5 Ways I’m coping (and the celebrities that are helping with that)

Every day, something else, isn’t it?* But we soldier on. Here are the five things I’ve been doing to get through:

1) Recognizing my privilege

Let’s start with the most fun one! Jk recognizing your privilege is the worst. I mean, it’s the best in terms of the impact it has, but it usually feels like garbage. It’s really difficult not to feel hard done by in a time like this.

Is this going to affect my business and my income? Of course!
Do I miss my friends and feel stir-crazy in my house! Definitely!
Am I constantly worried about my mum and all the other (many) septuagenarians in my life? Incredibly!

AND, I’m not currently close to anyone who’s dying or has died of this virus, I’m not worried about being put to live out on the street (or already living there!), I’m not part of a demographic that is being hit harder by Covid-19 than my own.

What we’re going through feels AWFUL for almost all of us. And I’m trying my hardest to remember the ways I’m doing really, really well compared to a lot of other people.


2) Feeling my feelings

I’m not the best at this. But I’m trying to remember that I am in low-level grief for my normal life and all the things I thought this Spring would bring. And, you know, the physical freedom I’m used to.

I’m trying to cry. I’m trying to hold both my privilege, and that fact that I feel this REALLY, REALLY SUCKS FOR ME RIGHT NOW. I’m not shouting the latter from the rooftops (because: see (1) above). Privately, I’m trying my hardest (and it is SO HARD!) to let myself feel all the awfulness instead of pretending it’s not there.

Source: @hey.dr.d on Instagram


3) Resisting the productivity guilt

I am somehow finding I have even less time than before, with much less capacity to use it well. I’m barely getting through as much of my to-do list as usual. Crafts, learning a new skill, organizing my office or live streaming every day all feel totally out of reach right now.

I am trying to accept that this is ok, this is just where I am.

AND, I’m trying my hardest to remember this:

People who are being super-productive are ALSO JUST DOING WHAT THEY NEED TO COPE. Let’s not demonize them, just because we feel shame around being different.


4) Finding the magic

I would love to be one of those folks who’s just like, “Celebrities? They’re just PEOPLE, there’s nothing exciting or different about them! Calm down!”

I am not. I find celebrities exciting.

And I find celebrities doing (quote/unquote) “normal person” things VERY EXCITING.
I am finding the accessibility of famous people THRILLING.

Here’s where it started for me:
I was on Instagram one evening, early on in the lockdown, and I saw that Justin Bieber was doing a livestream. Now, I don’t care that much about this guy. I like that one song. But I was doing dishes and bored and curious, so I clicked on it. This is what I see:

Source: @justinbieber on Instagram

he’s just looking through the names. Then he pulls someone onto the live stream with him:

Source: @justinbieber on Instagram

SHE’S SO EXCITED. And I think, “Wow. Imagine being a HUGE Bieber fan, and then suddenly you’re on his live stream, talking to him from your living room to his about your day in lockdown.

Source: @justinbieber on Instagram

Then the live-streaming-from-our-house concerts started happening. Chris Martin and John Legend (with BELOVED Chrissy Teigan just hanging out in her towels and slippers!) and Allessia Cara

Sources: @coldplay and @johnlegend on Instagram and Alessia Cara on Youtube


Then the readings! Dolly Parton reading bedtime stories! Patrick Stewart reading a sonnet a day!!

And more! Lizzo doing flute meditations.

Source: @Lizzobeeating on Instagram

Portia De Rossi (of Arrested Development and Being Married To Ellen DeGeneres fame) learning how to cook (IT IS VERY CHARMING)

Metropolitain opera showing free operas EVERY NIGHT

And, of course, John Krasinki’s Some Good News, every episode of which has made me cry.

I’m also finding the magic in my day-to-day. The small person and I often sit on our front lawn blowing bubbles, inspecting flowers or playing soccer. We live on a busy-ish street so people are often passing — but these days, we chat to almost all of them. At the very least, both parties grin and say hello.

I’m the designated shopper in our house, and on my once-a-week grocery runs, I find I’m often BEAMING at (and being beamed at by) the other shoppers.

I’m having heart-glowing chats with the (hero) grocery store workers. The other day, one apologized because she said she’d been smiling at me, but then supposed I couldn’t see it through her mask. I told her I saw it in her eyes. Then I told her how, when I’m biking in winter, I used to give the middle finger to rude drivers, but realized that’s not very offensive when you’re wearing mittens. Now I wave and blow them kisses and find it’s *much more effective.

When I’m starting to feel crushed by all this, finding the magic is a source of comfort.

5) Looking at the planet Venus

We’ve had some lovely, cloudless days recently. Just as pull the curtains shut, I’ve noticed Venus in the early evening sky, glowing at me.

I think, “Venus, you most likely have no idea about this bananas situation we have here on earth. And even if you did, I’m certain you do not care.”

This brings me great comfort. I feel the same looking at big trees, or ants. They *do not care* about my pain. My problems are insignificant to them. And if that’s the case — if it’s possible for them to be insignificant to someone(/thing), then maybe they’re not all that bad.


So, those are my five hottest tips: recognize your privilege, feel your feelings, resist the guilt, find the magic and look at Venus (or a tree, or an ant).

I really hope you’re doing ok. High five if you are, big hug if you’re not.

You rule,

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

PS — the asterisk from my first sentence:

*My Granny’s best friend was a wonderful lady called Llyudmilla, bleached blonde hair, red lipstick, tons of jewellery and the thickest Russian accent you can imagine. She lives in on my best friend and my’s conversational ticks, because she would end every other sentence with, “isn’t it?”

“Your broh-therrr lives in London, isn’t it?”

“She has such beautiful hair, isn’t it?”

Next time you feel compelled to say the Canadian, “eh?” or American, “ya know?” or “right?” (or the London, “Ja na’at a mean?”), try replacing it with a thick Russian, “isn’t it?”

xxyyM

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