I was complaining recently that while everyone else is learning how to make sourdough and making funny videos pretending to be a horse with their partner, I’m working and creating overtime.
I’m pretty sure some people are working in the service industry right now freaking hate me. Let’s be real, guys. The people working at grocery stores and fast food places did not sign up to risk their lives. And that is exactly what they’re being asked to do right now. They are not getting paid enough, they’re not being protected. And we need to do something about that as a society.
One thing I’ve been trying to do is stop bitching about my life. I have a job I’m not in danger of losing. I have a home that I’m safe in. I have my darling husband with me. And my pets. Let’s be real, my pets are my life.
But it’s also freaking hard, you guys! If I may take a moment to be completely self-indulgent, I am not okay right now. I am so heartbroken for the people who are unfairly being asked to risk their lives. I am heartbroken for the people sick and their families. I am heartbroken for the doctors and nurses working to save all of us without the proper PPE. I am furious at all of the people in charge who should have done something about this, should be doing something about this, and they just aren’t.
I’m struggling with all these dark emotions, struggling with my anxiety and depression, struggling to find new routines in this new world. Struggling to find ways to help people.
My to-do list doesn’t go away just because I’m in a mental downward spiral. It just becomes a weight around my neck. It’s too easy under normal circumstances to feel angry and resentful about my daily tasks. So right now it’s even worse. It’s really easy to just close my bullet journal and watch The Orville. Telling myself that I need to get things done doesn’t help. Reminding myself what will happen if I give up doesn’t help. It just makes me sink farther into that dark little depression hole.
I needed a change in how I was looking at the situation. And I realized something, muttering over all the things on my list that I had to do.
Then I realized that everything on my list, every single thing, is a privilege.
Let me break this down. Without going into a ton of detail, on any given day I have tasks in
My day job obligations.
My professional writing.
My creative writing.
Caring for my family and pets.
Caring for my home.
I’m willing to bet that your list looks a good bit like mine. And it can be a lot if we chose to see these things as obligations forced on us. So let’s flip the script on these together.
I’m working from home. And yes, it’s hard sometimes. I’m working extra hours. I’m working around caring for my family. It sucks.
But I’m getting a paycheck still. There are way too many people who aren’t. I don’t have to risk my life to do it like I would have in any job before this one. I used to work at a temp place where we were sent to sort garbage, you guys. Literal garbage. There are people still working there right now. My prayers are with them every single day.
My job is a privilege.
My professional writing
I was blessed to get a steady writing job in December. It doesn’t pay a lot, but I’m pretty excited about it anyway. I’ve also been trying to get my freelance writing going, so I’ve been writing pitches and submitting work.
I am so privileged to have this in my life. Working a side hustle is hard, but it’s working toward a lifetime goal.
My creative writing
I know this is sort of dumb to even add to the list. I mean, writing is creative, right?
Sure, of course. But any writer will tell you that publishing books have a ton of to-dos that are not so fun.
It’s still a privilege! I’m publishing a freaking book! That’s something most people don’t get to do. Yes, there’s a lot of work, but every bit of it is something I would have died to do not so long ago.
Caring for my family and pets.
Now we’re getting into the things that are a little harder to see as anything but an obligation. I have a mother in law who is ill and needs care. I have a husband with health issues. I have pets that require more care than I think they should.
I am so privileged to have my family safe here with me. I’m thankful that they are both safe and well. I’m thankful that my mother in law isn’t in an assisted living home. I’m thankful that I’m not separated from my partner like so many people are now.
Hell, I’m thankful for my pets! I lived in an apartment where I wasn’t allowed to have pets. I missed having little furry companions every single day. Now, I’m going to complain that I have to call the vet to get a refill of Oliver’s heartworm meds?
Caring for those I love is a privilege. May I never forget that,
Caring for my home.
Finally, there’s every day picking up and scrubbing off that every house needs. Dishes, laundry, tidying. It never freaking ends! Not to mention my least favorite, cleaning up the bathroom. Because of my family’s health issues, most of the home care lands right on my shoulders.
Okay, got that out of the way.
I am so thankful that there’s food in my house. I’m thankful I have a warm and comfortable home that protects me and my loved ones. I wake up every day safe. There is enough room for all of us.
This home is a privilege.
Now, please understand that I don’t say any of this to shame any of you! This whole situation right now sucks, for varying degrees for everyone. If you can’t see your to-do list as a privilege, that’s fine. Please don’t let this be another burden, we all have too many already.
But if shifting this viewpoint can help you count your blessings while you’re counting the things you have to do today, then do that. The best thing I can do for you right now is to help make your day lighter.
That is another privilege.
Oh, and I also made a sourdough starter.