Four on Friday: Keep Calm Edition

Eleven seconds of wood frog love just for you.

We all know this is not a normal time. We’ve seen the flatten the curve infographic. We’re avoiding large gatherings, washing our hands, checking in on our elders. Right?

Maybe this means extra time at home. It does for me; the university where I teach extended Spring Break a week for in-person classes and will hold all classes online the following week. And then, I guess, we’ll see.

I’ll have plenty of work-related tasks to keep me busy–endless grading, recording lectures for online consumption–but I’m also gaining five hours a week usually spent commuting. And I plan to use those five hours in ways that will keep me calm and let me feel good about the world. Here are four of my ideas:

  1. Write a letter. The Letters to Our Legacy program entices me, primarily because I love writing letters, and I’ve always longed to find a capsule of letters from my ancestors!
  2. Support art. I’ve had to cancel museum visits, in-person workshops as an attendee and an instructor. But there are other ways to support art–whether you share videos from your favorite indie band as a way to help them build a larger fan base or buy a book (online, natch) from a local poet or press (I highly recommend Hail and Farewell and Girldom)–you don’t need to spend a lot (or anything) to help artists continue their beautiful and important work. Here’s a resource to learn more.
  3. Make something. Bonus if you support the awesome folks who design for us makers by buying a pattern from them. Many of my friends who make part or all of their livelihood through designing and teaching are losing income as events and gatherings get canceled in the interest of social distancing. I’ll be watching one of Cal’s CreativeBug classes while I’m at home. And if you can’t afford to buy patterns or online classes? There are plenty of terrific free patterns from many established designers…I plan to make Ann Wood‘s pincushion doll and maybe a very nice mouse. I’ll post about my makes on Instagram, and perhaps I’ll help drive traffic to the designers’ sites.
  4. Keep moving. I have a daily yoga practice, and I know time spent stretching and breathing mindfully aids with a calm state of mind. I’ll be outside with the dogs as much as possible, hiking or playing toss with them (well, with Oskar. Coco’s not much for chasing balls). And when it gets warm enough (it was on Monday!), I’ll get back on my bike.

All of this is to say: I hope you are well, that you practice good hygiene and social distancing, and that you keep yourself calm and serene in whatever ways work for you.

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