Musings from a Week Off
I took last week off, which to be honest, felt so much longer than a week. You probably noticed that a lot of influencers take the week off. In our industry, the week between Christmas and New Years is the best week to take a break. Pretty much all of my brand partners are off for the week, so email was silent. No deadlines, no waiting for approvals, no brands reaching out… radio silence! I know it is different in other industries but in the worlds of advertising and publishing, this was a nice, quiet week. No one needed anything!
I let myself get bored. I let myself really, relax, be a bit of a slob, and really bond with the couch. And I barely socialized. My boyfriend visited through Christmas, and besides that I barely saw people outside of my immediate family. Part of that was voluntary anti-socialness and part was isolation from a COVID scare… but regardless, it was nice to just slow down and think. I had a girlfriend over for al fresco champagne and cheese and another friend invited me over for a New Year’s Day brunch, and that was it! There were times where I had no idea what day it was, and that was kind of glorious?
Omicron has had me on edge.
I don’t even want to talk about it as any time I do, it elicits wild messages from either side. (I’m either a sheep, not being responsible enough, or hoarding tests.) Over the past couple weeks I would say a solid 50% of my friends have had it. I had my own little scare – in the week before Christmas, my boyfriend and I had dinner with two friends. The next day, one of those friends called to say he’d tested positive. We all took tests (negative) and continued to test for 5 days (all negative).
We got lucky? It’s so hard to understand this thing, you just have to do the best you can to be safe and responsible. My family and I canceled our Christmas Eve plans, we had an outdoor Christmas celebration, and (the silver lining), my boyfriend stayed a couple extra days and we got to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning together.
I have COVID fatigue. I had a funny exchange with a girlfriend, a small part in an hour long vent session about COVID-induced stress and loneliness. She said, “I’m so goddamn sick of seeing everyone posting their negative tests to social media.” I replied, “I’m sick of feeling like I HAVE to post my negative test to social media.” We both exploded in laughter. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh!
I reorganized my bookshelves.
I decluttered, a LOT. Those things, and sticking with my workouts were the only truly productive things I did.
I read a lot of books.
(everything I read last month will be in tomorrow’s blog post). I watched a TON of movies. Most days I watched two movies. This was the most fun. I have a running list of all the movies I want to watch so this was a really a big catch up (if this is interesting to you, I have saved both my “watch list” and mini reviews to my “Movies” highlight on Instagram.) My favorites so far have been The Last Duel (truly didn’t think I’d like it but LOVED it), Don’t Look Up, The Truffle Hunters, Mass, and C’Mon C’Mon.
I watched The Great, which I loved. I watched Emily in Paris (which I kind of hate but can’t stop watching). Then I caught up on And Just Like That (meh, but getting better). I started (and quickly abandoned, not in the headspace for it!) Station Eleven.
I honestly just moped around a bit? At times, I felt like a college student, home for winter break, aimlessly wandering around the house in pajamas. I slept a lot. It was as though once I let myself sit still, I didn’t want to move. Inertia. I thought about the past year: the good parts and the bad parts. I mourned friendships that I have let slip – some unintentionally, some intentionally. This year has had so much change, all while moving so quickly with work projects and life stuff… I don’t know that I fully processed all of it until I could sit down and take a real break.
The last big thing that has been on my mind: my relationship with social media, particularly Instagram.
My boyfriend said something to me that really stuck. I don’t remember his exact comment but it was something to the effect of how much my instagram engagement impacts my mood. Like, if I have a post that gets really great engagement, I am in a great mood. But if I get a nasty message (or if a post tanks), my mood suffers. I’ve had the thought before, but it was jarring to see someone else point it out to me. I didn’t realize it was noticeable to others.
I am not proud of this – it’s unhealthy and something I am going to really have to work on this year. While instagram is an integral part of my job, I cannot let its swings and constant changes affect my mood so much. I think it will be a mix of a) working harder to create content that people want to engage with b) focusing more to the platforms I have more control over (my blog and my newsletter), and c) trying my damndest not to care so much. Instagram has really changed the way they prioritize what content we see (I know as a user I am not seeing the stuff I want to see and have to go and visit my favorite creators’ pages!).
I have been a “person of the Internet” for nearly twelve years now and I hope that this change is a temporary blip and not a lasting one.
Trends come and go and I’m not going to beg for likes or do stupid giveaways to get you to like my posts or watch my stories: this is an issue with the platform, not its users. That is why you’ve been seeing more reels from me. It’s also why I’m always posting – if you take even a day or two off, your story views and grid post engagement will drop like crazy. I don’t really know the solution other than to work harder and change my attitude.
Instagram is going to do what they want and there’s not much I can do to change it (I hate even talking about this, it is such a tired complaint) but it’s still a giant chunk of my livelihood so I have to play their games and change with the times. Like many things, the lesson (I think?) is that you can’t change a situation but you CAN change your attitude.
I am rambling a bit but had something I wanted to share – a quote from Bill Murray that I saw yesterday::
“The more relaxed you are, the better you are at everything; the better you are with your loved ones, the better you are with your enemies, the better you are at your job, the better you are with yourself.”
Amen. I am going to have a post with my intentions next week but I am going to let this quote guide me this year.
Anyway, if you took last week off, I hope it was great. If you weren’t able to, I hope you get a break soon. I’m happy to be back in this space and have a lot of really fun content planned for the month ahead. Happy 2022.
We are all Tyrion… carefully wading into 2022…
Portrait photo by Laura Saur.