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Quarantine and Furlough and all sorts of scary words

Day 23 of my Los Angeles quarantine. My roommate and I have watched at least 30 movies. We've decided to donate 20 of them. I have painted two acrylic pieces (one on canvas and one mixed media) and one watercolor (which was my first ever...not the greatest. I have time to get better.) I have colored one point five insanely difficult adult coloring book pieces. (I hate doing dainty tedious things, so this last one was a giant challenge for me.) I've done a crossword puzzle book, played board games, beat two video games, cleaned the apartment twice and reorganized and purged half of it. Mostly I've been sleeping and eating as if I'm on vacation--all the while feeling my anxiety and stress levels sky-rocket. This is no vacation.

I know that this same list probably applies to most of you. And there seems to be nothing new for me to share with you. Except now, for me, I am out of a job. We got word this morning in an eight-minute chat that we at my company are all being placed on unpaid leaves of absence for the next 90 days. I am joining the unprecedented ranks of millions of Americans on the unemployment line.

With the prospect looming over my head of three more months in isolation without my earned income I'm finding it more difficult today to remain calm and sit in the situation. I have previously been able to accept the circumstances without panic, but today lying on my couch I felt like crying for the first time. It's impossible not to let the staggering numbers of deaths and infected and jobless people get to me. It's impossible to see the uncertainty in front of us and feel any semblance of control.

But it is possible to find hope in the chaos. Although I am off social media, I follow the news and have been sent happy stories from my friends. I have been able to catch up on the phone with those who have been out of my orbit for far too long. I have been lucky enough to shelter at home with my best friend, and although we have been driving one another crazy, we have each other on which to lean. Now is the time to reach out and use art and kindness to connect with each other. That's what this post is for me--a way to quickly check in and say hang in there. Stay safe. Stay home. Stay positive.

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