Zigs and Zags: The Best and Worst of April

purple flowers

As all the memes floating around the internet seem to imply: What the bloody hell was April?

What an odd world we live in. Truly. Every (virtual) conversation starts with, “How are you? How are things where you live?” An exciting day involves different weather we can see out the window. April was both the fastest and slowest month on record.

It was, in a single word, weird.

But if I’m going to be completely honest with you, I’m thriving during this quarantine. I’m an introvert by nature, so that probably helps. Honestly, though, this has been an incredible gift in so many ways. I know it’s been really hard for a lot of people and I acknowledge that, but I’ve actually been feeling like I’m in a really good place.

I’ll get into it all a bit more below, but suffice to say that April, while weird, was actually pretty good.

boy and catZigs

Quarantine = Productivity

My professional life has been like dominoes set in motion. When I started Rooted last fall and then quit my gig with the ATTA in February, little did I know I was setting myself up for professional sustainability. I’m so appreciative that we are financially secure so that every day I can wake up and work on projects I love and believe in.

Over the past month, I officially launched the re-design of Rooted (isn’t it amazing??). I’ve had a handful of calls with potential partners, and there are so many incredible projects we’re brainstorming: online classes, educational decks, event collaborations!

Oh, and Rooted has its own Instagram profile now; please feel free to follow it if you’re into that kind of thing.

My mastermind group, which launched in February, couldn’t have come at a better time. With the feedback and help from the women in the group, I turned in a book chapter I was asked to write, started on a full-length book project I’m passionate about, and am actively looking for an agent for the picture book I wrote and tried to sell a decade ago.

I’ve got a lot of article ideas but unfortunately a lot of publications have folded or aren’t commissioning. So, where appropriate, I’ve been focusing my energy in ways I can control. Quite simply, that means I’m finally working on projects I’ve wanted to tackle.

I’m fundraising — and matching your donations!!

So many people I know love to travel. Obviously I do too.

And I am also really concerned about the communities around the world who rely on the economic benefits of tourism. Supporting these communities now means we can create meaningful travel memories once the world opens up again.

This is why I launched a fundraiser through Planeterra, the non-profit affiliated with G Adventures. The big news: I AM MATCHING UP TO $500 IN DONATIONS.

Three days in, I’ve raised almost $200. If you want to have amazing travel experiences again when this is all over, please donate — even a couple dollars goes a long way. And, if you know others who love to travel, please pass this on to them.

Let’s Talk Lockdown

In April, I began writing short blog posts related to the lockdown. I had (have?) lots of thoughts about the global pandemic. I even made a big long list of things I want to blog about: the stages of grief, mask trends, zoombombing, weird social media habits, finding forgiveness.

The list goes on and on. And I may finally plug back in to write a few more lockdown posts — because, let’s face it, the lockdown might end, but this pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But I’ve had full days lately, so these have taken a backseat for the time being. (If you want to read some of my Thoughts on Lockdown, you can find them here.)

For the time being, though, there are two major thoughts on lockdown that I want to share:

quarantine maskFirst, I really do think this is an incredible gift of time. We always say we want more time, that we never have enough time. Well, the world has essentially given us two full months of time. I know it’s not under ideal conditions, but it has been an amazing opportunity to spend time with family, start those new hobbies, tackle that pile of books, write those letters, have those conversations.

I’m impressed with everyone baking their bread and doing their home improvement projects, though admittedly I’m confused why everyone shares them on social media. Enjoy doing the puzzle, but, no, I don’t need to see your progress.

Anyway, I truly have loved the time this pandemic has gifted to me. I was chatting with a colleague the other day, and he told me he’s already making a to-do list for the next lockdown. Me too, friend. Me too.

Second, early on during this quarantine, tons of people shared links to free museum tours and cultural performances. Given people’s tendencies to share everything on social media, I was surprised I didn’t see many people follow up on sharing those links with actually participating in the experiences.

Well, I’ve got to tell you, Cory and I have gone to the (virtual) theater and ballet every weekend for a few weeks now, and it’s a complete treat. Every weekend, we hunker down for London’s weekly National Theatre performance and for the New York City Ballet, which is promoting a digital spring season.

Having access to such incredible cultural opportunities is, again, a gift I don’t want to take for granted. I hope others are appreciating it as well.

Zags

Let’s Talk Lockdown, Part 2

Obviously the pandemic is super sucky. Clearly. I’m not naive.

Here are the major zags about the lockdown, in my opinion:

  • The travel and tourism industry continues on its downward trajectory. It’s frightening to watch, and I’m feeling both concerned by the outcome and buoyed by the possibilities. Where this wild and crazy ride will stop is hard to say.
  • We had to celebrate Cory’s birthday by having, well, just another day. We’ll go out for a nice dinner when this is all over for a due-over.
  • I have a stack of mail I can’t send. The post office isn’t open right now, from what I can tell. So, those birthday cards and belated greetings are on their way, I promise. It’s just taking quite a bit longer than normal.
  • Summer plans have ground to a halt. We had big plans to travel through Lativa, Lithuania, Estonia, Russia, and Poland with my dad, but everything is cancelled now. Hopefully we can make this trip happen once we can all move safely around the planet again.
  • Is anyone else concerned that they haven’t been able to go to their regularly scheduled appointments during this whole thing? I feel like there will be a mass movement for routine dentist, vet, and doctor’s appointments when this is over.
  • Yeah, I’m going stir crazy like everyone else. I’d really like to go outside without a mask. And I really want to start running again.
  • And, perhaps most tragically, we’re nearly out of peanut butter. I’ve been rationing. There’s supposed to be a covert hand off tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll be restocked again. But for now, I’m still concerned about our personal peanut butter supply.

Every conversation begins with, “How are you?” I’ll sign off on this month’s update with another favorite: Take care. Stay healthy!

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