Day 301: Take A Long Walk

Yesterday I met up with Natalie for a distanced walk outside. Instead of taking the TTC or an Uber, I decided to take a long walk from my area to meet her at Yonge/Bloor. It’s about an hour away by foot, I left at 4pm to get there before the sun went down. We walked around the ROM/Yorkville for about an hour before I headed home. I don’t normally walk outside when it’s dark but since I didn’t have any Friday night plans, I took the hour to walk home along Bloor. Made it back to the house just in time to catch the very last episode of Jeopardy hosted by Alex Trebek.

Edited these with the new PinkPapaya app! Mask is by Considerate Goods.

I’m planning to spend some this weekend catching up on a few things I didn’t get done for work last week. Found it really hard to concentrate the last few days with everything going on, hard not to get distracted by the news, and fall into a deep doomscroll. I’ve found that taking a little walk during the day helps to boost my spirit and help me refocus when I get back home.

It’s all going to be ok. We’ll get through this. xo

Day 300: It’s Been Three Hundred Pandemic Days

Today marks 300 days since the pandemic hit. I remember Friday, March 13th, 2020 so vividly. It was the last morning I woke up at 7 am to hit the gym. I started keeping a diary as a way to remember this experience, never thought it would last this long. Also, might have beat my own blogging-streak record with almost 1 post/day for this entire period.

That week was the last time I had a big brand photoshoot, my hair was freshly cut and super blonde. Earlier in the week, I went to a massage and swam in the pool at the Shangri-La, recorded a podcast, went to an event, and on Friday night, had a pint inside the local bar.

On March 13, 2020, we went to Walmart and the shelves were empty. Panic buying had started, TP, paper towels, and disinfectant wipes were sold out almost everywhere. Staff were wearing gloves and people started making masks at home to wear when they went out.

On Monday, March 15th Sean and I decided to pack a bunch of stuff in the truck and head to the cottage. We usually open it up in March/April so thought why not spend a few weeks until this ‘whole thing’ passed over. As cases started to rise, an announcement was made that the kids wouldn’t go back after March Break and they’d eventually start virtual school.

What a year It’s been. Despite the tragedy and loss, I’ve learned a lot this year and grown tremendously as a person. Trying to be gentle with myself these days and lean in to this slower way of life. I’m grateful for friends, family, our home, my new found love for cooking, exercising, and taking care of my plants.

This week we are seeing 3,000+ cases a day in Ontario, schools are. closed again, and we’re in full lockdown. Hopefully by March 2021 things will be better and in another 300 days, this pandemic will be over.

Please stay safe. Call your friends. Wear a mask when you’re out and stay home as much as you can. We’re all ready for this to be over!

Day 292: New Year’s Eve 2020

Here we are, we made it to the end of this insane year, New Years’ Eve 2020. I had a nice day & went to bed before midnight. Feeling good about the year ahead. We have a lot to be grateful for. Looking back at everything that happened this year, I learned a lot. Despite being home/cottage for 90% of the year I did a lot of new things, ditched some old habits, made some new ones. On a side note, I’m really glad to have grown my hair out. I wanted to do it for years and this is the most un-dyed it’s been since I was a teenager. I’m celebrating the growth.

My word for 2020 was BLOOM.

At the end of 2019, I had a deep-rooted need for change, I wanted something different in my career and was well on my way to leading a healthier lifestyle. In my mind, by the time spring arrived in 2020, I’d be ready to bloom. In January 2020, I went to Cuba, stayed in a hotel, went to events. One weekend in February, I met with some friends and one specific conversation bloomed into something really great career-wise. In March, most of my work was canceled and I ended up on CERB until the end of summer.

During that time I did a lot of creative things, I wrote every day, did tie-dye, learned to propagate plants, read books in the sun, and worked out heaps. There were a lot of hard times too, don’t get me wrong, but for the purpose of documenting this memory, I want to be thankful for all the ups and downs. I am grateful for the opportunity to slow down, to create, to be in the moment and not the rat race. As a working human, I might never get to do that again!

We’re getting close to Day 300 of my Pandemic Diary and I am pretty glad I stuck to writing (almost) every single day. Even if just a photo or a quick note, a journal is an incredible tool for self-discovery and reflection. If you want to learn more about yourself, keep a daily journal. No matter what, you’ll be able to look back and see how you have grown and changed.

BYE 2020, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES.

Day 290: This is Me on Zoom

Look at the camera. Check the lighting. Fix your hair. Grab a pen and notebook. Pay attention. Mason jar of water. Listen, respond. Don’t touch your hair. Have some coffee. Smile. Look at the camera. Smile. Write something down. Look at the camera. Stop looking at yourself. Listen. Don’t touch your hair. 2020 work in a nutshell.

Day 277: The Ice is Nice

Today was the first day the lake was fully frozen. The ice is nice. This year, we’ve been up on the woods from frozen, to not, and back again. What a year!

Tomorrow we’re going back downtown to spend a few days in the city and pickup Emily.

Don’t worry Mum, Sean is standing on the dock here. It’s safe! Once making sure it was fully frozen, Sean cleared a section for an ice rink and cold plunge pool. He’s really been into Wim Hof Method the last year. It’s amazing how a dip in ice water gets your blood pumping and leaves your muscles feeling fire. ?

Day 270: Spice Up Your Zoom w/ Snap Camera

This year we have all spent more time on Zoom or Google Meet than ever. If you’re feeling Zoom-fatigue, you are not alone. It’s totally normal to feel exhausted right now, there are so many contributing factors work, health, covid, money, plus the holidays are just around the corner. I used to love getting groceries but I find it stressful now.

The other day I download Snap Camera for Mac and it’s a great way to spice up your meetings. You can get festive for the holidays, add a filter for perfect skin, or use all kinds of camera effects. It’s kinda fun. I’ve been using a colour filter to change my lighting and make my skin look flawless.

Check out this great video by my friend Amanda Cosco on how to easily add Snap Camera to your computer.

@casiestewart