how many times can I wear the same shirt in a row
I’ve worn the same shirt for the past five days. And, last week I wore the same shirt for five days, too. Well, a different same shirt. But, today, I remembered that I was going to have that be my opening line last week, and funnily enough … it still applies this week.
I don’t know about you, but November is my least favourite month of the year. I’m very much aware of the shorter and darker days. In Toronto, the impending winter and cold weather is decidedly marked by a damp wetness (mostly snowy precipitation) that doesn’t put your body at ease. I feel myself simultaneously tensing up and feeling chilled. This discomfort lingers the whole month. And, in Canada it’s already a solemn month and not really marked with any sort of celebration or ritual of gathering. Though, I guess I’m not really missing out on anything (in 2020? hahahaha). I currently feel a bit like I did in July when I was overrun with the heaviness of the year and work feeling especially gruelling. Though, at least we had the sun then.
I haven’t been sharing more of myself on Instagram lately. Not necessarily intentionally—I’ve just stepped back. A friend and I were chatting the other night (lol, what is time: last night) about a study she had read about the effects of social media (no, I’m not digging into The Social Dilemma, again). And she brought up that those who tend to use it passively (especially with those they don’t really know) have more of a difficult time with it than those who actively use it through engaging with the people they follow. I’m not sure of the details of the study, and I’ll try to get the link to it, but it resonated with me.
Whenever folks mentioned taking an Instagram break, or lamented at the FOMO they felt when scrolling through the endless feed, and comparing oneself to what others share—and I don’t say this to put myself on a pedestal because it’s not always the case—I didn’t always get it. Maybe because I tend to use social media as a tool for communication. A way to connect with those I do know, or even those I don’t know. If it’s not reciprocated by those I don’t really know, I’m not really bothered: I don’t know them. Some folks I’ve been friends with for over twenty years now, and at most, we’ve only ever met in person once. So many others I’ve never met “IRL” but how else will I maintain a friendship or stay in touch or know some form of their day-to-day (or whatever they choose to share). This isn’t to purport that every IG Story I like is a signifier of a close friendship. Not at all. It’s just interesting to really think through how these tools are used and how they shape our interactions with others but also how it really does shape our perception of ourselves.
Anyway, I am TIRED. This weather. This darkness. WORK. Boundaries with work have been difficult to maintain for most of this month. That’s the biggest energy drain for me. When it bleeds into whatever time I try to carve out for myself. And, I’m not the one being paged at 2am. 3am. 4am. because something’s wrong with our product. Wearing multiple hats currently, and being unable to even do a good job (to my standards) for any of those areas … it’s really blurring that “work-life balance” I try to maintain. If I don’t, I’ll flame out. Millennials are the burnout generation, after all. I’m not even done reading the book by Anne Helen Petersen for bookclub, but I feel like we can agree that we don’t even know what a steady-state outside of “burnout” really feels like. It’s ingrained, and we’re just trying to adapt and survive. Especially in 2020.
I was going to be quick to say I haven’t been cooking again. Which, I feel like is true (tonight I ordered in a burger and poutine from Rudy’s). And I’ve supported some restaurants or new food services because I wanted something delicious on hand: one of my faves, Uncle Mikey’s is doing a Korean dinner box for 4-8 servings (I split an order with a friend who lives close by); a new fave, Becca from Spice Girl Eats has been making and delivering Indian comfort food. In this awful time where we see privilege on hard display spitting in our faces, it’s nice to see and support those who have been adapting and figuring out how to make things work and still keep others safe.
Monday night, I made dinner with friends. We chose some recipes, picked up groceries, and at the predetermined time, called the group chat on FaceTime. This time last year, I had them over and we hung out in my relatively new home as we cooked, drank wine, chatted, and enjoyed each other’s company. I’ve been feeling especially emotional and quick to tear up lately, but it’s been so easy to forget and so quick to remember how much I miss my friends. Even thinking about how much joy Monday night brought me has the tear ducts starting—I’m not normally this watery emotional!
Over the weekend, another friend of mine announced she was engaged to her partner. We hopped on a FaceTime, and I made her regale me with how he did it, and it felt so them, and as she was telling me I started to cry. And she started to tear up. And, we’re both not overly emotional people! But these days? Every happy moment feels especially joyous and special. I think part of my struggle this year is that as someone who expresses my love and affection through quality time, trying to find those moments outside of texts. I just want to hang out. Spending more quality time together. I’ve taken to voice notes (especially when I’m too tired to stare at the screen as I type) and seeing if someone’s available for a phone call or a video call. I know we’re tired of our screens, but if it means I get to see and spend time with my friend? I’m in.
I’ve been watching so many holiday movies, and to be honest, most of them have been … bad. Like, nothing to write home about. I watched Broadcasting Christmas which is from 2016, and starring an old Superman (Dean Cain), and the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Melissa Joan Hart). I had hoped it would be cute. It was barely even that. Same with the The 12 Gifts of Christmas. Though, Christmas with a View was much worse. I swear I don’t watch these for quality but rather they’re something to put on in the background, and laugh at the utter unbelievable cheesiness.
You know what else wasn’t quality? The Princess Switch: Switched Again.
Did I love it? YES. Was it so bad it was good? OF COURSE.
Vanessa Hudgens is back to playing the Prince and Pauper-like storyline, but the sequel takes it one step further … and she plays a THIRD character! With an even WORSE weirdly awful pseudo-European accent. To be honest, I was hoping the clothes would be better. The men had better outfits, that’s for sure. I’m not even going to begin to dive into the weird way Belgravia approaches succession to the throne.
It is not good but I highly recommend. A third one is coming next year.
I absolutely cherish any time spent for me where I can take a moment’s pause in delight and escapism.
Can't Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation by Anne Helen Petersen (still, but it’s for bookclub and I finally started it in full)
A Promised Land by Barack Obama
The Princess Switch: Switched Again – Netflix
Gilmore Girls – Season 2, Netflix
The Crown – Season 1 (I know), Netflix
“I Accept Pay Less Than My Worth Just To Get A Job": How The Gig Economy Screwed Over Millennials – Anne Helen Petersen, Can’t Even excerpt on Buzzfeed
The Good Mom – profile on Kristen Bell, romper
How to Make Friends as an Adult – The Cut