Sometimes I Forget Myself: Fat Ass Edition

I spent this past summer with my hair dark pink. I was bored, needed a change, and it had been ages (literally about 20 years) since my hair had been pink. Seemed like a no-brainer to me. And I enjoyed the summer with my dark pink hair.

Here’s the thing.

I often forgot that my hair was pink.

Like, I would just go along, doing the day-to-day things in my life, and not once think about my hair being pink. It just didn’t occur to me. Or it would occur to me later, like when I went to lunch with my great-uncle and cousins and then after I got home realized that I had pink hair the whole time. Nobody said anything, of course. It might have been a couple of decades, but they’d seen me with pink hair before. But still, I didn’t think about it at the time because there I was on a Sunday afternoon, having lunch with some family I hadn’t seen for a while.

The same phenomenon occurs with my fat ass as well.

I often go through my day-to-day life forgetting that I’m fat. This is my body and I inhabit it and I move it around and do the things and it just doesn’t occur to me that I’m fat. I’m just me. Existing. Doing stuff. Being. This is my reality. I often forget how big I am. I’m just living life.

It’s a strange thing when I can pontificate about how society abhors a fatty and logically know that I am judged by my size, but also, I’m so accustomed to living life in this body that the bulk of it doesn’t occur to me. I know how to work all this girth. Do I go jogging? Absolutely not. But do I do HIIT workouts? Yeah. Do I do yoga? Yeah. Do I still belly dance? Sometimes. Am I still flexible? Yeah, though I have my less-than days. Can I work an eight hour shift on my feet, busting a butt cheek to get all of my work done? Absolutely. And I do it all without thinking too much about my size.

Actually, I think more about my persistent patellar tendonitis than I do my weight. Probably because the pain from that affects how I go through my days more than my size does.

And I do a whole lot of other things too without thinking about my fat ass: grocery shopping, hanging out with friends, talking shit with my coworkers, reading a book, playing with the stray cats we’ve adopted, visiting with family, working on podcasts, eating, drinking, breathing….the list is endless. I do all sorts of things without thinking about my double digit pants size.

You’d be surprised how much fat people DON’T think about being fat, how much they don’t think about food or dieting, how much they don’t spending every waking moment pining for a smaller existence to better fit into a thin-obsessed society. Because they’re busy doing other stuff, regular life stuff, and they forget themselves in that.

Look at it this way: Once you get used to driving a land yacht, you don’t think too much about parallel parking that beast.

You know how to drive it.

I Am Not Tolerant

You know how that roundabout goes.

You call out some jackass with a bigot complex for their blatant hate-braying and they get cute and say “You’re not being very tolerant.”

Well, joke’s on you, sport. I’m not tolerant.

Tolerance implies putting up with something or someone. But I’m not putting up with a bigot’s shit anymore than I’m putting up with, say, a trans person’s existence. I am not tolerant.

I am accepting.

I accept a trans person’s existence. I accept a non-white person’s reality of dealing with racism. I accept my fellow bisexuals’ experience of bi-erasure. I accept an immigrant’s existence. I accept a non-bianary person’s pronouns. I accept the realities that the poor in this country experience. I accept the need for body autonomy. I accept the existence and experiences of the disabled. I accept the neurodivergent. I accept furries.

I also accept those who choose to be bigoted. I accept those who invoke a religious exemption from kindness. I accept those who deny their privilege while also wielding it in a harmful way. I accept those who prioritize their convenience and comfort over the health and well-being of others.

And I treat them all accordingly.

I accept the reality and truths that are presented to me.

Because I am accepting, not tolerant.

I accept that you want to be a hateful waste of space and I will not allow you in mine. I accept that you had a wide variety of personalities to choose from and you chose to be as unpleasant as possible and that choice is incompatible with my personality. I accept that you chose to be a piece of shit and I will scrape you from my shoe as needed.

Because I am accepting, not tolerant.

I don’t have to put up with your “opposing views”. I don’t have to put up with your wrong-ass opinions. I don’t have to put up with your conspiracy theories and mangled facts and warped religious beliefs and anti-science screeds typed up on a science machine. I don’t have to put up with your hate and violence and general tomfuckery.

I don’t have to put up with any of it.

Because I’m accepting, not tolerant.

Keep that in mind the next time you want to get cute.

How to Library

A tweet talking about all of the good things that libraries do as a publicly funded entity which is probably why people talk about them being obsolete in an effort to be rid of them (I’m paraphrasing the tweet by a lot, but that was the gist) reminded me that I actually have inside knowledge about this that I could disseminate to the masses. Or the readers of this blog. Whatever.

For those of you just tuning in, my current day job is working as a part-time library clerk at my local small town library. Now, I’m sure you think it’s a great job, especially for a writer, to have because it’s a small town, so it can’t be that busy, right? How much work do you actually do? Especially part-time.

Kids, let me tell you…there is a lot that goes into making a library work.

Obviously, there’s checking out items, checking in items, and shelving them. I do a lot of that. It’s a basic of the job. And here’s some real insider knowledge: we all sing the alphabet when we’re shelving stuff. Always. Everyone. My boss is a librarian, master’s degree and all, and she still has to run through the alphabet while shelving. Think you know the alphabet? Work in a library. I guarantee you don’t. It’s amazing.

Other things we have to do every shift include getting the books out of the book drops outside (I curse the people who return half the children’s floor that way) and we get items on the pull list, which are items requested either by our patrons or patrons from other libraries in our system. Yes. You can order books from other libraries if your library doesn’t have it. Pretty neat.

But in order to have access those items they first of all have to be bought and then catalogued and then processed because yeah, this shit just doesn’t come in ready to go.

Cataloging involves putting each item in the system and then barcoding it. After that’s done, it has to be processed. What’s processing? Well, every library has their own way, but this is how we do it.. First of all, everything has to have the appropriate labels; spine labels, obviously, but also series labels on books and audiobooks; DVD’s, Blu-rays, and CDs have to have the appropriate color coded stickers for genre, as well as other relevant stickers; everything gets stamped or stickered as the library’s property; and then the books get covered. Which means laminating them. Paperbacks get hard laminate, which has to be measured, cut, and stuck on by hand. Hardbacks get soft laminate, which means the dust jackets are put through the laminator, cut, taped, creased, put back on the book, and taped down. Does this sound like a lot? Well, yeah, it kinda is. But we’re not done! Because after all that (or at some point during the process; depends on who’s doing it), everything has to be RFID’d. What’s that? That’s the system we use to check things in and out. So everything gets a special sticker and it’s encoded with that item’s information.

As an aside, we switched over to this system during the early months of the pandemic. I, along with three other of my coworkers, tagged every single item in the whole library. It took us about three months.

Anyway. That’s just a small portion of what my coworkers and I do on any given day, and that’s just the “books ‘n’ stuff” work. Because even my small town library provides the community with a lot of resources and services.

Like…

We’ve got an outreach program so people who are homebound or at the nursing home can get items. We’ve got three different book clubs. Do you like ebooks? Audiobooks? Movies? Music? We’ve got apps for that. Yeah, you can borrow items from our digital collection, too. It was a big hit when were shut down in March/April/May of 2020. Also, remember how I said you can order books from other libraries. You can do that online, too.

We’ve got free programs and workshops. From teaching kids how to make hovercrafts to teaching adults how to effectively compost. We made pillows for the local nursing home, painted bottles, made tiny art, made Mother’s Day and Father’s Day presents, made friendship bracelets, taught people how to make pollinator gardens, and had kids do their own Coke and Mentos rockets. There’s crafts and skills and lectures and all sorts of things we provide for patrons and members of the community to do and learn.

Speaking of programs, do you need space for yours? How about a party or gathering? Or just a quiet room to study in? Yeah, we’ve got all of those available for reservation. And again, you don’t have to have a library card to use them, but a few of our rooms do come with a fee.

We provide free computer access and free WiFi. You don’t have to have a library card to use it. You can get copies done on the cheap and you can send a fax for a dollar a page (it’s going back to 1994 after all). We provide free notary services as well. Do you need something laminated? We can do it for a reasonable price.

We can help you find whatever information you’re looking for. We’ve got a list of e-resources for patrons who are looking for work or housing or legal help, etc. We can also help you check your email, print things, use Google, and other basic computer/internet tasks. We can also probably point you in the right direction if we don’t know the answer to your question. And we rec books, movies, music, and TV shows just for the hell of it.

My library has the Library of Things, which allows you to check out things like Rokus, WiFi hotspots, an Amazon Fire Stick, and even ukuleles. We also have a seed library where you can “check out” seeds.

We also have an extensive archive collection relating to the library, the city, and the surrounding areas and people can actually request items to look at in person. They’re also frequently put out on display and my boss talks about them in a video series she does on Facebook and YouTube.

Oh, yeah. We’re on the socials. During the lockdown, we did a major pivot to video for the kiddie story times, which are now happening in person again. We’ve also got a website that’s positively loaded with info and reference links. And we’ve got a podcast that you should totally listen to. Not just because I run it (which is a good enough reason), but because it provides a lot of insight into what the library has and what it does. Also, I’ve done some cool local history episodes that are quite murder-y.

In fact, I just completed a series of episodes in which my coworkers tell you a little more about what they do at the library and how that translates to benefits to our patrons and our community.

And that’s just my little library. There are other libraries all over the place doing similar or bigger and better things.

So check them out! And support them! Libraries are good!

And return your shit on time.

***

If you’d like to listen to my library’s podcast, you can find it on Anchor as well as bunch of other platforms. Check the links there to find the one you like best.

The Trash Panda of Movie Consumption

Let this be the FAQ of my movie viewing habits.

Because I disappoint a lot of people with my movie viewing habits.

Have you seen…?

No.

Just accept it now that I probably haven’t seen it and may never see it.

Incredibly popular movie? Probably not.

Oscar winner? Most likely not.

Movie you just know I would love? No and you’re probably wrong. Leave me alone.

I had a friend a hundred years ago who was absolutely appalled by all of the movies that I hadn’t seen so he set out to rectify it. He gave me movie homework. We also ended up watching a bunch of movies together. Some I liked, some I didn’t. I’ll never forgive him for making us sit through Brotherhood of the Wolf.

The point is that he tried, but even with all of his efforts, I still probably haven’t see it. Accept this truth into your heart.

I Half-Ass Movies All the Time

If you ask me if I’ve seen something and I tell you I half-assed it, this is what I mean.

I’m notorious for watching movies without the sound on. I put on the closed captioning, put that bitch on mute, and let it ride while I do other stuff. If I find myself paying more attention to reading the closed captioning rather that doing whatever else it is I’m doing (probably writing, who am I kidding), then I put the sound on and watch the movie with a little more attention.

However, sometimes it takes a couple of half-assings before I bother.

Sometimes I never bother at all.

This happens most often during FearFest in October with the newer horror movies. I just leave AMC on for the duration and turn up the sound on the flicks that catch my interest or the classics that I probably have memorized.

I Don’t Wanna Watch New Stuff Because I’m Still Re-Watching My Faves

Okay, this actually applies to a lot of people, but I’m definitely a comfort watcher.

This is why I have Clue memorized. We watched it every day one summer when I was a kid. Ditto Police Academy 3, 3 Ninjas, Encino Man, The Great Mouse Detective, Fatal Beauty, and Tango & Cash. Yes, we were definitely watching movies we shouldn’t have been, but it was the ’80s/’90s. That’s just how we lived.

And it’s why as a grown person I watch Halloween when I’m having a bad day or The Fog when I’m in the mood to be cozy. It’s why I will spend all day watching the Alien movies or a Friday the 13th marathon. It’s why I watched Delicatessen ever day for a week and Ghostbusters: Answer the Call every day for a month. Don’t ask me why. It’s just the groove my soul needed at the time.

Occasionally, I will try new things and sometimes end up loving those new things so much that I will watch those things every day for an extended period, too. It soothes me and it makes me happy.

And we all want me happy, right?

The Movie Theater is Not a Religious Experience for Me

I know for a lot of people they need to see that new flick opening night in the theater and that’s great.

I’m rarely one of those people. There’s only a handful of movies I’ve felt the urge to see opening weekend, let alone opening night. Typically, I wait for a Thursday matinee to hit the theater here in the cornfield because it pretty much guarantees the place to myself. Or I’ll wait longer and go to an odd time showing at the “big city” theater.

The older I get, the worse my sensory issues seem to get. Seeing a movie in a theater can be a downright painful experience for me. It’s gotta be worth it.

That said, I do appreciate the big screen experience for some movies (Jaws was amazing, for example), it’s just that I don’t necessarily need to make that trip to Nirvana as often.

You Know That Movie Is Bad, Right?

Yes.

In fact, there’s a good chance that’s why I’m watching it. I have a true love for garbage movies. Maybe it’s because trash knows trash. I don’t know. But some of my favorite movies are objectively bad and they make my heart happy.

But there’s no need for you to go out of your way to point this out. I don’t care. If you wanna be Roger Ebert in your film viewing, groovy. I do not. I’m here to enjoy myself. Sometimes I can do that just by letting my brain go; sometimes I’m rewriting the movie as I watch it. But either way, I’m entertained and that’s what counts.

Whenever I choose to share whatever movie I’ve watched on Twitter, I always feel the need to accompany it with this disclaimer in regards to quality: I hate watch Jason Takes Manhattan every time it’s on TV. You do not want to debate quality with me.

So, the next time you get uptight about what I watch, or more likely what I haven’t watched, just remember that I am not your target audience.

Schrodinger’s Fatphobe

Last week some unfortunate DNA construct posted this embarrassingly bad take on Twitter. And as absolutely fetid as it is, it’s not at all an anomaly.

You see this sort of hostile bullshit is actually pretty typical. Now, I went into it in a Twitter thread when this bebop posted this, but I’m going to do it here again for easy reference, thoroughness, and posterity.

Dollars to donuts says that this human equivalent of megaphone feedback would also trip over themselves to tell a fat person they saw in public that they need to “put down the fork and get in the gym.” And yet, should a fat person have the audacity to utilize gym facilities for the purpose of fitness, well, it’s too fucking late and what the fuck are they doing there aside from embarrassing themselves.

This is Schrodinger’s Fatphobe.

You need to stop being fat, but also how dare you try to stop being fat.

You see the main problem this person has, that all fatphobes have, that most people who wouldn’t even call themselves fatphobic, but it’s a rhetoric so baked into society that no one can avoid it have is that fat people should not be seen in any context. Period. Society absolutely wants you to not be fat, but even in that context they want you to fix the moral failing that is your excessive weight in the solitude of your own home or some forgotten cave until you are fit to re-enter society a beautiful butterfly freed of your fat cocoon. Should you choose to remain a squishy caterpillar of a person, then it’s your own fault for daring to allow your existence to encroach upon public spaces and you deserve the ridicule you get.

Do you not see the conundrum?

Fat people exist. We exist in public. And we exist in various states of health with various fitness and/or weight loss goals. Some choose to pursue their goals in a gym. Some people take that walk around the block that fatphobes are so eager to insist upon. And some have no interest in this sort of thing, they simply leave their houses from time to time to do things, and that’s fine, too.

The point is that at no time do any of us need to be exposed to whatever dogshit opinions a fatphobe might be steaming in that rotten cantaloupe of a head of theirs. Shutting the fuck up is free and minding your business comes at no charge.

Let that last bit be a general reminder.

***

Full disclosure: My 255 pound self exercises, but I do not go to the gym. This has nothing to do with the worry about encountering some fatphobe with mouth-control issues. As you can see, I also have mouth-control issues. Somebody’s gonna cry and it ain’t gonna be me.

No, I don’t go to the gym because leaving the house to exercise gives me one more excuse not to exercise on the days I’m feeling unmotivated. It’s a hell of a lot easier for me to force myself to put on the ol’ sports bra if that’s ALL I have to do. Gotta work with your laziness, kids.

I’d Take It Easy (If I Understood What That Meant)

July was a super busy month for me.

I finished revising The End of the (Werewolf) Curse early on and ended up spending most of the month re-designing Kiki Writes About as well as creating aka Kiki Writes. I also did a lot of work on two podcasts. I’ve been busting tail to get ahead of the game on the next season of Book ’em, Danno. Seizing the opportunity of getting Season 2 finished early, I got a jump on Season 3 with the game plan of getting the first two episodes recorded before the end of July, as well as some other prep work finished. I also got the show distributed to two more platforms, Stitcher and Spotify.

I’m also in charge of the podcast at the library I work at and last month I had the goal of finishing a couple of short episodes before launching into the huge project of do individual episodes with everyone I work with to give them an opportunity to talk about their jobs. This is the brainchild of my director, who heard it on a different library podcast. She thought it would be a great way to inform the community (and anyone who listens) about all of the things we do to keep the library running and make the library experience enjoyable. So, I was tasked with coming up with questions and outlines to help my coworkers write their scripts and then scheduled times to record them. But getting there wasn’t easy. Even though my boss was excited about doing this, it seemed like no one was comfortable with it. It was a challenge to get everybody to get their scripts done before I could even get them scheduled. Because I work the night shift, it meant coming in during their shifts to record. Luckily, I don’t have an excessive number of coworkers and I managed to get them all recorded in two sessions. As of the writing of this post, I have everyone recorded and I’m in the process of editing.

Speaking of work, I also found time to participate in our tiny art show, painting a beach scene on a little 3in x 3in canvas.

In more personal matters, I once again changed up my exercise regime in the hopes of improving my workouts while also avoiding some of the issues I’ve had with maintaining real good consistency. Meanwhile, I had a horrible issue with fatigue and my sleeping issues took a turn for the odd (it wasn’t full on insomnia, but I wasn’t sleeping for shit for an extended period either). The roofing and siding that lasted all month long didn’t help, but my house looks pretty now.

So as productive as I was, it was only a matter of time before that battery ran out.

I woke up on the last Friday of July staring at the wall I was poised to run into. After a week of sleeping better, I’d slept like garbage. Exercising seemed too hard that morning. My To Do List seemed overwhelming: I needed to promote the Season 2 finale of Book ’em, Danno and also record Episode 28 for Season 3; I needed to clean and make the grocery list and do my language lessons. In that moment, I decided that I was going to take it easy that day. I wasn’t going to worry about exercising. I’d do the have-to things and leave the rest. I would avoid hitting the wall for once.

Instead, I ended up doing everything on my To Do List, got in a workout later that evening, and even did an additional recording since I already had everything set up.

I am not saying this to show how I’m capable of getting things done despite being exhausted and near-burnout. This is not an inspirational “You too can push yourself too hard and achieve…something!” post.

This is to illustrate how badly wired my brain is. That I sabotage my own good decisions to take breaks by not only doing the work, but doing more work. Call it stubbornness. Call it my Capricorn workaholic tendency. Call it years of conditioning that cause me to fear being seen as “lazy” and equate my productivity with my worth. Call it ill-advised. You’d be right on all accounts.

At least now I can recognize this as a problem and can maybe one day in the future take steps to correct it. I’m already planning on this taking a while. I’ve been this way most of my life. This kind of hard-wiring is hard to redo, especially when you’re a terrible electrician like me.

Good thing I have such a great work ethic.

Welcome to Kiki Writes About

As the name implies, this is where I write about…whatever. Myself, life, writing, sexuality, weight, my random issues and obsessions, if it comes into my head, I may just put it into words here.

If you’re looking for my fiction, you’ll find everything on Read Me. Everything I’ve published (either traditionally or self) is there. If you’d like to be convinced that I’m worth your time and money, check out the Writing for Tips section. It’s all of my free short stories. However, if you read a few and decide you like them, feel free to buy me a coffee over on Ko-Fi.

Murderville is my Patreon project. It wrapped up in 2021, but watch this space. There could be a new project coming soon.

If you’re looking for my podcast ventures, like Book ’em, Danno, or my ramblings on reruns, you’ll want to check out aka KikiWrites.

So, kick back and enjoy some words.

They could be about anything.

Don’t Fear the Changes

As you may have noticed, Kiki Writes About is undergoing some major changes. I’m bored and it’s time to shake some shit up.

I haven’t been using the blog like I used to. I used to make a lot more posts about a variety of different subjects, but over time, that creative flow slowed to a trickle of have-to posts about what writing projects I was working on, Murderville posts, and Book ’em, Danno posts. Part of the reason for that is that Kiki Writes About was starting to feel a bit cramped. I started second guessing anything I might post because it might not fit with everything else.

With my creative productivity already at its lowest, I ended up even more stifled.

This is my attempt at un-stifling myself.

The biggest change is that I’ve created a whole new site that will be going live on August 1st.

aka KikiWrites will be the new home of Book ’em, Danno, any and all other podcast ventures, and Rerun Junkie. I’m not deleting the first two seasons of Book ’em, Danno or the Rerun Junkie posts from Kiki Writes About. In fact, the last episode of Season 2 of Book ’em, Danno will show up here right before the new site goes live. But from Season 3 on, everything will only be found on aka KikiWrites. The Book ’em, Danno page and the Rerun Junkie page will also be disappearing. They’ll be replaced by a page for aka KikiWrites to help direct traffic to the right place.

The Writing for Tips page can now be found under the Read Me tab. I wanted to consolidate all of my available stories in one space just to clean up the look a little bit.

As of now, the Murderville tab remains the same, but if I decide to do another Patreon project, I’ll end up creating a main Patreon page for all of those projects. So that could be moved in the future. Heads up!

Also, no more monthly writing project posts. There’s really no need for it while I’m taking a writing break and even before the writing break, I was working on the same project for months at a time, so it was sort of pointless. With Book ’em, Danno moving and Murderville coming to an end, those updates aren’t really necessary either.

What I’m hoping is that these changes will inspire me to get back to writing on whatever is on my mind and allow me to better explore a variety of topics that I’ve been wanting to write about, but don’t really have the motivation. And I mean that for aka KikiWrites as well as Kiki Writes About. There’s been Rerun Junkie posts I’ve been meaning to write for months, but haven’t gotten around to it.

Let this be the kick in the ass that I need!

Speak the Language

“What do you do for a hobby?”

This question has always frozen me in my tracks. I’ve never been very good at answering it. Other people can readily say they knit or watch birds or collect ceramic oysters. Me? Not so much. It seems like the things that I do as a hobby come and go. I made jewelry for a while. I did oil pastels, water color and ink drawings, painted wine bottles. I sewed. By hand, of course, because I never could work a sewing machine. Sometimes it feels like writing is a hobby with my lack of completed projects, submissions, and published works. I suppose Book ’em, Danno could be considered a hobby, but I don’t really think of it that way. It’s fun, but it’s a project and it has a schedule, so it’s still work to me. Yeah, I don’t get paid for it, but you try explaining that to my brain. Try explaining anything to my brain. Let me know how far you get.

Because that’s the thing with hobbies, isn’t it? We live in a culture in which the monetization of your hobby is encouraged, particularly if it’s something creative. Is it really a hobby if you’re not putting the fruits of your fun time waster up on Etsy? It feels like that. Sure I made a nifty thing. Now what do I DO with it? Everybody is getting painted wine bottles for Christmas and now the family is discussing an intervention.

I’ve not spent my free time doing my crafty hobbies because I don’t know what to do with the crafts once playtime is over. For awhile I thought that was my true hobby, but that doesn’t make a good answer to the hobby question.

Then I realized the other day that I DO have a hobby. An unlikely one, for sure, but it fits the definition of doing something for fun, even if I do it every day instead of waiting for leisure time.

I learn languages.

As of this blog post, my streak on Duolingo is almost four years long. FOUR YEARS. And I just recently added my seventh language course. SEVENTH.

For the record I’m learning Spanish, French, Russian, Czech, Hawaiian, Korean, and Scottish Gaelic.

Why?

Because it’s fun.

I also may have a bit of an addiction to it, but whatever. It’s cheaper than smoking.

But really. Even on the difficult lessons and on the days when I can barely work English so I know Russian is going to be a challenge, I enjoy it. I am not at all good at it. My pronunciation in most of the languages is a joke. On my best days I can barely understand French. Czech grammar can give me fits. I’m not going to be freely conversing with any native speakers anytime soon. But it’s magical when I recognize a Korean word without a hint or nail the spelling of a Hawaiian word or somehow get the right pronunciation in Gaelic. I live for that high.

And that’s what a hobby is, right? Doing something for pleasure.

Well, this certainly pleases me.

An Anniversary of Sorts

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

This month most people in the States will be observing their Covid-19 anniversary. It’s the last day they went into the office, the last time they ate inside a restaurant, the last time they went to a bar with friends.

My anniversary is March 16th.

That was the last day that the library I work at was open “normally.” I use quotes because even though we were open for our normal hours of operations and people weren’t required to wear masks yet, some changes had already started to happen. We’d taken out the seating and the soft toys, had gone to touchless checkouts, were sanitizing everything, and were washing every item that had been returned with bleach water. That last day was a mad house because the state lockdown was looming and we all knew it.

Our library director along with the board had decided that if the schools closed for spring break early, then the library would close as well, and that’s what happened. That Friday, the governor ordered the lockdown.

And now here we are, a year later.

Over on my Twitter timeline, I saw people starting in late February warning folks about their Covid anniversary, how it might hit them harder than they thought it would. I thought that made sense. Some people were harder hit by the pandemic than others. I consider myself one of the luckier ones. I didn’t lose my job. In fact, I got paid when the library shut down and I was paid my regular hours when I was working much less than that once we were allowed back into the building. I haven’t had Covid (yet) and I haven’t lost anyone to it (yet), though I know many of my friends have. I didn’t think my Covid anniversary would be much of a big deal.

At the monthly meeting, our director said that we were going to do a small acknowledgment among the staff for our Covid anniversary, a thank you to all of us for being so flexible over the past year, which I think is great. We’ve all been busting our asses to serve our patrons during a difficult time. It’s nice to work for people who recognize that.

In the past week, as other people I know have been celebrating their Covid anniversaries, I’ve been working harder and harder to convince myself that mine isn’t a big deal. Because I’m feeling it more and more.

I’ve hit a couple of walls during the pandemic. Just splat into the brick of exhaustion, of frustration, of anxiety, of I-want-to be-done-now-thank-you. And I realize that I’m hitting yet another brick wall just in time for my anniversary. Maybe it’s because of the anniversary itself. Maybe it’s because now instead of arguing with people who don’t want to wear a mask because they think this whole pandemic thing is bullshit but we’re still requiring masks according to the CDC guidelines, I get to argue with people who don’t want to wear a mask because they’ve been vaccinated but we’re still requiring masks according to the CDC guidelines. Maybe it’s because with the vaccination, the end is in sight and I want so badly to time-jump to that point. Whatever it is, I am tired of this pandemic and everyone in it and I am splatting against this wall with all I have.

I, like everyone else, am done.

And, like many people, I am looking forward to the end of this.

I don’t want to celebrate a second anniversary.