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Charlie is the model in the image, although it isn’t her real name, Charlie is her name within the story. She has that spectacular city life, yet struggles financially but always makes the best of things. Her adventurous and free personality has her exploring the city, meeting new people and gaining opportunities to fulfill her career as a photographer. Life is fast paced for Charlie, plans are made last minute.
I’ve been in quarantine for two months now, and it is not going the way I expected. When it first started, many people (myself included) saw it as an opportunity to be productive and do things we hadn’t had time for during our everyday lives. Friends told me about their big plans and I read about famous novels and plays that had been written while the authors were quarantined, and it put a lot of pressure on me to finally write a novel. This was my chance, after all. I’d never get another stretch of time this long off work, so if I didn’t do it now, I might never do it. The immense pressure I felt had the opposite effect it was meant to, and I still haven’t done any creative writing, but that’s okay.
I’ve talked about this before, but I really don’t think pressure is a good motivator (at least not for me). I also feel that my goal of writing an entire novel that would (hopefully) one day become a bestseller wasn’t very realistic, and that made it even more difficult to do. I’ve never written a complete novel before, so it is already a daunting task without the added pressure of having to do it before quarantine ends.
Quarantine itself has also been a strange experience; initially I was too stressed to accomplish anything, then I overcame my anxiety and focused on finishing my final projects, and since then, I’ve spent most of my time relaxing. I do feel like I deserve a break; I did just finish my degree after five grueling years, after all. Plus, as I stated before, I’ll never have another stretch of time off like this – it’s possibly the only time I can spend months relaxing until I retire, so I might as well take advantage of it and recharge before I start working full-time (whenever that happens – there aren’t a lot of jobs available right now, for obvious reasons). For these reasons, I have come to terms with the fact that I am not going to write a novel during this time, and I’m okay with that. I still have the rest of my life to write, after all.
So, since I won’t be accomplishing the one big, unrealistic goal I wanted to accomplish, I set my sights on a few smaller goals, and focusing on those has made me feel much better. I had a few realistic goals for this time: I wanted to work out consistently, I wanted to start writing on my blog again, I wanted to grow my nails out (I compulsively pick them – it’s a bad habit I’ve had for years), I wanted to talk with friends more, I wanted to rewatch some of my favourite film series such as The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, and I wanted to read (as an English major, I’ve barely done any pleasure reading since I started my degree, and I wanted to get back into it).
None of these goals were crazy, unachievable things, and that made them easier to accomplish. Plus, I kept them vague – I didn’t plan to post three times a week on my blog or read 25 books, and this vagueness also helped. I could accomplish these goals at my own pace, and any effort I put towards them counted as an accomplishment, which made me feel better about it and encouraged me to continue.
I can proudly say that I have accomplished each of my goals, even if only to a small extent. I’ve been working out every other day, I’ve been writing blog posts about once a week, my nails have grown, I’ve talked to all of my friends (some almost every day), I’ve rewatched most of my favourite film series, and I’ve read two books and am halfway through a third. These may seem to be small accomplishments, but I’m proud of them nonetheless.
I think making a few smaller, more realistic goals is better and easier than having one or two big, unrealistic goals, and the feeling you get when you accomplish the smaller goals may push you to keep going and work at one of your bigger ones. Even if you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything during the last few months, I encourage you to look back and try to name two or three accomplishments, no matter how small they are. This will help you realize that you have not just been wasting your time, and will make you feel better when you look back on this time. Though, of course, there is nothing wrong with not accomplishing anything – in fact, relaxing could be seen as a sort of accomplishment, or at least something that’s good for you.
Basically, don’t beat yourself up over not achieving that Big Goal you had – it’s totally fine to use this time as a break, and small accomplishments are still valid and important. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else or put unrealistic expectations on yourself. This is a tough time for everyone without the added stress of being productive, so don’t let that weigh you down – just do whatever is best for you.
One of my favourite activities (in and out of quarantine) is finding new shows to watch! I’m the type of person who constantly needs to be watching something. I’ve compiled a list of my favourite TV series, and as always, I’m totally open to suggestions for what to watch next. Enjoy
Maybe my all-time favourite series, Gilmore Girls has been with me since I was a kid. It’s the type of feel-good, laugh out loud show that you put on whenever you need to escape reality. Lorelai and Rory’s adorable mother-daughter relationship will have you hooked by episode one. Gilmore Girls is currently available for streaming on Netflix Canada.
If you have yet to watch Breaking Bad, DO IT. It may seem like the show has been over-hyped, but I’m telling you it is worth it. There is drama, suspense, action, and so much amazing character development throughout the series. It’s the type of show that you will want to binge watch everyday. It’s just that good. Breaking Bad is currently available for streaming on Netflix Canada.
A totally underrated series, Revenge is everything I want in a show. Families and relationships, secrecy and action, and SO MUCH DRAMA. Emily VanCamp plays Amanda Clarke, who seeks to destroy the Grayson family to avenge her father’s wrongful conviction.
Another series that did not get much hype, but is certainly binge-worthy! The two-season series is all about Maddie, a con artist who marries people and then steals their money. The series is very entertaining as it certainly has its comedic moments. Imposters is currently available for streaming on Netflix Canada.
The End of the F***ing World
SO GOOD. All about teenage angst, crime, action, and young love. The End of the F***ing World is a great series to binge during quarantine! You’re sure to fall in love with the quirky characters and get totally invested in the plot. This series is currently available for streaming on Netflix Canada.
Another great crime-related show, Killing Eve is a dark and twisted story about an assassin, Villanelle, and Eve, the MI5 security officer obsessed with trying to catch her. While I will admit that the storyline started to go in a strange direction after the first series, I would recommend giving it a go!
A classic 2000’s series about teenagers in Beverly Hills and all the drama that they get into. You’re sure to get so wrapped up in the story that you won’t even realize you’re still in quarantine.
If you want a show that is going to make you question everything about your life, then Black Mirror is for you. Each episode follows a completely different set of characters and storylines, which makes them like miniature movies. For the most part, the episodes revolve around technology and the dark and twisted ways that it can affect humans. Black Mirror is currently available for streaming on Netflix Canada.
I’m sure most of you have seen this one, but You is another great crime/love/drama show. Based on the novel by Caroline Kepnes, You is a psychological thriller that follows Joe Goldberg, a stalking, toxic boyfriend whose obsession with his lovers lead him to become violent and criminal. You is currently available for streaming on Netflix Canada.
Queer Eye is a feel-good reality TV show that follows the Fab Five in their journey to making over the lives of deserving individuals. This show is sure to make you laugh and cry and everything in between. Queer Eye is currently available for streaming on Netflix Canada.
Currently Watching: Scandal
The current show that I am watching on Netflix is Scandal. I’m on season three so far, and it is definitely scandalous! After the first season, I was not too sure about continuing to watch, but I found that the story line really picks up during season two.
On my need-to-watch-next list:
Based on recommendations online and from friends, the shows that I am looking forward to watching next are: Russian Doll, Maniac, and Dark.
Please leave your series recommendations below, and let me know if you watch any of the shows that I suggested!
It’s been over six months now since my brother’s cat, Lee, passed away. It was the worst day of my life; I was absolutely devastated and I spent the entire day crying at my desk. I couldn’t function knowing that he was gone, and so unexpectedly too. The video call in which my mom told me what happened still haunts me and serves as a reminder to appreciate my loved ones while they’re around, as I never know when I’m going to lose them.
The first few days after Lee’s death were the hardest; I had to pick myself up and go to school and work and pretend everything was alright when inside I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. I remember being amazed that life was still going on around me, as for me, it had stopped completely.
Going out was good for me, as it taught me to compartmentalize my feelings – something I’d need to be able to do when my family’s dog passed away a few months later. As time passed, my wounds began to heal, and a new normal emerged.
Since then, I have cried a few times, but generally I’m fine. I still miss him, of course, but the pain I feel is a dull ache and only bothers me occasionally. Lee will always be in my heart, but I have moved on and grown to enjoy my life as it is.
As those with pets understand, you know you have really moved on when you are ready to open up your heart to another pet. My mom mentioned looking for cats on the SPCA website when I came home almost two months ago, and I wondered if we were ready. She said that my brother really missed his cat, as evidenced by the increased attention he paid to my cat, Jenny. So, we began searching.
Not long after I started looking, I found Zeus. I knew he was special the moment I saw him. He was a beautiful cat, with a few personality traits similar to Lee’s. Most importantly, he was very sweet, and loved cuddling. My mom showed his picture to my brother and he liked him, so we contacted his foster and adopted him about a week later.
He is very skittish – he hid in my mom’s bedroom the first day we had him, and over the subsequent days he hid under her dressers but would let us pet him. Eventually he started coming out from under the bed, but he would run away every time we tried to approach him. It’s been a couple weeks now and he’s improved a lot – he comes out from under the bed and bothers us for cuddles, he meows a lot, and he plays constantly (he’s still a kitten, so he has A LOT of energy).
I was hesitant to get another cat, as I thought it would feel like we were replacing Lee, and I worried that I wouldn’t be able to love a new cat, but I was wrong. Zeus is a different cat with a different personality who we have welcomed into our home, not as a replacement, but as an additional family member. I loved him from the moment I saw him, and now that he’s become comfortable and cuddly with me, I love him even more than I thought possible. My mom told me that when you get a new pet, they don’t take over the part of your heart that belonged to your previous pet – your heart expands to make room for them, and I truly believe that.
This has been a crazy year for everyone. I could go on about how devastating this time is and all the unfortunate consequences of COVID-19, but instead I thought I would share some of the positives that have come from my experience in quarantine.
I’ve Been Getting Crafty!
Something that I have really enjoyed doing in quarantine has been crafting! I was always crafty growing up, but as I got older and life got busier, that hobby slipped through the cracks. Some projects that I have enjoyed are doing water colour painting (super easy and fun), reverse tie-dying my clothes with bleach (click here for a tutorial), and knitting (an easy way to pass the time while watching tv)!
I’ve Started Working Out Again!
I have always loved having a workout routine, but when university classes demand a lot of my time, I found it hard to stay on track. Now that I have a lot of time on my hands, I have decided to get into working out again! On sunny days, I like going for hikes around my neighbourhood. Other days, I have been enjoying at-home workouts. I am currently on Day 19 of Chloe Ting’s 26 Day Hourglass Program (highly recommend Chloe’s videos)! Having the schedule that Chloe put together makes it super easy to follow and gives me no excuses to skip working out.
I’ve Been Journaling More!
I started a journal last year but found that I hardly ever wrote in it. During quarantine, I’ve enjoyed documenting my thoughts and doodling. It is a nice break from being online all the time and I’m excited to have it to look back on in the future. The COVID-19 crisis is such a unique time in history that it will definitely be interesting to look back on. Let me know if you guys would like a me to write a “how to start a journal/inspiration” post!
I’ve Been Reading Books!
Another hobby that I enjoy but never seemed to have the time for before quarantine. I tend to get really bad headaches when I spend too much time looking at screens, so it has been essential for me to find some off-line activities to keep me busy during the pandemic. I plan on making a post about book recommendations soon, so look out for that!
I’ve Cleaned/Re-Decorated My Room!
Some of you may be rolling your eyes at this one. Don’t worry, I’m not here to be your mother and tell you to “clean your room!” However, I have personally felt a lot more at ease when I got my bedroom set up to my liking. As you’d expect, I have been spending a lot of time in my room for the past couple months, so it is important to me that I enjoy my space. First, I painted some art pieces for my wall that make me happy when I look at them. I also got some plants that help liven up the space. De-cluttering has also been important for me, so I’ve put a lot of my non-essential items in storage to keep my room looking open and clean.
I’ve Been Trying Out New Hobbies!
This is the perfect time to try learning new things. Today, my boyfriend and I decided to start learning how to code. It has been very fun learning something new and bonding together. And who knows maybe we will be programmers by the time quarantine is over?!
I’m also planning on doing some cooking. Since many of my favourite restaurants are closed right now, I am looking forward to trying to recreate my favourite meals. I made this recipe this week and I would highly recommend for an easy dinner (5-minute Mediterranean Bowl).
I’ve Been Watching Lots of Netflix (obviously)!
Probably the most common quarantine pass time, but I had to include it. I’m working on a Netflix recommendations post, but feel free to let me know if you guys have any suggestions on what to watch!
I’m Taking Things One Day at a Time!
Everyone is coping with this situation differently, and I understand that not everyone is going to be positive during this time. But, I hope I have been able to share some ideas of what can help keep your spirits up while you’re at home.
Let me know in the comments how you guys have been dealing with quarantine!
Disclaimer : the images used in this post are not my own. They are stock images retrieved from pexels.com
Over three weeks ago, the series finale of Schitt’s Creek aired on CBC. If you had told me three months ago that I would eagerly watch it and bawl my eyes out throughout the episode and the subsequent documentary about the show, I wouldn’t have believed you. It’s crazy that in such a short amount of time this show has come to mean so much to me. I have a deep connection to this show, and I expect that I always will.
I started watching Schitt’s Creek during a very turbulent time in my life. I was less than two months away from finishing my degree, and my long-term relationship had just ended. Things were changing in my life, and it was a sad, scary, and lonely time. I was looking for some hope and joy, and that’s when I discovered Schitt’s Creek.
I had heard of the show, of course. It was a rarity – a Canadian show that successfully broke into the U.S. market. I had seen video clips from the show in my Facebook news feed, and though I sometimes gave them a try, I didn’t usually find them funny. More recently, I had read a lot of good reviews about it on reddit, and as someone who tends to trust the opinions of random people on the internet for some reason, I decided I would have to give it a try sometime. Well, I found myself single and alone with no idea how to spend my newfound free time, so I figured it was the perfect time to start watching it.
Now, for those of you who haven’t seen the show, here is a quick synopsis, as you’re typically supposed to include those. Schitt’s Creek follows the filthy rich Rose family as they lose everything and are forced to move to a small town they bought as a joke many years ago, appropriately called (you guessed it!) Schitt’s Creek. There they are humbled and learn to become better people and what not. The show is kind of like Arrested Development but with way more heart (not sure Arrested Development has any heart to be honest, but I still love it).
And that’s why I fell in love with it. The heart. This show is oozing with positivity and love, and it was exactly what I needed at the time. It’s not mean-spirited in its humour, and the drama isn’t so serious that it makes you feel stressed just watching it. It is incredibly easy to fall in love with the characters in this show – both those in the Rose family, who are endearingly selfish but massively entertaining, and those in the town itself, who are all unique and interesting characters that feel like real people.
My favourite thing about this show is the love. It’s ultimately about love – familial, platonic, and romantic. It is incredibly refreshing to watch, especially when you’re going through a hard time. I felt the love between the characters, and it felt like I was the one receiving it. Every kind of love on the show warmed my heart, and made me appreciative of my friends and family, and hopeful that I can find a romantic love like those displayed in the show.
Watching the finale air live was extremely bittersweet for me. The show had come to mean so much to me in a short amount of time. Few TV shows have made me cry as much as this one has – it’s a special one. It helped me get through a tough time, and reminded me that happy endings do exist (and that every person’s happy ending is different), and for that I will forever be grateful.