A Girl’s Guide to Pandemic Positivity

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If you read my last story, you know that I’m a little down in the dumps these days. (Gosh, I wonder why?) But yesterday, I walked into my closet (just two steps — I’m not Lisa Vanderpump), looked at my favorite pair of blush pink patent leather pumps, and decided to take an inventory of some of the positive points of quarantine.

In the past few months, I had forgotten about the shimmering world of the perfectly shaped cat eyeliner, decisions about whether to choose tasteful nail art, and the rush to snag my size of dark denim Paige jeans at Nordstrom’s half yearly sale. I remember the days when I thought, “Gosh, if only I could not wear makeup for one or two days, I could totally have better skin on my face”. Now, after more than three months of very little sweating in my loosest Lululemon sweats and barely brushing my mangled locks, I realize that there are a few silver linings that have come about while I’ve been running the majority of my life from home. Here’s a little positivity inventory for gals who need a little potentially but fabulously materialistic optimism:

You Have a New Wardrobe.

Okay, probably not really, but kind of. I remember that at the beginning of March, I was BEYOND sick of every iteration of my workday blouse-skinny jean-pump combination. I longed to throw everything out and spend all of my savings hiring one of those bougie British stylists at my nearest Nordstrom to give me a complete wardrobe overhaul.

Well, after three months of no underwear, socks with holes in them (WHAT? They’re comfy), and my earring holes growing back together, I walked into my closet yesterday and thought, “Oh, wow! Look at all of these pretty blouses I will get to wear when the apocalypse ends”. Everything old is new again, beyatches. And the longer we’re stuck in our homes eating Campbell’s tomato soup and watching reruns of every show on Bravo, the newer your wardrobe looks.

You Have SO Much More Money.

Again, probably not actually. Particularly if you’re one of the 11(ish)% of people that are currently unemployed. However, I don’t know about you, but around May, I started wondering how I had so much extra money in my account. I looked down at my ratchet unpainted nails, my scraggly hair, and my straight up 70’s bush and realized. Oooooohhhhh. I haven’t been taking my weekly trips to Oasis Spa and Salon 90210.

When I really started to think about it (and yes, I knew this before, but I refused to acknowledge the fact), I spent an embarrassingly large amount of money on self care. Yes, self care is important, but not at the expense of my kid’s college fund. Just for fun, I added up my monthly beauty bills. Mani/pedi (gel fingers and regular toes because who the heck does gel on their toes?) — $70 including tip x 2 times per month. Sunday night Soothe deep tissue massages — $145 including tip x 2 times per month. Waxing (all the things) — $75 including tip.

And let’s say it’s one of those ultra-important-I-don’t-look-terrible months like December when I go visit everyone I’ve ever known from all of my families and if I don’t look like a Barbie, they fawn over me like little orphan Annie. THEN, we have hair highlights and cut — $325. Botox redo — $450. Facial — $125. That brings us to a grand total of . . . $505/month on an average month and . . . $1,405 on a month where I want to actually look better than average. THAT’S A LOT OF DOUGH!

And the great thing is that, if you’re like me, nobody really cares that much what you look like right now. (Heck, I do pants-less Zoom calls for work all day long — just kidding . . . maybe). So, the long and the short of it is that all of your hard-earned mani/pedi and Botox money is going straight back into your wallet if you’re quarantining properly. Now, you can save for the Burke Williams spa day of your dreams when you know you won’t perish from your aesthetician’s diseased carbon dioxide cloud.

Your Skin Has Never Looked Better.

Back when I was working from an office, I had a constant line of people asking me for things, wanting to discuss things, and generally taking my time and attention away from more important things in the world . . . like skincare. Now, in the quiet little bubble of my way-too-dirty home, I can abide by all skincare commandments religiously.

I drink water on a regular basis (aided by an app on my phone that reminds me — the same app I had when I was working that would inevitably sound an alarm when I would leave my office to walk to the cafeteria, annoying the crap out of my coworkers until I returned with my fake turkey sandwich).

I don’t wear pore-clogging makeup (because, who’s looking?). And if I DO need to wear makeup, I put it on right before I need to wear it on a Zoom call and wash it off at night. Why is this different? Well, sadly, there are many nights in the past when I did NOT wash off my makeup — I know, that’s bad. And when I don’t want to wear makeup but I have a video conference? I just turn off my lights in the living room and pretend I just have bad lighting in my house.

Also, I am currently rocking a perfectly sunkissed natural glowing tan. Why? There’s literally nowhere to go other than my home and the great outdoors. When I get sick of my slate blue walls and I put on some sunscreen and go outside for a run or shift my a$$ to the back yard to lay on a chaise lounge. Pre-pandemic, I saw maybe 30 minutes of sun per day. These days, I look like the models in the Sandals ads (by the way, WHO the heck buys a vacation package these days?).

You Are An Enlightened Zen Master.

Again, probably not. I mean, I definitely am not. However, I HAVE adopted a regular meditation practice and am semi-regularly doing yoga in the back yard at 4pm behind the garage when I can coax my husband into taking care of the kid for 20 minutes.

In all of the pandemic “great pause” media, I have somehow come upon the conclusion that I should be emerging eventually from my quarantine cocoon a fully emotionally developed and healed butterfly. If that is the goal, then I have a lot of silk spinning to do because I’m definitely not even close to being any kind of Deepak Chopra. In fact, I downloaded a free Deepak Chopra meditation series and keep bypassing the emailed sessions to see what kind of new gift baskets Harry and David have coming down the pike. Note to self: meditate on my priorities . . .

No, I’m not remotely a zen master, but I have had time for a little introspection. I have a lot of feelings. A lot of frustration, anger, sadness, hope, and regret. These are all feelings that are amplified by the world right now and feelings that I’m slowly but surely dealing with. One sour patch kid at at time. So, if this whole terrible global pandemic is forcing me to take the time to feel and acknowledge my feelings without distraction, I’d count that as a silver lining.

At the end of the day, times are tough. My hope for you is that you find a little joy in each day to share with a friend. Seek out those little chuckles amongst the rubble if only to nab a quick ab workout. Take care of yourself, both inside and outside, and check in to make sure your friends are doing the same. And for God’s sake, wear an effing mask so I can go back some day to dine at Vespertine.

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Writer, educator, mommy, runner, and lover of way-too-expensive moisturizer. I do things and I write about them. Click here to connect: http://eepurl.com/g1Phiv

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