Getting Through the Tough Times

A view of the beach from Mr. Hulot’s Holiday

Hi everyone, I had a different post to go up today but it’s not ready.  Instead let’s talk about what’s getting us through these difficult times.

I don’t know about you, but I am feeling anxious and depressed.  I’ve read about the six-month “wall” we’re hitting during COVID lockdown.  And even though I love the fall, I’m aware that the shorter days can make me feel a bit melancholy.

So, how are you getting through this?  Are you knitting, crafting, cooking, reading, working in your garden?  Do you sometimes rely on a “suit of armor,” whether that’s a particular item of clothing, a particular fragrance, or something else?

After the mention in Anita’s post last week I watched Mr. Hulot’s Holiday for the first time, and I am so, so happy I did.  For anyone who’s not seen it – it’s gentle and atmospheric, almost no dialogue, a lovely soundtrack, set at the beach in 1950s France.  Nothing really happens, and that’s the joy of it.  I’m going to link again to Roger Ebert’s review which is wonderful.  I’ve been reading Luca Turin’s NZZ folio essays (roughly half of these are about perfume; his topics are widely varied and interesting) as single essays are about all I have the attention span for right now.

In makeup, I treated myself to a luxe Lisa Eldridge lipstick (she’s done a re-stock, pre-orders until October 19), they are such stunning shades and I love the formula; using it makes me feel pampered.  I already own the shade Velvet Myth, which is dark plum on me without going into vamp territory, and makes my teeth look nice and white.  So I purchased Velvet Jazz, a deep red inspired by 1930s reds in her collection.  I don’t have anything quite like that, and I can’t have too many red lipsticks, can I?

Okay, your turn!  How are you cheering yourself up these days?

 

  • SpringPansy says:

    It’s a hard time for sure. I walk. And walk and walk. I garden just to be outside. We camped more often this summer. Anything outside was wonderful. I cook. Always have, but even more now. I read. I have a women’s group that I attend via Zoom – they’re all younger, but it doesn’t matter. I spray lots of perfume. Hugs to all of you!

    Oh – and I highly recommend My Octopus Teacher, a beautiful documentary we watched this weekend. Netflix.

  • Portia says:

    Hey March,
    Until July or August this year I had not bought a perfume. Since then something has gone SPANG inside me and I’ve been going crazy. Mainly because people are taking the time to go through their wardrobes and are doing Sale Docs on FB. So many bargains of things I wanted at the release but didn’t purchase. Also hoarding a few DCd gems.
    Jin and I rarely fight. We low level bicker and snipe at each other for our release. Jin has had two DOOZIES in the last month though.Spectacular melt downs, completely frizzed. Poor guy, I’m not exactly sure what the root cause is but will continue gently probing.
    Fortunately I’m now back at work at two of my jobs. It will be very nice to have some cash of my own again.
    Portia x

    • Ariel says:

      Oof. It can be tough to see someone you love have such big feelings. Good luck with the sleuthing and support.

    • March says:

      I’m glad you are back at work! Probably the “root cause” is just the general world-on-fire craziness right now, I hope things resolve! My sense of smell is currently AWOL (my COVID test came back negative) so who knows.

  • rosarita says:

    Medication and therapy (still over the phone) have helped a lot. I am giving myself permission to just relax – listening to music, reading novels I read in high school. I need 2 surgeries on my left foot/ankle and have been wearing a heavy duty brace for over a year every time I set foot outside, but even with that I’m finding mini walks (like half a block) are helpful for my brain. Plus we’re having the most beautiful autumn in years which is lovely.

    • Ariel says:

      I hope you keep giving yourself permission to relax for the rest of your life.

    • Musette says:

      this IS a stunning Autumn, isn’t it, A? I’ve been taking advice from Nina’s et al Yoga for Healthy Aging – some form of daily exercise really does help. The Girl isn’t able to handle long walks (nor is my cracked sacrum self) so we do several short walks through our block-long park (less than 60′ away from our front door). I try to hoick myself out of this chair every hour and just walk around, maybe go in the garden for 10 minutes to recharge – then get back to work. Seems to help! Glad you are coping! xoxoxo

  • Ariel says:

    How am I NOT cheering myself up? The silver lining to this whole blasted year is learning to love myself on consistent basis. Good tea, books, plants, cooking, exercise–and prioritizing those in my schedule. I could definitely be better about sleep 🙂 I’ve managed to do all those on a somewhat limited budget ( yay, libraries!) and have been saving some money despite being unable to work (though my kid just went back to preschool, so fingers crossed). I really hope you are all finding unexpected goodness every day.

  • Kristina K. says:

    Oh, lately I really don’t feel very happy. I’ve started to think about my past travels daily, and I think that I took it for granted. Now when travelling is pretty much unreachable, it makes me very sad. And the worst thing is that it is unclear when the covid situation will end. It is so sad not having anything to wait for. Seems like just existing through this year.
    And I am in a progress of writing my master’s paper. Or I should be. The deadline is the start of January, and I have barely started. Hate myself for this and still can’t find any motivation in doing anything. Sometimes, even getting out of bed seems worthless.
    And the only thing that motivates me right now… surprise, surprise. It’s fragrances. Buying new ones, trying, testing in the store. I have started writing articles about perfumery in the biggest newswebsite in my country, I created an Instagram @kristinakiiscents to share the love for fragrances with the world. I keep on watching Youtube videos, reading perfume blogs, Luca Turin’s book about perfumes… and this is what actually makes me happy. Seems like this is the only thing I want to do right now. And kinda hate myself for that as well, because I really should be working on my master degree, not playing with the perfumes.

    • Ariel says:

      Oh no, hating yourself sucks! When I’ve been in similar situations, it can help me to use my preferred activity as a reward for doing The Thing That Is Hard. Maybe harnessing the motivation you do have would be helpful? But ugh, writing papers, ugh.

    • March says:

      Well, motivation is a struggle for so many people these days, including me. I miss travel too. Things will sort themselves out.

  • Dina C. says:

    March, I’ve also read those Luca Turin essays and loved them. He’s such a good writer imo, and even when the topic is not perfume, it’s so interesting. I need to watch Mr. Hulot’s Holiday — looks lovely. I’ve been reading lots of books, taking baths, drinking tea, making new cocktails occasionally, watching TV shows I don’t normally watch. Did a deep dive into some old papers in my files and have been decluttering them a bit. This week I started crafting Xmas ornaments, something I never do. Haven’t burned myself yet on the glue gun, so I’m counting it a “win.”

    • Ariel says:

      How? How do you not burn yourself on a glue gun? You must be fairy-fingered.

    • March says:

      I’ve been wanting to craft something! I should do some googling, I’m sure there’s SOMETHING I can make. And I keep telling myself to organize papers and tidy up, but thus far it has NOT happened.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I have only missed 2 days of work due to a death in the family. Work is starting to be a real butt. Nobody says anything until it has become a “big problem”. If it’s an issue, why not say something when it’s a little issue? Passive aggressive has become an even bigger issue now. With Covid and the election, things are just too crazy. I have started to pick up reading again though.

    • Ariel says:

      Reading really can be the best. A whole new world with no risk- plus, you can sip your favorite beverage 🙂 Do you ever match fragrances to genres?

    • March says:

      Ah, the joys of remote work! The amount of passive aggression has really dialed up at my (remote) workplace as well. Looking forward to less of that…

      • Eldarwen22 says:

        I work in retail. I don’t know why but the whole high school mentality has gotten worse. I just want to go back to the old normal schedule. Three eight hours days and not this whole five hour five days a week.

  • Musette says:

    all things considered, I’m not doing too bad! I am really grateful to have had a relatively painless clear-out of the shop (Floyd was looking out for a gal on that one) and am doing a few housekeeping chores in the garden per day so I don’t burn out (it helps that this year was NOT the Year of Pots ). Like a lot of folks I am in Organization Mode, taking this time to really go through the bazillion things that accrue… and I don’t have anyone here but The Girl, so that’s a plus!

    xoxoxo

  • Tara C says:

    Not only is the pandemic sucking big time, I am in the middle of moving and trying (unsuccessfully so far) to sell my Montreal condo. Super exhausted and stressed. The next 10 days are going to be the worst, then I’ll get a break until April, holed up in San Diego for the winter. It’s been very emotional because when I bought this place I hoped it would be my forever home but for various reasons it is time to move on and let that dream go. I’ve cried so much over the past few weeks, but I have to let go and try to create a new future. Honestly the only thing keeping me afloat is my anti-anxiety meds. Hot baths and perfume are not enough. This is time to dig deep and pull myself up by the bootstraps.

    • March says:

      Whoa that is a big move! I am so sorry, and I hope San Diego provides you some respite and a new start.

    • Ariel says:

      Not having a home-home when the whole world is up-ended…that’s tough. I hope you are pleasantly surprised by pleasure this week, whether it is big or small. I’ve heard San Diego is lovely in the winter. Hopefully this will all feel like a distant nightmare soon.

    • Cassieflower says:

      Hey Tara, I hope you can offload your condo and get that little house in the country (that still is your wish?) If I didn’t live in the country I really think that I’d be gone very far around the twist by now. Good luck with the move, count off the days and before you know it you’ll be in balmy San Diego. And keep taking the meds!

      • Musette says:

        I’ve thought that as well, Cassieflower – living in this teeny, remote burg has taken a bit of the stress off – mostly, it’s just Regular Life here, albeit with masks. xoxo

      • Tara C says:

        Yes, I’m still dreaming of my house in the country, hoping it can come true some day. Thanks for the kind thoughts and remembering. The movers have come and gone, I’m on the Journey to San Diego now.

  • filomena813 says:

    I have not missed a day of work since it all happened. What I have missed is “fun”. I used to spend the weekends listening to live music, but that is no longer available due to the pandemic, at least at the place I used to go to. Some of the musicians I used to listen to have done podcasts and I have watched some of them on my phone, but it is not even close to watching them live. I also used to sometimes go to Happy Hour after work even by myself. But I have not done that now. What I have done is spend more time on my computer and watching TV. Also, I have read a few books, done some cooking and still clean my condo every week. The gym is open again so I have been also going there during the week days. I have kept busy and am not bored, but I am lonely and miss seeing my friends every weekend like I used to.

    • March says:

      I got a lot of my “social” fix through my office — lots of fun people, we’d do group activities of all sorts. I miss that so much. And going out by myself and having a wander downtown without having to worry about my mask, what other people are doing, etc. I still can’t quite believe all this is real sometimes.

      • filomena813 says:

        We are now living in a surreal world. In my office, people are not supposed to socialize during the work day even before the pandemic, but the very young ones do it all day long. I’m too busy to socialize anyway. A brief chit-chat is just about it. We all have to wear masks throughout the common areas but are allowed to take it off if we are in our own office by ourselves.

    • Ariel says:

      Do you have a cookbook you have been extra enjoying lately?

  • Gina T says:

    This has been one of the best years of my life other than my cat girl dying in January. I am loving it. Simplicity. I cook new recipes, spend time at the barn and ride my horse, sleep, read, write, meditate, fell in love again, and got a new job that might be the job of my dreams. It’s amazing.