What are you doing for your soul?

This meme popped up for me a few times last week, and it made me literally laugh the first time I saw it.

I mean, it made me laugh in that kind of slightly nervous, rueful, what-an-absurd-world-we-live in kind of way.

Where I live, the signs are certainly starting to point to the high possibility of another lockdown of some kind: cases rising, it’s getting dark, and in a few weeks, it will be too cold to eat outside. And this when the western part of the US is still on fire, structural inequities are starker than ever, US authorities are removing women’s uteruses without consent, and democracy itself in the US is in peril.

Sigh. I wanted this post to be more lighthearted, maybe all jigsaw puzzles and homemade biscuits, but the death of RBG this weekend is making it even harder to see much light ahead. So as the days get shorter, I look for some light, to sustain joy, connection, trust in humanity. And I know I’m not alone.

Here are some of the things giving me some lift — and I want to know what you’re doing to keep your soul filled right now.

  • Go for a walk in nature: Susan, Kim, the old lady dogs Shelby and Emma-the-dog and I went for a delightful wooded hike on Sunday afternoon. Another friend texted me that were also seeking the woods because they needed fresh air to process the sadness about RBG. The dogs were happy. And dirty.
  • Do something completely non-professional with your hair. Kim commented that Susan and I “looked like teenagers” from behind. I think she was talking about our hair, pulled up, both with purple stripes in different ways. Mine was in little lopsided pigtails. Clearly, any fucks I have ever given on maintaining certain “standards of appearance” have left the building.
  • Watch Schitt’s Creek from the beginning. And if you’ve seen it, watch it again. Bask in a world where homophobia doesn’t exist and people love each other for who they are, no matter how bonkers. Find it for free on CBC gem. And while you’re there, find some other hidden Canadian joys.
  • Eat outside with someone you miss. Observe distancing protocols, wear a mask when you are not actually eating, but take advantage of the last days of patio season. Remind a friend you love them.
  • Go for a walk with someone you miss. Ditto the smart protocols and taking advantage of the opportunity to be outside. Bonus points if they have a cute little dog.
  • Go to outside spinning or yoga in the park. Support your local independent fitness studio and — if you are lucky enough to be in a place with decent air quality — notice it and appreciate it.
  • Go look at some kittens. Tracy has the sweetest babies. Just poke around. Or look at grown cats who’ve taken over your new couch. Smell them if you can. They smell like a bag of oats. (Except for Georgia, the little one, who smells like rancid wax after a Candle Incident the other day).

Let her memory be a revolution.” If you’re in the US, donate to someone from Gretchen’s list. If you’re not legally able to donate to an American political candidate, support organizations helping the victims of the fires or reproductive rights or the ACLU. Or just be supportive to your US friends.

In other words: be playful; move your body; make connections; breathe deeply. And act.

What are you doing to get through this time?

Fieldpoppy is Cate Creede, who is glad she went to outdoor spinning last night.

9 thoughts on “What are you doing for your soul?

  1. All of your list. Friends, family, the great outdoors. But also fiction, good fiction that gets me out of my world. In the absence of travel this feels important. I’ve also joined an international book club where we each just talk about what we’re reading. I’ve been reaching out more to family in other parts of the world.

      1. Reading Selvadurai really gave me context when I traveled to Sri Lanka. Back when we traveled. I actually read Cinnamon Gardens when I couldn’t sleep in a ratty little hotel room in Uganda one week. What a different time that was.

  2. Ha ha great list, your comment about your hair made me smile. Yes to gratitude about air quality, I’m in Australia and never really appreciated it until Dec19-Feb20 when I noticed it every day as it was gone.

  3. As always, loved your post, Cate.

    For me, I have enjoyed video calls with people near and far. I just finished a 90 minute Zoom call with 4 university friends (We met 30+ years ago) who are amazing women. We live far apart – one in Halifax, one in Bermuda, and two in Victoria, and used to visit together in person every 5 years. When that couldn’t happen in May, we zoomed. It’s turned into a monthly event and I love it.

  4. Loved your post as always, Cate. For me, I’ve embraced the ability to connect with people near and far through video calls. I‘ve just finished a 90 minute zoom call with 4 amazing women – university friends who I’ve known for 30+ years. We live far apart – one in Halifax, one in Bermuda, and two in Victoria. We used to get together in person every five years, but when that didn’t happen in May, we zoomed. It’s turned into a regular event and I love it.

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