I don’t know how many times I’ve sat down and tried to write a new blog post these past few months. I’ve started, stopped, and deleted so many different posts that I’ve lost count of how many I’ve tried to write. So, instead I’m starting small and writing a simple catch up post instead of trying to wax poetic about how horrible and devastating 2020 has been because let’s be real this year has not been easy. 2020 has been devastating in so many different ways, to so many people all around the world, affecting every person on this planet in varying ways. 2020 has been a hell of a year, and I am ready for it to be over.
Personally, I’ve felt like I’ve been shrouded in a weird, constricting cloud these past few months. Every few steps forward have been hard fought for and progress has been slow. I’ve been in a reading slump for most of the year – my brain being unable to concentrate on a singular thing for long – choosing to jump from one thing to another, searching for something that it wants but cannot identify. So that’s been particularly fun. Intuitively, I know that I need a break, physically and mentally, but that doesn’t look like that is going to happen anytime soon, so I’m just going to soldier on and keep slogging forward.
Scraping that mess of my life aside, I want to highlight a few things that have really helped me get through the past few months and that have kept me moving forward.
Lo-fi music has been such a saviour for me. If you don’t know what lo-fi music is, it’s “a term for music where you can hear imperfections that would typically be considered errors in the recording process.” It’s helped me concentrate on tasks that I need to finish and has been really good background music to keep me relaxed and calm. My favourite lo-fi music channel on Youtube is a channel one called Feardog. I love all their different playlists they have and the different moods they set. Definitely take a listen if you’re looking for some good lo-fi music to play in the background while you work.
Raleigh Ritchie’s new album, Andy, has also been played repeatedly since its drop. I’ve been a fan of Ritchie for years and his sophomore album is a home run. I’ve also listened to a lot of music from the band Banners – their song “Into the Storm” may be one of the most listened to songs for 2020 for me. And like millions of people, the original cast recording of Hamilton made a roaring return to my Spotify playlist. I’ve reached the point where I have blasted “Satisfied” so many times that my sister, who has never watched Hamilton, knows all the lyrics to the song.
Podcasts have been a constant for me this year as well and really offered moments where I can really concentrate on what I’m listening to and actually take what is being said in. Three of my favourite podcasts are Ologies with Alie Ward, Show Your Work from multi-hyphenate Elaine Lui, and The Michelle Obama Podcast on Spotify from Michelle Obama (which I’m utterly in love with and highly recommend if you have the chance too).
I have also watched a lot of escapist/cooking/DIY shows these past few months, which is entirely understandable. While I haven’t tried to do any DIY experiments, I’ve definitely thought about it. Some of my Netflix favourites have been Nadiya Hussain’s new cooking show, Hannah Gadsby’s new special “Douglas”, Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (RIP), and Street Food: Latin America. I’ve also watched a lot of the British reality TV series, Escape to the Chateau, which is about a British family who moves to France to live in a renovated chateau.
The only “television” show that I have watched over the past few months is Agents of SHIELD, which sadly came to an end this year. The show’s series finale was one of the best that I’ve watched in years and I’m so thankful to the team behind the show for making that possible. Agents of SHIELD is arguably, for me anyway, the best network comic book show to date. I’m going to be writing a goodbye post to the show soon, so look out for that.
I’ve got several different things planned for the blog over the next few months including new Spotlight posts on my favourite romance authors, a new review series for book series, book reviews, and some other general posts.
Thank you for reading this ramble-y mess of a post. I hope you’re doing well, staying safe, wearing a mask when you head out, and actively being an anti-racist and unlearning the many biases that are designed to hurt women, BIPOC individuals, and those in our LGBT+ communities because I’m trying to, too.
Thanks for reading!