Day 53 of self-isolation.
Living by yourself during a pandemic and being furloughed can prove to be mentally and emotionally taxing, but I’ve found ways to combat cabin fever and subdue any feelings of anxiety.
I’ve been making stuff.
Whenever I’m down or feeling alone, I’ve tapped into my creativity to relieve any sense of boredom or desolation. The action of making something and producing a piece of art brings me joy, and it let’s me escape from the fact that there’s no one to talk to or hang out with. That’s always been the case even before the pandemic, but during these times it feels more germane. I’ve been cooking and baking a lot, trying to create my own recipes and sharing the photos. I’ve been gardening so that I have herbs and vegetables for these recipes, and when society reopens I have a nice backyard space I can host people in. Of course, both of these hobbies are dependent on whether or not I want to gain more weight or — in the case of gardening — relies if the weather is suitable, so I’ve turned to an old hobby: making dog videos.
Sure, it’s been a year since Nico passed, but I have a lot of footage I’ve taken over the years, leading up to her death. Life thereafter and work became so busy (not to mention allowing myself a time to grieve), so the ideas I had only remained ideas. Fortunately, with all the free-time forced onto me and the lingering sense of boredom, I’ve picked up these projects again. Making videos and generating beautiful or funny things have kept me sane, giving me something to do during those waking hours of idleness and silence. They also make me cherish the time and the memories I had with Nico. What’s better, it’s been cheap: I have the footage, I have the skills, and I have the software, so I haven’t spent anything to create new movies (well, I did buy some tracing paper from Amazon, but that’s for an animation I’ll be making later).
So here are some videos I’ve been working on for Nico’s still active Instagram page. I haven’t released all of them yet (I’m staggering them, week by week), so I guess you can call these exclusives.
I truly want to make more videos (and take pet photos again), but considering that I’m furloughed (ie, money is tight) and our socially-distanced circumstances, I can’t adopt a dog right now. I promised myself that I would give myself a year after Nico passed when I’d open my heart and my home to another pet, but then COVID-19 happened, my paycheck getting reduced in half happened. So I’ve been asking friends with pets and friends themselves to submit videos to me: dogs and cats just sitting in front of the camera, maybe some bark, some humans doing a little bit of acting or light stunt work. Just to keep myself preoccupied and sane, I have to keep creating more content. I feel if I stop, I think I’ll fall back into my own head again, overcome by loneliness, boredom, and financial anxiety. If you want to help, read and fill out this Google Spreadsheet (it’s essentially a call sheet for pet and human talent), and then email/text me some videos.
God knows how long this pandemic and lock-down will last, but we each need to keep ourselves busy and sane. I found my way, have you?