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Monthly Wrap || March 2020

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March 2020

I think we probably all feel the same when I say March 2020 has been more like 31 years than 31 days. It’s been an exhausting, uncertain month, and continuing to create proves difficult. Which is understandable. COVID-19 doesn’t leave us with free time. This isn’t built on choice.

But I’m doing my best to make sense of things as they are, and I hope you’re finding ways to do the same. For now, for me, that means sticking to routine. And in this particular case, it means doing the usual Monthly Wrap.

Some things can still stay the same, thank goodness.

Life Beyond the Blog

If you’ve been reading my Weekly Wraps, you know that the two constants in my life right now are Animal Crossing and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. They’re such a welcome escape from the stress and uncertainty caused by COVID-19, and I’m unbelievably grateful to have them. I’m not sure what I’d do without them right now, truth be told. Focusing on books is difficult, writing just isn’t happening (you’ll notice there was no Wednesday Pen this month), and trying to settle my anxiety involves a lot of heavy-duty escapism. Really, my Switch is a hero right now, and my total hours played count is going up rapidly. So rapidly.

If I were working, that would be different, but I find myself with a lot of time on my hands and no qualification for unemployment. Technically, my store is still open despite the hazards, and I’ve removed myself from the schedule because I don’t feel safe (and I don’t think we should be classified as an essential store, but that’s another matter). Thankfully, my manager understands and wishes she had the power to close to store for the safety of staff and customers alike, but corporate stands in the way of that. Meanwhile, I won’t be paid for voluntary self-quarantine, and I’m not even sure my company has measures in place for those of us who do contract COVID-19.

I can’t say I recommend this particular situation to anyone. It’s made me extra conscious of my student loans (I have one loan still due, not suspended under the new measures put into place), and of the fact that my entertainment is anything I already have. There will be no new books for a while unless I can figure out my library’s e-lending without help, or if I’m approved for ARCs. No new games, no extra food spending to try new snacks or meals, no unnecessary anything. I’m privileged that I haven’t been in this precise position before, but it’s certainly worrying and unfamiliar to be in it now.

And yet things aren’t all bad. This month, I put one of my bunnies in a homemade cape (as a way to help cover an injury that needs healing, one the other bunnies keep licking). He’s absolutely precious in his little dinosaur cape, and better yet, all three bunnies remain adorable. I love them with everything I have, and they’re a lifesaver right now by sheer cuteness alone.

I was also gifted a subscription to the Hunt a Killer box, and my best friend and I have taken to solving them over Skype. It’s a welcome distraction that encourages my puzzle-happy brain to dig in deep, and we have fun putting our heads together to find the answers! Social distance hasn’t meant isolation.

And serious but relieving all the same, I finally started medication to manage my anxiety and depression. What with all the external stressors right now, I can’t tell if they’re working, but this is an unusual situation. Gauging the effectiveness of meds is tough right now. But I have the chance to try, and I’m not totally on my own. It’s also a relief to know that my parents were wrong, that I’m not overreacting. My family’s takes on mental health aren’t always supportive, so getting this far is a big deal.

Overall, March has been a busy month, despite days and days spent at home. I hope April will be better, but I’m relieved to know that not everything is terrible right now.

Books Read and Reviewed

This wasn’t the month for reading that I’d hoped it would be. Turns out that focusing on the written word gets a lot harder during a pandemic, especially when your job situation is a hot mess. Still, I managed to get through a few titles without tragic spontaneous combustion. There Will Come a Darkness, Night of the Dragon, and Belle Révolte have already been reviewed on the blog. Meanwhile, you’ll see a review of The Tenth Girl in about a week. And as I type this (on March 30th, since I do my wraps on the second to last day of the month), I’m planning to try reading Gideon the Ninth this evening. Truthfully, though, I don’t know if it will happen.

Next Month’s Reads

If I don’t get to Gideon the Ninth, that’s going to go into April. I also plan to read To Kill a Kingdom, Fractured Tide, and one of my most anticipated ARCS: The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea. Beyond that, anything goes. I’m considering attempting Camp NaNoWriMo since I anticipate being home through April, and I don’t know how I’m going to divide my time just yet. As with everything else in life right now, I’m playing it largely by ear.

My Top 3 Posts

It’s been a slower month for blogging, without too many options for me to choose from in this category. But I’m proud of these posts, and if you read anything from me all month besides this wrap, I hope it’s these.

1. Night of the Dragon Review

2. There Will Come a Darkness Review

3. Happy Second Birthday, Hail & Well Read!

Favorites From Around the Blogging World

Somehow, even with the world just kind of…on fire, you’ve all done an incredible job of writing amazing posts. I admire all the work you guys have put in, and I hope blogging is bringing you comfort right now rather than feeling like a chore.

And of course, I want to highlight some of my favorite posts this month! These are the ones that caught my eye the most, and I definitely think they’re worth the read if you haven’t visited them yet.

May @ My 1st Chapter shares her secrets on reading over 200 books a year!

Cam @ Camillea Reads talks about the Forest app and how it’s helped her as a writer!

Isabelle @ Nine Tale Vixen explains why she doesn’t like it when people comment on “how much” she reads!

Kat @ Novels and Waffles proves that you don’t have to have physical books to make a stunning bookstagram!

Lauren @ Twenty-Seven Letters invited bloggers to talk about the villains they love to hate!

Laura @ Green Tea & Paperbacks talks about clearing her Goodreads TBR shelf, and why it felt so good!

 

Stay safe out there, folks, and keep in touch. I hope you’re all finding ways through this pandemic, and I hope you stay healthy. 💛

6 thoughts on “Monthly Wrap || March 2020

  1. Hey, Meaghan! I totally agree with you about Animal Crossing! I wasn’t planning on getting the game when it was originally announced, but when March finally hit, my anxiety took a dive. (As did everybody’s, probably) Animal Crossing sounded like a great way to try and combat that, so my hand slipped and I bought it haha. Anyways, I’m glad to hear that AC has also been helping you to relax and escape this craziness! I hope that you are able to stay safe and healthy in this trying time! 💛💛💛

    Also, thank you SO much for sharing one of my posts! It means a lot to me 💛

    1. Honestly, even with angry tarantulas, AC is the least stressful thing in this world right now, and I’m so glad I was able to get it before everything started closing up. It’s honestly keeping me from bouncing off the walls right now. And hey, if you’d like to trade friend codes and visit islands, let me know! 😊

      You’re welcome! I love love love the sunny energy in your posts and that felt like a really good one to share this month. 💛

  2. I am so proud of you for getting on meds for anxiety & depression, especially given how unsupportive your family is. This is a big step, and you simply putting yourself first is a huge step that you should celebrate. I know from experience that a pandemic is the literal worst time to be dealing with this stuff (I was in the process of establishing doctor history down here and now I can’t get in to see a psychiatrist at all because everyone is struggling). You seem to have your head on right though, lean into Animal Crossing, your buns, and things that bring you joy. Reading and writing will come back at some point, but until then, it is okay to just play AC or Pokemon for 50 hours in a week. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much, Kal. 💛 It’s hard and it’s weird since my family dislikes it and is just kind of tolerating it as my adult decision, but it makes me feel better to hear from friends that it’s the right decision. One step at a time, y’know? And I’m so sorry your doctor history ended up all messed up with this. I hope you get that sorted sooner rather than later if possible!

      And haha, yeah. Leave it to the cute little talking animals to save the day, huh? And they don’t even badger (ha) me about it when I’m not reading or writing. They’re nicer to me than my own brain sometimes. Come to think of it, I’d like to trade a few brain cells for a few villagers… 🤔

      1. My family isn’t all that supportive either, and my dad’s “just get over it” attitude led me to suffer in silence and feel defective for like 20 years. Older generations don’t always know what’s best, and stigmas are hard to break!

        1. It is really tough, and I’m sorry you’ve got that from your family too. But we’re getting there, one thing at a time, y’know?

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