“How are you?” Asked a friend on my private message.
I typed “I’m OK!” Even if I am not. I just said that to avoid uncomfortable conversation. At my present state I am very fragile and not in a good capacity to be a great listener/ confidant / psychiatrist/friend . I am still trying to cope with this transitional life that we all have to go through because of the pandemic.
It is hard to stay and keep happy these days, a little event or word you say can trigger unfathomable emotions. Right now , my best advice for you is do you. Do what makes you happy. Don’t compare what you have from what others have and find joy in the most simplest things around you.
I leave the impression on my social media that I am doing great and very happy. I want to keep that thought in everyone’s mind. If you ask me how I do it , here are the things I did to find joy amidst the uncertain time of the Covid-19 Pandemic….
Since the lockdown, I tried to update my blog daily, in fact I even had a writing challenge with fellow bloggers with different theme every week. We were able to do it for two weeks but I drifted away. I feel the exercise is pointless, plus, who cares. In my writings I was being very emotional and personal. I don’t know if any of the people who actually reads my blog care about how I feel. They have their own feelings to deal with, why should they bother, why should I bother. So I stopped.
While writing keeps me sane, I was somehow burnt out with it. Plus, I have found new things to do to help me cope with all the anxiety this transitional life brings me.
Even before the ECQ, I was already in a lot of stress. We just got daughter out of the hospital and it took a big chunk of my savings.
I was also in secret melancholy because I knew the end of the quarantine meant being separated from my jowa . He will be leaving to work in another country. The end of the quarantine meant the end of my coupledom. And then it is also time to move out which meant leaving behind the place we used to be together.
Yes, a lot of things are going for me.
In spite of all this, I need to keep moving and keep my sadness at bay. I’m glad I was able to find pleasure at distracting myself from the new hobbies I acquired during the pandemic: Baking, Bartering, and Nesting.
Baking was something I learned during the ECQ, jowa taught me how to do it. Before the lockdown and before he left, I told him that he should teach me how to bake so I have something to do while he is gone. The first thing he taught me to do was chocolate crinkles (because that’s what I wanted to learn and like) , then we did cupcake next, then cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies.
I’ve always wanted to bake but never had the chance to because we didn’t have an oven. It is not typical for a Filipino household to have an oven. If you have one during my time, you are not from the middle class you are rich. I don’t belong to a well-off family.
Learning how to bake was one of the best things that this quarantine had taught me. I had all the time in the world to learn. My jowa had all the patience to teach me. I don’t know if he is proud of what I bake and if he really likes it. He said he does but well who knows he might just be trying to be polite. But when the daughter tried my chocolate crinkles and loved it to the last bite, I knew I baked a good thing. Chocolate Crinkles is now one of my most favorite to make, just because daughter loves it so much she snatches a bite and more as soon as they’re out of the oven. I don’t mind. I love it when people eat what I make.
Baking was an instant perk me up specially when your baked good starts to fill the air. Heaven ! Or was it sugar rush? Who knows.
You may watch my first try baking, learning a new skill here:
I only started bartering after jowa left. It was a great distraction from all the sadness I feel inside because I sorely miss seeing him every day. I miss waking up in the morning seeing his handsome face. I miss sleeping with his arms around me. I miss him plating my food when we eat. I miss sitting down doing nothing and just watch TV with him. I miss us so much that I don’t want to think of it and so I learned bartering.
I don’t know who enticed me to bartering but I think a friend invited me to one of those bartering groups. I accepted the invite and since then I see so many things that I want and need. My first successful barter was a Japanese Bike. I was so happy to be able to get that barter and I got a really sturdy and nice looking one. The bike I got was sparkling and sturdy and has a really nice shopping basket attached to it.
I’ve also been obsessed with bartering for plants. As of this writing, I got 5 different kinds of plants from bartering. I guess, baking and planting are two of the hobbies people have been doing to cope during the lockdown.
I’ve written about my bartering experience in this post about online bartering.
It’s been a day shy from two weeks since we moved in our new place. Moving in is not an easy thing to do. Dealing with movers , packing and unpacking, organizing. It took me 7 days to put everything in order. The condo looks decent now however, I know I am not done with it yet.
This past few days I’ve been adding a lot of plants . The pots I have are heavy and I’ve been moving around things like playing a brick game here.
Yes, I’ve been nesting . No, I am not expecting. I just have this urge to clean and organize the house because I want it to be as cozy and Instagrammable as possible. Yes, it’s all for the gram!
But honestly aside from “the gram” my nesting instincts it is driven by the urge to create a home where I feel physically and emotionally safe. This is all part of my period of dealing with stress and anxiety. I believe that a rearranged space can feel like a rearranged life, so yeah kinda trying to get some sort of security from doing this,
Here is my vlog about my moving out experience plus a quick house tour of the new EGHQ a.k.a Earthlingorgeou Headquarters !
All these little pleasures I enjoy camouflages my deep sadness. This is how I cope. I somehow knew that if or when I stop doing anything and start losing interest in things I find enjoyable now, a big depression will take over me and it is not a good place to be.
I can’t live in that dark place of depression. I am a single mother of a child with autism. She needs me mother more than anyone else in the world and I will make sure I will always be here for her no matter what. I can set aside my personal fears and tears just to make sure she is comfortable and happy. The weird thing between me and my daughter is that we are somehow connected. When I feel sad or when I start to cry , she does too and so I try hard not to , I don’t like her being sad or hurt.
I am glad somehow that I find joy amidst these uncertain times of the Covid-19 Pandemic . Baking, bartering and nesting somehow is my way to cope.
How about you, how are you coping?
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project”. The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented by Eastern Communications and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet and Teleperformance.