The COVID Times – What I’ve Learned

Yeah – I get it. COVID has made this summer suck. Vacations cancelled. Weddings Cancelled. Graduations cancelled. Everything cancelled. Thanks COVID! The opportunities to share and celebrate with friends and family and enjoy your “normal” activities were severely reduced. I get it. I feel it too. BUT I learned a lot about myself and others through COVID mandated social distancing, small gatherings, cancellations, and closures. As a social person by nature who feeds off excitement and activity, isolation is literally my worst nightmare. Being cut off from everyone and everything was nearly trauma inducing for me in April. Then I got my head screwed on straight.

I took this time of isolation to learn and observe.

Skills

Baking

For more than 25 years I have tried to make sourdough bread. I’ve killed starters, made shitty versions of sourdough, and thought I was a lost cause. Then Friend Gemini gave me some of her starter. I thought, “I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. This is the perfect time to try again.” So, like most of the country, I started baking again. Using a book gifted to me by Friend Chris M, I began. First with no success, then with moderate success, and now a few months into attempts, I am having fairly good results. I finally learned a lot of what I was doing wrong with sourdough. My problems were multifold. Firstly, I didn’t know all of the “tricks”. I thought all sourdough was supposed to have that tang like “San Francisco Sourdough” NOPE! I wasn’t following the directions precisely because I thought I knew how to make bread. Being impatient, I was trying to rush the process. Lastly, I was treating sourdough like other breads, thinking it could be done in one day. NOPE! Sourdough takes way more time than I realized. It takes 3 fucking days! COVID taught me to slow down.  

 I also learned how to finally make great Cacio e Pepe – read about it here.

Sewing

I have always been in awe of Martha Stewart – that bitch can do anything! So, I decided I wanted to learn to sew. I had made crafts before, but now I wanted to sew garments. Well, of course no one is teaching classes right now, so it was up to me to teach myself. Thankfully, Friend Jeanie is a master seamstress, so I could call her and ask for advice. Friend Janet has been sewing for years and taught me some tricks too. And even though I had bought fabric and patterns, the mere idea of creating a garment made me break out in a cold sweat. “I have nowhere to go and nothing to do. This is the perfect time to try again.” So I did. I have made 3 dresses! I made a bunch of masks from scrap fabric that I had laying around from craft projects – those were easy. My problems with sewing in the past have been multifold as well. I am impatient…again…and want the results YESTERDAY! Because the crafts came together so easily and quickly, I thought garments would as well. NOPE! I didn’t know all the lingo or how to read a pattern. And being a novice, I was choosing patterns and fabrics “out of my weight class”. COVID taught me to slow down.

Teaching

Sister Nancy wanted me to teach her how to cook online through live videos. I was hesitant to try, but jumped into it because I love my sister. I learned A LOT doing this for/with her. There is a LOT that goes into a live demo, and I knew some of that having done over 1000 in my lifetime, but this was different. I had to look at a camera, talk to a virtual audience, and describe things more fully than if people were there in person. I learned how to “go live” on Facebook and how to transfer the videos over to YouTube. You can watch all the recipes on my YouTube channel*. What I also learned is that while I don’t think I am fast…I kinda am. And when teaching others via live video, it was hard for some folks to keep up. COVID taught me to slow down.

What I RE-Learned About Myself

  • I really like to read trashy novels – not romances, just stuff that I don’t have to think too hard about
  • Cooking is comfort for me
  • I love to travel…and I get cranky when I can’t “get away” for a few days
  • Planning anything (travel, parties, get-togethers, etc.) makes me happy and gives me something to look forward to doing.
  • When I don’t have anything to look forward to, depression sets in
  • Depression BLOWS!

What I Observed About Myself:

  • I have far more patience with myself than I realized – sewing illustrated that for me
  • I have far less patience for other people’s bullshit than I ever dreamed possible
  • Never underestimate the power of a good hug.
  • I never realized how spoiled I truly am.
  • If I put my mind to it, I can do nearly anything
  • I am more of an introvert than I thought
  • Masks hide my resting bitch face
  • I enjoy peace & quiet with no one talking to me
  • I don’t enjoy gardening as much as I used to
  • Don’t take the company of others for granted

What I Learned About Others

  • No matter what you do, someone will always be there to criticize you
  • Tempers become VERY short, when people are cooped up
  • People really don’t understand science
  • Isolation makes everyone react differently
  • Isolation allowed people’s true colors to shine through. Some good. Some not so good.
    • “When someone shows you who they are believe them”
  • Some people can’t read a “one way” sign
  • A person can remain calm, PEOPLE panic

*(shameless plug – subscribe to my YouTube channel, linked above, so you get all the video content. When new videos are posted, you’ll get notified so you can watch them whenever it’s convenient for you). Even better – if you want to cook along live with me when the videos are created, you can follow me on Facebook at Good for Spooning. Same handle on Instagram to see everything I am eating!

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