Why don’t you take time to refresh yourself on the hobbies and pastimes you love? I’ve been making breads since I can remember; it’s one of the most constant things in my life. I’m good at it, but now that I have time to study the art — god how pretentious I’m becoming! — I realize there are techniques and tricks I never thought about. Instead of listening to the dictates of recipes, I’m starting to understand the signs of the dough telling me about its journey. I’ve really lost it, haven’t I? My breads, I’ll admit humbly, are better than ever. My freezer is full. I need somebody to take it. Not the freezer, reader, I love that like a baby. I’m talking about the bread. I never thought I’d have too much bread on my hands. 


Why don’t you find a way to bring your lost travels to you? Maybe you don’t have lost travels, but I was planning on leaving for Paris for an indeterminate amount of time in less than a month. I only had a one-way ticket and I planned to to scurry away to Italy and Romania and back to Egypt. But now I’m just staying home and missing Turin painfully. I’ve spent about a week trying to make a focaccia like the ones I loved so much there. I haven’t gotten it quite right, but I’m so close, but I’m loving the process. Before I know it I’ll be there again, I know, but I hate being still.


Why don’t you start following a celebrity you barely knew before coronavirus on Instagram? Most celebrities have been a disappointment. Deprived of their usual events and interviews and handlers, they have to entertain us by themselves. Most are failing painfully. Maluma is not. (He’s a Colombian singer that I’m like in love with I guess.) Every time he goes live, I’m like, “Oh goodness, what’s my dear friend, Maluma, up to now?!” I’ve seen more of him than I have of my own family and friends. I know every inch of his compound in Medellín and I’m obsessed with his mother. Unlike most of the stars in their generic minimalist manors, Maluma’s has some soul and a mannequin. Bless him. 


Why don’t you allow yourself to cycle through your feelings unabashedly whole in confinement? I’m having quite a good time, reader, and that started making me feel guilty. It wasn’t anything I consciously thought about, but some people in Europe I follow on social media were talking about “confinement bragging.” Basically it’s people showing off how good they have it while others are stuck in a miniscule apartment. It hit me funny, in my big house on a bunch of land in the country without wanting for much of anything. It’s how life is, but it’s uncomfortable to realize you’re fine when there are others that are like…locked in with physically and mentally abusive people…or those who have to face the worst to survive…or people who deal with things I can’t begine to imagine. I’m very lucky. I’m going to keep working through this. 


Why don’t you learn to accept that it’s okay to spend a day doing absolutely nothing? Mind you, I have a hard time with this and I barely believe it. I’m probably trying to do some kind of unconscious psychology on myself. Lately, I’ve been feeling very *whatevs*. I haven’t been able to do much of anything. I’ve got like ten projects in progress and a dozen more in mind, but I can’t be bothered. I can’t do it. I don’t know why. I have nothing else to do. I’m trying to tell myself that it’s fine that I’ve wasted a week of my life just scrolling through my phone and manically reading Agatha Christie mysteries. I mean it could be so much worse, but I have some kind of mental disease where I can’t appreciate the slow life. I should go to therapy when this is over.

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