Hamilton.

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Since Hamilton came to Disney+, I’ve watched the entire play about ten times. I’ve watched the first half an additional ten or more. The second half tends to make me weepy and I’m not always in the mood to cry.

Each time I watch Hamilton, something new seems to stand out to me.

Here’s a few things I’ve noticed.

1. Christopher Jackson’s face during the final song while Eliza sings about his story and slavery.

2. The brilliantly subtle moments of foreshadowing woven throughout.

3. (or technically, 2a) Burr’s ‘like I said’ comment at the first scene in the bar where Hamilton meets Lafayette, Mulligan, and Laurens.

4. The Bullet. If you know, you know.

5. David Diggs. His pure joy in performance.

6. Brilliant word play and musicality.

7. Leslie Odom, Jr’s masterful performance.

8. The emotion evoked by Renee Elise Goldsberry in Satisfied.

9. Jonathan Goff’s laugh after One Last Time.

10. The interplay between Hamilton and Samuel Seabury during Farmer Refuted.

My Cozy Mystery Playlist

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For  Poisoned Primrose, I put together a TV show playlist along with a music playlist.

So, what was I watching while I wrote?

1. Rosemary & Thyme

2. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries

3.  Father Brown

4. Hetty Wainthropp

5. Death in Paradise

6. Vera

7. The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency

8. New Tricks

9. Miss Marple

10. Poirot

What about you?

Which of the above is your favourite?

Age of Exhaustion

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I don’t remember what my word for 2020 was. Progress? It might’ve been ‘progress’. In all honesty, whatever it was, it’s become exhaustion.

Everything lately feels exhausting.

The number of conversations I’ve had with friends about waking up tired. It’s a common thread everyone seems to be experiencing. I keep reminding myself how we’re experiencing a globally traumatic and stressful event.

It would be more shocking if we weren’t having some level of exhaustion.

Stress wears you out.

Through the pandemic, I’ve dealt with:

– Missing days. Seriously. Has anyone else just lost track of what day it and then felt like you’ve completely Missed one of them?

– Weird dreams. I am the queen of the odd dream but since the pandemic, they’ve been extra strange.

– Increased anxiety and exhaustion.

– A perpetual emotional rollercoaster.

How I’m trying to deal with it?

Being kinder to myself. Indulging in video games and reading. Accepting that some days are just not going to be productive ones.

No matter what all those ‘goal gurus’ claim. In the face of fear and anxiety, sometimes you don’t need to push through. Some days, you have to find a way to relax.

Self-care isn’t always movement.

Some days, self-care is sitting still.

What about you? How are you coping with lockdown?

 

Staying Focused in Crisis

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How do you write in the middle of a global pandemic?

It’s definitely a conversation going around the writing community. Here are a few things I’ve been considering/doing/whatever.

  1. I accept that some days I just don’t have the mental, physical, and/or emotional energy to put pen to paper.  I try to be kind to myself in those moments and not stress. Words will happen eventually.
  2. Write something that brings me joy. Now, at least for me, isn’t the time to write something that feels like pulling teeth.
  3. Turn off social media and the news. Nothing kills my writing vibe than a constant influx of bad and overwhelming information.
  4. Take breaks. Seriously. Take a walk, read a book, watch my favourite TV show. Anything but trying to be creative.
  5. Find a new routine. I’m autistic. Routines are in my DNA. So, I’ve definitely had to add a new normal into the structure of my day.

What are you doing to keep focused?

What am I binge-watching in isolation?

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I thought I’d share what I’m watching on Youtube, TV, Netflix or Amazon Prime. They’re in no particular order.

  1. Rosemary & Thyme (Amazon)
  2. Pretty Pastel Please (YouTube)
  3. S.W.A.T.
  4. React Channel (YouTube)
  5. Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries (Amazon)
  6. Nailed It! (Netflix)
  7. The Unit
  8. Great British Bake Off (Always)
  9. One Day At A Time (Netflix)
  10. Live Rescue

What about you? What are you binge-watching this week/month? Do you binge-watch at all?

Fear and Journalling.

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If we’re honest with ourselves, there have been moments of anxiety and fear over the past few weeks. It’s easy in the midst of isolation to bottle everything up inside. And even if we don’t want to burden our friends/family, keeping it all internal isn’t healthy.

I haven’t written in a journal/diary in ages. In my teens and early twenties, I actually kept up with a journal a fair bit. For some unknown reason, it fell away in my thirties and now forties.

A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from a historian who talked about how we should be writing down our experiences through this pandemic. I can’t find the tweet now, unfortunately. But it stuck in my mind.

I thought about all the personal accounts of other historical events I’ve read. They seemed to take on a suddenly deeper meaning. I can better understand why those people took pen to paper.

Sharing their thoughts must’ve been so cathartic in terrifying times when so much was out of their control.

It’s basically where we are now. Aside from keeping up with social distancing and other recommendations, there’s little control we have over this pandemic. And even the most zen of my friends is experiencing stress, anxiety, and fear.

I’m an author.

I deal in fiction.

Writing the truth of my thoughts seemed much more intimidating at first.

I’m a few days into my journalling. It’s provided an amazing outlet for the unease I’m feeling. Putting everything down on paper has offered some relief.

And somehow, a physical journal is definitely better than an online one.

I’ve been both pouring out my thoughts on paper but also jotting down what’s happening in my area and the things I’ve seen.

It’ll be interesting to look back in a few months or even years to read through my own personal history of this pandemic.

How about you?

How are you processing everything right now?

The Toxic Productivity Trap

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In the midst of the current state of crisis and upheaval, we’re all mostly at home in self-isolation. Or, we should be. And I keep seeing all these ‘ways to stay active and productive’ videos and blog posts.

On the one hand, I do think finding a new routine is essential, particularly for those not used to working from home.

As someone who has worked from home for years, it’s important to keep yourself motivated. And it can be infinitely more difficult when you’re not in an office.

But.

But.

But, I think productivity at times like this can be a dangerous and unhealthy trap.

We put our health to one side. We base too much of our self-worth into what we accomplish. And then, we seem to fall into a cycle of work, work, work, and not much else.

In a global crisis, maybe the best thing we can do is take care of ourselves–and each other.

Maybe the most ‘productive’ thing I can do is read a good book or play one of my favourite video games.

There’s nothing wrong with accomplishing.

Crossing items of your to-do list can become a bit of an addiction. But we shouldn’t be beating ourselves up for relaxing either. Doing nothing can be the healthiest part of your routine.

So, maybe while we’re all busy being productive. We should pencil time into our do to do nothing at all. Relax. Read a book. Binge-watch a new TV show. Something fun.