that because I’m her aunt. Okay, I may be biased, but she’s also super cute as well as smart. Just sayin’.) Then later I’ll play with Margot because we finally moved the TV stand to reveal all of the cat toys the cats have knocked under it. It’s a miracle!

Night: After a very relaxing day, I think I deserve to have a very relaxing self-care night! I’ll treat myself to some fancy at home skin care treatments (scrubs, masks, those under eye patches that are supposed to help with dark under circles but never do but you do them anyway because they’re cooling and feel nice). Feeling refreshed and my face nice and squeaky clean and shiny (in a good way), I’ll settle down to watch something on Netflix (you know, once I finally put my glasses back on). Just pure, utter relaxation, knowing that tomorrow may be Monday, but it won’t be another Monday stuck inside. I can go out if I want, do things, see people, interact and smile at them, and not be afraid that they could be harboring something dark and deadly that could hurt the people I love. Because that’s over with, and we’re back to normal. Well, whatever “normal” is now. I go to bed, my sheets all clean and nice, my pillow fluffy, my blankets warm, and fall asleep to the sound of pattering rain with a dash or two of thunder and lightning (yes, in my perfect weekend it is raining and while I can’t make that happen, it could be a lucky coincidence of weather! It. Could. HAPPEN!).

And that was my perfect weekend! Or how I imagine it could be, post-quarantine. Is it anything grand? No. I could have said I’d be taking a first class ticket to London and spending my time there, but I thought I’d be a tad bit more realistic. I think the thing I love about the imagining of this perfect weekend is how normal everything I do in it is. It’s not out of the ordinary, but I still have that freedom to do whatever I want. To go out or stay home, I have that choice! I can’t wait to have that choice again soon. (As I’m sure everyone else does too!)

But for now, I’m staying inside, washing my hands, and thanking all of the essential workers who are keeping our lives running by putting themselves on the front lines. I hope that one day we can all have our perfect weekend after all of this chaos, because I believe that we all truly deserve it after what we’ve all been through (but healthcare workers should all be treated to a tropical vacation, all expenses paid, in my opinion!).

Also, I would like to tag the following amazing bloggers to take part in this wonderful creative writing experiment (but only if they want to!):


And if you'd like to do this wonderful tag of imagining the perfect weekend, post quarantine, feel free to do so, but remember to mention the very talented Renata Leo over at Buffalo Sauce Everywhere as the original creator of this great idea! 

Thanks for reading my perfect, yet mundane, weekend after quarantine! Thinking of all of these fun things to do was such a lift to my spirits and was sorely needed. What does your perfect weekend look like after all of this ends? What would you do, who would you see, where would you go? If I could have squeezed a visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, I definitely would have! (I mean, it’s a shorter flight to Florida than it is to England!) Let me know in the comments!

Stay Weird,
Emily


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