There’s been a miserable sort of boredom that is entirely unique to the current situation that we are in. The shops are closed, the theaters are closed, there are no new movies to see and any of the places are open feel ethically irresponsible to visit considering that we are, still in fact, in the middle of a pandemic. This means I’ve had a lot of time on my hands; more free time than I’m used to having, frankly, as an adult who works a full-time job. I’m fortunate enough to have more than a few hobbies but some of them I keep rather close to my chest, so in a shocking display of vulnerability, I want to share with you some of the ways I’ve been keeping busy during the pandemic.
Despite the earlier attempt at canceling me this year, I still find a tremendous amount of pleasure and routine in blogging. I’ve done my best to maintain my routine and continue to post content for you all that both satisfies me and I hope satisfies you, dear reader. I was afraid that I’d run out of things to write about with “nothing going on” but turns out that being a pedant and someone who takes media too seriously; I rarely run out of things to talk about. The current struggle has just been finding energy consistently to write that isn’t just in fervent chunks or painfully drawn out affairs.
I’ve made a habit of dropping off baked goods to my friends at the local card shop and also just baking for myself. I’ve always been one to stress bake and I have a nearly endless sweet-tooth so getting out my energy while baking has been quite fun and nice. Baking is a funny thing because while I think it’s stress-relieving, there’s a huge amount of anxiety that goes into baking for other people. I’m always worried that something is too sweet, too much, too much mint, too much chocolate: well, I’ve yet to receive any major complaints and it is nice to do something for others: not like I don’t benefit at all, I do have to check each cake for poison.
Yes, I have more than one! I co-host two podcasts with two friends: one on literature (Unfortunately, Required Reading) and one on yaoi and boy’s love (The Yaoi Shelf). Being a podcaster has become an increasingly important part of my life and between outlines, recording, live shows, research, reading and communicating with two hosts; it’s a role that keeps me busy and adds some much needed bulk to my schedule. That even ignores all the social media work and analytics reading that goes into keeping both podcasts afloat. That’s right, I am the ghost in the machine.
I struggle with calling myself a maker until I start making. One of the things I love the most and have missed the most about cosplay is making things. I love painting and figuring out things and fabricating and I’ve been able to take on a few crafting projects that allow me to continue to get that need to make and create out of my system. In the pandemic’s down time I got to work on two Halloween costumes (one for each podcast), a small table for my cacti, boards for my pins, patches and buttons as well as continue to focus on organizing all of my books and odds and ends.
While I am the dictionary definition of a casual gamer, the games I do play; I play hard. Pokemon Sword/Shield has released two DLCs this year and that alone has kept me busy if we ignore all the Just Dance I’ve been playing. I also picked up the newest Cooking Mama game because of course I did and a Japanese drumming rhythm game because…of course I did. Honestly, running around Galar and by extension the Crown Tundra and Isle of Armor has been a welcomed and beautiful distraction from the current monotony of my day to day life. Just Dance sometimes is the only physical exertion I can muster and while that means I’m a little too good at Hey, Mama Geisha Version; it makes my therapist happy with my attempts at exercising.
I know, shocking, right? I have returned to the place I was years ago: writing fanfic and actually publishing it again. I even have: gasp, fans and gasp, a schedule. It’s been nice to write fiction and especially fanfiction. Most forms of writing are incredibly fulfilling but there’s something about fanfic that is just particularly satisfying. It scratches an itch that’s so unique to being a fan and having the ability to articulate your fan wants and needs out and then being able to share that with an audience? Ugh, it’s all just so good.
Probably weren’t expecting that, huh? Yeah, I started therapy this year and like the good patient I am desperately trying to be; therapy takes up a huge amount of time. And not just the hour long appointments but the homework assignments and actively trying to be a better person. My therapist regularly gives me things to read and to focus on and he regularly challenges me and my less than kind thought processes. Therapy is exhausting but the amount of insight I’ve gained and how far I can still go is worth the, what is essentially, an hour I pay a man to make me cry and get no sexual gratification from.
I’ve been doing my best to keep busy with all my time at home but not every second of my day is accounted for. I spent hours on voice chat with friends, still have weekly call with my best friend, and regularly video call back home to check on things. I stress-watch reruns of ER and rant about comic books online. I waste hours on Twitter, read fanfic that isn’t written by me. I gush about fanart and text friends. I do things to stay busy but also do plenty of things that take up very little brain power: anything to stay sane, or as sane as possible, during this damn pandemic.