There is only so much cooking, cleaning, and exercising that one can do under COVID lockdown, within the confines of a condo apartment. Maybe it’s our lack of imagination, or maybe it’s the addictive nature of electronic devices, but let me tell you, we have had way too much screen time in our household lately.
Working from home involves sitting in front of the computer for eight hours a day (or in Nick’s case, “on call 24/7”). Facebook, candy crush, instagram, pinterest, reddit, linkedin, and netflix are all never ending rabbit holes.
On one occasion last year, we busted out the Nintendo Switch while my mom was over for a visit. This was completely new to her, so we tried to use Mario Kart as an introduction. “All you’ve got to do is steer the car around the track!” Nick said. To which my mom replied, “Oh this is much too difficult,” after coming in 12th. “Too much of this kind of screen time will make you stupid!”
So with that in mind, I began my quest to seek out an alternative, screen-free past time.
“What about working at Timmies?” I asked Nick. I’ve always secretly dream of being a part time waitress, and Timmies seemed like a step in the right direction, since nobody is hiring wait-staff during the pandemic. I could put in a few hours a week there to get out of the house, and then maybe transition into a waitressing position once things eased up. You guys, I never had a part-time job as a high school student, and this seemed like just the opportunity to realize that right-of-passage experience that I missed!
In my excitement, I googled, “how to get hired at Tim Hortons.” Apparently, the chances of getting in without a local employee reference were slim, and even worse; the hiring managers usually threw out applications from “overqualified” candidates into the garbage. I applied to two stores, anyway.
“Did you hear back from Timmies?” my sister-in-law inquired a few days later. “No…” I replied feebly.
It was time for plan C.
As a kid, I kept a daily journal, as part of a language skills development program that my mom concocted. The entries have been pretty entertaining to read as an adult, covering the same few events that happened every week, over, and over: grocery shopping, trip to the library, and swimming. One time, I lamented that the Queen of England could not attend my birthday party (during her visit to Toronto in 1997!). I was appeased with scented stickers and “Fantastic Job!” commentary.
Upon recent reflection, I knew that I could not let this extensive training go to waste. I’m not exactly sure that blogging counts as creative writing, per se, but it sure is a change from my day job. More than that though, this diversion has been a great help in preventing me from mindlessly surfing the internet. It’s not exactly less screen time, as I have to type out my thoughts on the computer, but there is definitely more entertainment value: both to me and, hopefully, to you!
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