*Stares into abyss. Sings Wonderwall.*
It’s not just you. That helpless feeling, like someone is holding onto the hood of your jacket preventing you from running away? We’re all feeling it. We’re the glitter in the snow globe right now, aimless, floating about with no real sense of what to do, what is happening, or when it’s okay to come out from beneath the duvet. It’s 1:18 pm on Election Day, and y’all…what the fuck do we do with ourselves?
We voted! For Biden/Harris! We did the thing! Now what? Moments of mellow silence are uncomfortable for us! We’ve been trained! We’re waiting for the other tweet to drop because we fucking know it will and as a result are frozen on our couches texting everyone we’ve ever loved. We’re at home looking at laptop screens like work is something that’s actually feasible. And then this is the part where I make a joke about a Covid-19 vaccine discovery being more likely than me being productive today and then we all cry and open the emergency chocolate.
It’s too soon for this, far too soon. I wasn’t supposed to reach peak “aimless” until at LEAST 4pm! There are far too many hours in between me and knowing how this whole thing is going to shake out and I don’t know what to fill them with. I’ve already been to Target, impulse purchased mascara and butternut squash, and went on Facebook live because I accidentally hit the wrong button and figured why the fuck not. I mean I’m contemplating prayer, not because I’ve found religion but because it sounds like a way to affordably kill some time.
Even the most comforting of coping skills (baking, scary movies, shopping for things I’ll never buy on ikea.com) seem like heavy lifts right now. And while I’ve committed to keeping my television off until it’s a suitable hour to open wine, I’m one push notification or election-related text I didn’t sign up for from throwing individual marshmallows out my window while singing the theme song to Family Ties. HELP ME.
Okay, you know what…it’s fine. It’s going to be fine. This anxiety is entirely normal, and entirely expected, if not planned for. This was always going to be a humdinger of a day, we’ve known this (and perhaps only this) for the last four years. In fact if I wasn’t anxious today, that would be the fucked up thing. So I’m actually doing great. Look at me, finding something good in this moldy trash bag of old towels of a year.
One of my coping skills is helping other people identify coping skills, so I shall leave you with a list of ways to pass the time between now and a result that require minimal effort but offer maximum distraction. Feel free to leave your contributions in the comments, I’ll have crossed off every item here no later than 3:30pm. Hang in there you guys.
- Alphabetize your books, or de-alphabetize them to create a neat little scavenger hunt for yourself the next time you want to read a David Sedaris collection.
- Make a fresh juice for yourself.
- Clean your kitchen following your attempt to make fresh juice.
- Make a playlist of songs you listened to while you still lived with your parents.
- Put on a full face of makeup. Go nowhere.
- Recycle all Tupperware missing a lid or dyed orange from spaghetti.
- Fold all your linens and towels according to a YouTube tutorial’s instructions.
- Catalog and confirm freshness of all condiments in your possession.
- Google Thanksgiving recipes and create an intricate family spreadsheet of same.
- Pillow fort.
- Purchase holiday pajamas (they’re already available and the ones Target has are really cute).
- Confirm all of your socks are still suitable for wearing. Dispose of any past their prime.
- Clean out the scary cabinet under the sink. Feel a smug sense of accomplishment.
- Prep a multitude of pie crusts you’ll then freeze until the holidays.
- Do a massive Instagram unfollow of people who annoy the shit out of you.
- Ask Alexa to play “Meditation Music 2020” on Spotify
- Stare out a window while drinking a cup of tea and thinking about where you’d like to travel next
- Order your holiday cards online
- Solitaire. Turn it into a drinking game if you want.
- Homemade lasagne from scratch. Takes fucking years.
- Deep dive into Disney+, commit to animated feature films only.
- Get underneath every blanket you own. Leave only for sustenance. It’s gonna be ok.
Shani Silver is a humor essayist and podcaster based in Brooklyn who writes on Medium, frequently.