"Stay the hell at home. Stay with the people you quarantined with when this started. Stay safe. And not selfish."
These are all things we've heard over and over through the last month and a half or so. Probably a little less explicit than how a few individuals have expressed them, too. As weird as a time that this is, these requirements, orders, and consistent uncertainty has put a damper on many people's ability to "continue". Not so much in the sense of working. Businesses are clamped in the grasps of a pandemic refusing to let go. But more in the areas that make each of us human. Who we are. The areas of our lives that fuel the creative side of our brains.
It's odd that with so much time on our hands these days, we still find time to lose track of it. I've spoken to so many people that have felt the same thing. It may feel like time is going slower, but it isn't changing. Our lives have slowed down, though. Which may be why. I'm no neurologist, but maybe the combination of us being forced to slow down causes us to think that time will do just the same. Just a little bit. That's unfortunately not the case. Although, we can still maneuver our way into making it seem like it is. By seizing the opportunities. Creating opportunities with the time we have been given. Maybe doing that will make time sync up with our new "routine".
Nonetheless, I've made sure that any creative lull stays far away from my bubble. Immersing myself into new things. Small, but new. Here are 10 things I have done since we have all been ordered to stay home that keep me sane, moving forward, and creative.
1) Tackle Yard Work
Having a new big ass yard has been fun and tiring. Weeds are annoying as hell. I forgot how much I missed cutting the grass. Yeah, may sound weird, but growing up cutting dad's grass was one of those "me-time" moments. Put the headphones in, and go. Vibe and sometimes match my speed of pushing the mower to the song. I'm realizing how picky I am becoming with our yard. I hate pine straw and want to mulch ASAP. We have a lot of bushes and plants. In a way it's forcing me to visualize what I want it to look like. And what I'm thinking is that less is absolutely more.
Tripping if you think I wasn't hopping on the console and killing some fiction Russian soldiers and holing out from 120 on PGA Tour during quarantine. It's not all just mindless like people think either. There are strategies when it comes to figuring out how to get out of Prison, past three squads to make it to the next circle without letting gas or them kill you. Also, as my boys and anyone who games and gets knocked by their women know, we connect too. With the homies. Staying in touch with everyone through a party chat is good for the soul my good women. Know that!
3) Catching Up/ Starting Shows
Using the time for good entertainment like shows and movies is always accepted with open arms here. We binged Ozark, started Little Fires Everywhere, watched the new Trolls movie, and a lot more. For Chels it's just another way to get me to shut the hell up and be still. Can't blame her and I don't mind doing it anyways.
4) Some Design Creation
Some creation for my friends and myself. Obviously amateur. But it's been fun to create some of my own logos for projects, design post templates for IG, and even creations for my friends. Video and still design. I love being able to learn and improve my skills gradually with these different tools I have on my laptop. Adobe package and others. IT's also given me more and more of an appreciation for the professionals that create what we see on TV and on social media. It's always been impressive. But when you actually download the platforms and try it for yourself? Goodness. It's impressive AF.
5) Players List
Players List launch alongside my friend Kyle Hunte has kicked off with a great start. We wanted to create a place for consistent content meshing athletes and their love of music through playlist curation. IT's been awesome creating the content for the page, but we have both enjoyed listening to what everyone listens to. What they create and how they create playlists is interesting. For those who know me know that playlist curation is one of my absolute favorite hobbies. Meeting Kyle, who shared the same interests, just skyrocketed ideas and brainstorming sessions into launching our own platform. It's been dope.
6) Nursery Addition
With a baby on the way and some more time, as mentioned before, we have gotten things like the crib, bassinet, wallpaper stripping, and more done. Every time we put something together, it's like a rush of emotion that our daughter will be here before we know it. Doing mom and dad things, although some of the process may seem tedious, is so worth the final result. Now if we can just get some of these purchases of back order please?
7) Playlist Creation
I'm still making my own playlists. I love it. Hearing a mood I haven't yet put into a playlist just feels like the next challenge. What songs can I discover to fill the needs of the next collection? I have so many on hand in the middle of my process that have yet to be made public. Reasons being: either they have no name yet, not enough songs to be publicized, or no cover art yet. I have may process. Nothing gets sent or publicized before the whole package is finished. You wouldn't want your burger with no beef or top bun right?
8) Podcast Recording
I am in the middle of recording episodes for my first season of 'The Untamed Mind: A Talk'. It is a work in progress and there are some logistics I need to finalize before I launch, but the first handful of recordings have gone swimmingly. I love that technology allows us to do things remotely. Especially when we're literally forced to only do that. With many more stories and individuals to capture, I anticipate the first season to be very interesting. And I'm already brainstorming more specific topics and ideas for the next season. It's been weird to transition from being interviewed, to hosting or asking questions myself. Gives me yet another slice of appreciation for the pros that do it everyday.
9) Chillin' with the Wife
Of course, quality time with Chels is always going to keep me sane. Talks about random things like life, future, being a mom and a dad soon, and more. Just being us and finding ways to not forget about what we're all going through (because it's not only harmful to forget, but pointless because it's part of life), but to deal with it.
About it all. What's going on as I type, what I think the future holds, and the past. I don't fully believe in letting the past go. I actually refuse to do so. Some memories find their way shoved further back in our minds, but I thrive on the nostalgia of thinking of what was. Scrolling through the mental images and videos I've captured and discovering new ones I didn't know were hidden behind the cobwebs of my brain. Focusing on gratitude and honing in on my mistakes that I can learn from. It's healthy I think. Maybe it's not for everyone, but it's definitely something that I have found myself doing daily. More often than not, actually.
Obviously writing is one of them as I am doing it right this second. Felt that was better left unsaid. I encourage you all to find the things that keep you active. Physically and mentally. There are no right or wrong answers here either. Watch what the hell you want. Eat the shit you want to eat. Workout as much as you want. Hit your personal kitchen side bar and pour some vino or liquor. Do you. Be you. And if you want to, create a new version of you.
As always, stay safe, sane, and smart. Don't let ignorance cloud your judgment. Don't let the urges of what was normal months ago revert your path to what our normalcy can soon be once again.