Allow me to re-introduce myself

Why start once when you can start twice?

Welcome to At The End Of The Day.

I started a newsletter this week by sending the first one out on Monday to a tiny test group of friends. But I’m writing a new “first” letter because I’m trying out a different publishing platform.

I talk myself out of perfectionism by saying this is all just practice. And it is. Everything! Work, family, this letter, life. Especially with this newsletter, I don’t know what I’m doing. But I know what I want to do and I’ve been wanting to start this newsletter for awhile. Now that we live in a COVID world, I think I’ve tipped over into obsession.

The point of ATEOD is to boil down a paralyzing amount of news to a perspective that helps you make decisions with the people you love most -- your friends, your family, yourself. At the end of the day, these super-precious relationships are why we even care about the larger world around us. So here goes, another first go at this letter.

Are we there yet?

University of Toronto research suggests that if we want to flatten the curve in Ontario, we’re looking at social distancing for months, not weeks. If your family is like mine, we’ve been in day-to-day mode, all our usual routines crisply broken and shoved under the rug (currently under a sofa fort). Now I’ve shifted my mindset into preparing our family for how to live this way for a long time to come.

Last week, I was buying groceries and prepping cold and flu meds. This week, I’m thinking about long-term mental health and building new habits. I’m trying to figure out how I can translate relationship-building habits I have with my group chat friends to other relationships that normally take place face-to-face, for example, my kids with my elderly parents, their grandparents.

TLDR:

  • social distancing might be here for the long-haul

  • enjoy your relationships by building new ways to connect

COVID is costing us

The stock exchange has been crashing down around us for weeks. And social distancing is hitting people hard with lay-offs and canceled projects, plans, revenue and income. On Wednesday, the federal government introduced an $82-billion stimulus package. You may qualify for financial assistance even if your work life didn’t adhere to previous EI rules. Benefits to Canadians include one-time cash payments, depending on your income, as well as increases to the Canada Child Benefit and changes to tax time this year.

As I pull the plug on being in public and retreat into our family home, I am overwhelmed by my privilege. I’m very grateful that I can buy everything I need and continue to work from home, that I am able-bodied and healthy and my children don’t have special needs (this is where I need to knock on every possible wood surface). I needed a place to put these feelings so I donated to a food bank. It doesn’t actually take away my fury about the broken systems that keep people vulnerable. But it’s something to do, if you can.

On a group chat this week, my brainy girlfriends brought up how much class issues are a part of this new COVID reality. We should keep the topics of class and labour rights high up in media coverage and in our personal conversations, too. Class can be difficult to see and name. But much like how the conversation about race has developed in recent years, this is our time to flip the table on ignorance around poverty, corporate greed, communities without running water in Canada, to name just a few.

TLDR:

You need a laugh

Or you need to dance. Or you can laugh and dance, like I wanted to do the first time I heard the Cardi B coronavirus song (hear it once and you’ll never get it out of your head).

My usual go-to recipe for anxiety-smashing are 1) socializing and 2) swimming at the local pool. Ye Olde Coping Mechanisms aren’t going to work in this new world order so instead, I will get a laugh wherever I can.

A new way I’m working in laughs is by doing group video calls with friends (featuring clothes-chairs and no-eyebrow looks and if you’re lucky, amazing slices of life in the background). I highly recommend this as an online way to continue your beer club, wine club, book club, club club.

Did you know Zoom offers beauty filters and fake backgrounds?

TLDR:

  • find a way to laugh to forget, for a second, about the outside world

I’d love to know what you think. Give me honest feedback to help me develop this newsletter!

Thank you so much for reading At The End of The Day.

Hannah