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How Are You All Self-Soothing?

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I, for one, am sick of this pandemic. If you live in a sensible country that has this thing under control, God bless your functioning government. You may wish to skip today.

For the rest of us, locked down, working/not working, working with kids jumping on the sofa bored out of their gourds, or home alone with no sounds of any bouncing, or life, or those single-parenting through this nightmare, or having a D-Day, or God forbid you’re trying to divorce right now — let’s all have a nice primal scream together, okay?

AIIIIIIIIIGGGGHHHH!!!!!

(There’s actually an app that will let you scream into the vast Icelandic wilderness. We all need this.)

Your Friday Challenge question — What are you doing to self-sooth?

When life gets me down, my usual outlets aren’t open right now. I’d go to gardens, art museums, I see friends, attend a concert. I’m devoted to my Sunday art class (we do it by Zoom now, which is heroic, but it’s not the same.)

I will count my blessings, I have Mr. CL here to spend captivity with. He makes excellent soup. And has A+++ introvert skills.

To get through this, we’re watching a lot of Netflix and Amazon. And when I’m particularly grumpy (which is often lately), we watch Monty Don’s Gardener’s World.

Monty makes everything better with his soothing voice and his sleepy Golden Retrievers. (RIP Nigel). Mr. CL is snarky about Monty’s dress sense (“Is he wearing a burlap sack?” says the man with a Polka Pimp t-shirt). He senses my crush. Okay, it’s a open crush. I freely admit that Monty’s discourses on potting dahlias are giving me life. I want a crumbly stone wall and an English climate. I want black earth. I want to scratch the ears of those Golden Retrievers and lay down in a meadow of Queen Anne’s lace….

See? You lost me there.

How are you getting lost? What’s taking you outside yourself and giving you peace? Got a Netflix recommendation?

TGIF!

(My recommendation, other than our man Monty, is Mucho, Mucho Amor. Walter Mercado gives a master class on positivity after being betrayed.)

P.S WEAR A MASK!!!

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • I paint. Have been into abstraction lately. I also paint furniture. Am starting to redecorate my house–am lightening everything up. Very relaxing.

  • I watch episodes of Escape to the Country and Escape to the Chateau. Pure escapism. I am in Canada and things are better here but still in danger. Wear your mask please!

    • I’m also in Canada, Alberta and things are dreadful our economy is horrible, just finalized the divorce and now the ex Narc husband uses parental alienation that we have to fight! I walk my dog to try to stay sane I’m also fed up with this damn Covid!

  • I am watch historical drama on Netflix and Amazon prime. Like: Pride and Prejudice, Little Dorrit, Grantchester, Sense and Sensibility. They send me to my happy place while I do mindless repairs to my work accounts caused by closing for the pandemic.

      • Monty and gardener worlds as well. I miss Nigel. It’s mostly Nelly these days. Have you seen his show where he visits the great garden a of the world? It’s Excellent.
        I’ve started gardening and painting again (Mostly oil on canvas).

      • Anything Jane Austin. My favorite is the 1995 version of Persuasion with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds.

        I know they are silly and repetitive but Midsomer Murders will do in a pinch!

        Love Grantchester. James Norton. swoon.

        I have been spending a great deal of time in the yard; moving plants, clearing out overgrown sections and trying to coax grass to grow in heavily shaded areas. Next on the agenda is building a small feature wall with rock that I salvaged.

    • Yes! For a long time (not just since D-Day #2), whenever I have needed a pick-me-up, I have re-screened the 1995 Pride&P miniseries with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. Last week, I watched it with my younger kid for the first time after we read an abridged version of the book together. If you haven’t seen it already, I would recommend Poldark in the same vein of what you recommended. Or, in a more rainbow vein, Gentleman Jack – though the main character (Anne Lister) is a total narcissist, so I find that show a little triggery these days.

      I’ve been cycling through all the post-1990 Austen adaptations since Covid struck. I had not yet seen the 2008 BBC Sense&S miniseries, which turned out to be very good. The 1999 Mansfield Park movie is one of my favorites. The new “Emma.” (2020) also is great – I just missed seeing it in theaters before they shut down. (Mr & Mrs Elton could maybe be more openly venal.)

      • Oh yes to Poldark! One of my faves. As for Aiden Turner – oh baby! Lol Definately takes my mind off of ex dipshit.

        • Aiden Turner was great in the BBC series “Being Human” as well. He makes for a great vampire…

  • My college daughter, who got sent home from her study abroad in March, and I have built a garden pond. As in, we dug a hole in the ground big enough for a body, hauled big rocks across the yard, bought a half-ton of gravel (paid more for “pretty gravel”), and now have lily pads, a lotus that we think is about to bloom, TWO frogs that moved in, and 10 tiny fish. This weekend’s plan include a wooden walkway and installing a small fountain.

  • Well I believe I am done purging all the stuff left by cheater x. And thanks to a great lawyer and cheater x not wanting to admit wrong doing or argue about anything I am now turning the once primitive cabin i was blessed with thanks to cheating x into a functioning rental/ vacation home with power and hot and cold running water and (gasp) a real fridge and stove. Said money coming from the sale of cheating x’s motorcycle. See the silver lining. A project and money to do it with. And bonus.. rental income. And sometimes I even get to watch well built contractors work. Of course trying to keep garden plants alive and sipping wine in the hot tub help with sanity issues. OMG. Gained a life!!! Am also trying to teach the dog to play peek a boo. That’s way more fun than cooking his poached eggs any day. 2years from Dday and pretty much at meh. So hang in there. We will survive this

    • I love this. That rental income will be lovely and doing a hands-on project like that can keep you sane during crazy times (cheating abuse and COVID).
      Good on you.

    • This^ this is the most excellent revenge story. Win/Win for you!! Also, I want a puppy, and am actively looking for one. Hot tub, wine, nice ‘views’. I love this.

  • I’m further polishing my Spanish (my second foreign language after English). Also, I’m taking on a new challege which is French.

    Language has always been my ally, escape, and healthy distraction.

  • I love Monty Don too – sexy voice – and apparently he was quite a hell-raiser in his youth. Drug problems the lot. For me, I spent 12 weeks of total lockdown here in France alone and I was fine with it. Mostly just plonked my backside on the sofa and started working my way through a million books!

  • I’ve been running, enjoying feeling clearer headed and vaguely more toned!

    ASMR videos are relaxing and I’ve been listening to lots of new podcasts and watching more documentaries, both to understand worlds I’m not involved in and to reflect more on my own experiences by listening to others share theirs.

    Also, I was never much of a cook but I’ve been experimenting with cooking all sorts lately, learned lots of new recipes and techniques.

    I think having a clear picture of what the future will look like is important too: got myself a new job in a new country, which gives me something to look forward to and feel excited about when conditions permit and I’m ready to go!

  • I’ve been getting a weekly basket from local farms that are struggling with shuttered restaurants. Amazing beautiful food. Oh yeah! I’ve been drinking a great deal.

  • While I love all things Brit TV, when I’m down these days, it’s Kim’s Convenience (Netflix) that restores me. They are the sweetest people on earth.

  • I am suddenly an artist again. Painting painting painting. Big huge landscapes with trees. And watching tons of amazing Israeli series on Netflix and Prime: Schtisel, Baker & the Beauty and The Commandments. All INCREDIBLE. Plus they are subtitled so I actually pay attention to the show and can’t keep looking at my phone. Great post! Love you and what you do

  • I crochet, mostly amigurumi. My office is filled with smiling food and animals. I also needlepoint quite a bit. I could spend hours doing this watching my shows (ID Discovery) Also, I too have a golden retriever who is the sweetest boy that ever lived.

    The pandemic really hasn’t been that bad for me because I’ve been working from home for 5+ years anyway. The only major difference for me was I couldn’t find toilet paper. 🙂

  • Me.. just me alone with my faithful 2 beloved cats.
    Feeding outside homeless ones also give me purpose and unconditional love. ❤️
    It’s more than I received from my cheating narcissistic ex husband. Life is peaceful for me.

  • I am going through everything in my home, item by item, and doing a ruthless purge of crap. Organizing things soothes me deeply. Creating order from chaos. So satisfying. I am also exercising daily. Have created enough space for a little home gym in my office with a mini trampoline, therapy ball, yoga mat, and various strength building options (I call it home CrossFit), and I have (since October) lost 40 pounds. Jean-Luc and pals are my personal trainers. Just my brand of nerd.

    The more I stay home, the more I realize how dysfunctional my life has been — eating food that hurts me, spending time doing what other people like because it’s the only way they’ll spend time with me, continuing all the chumpy codependent cycles that have been true my whole life. I see who does and doesn’t reach back when I reach out. I see who never reaches out first. It has been painful, acknowledging how one-sided many of my connections are, but also clarifying, and it’s allowing me to take many aspects of my life back under my own wing. Empowering, that.

    I’m learning how to enjoy being in my home and love my old hobbies, like reading and sewing and watching documentaries.

    I do not want to be in a pandemic, but it is presenting many opportunities to slow down and simplify and observe and grow wiser and more self-sustaining. The space and time to do those things have been gifts to me, soothing me in ways I didn’t even realize were harming me. 💚⭐

    • I’ve noticed as well the one-sided relationships, I never really thought about before. It’s also been painful for me because a lot of people I know (and thought I was close with) are fully aware I’m doing the pandemic all by myself. So it’s been a little disheartening.

      I actually don’t know anyone else who is doing the pandemic alone, so I’ve found it hard to explain it to the people who do reach out. Still, I’m making it through and trying to stay positive. The pandemic has definitely showed me who really cares and who could careless.

      • I’m doing it alone, as well.

        At first it was OK, as in “it’s now my civic duty to stay at home read and watch telly 24/7″🏡😂.

        It sounds awful, I know, but it was much easier when everyone was in the same boat; now restrictions have eased a bit, it’s hard going out knowing if one is lucky one might see a couple of people to say hallo to, whilst everyone else seems to have lots.

        I know this is just a result of the fact that all the activities I signed up for are still closed, but oy veh! 😕

        Well, everything *will* eventually get back to normal, I suppose, and I’ll carry on ‘gaining a life’.

        It’s chastening though to realise how much I depended on daily interactions with people, and now they are so few and far between.

        Never mind, onwards and upwards.

        • @Chumpnomore, I know what you mean. I see groups out walking around or friends having dinner together, people grocery shopping together. I can’t even smile at people due to wearing the mask which creates another loss of human interaction. My family lives very far away, and I’m too afraid to take a plane trip to see them. All my friends are too afraid to social interact so they are staying with their spouses and kids.

          I take walks on my own and talk to people on the phone but other than that I’m all by myself. All the things I want to do are still closed. The positive is I’m saving money since I’m not doing anything.

          Such is life, I’m counting my blessings that I still have my job and my health.

  • Cooking things I’ve never cooked before with youngest daughter (16). Well ……. more I cook and she critiques from the sidelines and channels her inner Gordon Ramsey …. anyway, it works for us.

    We made a Tarte Flambe from scratch last night. Nothing too “cheffy” and all the better for it.

  • I make lists each day Of to-dos and try to check them off. Organized some of my house. Walk 5 days a week. Shape up my arms. Watch Tik Tok. Yes I’m 50 and love it. Rewatch Ozark on Netflix. Pray and then pray some more. Made a prayer wall. Watched too much news. Got my divorced finalized after the required year separation in SC!! Have met someone new and maneuvering that. Praying some more. Talking to friends. Perfecting my curly hair routine.

  • One of my favorite things is genealogy. Women in my family have gone through what I have and worse. Discovering their stories has helped me stay strong. If the could survive and fight for their lives, then I am not going to quit. I also keep up a 3/4 acre landscaped yard, do repairs, remoldeling a bathroom, and cleaning a fishpond. All the things he said I would never be able to do. Hiking with friends for fun. I am getting very close to Meh.

    • Geneology is interesting to me too. The show ROOTS on PBS is great.

      My whole life I thought I was 3/4 German & the rest mostly Danish. That’s what my Dad had told me when I was in Elementary School and had to do an assignment on it. I don’t know if his parents told him that or if he just concluded it. My Dad is passed now. He said his Mom had come over with her family on a ship from Germany when she was 1 year old in the early 1900’s. And our last name is Danish.

      Just a few years ago, my sister-in-law had geneology testing done on her and my brother. The results were ZERO GERMAN! He was mostly Swedish (like 3/4) and the rest mostly Danish. So for o er 50 years I thought I was mostly German because that’s what I was told. And it turns out I’m mostly Swedish instead!

      I’m wondering is anyone else has ever discovered this kind of difference in what they thought they were and what they act are. Please share of you have. Or if you know anyone who has.

        • Henry Louis Gates, Jr was one of my grad professors and dissertation supervisors. He’s a most excellent human being and one of the most intellectually generous people I’ve ever met, either when I was in grad school or in my thirty years as a professor.

        • Rose, my grandfather was a Ukrainian farm boy who set sail from Hanover, Germany, for New York in 1907 or so. He traveled alone at the age of 11 and made his way to Jersey City to stay with some relatives/friends of the family. I never heard the details of how Grandpa actually got to the ship in Hanover, just that his mother gave him an address to go to in America. Maybe somehow your family story omitted the overland part of the journey and began at the seaport, the actual point of departure from Europe.

          Geneaology is fascinating; however, my family’s history was obscured not only by WWII but also by the fact that Grandpa used an older half-brother’s identification document, so we don’t even know his original last name.

          I too love watching Finding Your Roots.

      • Yes! My adult daughter did a DNA analysis a couple years ago. Her Dad, my STBX, and his very close family believed, insisted, and were proud that they were 100% (P), so she should be 50% (P), right? Now, my Mom’s a full Brit, so DD should be 25%, and indeed she was. Turns out, the (P) is only 35%. Somethin’s ducky there, someone’s got some splainin’ to do! Lol, the grandparents on his side are now deceased, and we’ll never know…

      • I thought I was at least 25% German percentage-wise and was surprised by my DNA test results which showed much less.

        Did some reading up on it, and found that your family tree may be correct (that is, everybody came from where your family said they did) but it is quite unrelated to your DNA percentages.

        Siblings rarely get identical percentages (unless they’re identical twins). Know how some traits show up in some siblings but not in others? Same with DNA. You may get more or less of the German ancestors’ genes than a sibling.

        I only have one pure Norwegian relative (great grandmother), but I inherited a lot of her DNA.

  • My son, daughter-in-law and grandchild moved into my very small house early March and I am too exhausted to do anything, let alone soothe.

    Full-time nanny to a toddler, chief cook and laundry doer and cleaning person. Caring for my puppy too. ZERO complaints as it is a beach house with backyard, pool and said beach. Kids are working 24/7; companies know they’re home so piling on work.

    My firstborn is on month 4 dealing with post-Covid health issues. Model of good health brought to his knees from COVID.

    Counting my blessings has been my soothing method. Got LOTS of practice perfecting mindfulness during the divorce. Highly recommend practicing mindfulness to everyone.

    Funniest part is that I wished for years that my ex wouldn’t be able to see the kids and my grandchild. I didn’t really mean for a pandemic to make that happen!!! Be careful what you wish for.

    • Am so sorry your firstborn is suffering long-term consequences. I agree, Rebecca: I’m also trying to be careful about what I wish for! Health is priority #1, even (or especially) for STBX. I’m not prepared to be an entirely single parent anytime soon.

      I myself am really concerned about getting infected, and will be very grateful indeed if I can get through this safely. Am trying to be grateful for every day that passes without infection, and that I’m still gainfully employed, though my workload is set to increase in the fall without compensation. It’s hard to believe that schools anywhere in the US will be holding in-person classes in just a few weeks’ time, but that’s a different can of worms. So those of us who opt out will get to continue juggling work and overseeing remote learning, unless we have the time and inclination to hire help.

      Enjoy your beach and pool! Those sound lovely, esp. when you need a break from the childcare.

  • I cross stitch, we both play VR games (good exercise too) and he has other video games to keep him occupied when we’re not doing stuff together. We’re also extremely lucky to have found each other a couple years before all this Covid went down and found we’re perfectly suited to be “stuck” together 24/7 for months on end with sanity intact. Seriously grateful we’re both introverts, we both enjoy reading, playing cards, hiking… it’s not a bad situation for someone about to be 50 and ready to slow down and enjoy less work, more retirement.

  • I am intrigued by the comment “unless you live somewhere that is handling the pandemic sensibly.” Is there such a place? I was under the impression that unless you reside somewhere without cell service- maybe remote areas of the Amazon, we are to shelter in place and do our best to be hermits.

    I am a rule follower and have pretty much followed the mandate other than trips to the grocery store and a socially distanced day trip to the beach .

    I am anxious and depressed at times but I ignore as best I can.

    What does handling it better look like? I am considering a move in 2 years

    • I think that means basically any other country besides the US because we are a train wreck. Over 140,000 deaths, millions of confirmed cases, severe mishandling of getting adequate testing and PPE for medical workers, a culture of entitled anti-masking, and no plan in sight from leadership. So the curve here keeps on spiking at alarming rates far beyond any other country that actually had plans and support for the people and medical establishments.

      • Italy? France? China? Iran? Everywhere?

        What about the Swedes who followed the herd immunity model?

        Where I live everything except grocery and Home Depot closed for months. The vast majority wear masks as mandated. The hospitals are not overflowing and Dd works at a senior assisted living and gets tested every week.

        We can’t defeat the diseases until there is a vaccine. We can only flatten the curve. You may not like the leadership (I don’t). But don’t pretend it is all better in other countries or that the US is doing nothing right. That is sensationalism .

        • Seriously? I’m in New Zealand. Capable govt. Sane Prime Minister (rather than that nutcase in the WH), trusting the science. We have eradicated community transmission and our schools, pubs and restaurants are full. From a distance looks like the US has done almost nothing right…. It’s such a shame.

          • Yes I am serious. New zeeland is a small island nation that doesn’t have the immigration that we have in the U.S. There are 1/3 more people in my small state alone than NZ. You cannot govern 300,000,000 diverse people the same as 4,000,000. The economies very different. There are areas in n the US that have COVID-19 under control but try that in a city of 10,000,000- whole different ball game.

            I am happy for you in your beautiful isolated country but I don’t think you want an influx of people which is quite controlled from what I understand.

            There is a lot more to a government than one leader. We have a balance of powers and the wh is not the only problem- our Congress is quite abhorrent as well.

        • Another New Zealand chump here. Life is back to normal, I teach and every child is back and not social distancing at all. Our Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has been amazing and the only covid we have is from people coming back from overseas. ALL returnees are compulsory quarantined for 2 weeks straight from the plane. So no community transmission at all.
          Anyway, I loved lockdown as a complete introvert, but can understand our 7 weeks is nothing compared to the ongoing isolation happening in other countries.

      • I am in New Zealand. We are very lucky to have had great leadership. We went into Lockdown for 7 weeks and we are now back functioning like pre-Covid times. Now we only have Covid at the border with many kiwis returning home and goING into isolation. It is being managed well.

        It was a good Lockdown coming off the tail of summer/autumn. Nice weather; time spent with my daughter; gardening; Netflix.

        Like the US, we too have elections coming up in November. Our Prime Minister has done a great job and I will vote for her.

  • Hi friends! We’re doing pretty well, actually…probably because my husband and I are both mega introverts. But we just finished a big re-watch of the entire show Scrubs, and are listening to the re-watch podcast (Fake Doctors, Real Friends). Highly recommend!

  • I garden, propagating everything I see. Experimenting with fuchsia, hibiscus and hydrangea. Then inside to watch America’s Funniest VIdeos.

  • Since being sent home to work, I’ve used my 1/2 hour lunch break to workout with long forgotten exercise videos. Lost several pounds & firmed up my squishy 55 yr old body a wee bit.

    Also have extra time to work in my garden without a daily commute.

  • I landed in the US with my toddler as soon as the pandemic started. I’m working on my dissertation, working part-time, finished a teaching course, almost finished with an internship, and will be starting a teaching position in the fall. I also filed for child custody and am trying to get my ex served in his country. Needless to say, it has been nerve wracking because of the child custody and making sure my kid is safe and happy when I’m by myself, but I meet my friends for socially distanced walks once in a while, talk to family every other day, pray whenever I need to, write in my journal if I need to, keep a very strict structure/routine, and try to be the best parent I can be. It’s been very hard. There is constant mom-guilt, if it’s not mom-guilt it’s career-guilt. I signed up for regular therapist sessions to ride out the “lows”. I miss my gym classes, which help a lot. In summary, I lost my main coping mechanism (intense exercise) due to coronavirus circumstances, so I’m relying on the strategies I didn’t use as much before (prayer, structure, work-stuff, therapy,crying, friends).

  • I am blessed to be able to work from home. This was a tough adjustment and I gained about 15 lbs that I now need to lose. I blame pandemic baking. Luckily, I didn’t need to fight the lines for flour or yeast, as I always have those in the house. I’m now back to healthy eating, and I’m also watching what I drink, as I discovered that it’s way too easy to have fun mixing cocktails.

    I live by myself with two dogs, and the plus side of working from home is that I’ve found more time for doing things around the house. I’d bought a fixer-upper, and while I had the major stuff done before I moved in, I’ve been here for four years and haven’t done a lot of the other stuff. I’m now doing that and I am happy that I’m going to have a nicer home environment.

    Now that it’s summer, my CSA has started up. While I’m leery of going to the local farmer’s market, I’ll go pick up my CSA and come home. The weekly challenge is how to use everything up by the next week.

    I’ve adjusted to working from home. My employer would like for us to continue to work from home until mid-February. I can see myself going back to the office for a couple of days per week, but I think I’d like to continue working from home.

  • Other than working from home, I’ve been following basketball. Watched “The Last Dance” when it was releasing a new episode every Sunday (I HIGHLY recommend it) and following all the Sports talk shows throughout the day on ESPN because I find it interesting and it takes me out of the pandemic world for the most part.

    The NBA is holding scrimmages right now while they are in the bubble in Florida, so those have been fun to watch.

    I was never really into sports that much, but with the pandemic being all over the news (which is exhausting) I decided to take up a new hobby. So far, I’m really liking basketball. Think I’ll keep with it even after this pandemic stuff is over.

    Mask On!

  • I unfortunately work retail (Target). At my store in the past 2 days, we have been notified of two team members that have tested positive. I need the insurance. So I still go into work. Aside from that stress. I have reclaimed the veggie gardens from last year and planted Blueberries, Rosemary, and several other different things. In the process of sanding the back deck down, then I have to stain it. Sitting here now drinking my tea. The only thing I can hear save the occasional car is the crickets, birds. I finally have peace.

    • Thinking of you, anut, and hoping that you have not been exposed. Thanking you for working in this climate feels inadequate, but I really appreciate the people keeping stores open. All best to you.

        • I too feel truly grateful to anuthatch and all the Target staff and other store workers who are out there in the pandemic while older people like me stay home as much as possible.

          Thank you. You are appreciated!

    • Anut

      And aren’t the crickets and birds Wonderful!?
      Last night we got a passing thunder storm with bands of rain. The hounds and I were in my workshop listening to the passing bands of rain and pressure bands. The metal roof accentuated the rythym of the rain. It was a symphony.

      Later, after dark the frogs 🐸 started up… like 10,000 of them.
      So yeah. Listening to nature Rocks

  • I am pretty much surviving on Hulu (though admittedly binging the handmaid‘s tale might not be the most comforting choice since I’m no longer taking comfort in the impossibility of a dystopian future– – but I can’t stop), Netflix, prime video, candlelit baths, a glass of wine almost every day, container gardening, writing,organizing and re-organizing my place and just reminding myself this will pass. And hopefully everyone I love will be here when it does. being pretty introverted, this hasn’t hit me quite as hard as it has some people I know, but sometimes even the little things can be an adventure like trying to get groceries and wondering what I will and won’t be able to find that day, or a friend of mine desperate for change for their laundry because change is getting hard to come by. I’ve done a couple things on zoom, though more often it’s a meeting when the kids are home and that tends not to go well with a board energetic six-year-old hanging about. I’ve also been trying to read, but much like immediately after D-day, I can’t seem to pay attention to a book for more than 10 or 15 minutes. I even tried finding a blind friendly dating app but it seems like none of them are compatible with my screen reading software, and when I do get them to work everyone just wants to hook up which I am not doing because I don’t know where they’ve been and they don’t know where I’ve been. So I am pretty lonely and missing a relationship a lot right now. We went through our baking phase, so I have learned some really good recipes. But I find myself so overwhelmed by the news… Even getting back to school specials in my email which used to bring me joy makes me feel more sad and concerned because I am not sending my kids back to a physical school anytime soon. And then there are the disagreements with the ex about whether or not he should be taking my daughter anywhere that isn’t necessary. Last week he took her to the grocery store because she really wanted to go, and insisted it was OK because she wore a mask. My kids and I are all immunocompromised so unless we absolutely have to go someplace, we’re doing whatever we can online. And it’s disheartening to see how many people are anti-mask here in Michigan. I kind of feel a bit like chicken little sometimes, though at least most of my dear friends feel the same way I do so we can commiserate together on Facebook or over the phone. other countries have done such a wonderful job getting this under control and it just seems like we are spiraling out more and more each day. Big hugs and love to everyone, and I hope you and yours are safe and well.

  • What am I doing to self soothe? I’m here on chumplady.com reading everyone’s stories. I’ve been kind of in and out of here, sometimes commenting mostly lurking over the past 2 years but recently I’ve been on here and the reddit space every day. Not to be all doom and gloom, but things aren’t going well right now. Reading others who’ve gone through it and are doing ok or even well now and the karma stories is taking the edge off of my current situation. Sometimes I even get a glimmer of hope. I thank you all for that.

    • @Thursday,
      I am enjoying being active on ChumpLady as well. I find it to be my community and it is therapeutic to connect with others who get it.

      I’m not on reddit but I do lurk there some. I’ve enjoyed reading the stories about “People who left their spouse for AP and now regret it”. Some of them are VERY interesting.

      • Reeeeally? I am going to head there and try to look for that! The chumplady subreddit is so good. I did my first post there a couple of days ago thinking I just needed to spew and I received kindness and support and information and I was so touched people took their time to do that. As I said there, it shouldn’t have surprised me but it did and I really appreciated it. I have divorced friends, but no one in my ‘real life’ can understand what it’s like to be in This situation. What a gift to be able to say what’s going on and have dialogue with people who 100% ‘get it’. And the weird and wonderful thing is, someone ALWAYS gets it–no matter how odd or different I think my situation is because of my real life family and friends, someone here will go “oh yeah, that happened to me too”. So validating.

        • Yes! I’ve found many many stories. The cheaters who are writing the stories also mention how they will never admit to it but they live with regret and misery because they will never find someone like the person they once had. There have even been a few commenters urging the cheater to reach out to their ex and tell them how they fell!?! It’s wild to me.

          I’ll have to checkout the Chumplady subreddit, I bet it’s great. My real life friends don’t get it either, it’s why I love this site so much. I find a lot of understanding on it.

          You are not alone Thursday, we are here to support one another. I dedicate this song to you, it’s something you can listen to help keep your spirits high. Might not be what you expect but I love the sound of it and the lyrics. It just reminds me of perseverance. Hope you enjoy it!

          “Road” feat. Arctic Lake – by Lane 8

          • My Dday and discard happened right before the pandemic – need I say more!
            CL has been validation that I really need. I also watch Vikki Stark YouTube videos re runaway husbands. She is also a chump, and a therapist ….. and she’s doing this service for others, yet I often find myself reacting negatively to her videos. Am I the only one?
            She’s lovely, I just find her too soft on the OW and even too soft on the runaway spouse (this is not to slag her, I’m wondering if she’s just super evolved or if it’s a communication style preference).
            This sucks for me because there are so few resources for that particular niche of having experienced a wonderful relationship and then sudden discard.

            I’ve come to think that my sensitivity level is utterly off the charts if I’m even reacting sensitively to the words of the author who wrote the book on Runaway husband!
            I’m just wondering if anyone else has seen her videos and also thinks she’s a little too soft – I don’t know if it’s because she’s a therapist? Or if I’m just too super angry and hurt.

            • Zip, I haven’t heard of Vikki Stark but I don’t like the “runaway husband” lingo. I feel like that is incorrect.

              Chumps “runaway” from cheaters whereas, cheaters cheat. If her book is titled ‘Runaway Husbands’ but is about cheating spouses then she didn’t title her book correctly. Perhaps I’m wrong in this analysis, just how I feel.

              I’ve watched some YouTube videos on narc’s and emotional abuse but not really anyone specific. Although, there is a ChumpLady YouTube video I watched where she answers questions and that was very enjoyable.

              • Hi Alice, runaway husband is just the term she gave to husbands who abandon one day to the next with absolutely no forewarning – The marriage seemed like a very happy one, there was no fighting, plans were being made for the future, there may have been a loving card given the week before …. and then one day to the next poof they literally run away from the betrayed spouse who thought she was in a very happy and secure marriage. They are almost always having an affair, it was very well hidden …. and they usually lie and say they are leaving because they are just not happy.
                The wife is left devastated and shell shocked. The discard is mean, he goes from being the most loving and doting and caring husband to someone who has contempt for you with the snap of a finger.
                Of course wives run away as well, but in her experience as a therapist the circumstances are often a little different and it’s usually (not always) men who do it this way.

            • I understand your reaction, as mine is similar. I really think for me it is this need for Justice that I’m sure, given the state of the morality of the world, will never come.

              My experience was being completely blindsided by the cheating.
              I have a covert cheater, the super nice guy model of cheater. Never said anything was wrong, still had sex all the time, still behaving in the same way as the previous TEN years, still professing his DEVOTION (his actual word) and love, and future faking all the way to the morning of D-Day.

              So few clues. Even DURING his affair he was never missing, always home after work at the right time since he was schtooping his exceptionally younger employee during work hours.

              I think what makes this one so hard to navigate is the postmortem of the relationship that you perform in your head after D-Day (and for a looooong time after D-day). Looking backward for any redflags missed, and discovering that while there were a few, they were so subtle that how could anyone approaching a relationship with honesty and integrity have actually interpreted them as redflags until after the fact of cheating when you are provided a new lens.

              It makes a Chump end up in a much more guarded position, analyzing every detail of every interaction with ANYONE looking for the thinnest line of deception. And it makes me angry that i have to carry that shit around now.

              It’s a much deeper climb out of the well, and I’ve found ANGRY sticks around a lot longer in this case, because we were so thoroughly deceived and there was very little chance of catching on because there were little to no clues.

              • Fearful, yes- and I’m so sorry that you had to suffer that gut wrenching whiplash, I can relate. I know it’s a long journey to Meh – especially because we didn’t get to dislike them at all during the marriage.
                A friend of mine referred to it as emotional rape.

                – as far as Covid goes, a lot of walking in nature … seems to help as much as it can.

              • @Zip, thank you for explaining the runaway husband stuff.

                This Vikki doesn’t sound like someone I’d like though if she’s down playing things. I have a low tolerance for people who simplify cheating, I’m prob just jaded haha

              • Fearful,
                I agree…it is harder to let go of the anger. My ex is a runaway husband. We dated 5 years before getting married. We were married for 24 years. He appeared happy and devoted to me the entire time. I was happy and devoted to him. Then BAM, one day he tells me, “I don’t think we should be together anymore. You’re not happy. You don’t love me.” (See how he put the blame on me?). And then, from that moment on, it was like he was my enemy. He was vicious. He made sure I knew he had no more care for me. I am three years post divorce since July 21. And, the pain and the fire are still simmering in my belly. I’m admittedly getting better at dealing with it and tamping it down…but it has not gone away. I lost a husband and best friend overnight. But he didn’t die. He went off with his 29 year old coworker and never looked back. How exactly is someone ever supposed to get over that? From that point on, 29 years of my life has felt like a complete lie and betrayal. Sorry to be a downer…but I feel strongly about letting people know this type of runaway husband exists and how terribly painful it is. And, if you live in a no-fault state…there is nothing you can do to make him “pay” for 29 years of falsifying your life.

            • I just checked out her ‘wife abandonment syndrome vs typical divorce’. I guess I can see a little of what you’re saying, for example she says ‘redefined past’ and how husband is ‘vested in dismantling anything that was positive’. Very vanilla way of saying ff rewrote our/my history by lying his ass off making stuff up being a victim and talking shit about me to justify screwing his whore. Or maybe I’m just used to CN. =-)

              • Yes! Must we be politically correct when it comes to a cheater and abandonner?
                At one point she makes excuses for the OW saying that many cheaters lie to them ….duh! But cheating accomplices know the person is married – end of story, why make excuses for them?

              • ThursdaysChild,
                YES! The runaway goes on to tell others that he was unhappy since day one. Mine actually wrote me a letter when I asked him to explain what happened – because I thought we were still on the same page. His letter stated a litany of grievances with me since we first started dating! The letter left me feeling he had lied to me and played me for a full 29 years. He stole 29 years of my life – young years of my life – that I can never get back. I was 49 when he left. So, I had spent more time with him in my life, than hadn’t. And, it all went away – no apology – no “I found someone else I love more”…just complete blaming of me when I had no idea anything was wrong. It seems that someone that can do that to you – steal your life – should have to suffer some repercussions. But…no fault divorce!

              • NO fault divorce must have been designed for cheaters. There are no penalties for lying, theft, breach of contract. I get it. It’s supposedly easier but is it? Chumps are getting screwed to get freed.

              • https://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/real-life/i-married-a-covert-narcissist-these-are-the-red-flags-to-look-out-for/news-story/e87fd0ca2b3c6970d48419b8d8512089

                This article really hit hard. I had no idea that he was a covert narcissist.

                I got a letter too. 5 pages of stuff I did from 13 years ago since we got married. What makes me angry is the injustice and disrespect of the 13 year marriage. Ok now that it’s out of my system. I sketch to self soothe. It’s the only time I don’t think.

              • @Duped, my XH told me i was a mistake from the minute he asked me to marry him. What?!?! That doesn’t even make sense?

                I don’t buy the “I’ve always had issue with you since day one mentality” that cheaters commonly site. It’s just another form of them trying to justify their actions.

                I hate the “no fault divorce” stuff too, it makes it so the cheater gets off scott free with no consequences. This is one of the many battles I give to God to let him fight for my justice how he sees fit. Cheaters might be able to escape consequences through the court system but no one can escape God. Same goes for Karma too, no one escapes Karma.

            • I haven’t watched her videos but I read both of her books onRunaway Husbands. I found them helpful and it’s crazy how many other women had similar experiences to me. It still blows my mind that I was married for 13 years, 2 kids, and yet not one conversation about his so-called unhappiness until discard day. We had celebrated my birthday the night before and I had no clue that he would be walking out on his family the next day. I like learning more about narcs and watch Dr. Ramani and Les Carter YouTube videos.

              • That is a bad movie- The type everyone would say “no way to”
                I hope you’re doing OK
                The things we can get through, it’s truly unbelievable we are serious warriors .

          • That was kind of hauntingly beautiful tune. I have a feeling it’ll be one that I’ll think ‘oh that’s real nice’ on the first listen to then later on go back to it for a relisten then add it to my playlist. =-) I couldn’t find a subreddit dedicated to cheater regrets; I’ll look again. And the chumplady subreddit is private so you have to shoot a message to the mods to get access; it’s very worth it.

            • Zip – my ex was able to screw multiple women who all believed his lie that he was divorced. I don’t hold any of them responsible. They were duped, just like I was, by a supremely talented liar.

            • @Thursday, thank you for telling me about the mods to get access.

              I’m not a member of reddit so what I do is use google and type things like “left my wife for someone else and regret it, reddit” and stuff pops up. That’s how I discover them lol

              Here is one that pop’d up from that specific search: [Serious]Married redditors who left their SO for the other person, hows it going? any regrets or lessons to be learned?

              • Got it – thanks! I’ve done this on Quora. I don’t read much of this anymore but when I’m feeling down I do like to read ‘survival’ stories, regret stories, and my fave karma stories.

              • @Thursday, I do the same thing when I’m having a hard moment from time to time. I also just find reading this sorta stuff is interesting, kinda like watching a biography but just about regular people and no one famous.

                I read one on reddit about a guy who said he wishes every morning he could wake-up in the same house he once shared with his spouse. Says leaving his wife was the biggest mistake of his life (i’m summarizing).

                It’s too bad people make lustful decisions only to end up with a regretful life. It’s not a way I would want to live, guess I’m glad I’m a Chump in that respect.

  • I finally got the e-book The Office-great inside stuff about the show! So, of course, I had to go binge watch the entire series on Netflix. And I’m so glad I did! It was great to laugh at all of the silliness, and I even teared up at some of the final episodes.

  • I started cooking healthy meals and working out daily. I had no special goal in mind but I ended up losing 50lbs. It’s done wonders for my mental health and confidence, which took a giant hit after multiple DDays. I feel better than I have in years

  • Audiobooks are my sleep medication.

    I am currently listening to Mr. Roger’s narrate his book You Are Special…..A Course In Miracles…The Power of Now…..A Course In Miracles Made East by Alan Cohen….

    These also work during the day as a meditation break if I feel distressed.

    Since my daughter was born, I have been wishing for the world to PAUSE so I could catch up; the pandemic is showing me the world pausing was not the problem. Dang!

    • Be on the lookout for Escape to the Country on Netflix….a great companion for Monty Don!

    • Love audiobooks (plus sleep meds, in my case). Also while driving and walking the dog. Am currently listening to Bring Up the Bodies, after Wolf Hall. Ben Miles’ performance is tremendous.

  • My adult son and girlfriend moved in until he can go back to grad school. Because they are young and healthy they got essential jobs delivering for Amazon. We now have 6 humans, three dogs and a cat in the house. I do all of the cooking, which I enjoy. I’m working from home as is my SO. He has a lake place a few hours away so we’ve been going back and forth to change scenery. We’ve been boating, I’ve been practicing wake surfing and paddleboarding daily. I planted a ton of sweet peas, which are blooming like crazy and smell amazing. I participate in daily Zoom AA meetings, which are surprisingly wonderful. Once a week I hike in the mountains. I signed up for some life coaching and am getting a lot out of it. I’ve read the award winning literary fiction and short stories from the past few years and watched Killing Eve, Outlander, and Bosch, as well as a ton of HouseHunters Int’l. Dreaming of travel when my youngest graduates high school in a few years.

  • Two women in my community recently started a “Buy Nothing” group for our town on Facebook. It’s a ‘gifting’ community and has been a great motivator for me to purge my home of all the things I don’t need or use. Check it out here to see if your town has a group: https://buynothingproject.org/

    I also started a home-based cupcake business. I’ve been having fun challenging myself to try new recipes and experiment with fillings and frostings.

    I’ve been unemployed since February and unemployment runs out soon, so now I have to really concentrate on finding a job. In the meantime, these two projects have been a tremendous source of comfort and stability for me during these challenging few months.

  • Your so great just reading your post brings a smile to my face and laughter Anyways I watch grey anatomy , I watch burn notice I think that’s on Amazon, I like the British cooking shows, I watch midsomer murders I watch below deck And the other one Below deck Mediterranean Got my soap. General Hospital. , I crochet maying 4 blankets as of now I have grown kids , that are around Husband I ignore , stay in My room a lot where I have a excerise bike I ride and listen to music Music helps me out a lot I use to bake a lot , but my oven is broke. And idiot husband in to town and back won’t buy new one he says the top still works Other then that I do take drives to town in the country side All of u out there take care of yourself we will get though this

    • Sorry that town and back shouldn’t be there , I started to writ something but took it out but all didn’t come out , read past it Thanks

      • What IS the deal with the broken oven?? Me too. It was over a year, and I got sick and tired of the indecision and just went out and ordered it myself at BestBuy, had it installed. Little did I know that Dday was already looming. I got a brand new oven/cooktop (around $2K), and the next week, he had bought a new BMW for himself, unbeknownst to me. Sounds equal, right? @Lynn, either order it up and have installed, or order a countertop oven from Amazon and have it delivered. Fuck him. You take care of yourself and your family and your property.

    • What is it with these cheaters and ovens that don’t work???? You got this Lynn, eye on the prize. Keep your poker face on.

  • I moved out of the XBF house on May 7th, D day was January 31st. Three months of living with that jackass after I forced him to admit he was having another relationship – I saw him for he truly is. Now, I am struck by the PEACE in my home and in the homes of my friends I visit now, because I am no longer ensnared in his drama drama drama.
    I joined a gun club, I go on bike rides and hikes in the forest, I work from home three days a week and go into the office for two, I am taking a survivalist class taught by a strong woman this weekend, I am exercising and keeping off the weight I lost with the infidelity diet (25 pounds), I am looking at myself in the mirror and smiling at myself and acknowledging my beauty and strength. I will take several more courses for my self development to learn how to use a firearm better, a chainsaw, and basic survival skills. I will continue to develop my professional skills as well, so I can be of service to my community.
    As each day goes by, I think of him less and less… and I think about the OW less and less… I TRUST THAT THEY SUCK. I think about the cruel things he said to me during that three month discard and I know he hates himself and he hates me most of all, because I am capable of being happy – he is not.
    I set the date for licensure examination and I am looking forward to the raise I will get at work and the freedom I will have to start a private practice.
    I have a bright future. More importantly, I enjoy my life and I feel true peace – most of the time. I am so disappointed in who he is, but I am glad I moved to this rural paradise to be with him, because now that he is out of my life and I moved an hour away from him, I can finally enjoy it.

  • I certainly hope I don’t cause a mutiny here, but on most days, I feel like the pandemic came just in the nick of time for me. I am in Week 19 of working at home… I normally do so four days a week, and spend the fifth day at my business partner’s office where I get to mingle in person with the rest of our amazing team; we’re still mingling, albeit by phone, zoom, email and IM. So, on the work front, not much has changed, for which I am very grateful.

    I do miss my extracurriculars (i.e. church, yoga classes, volunteering, dinner with friends, theatre tickets, visiting my kids/grandkids), but now that all of those activities have been suspended and my calendar is the cleanest it’s been in decades, I’m seeing just how cluttered my life really was. I admit, being overcommitted was my own fault; in order to avoid spending too much time alone during my separation and divorce, I purposely filled up my dance card… I was on the go constantly and that kept me sane, but today, I no longer need that crutch and I’m quite happy for this respite. And, all of this down time has given me the opportunity to complete some long-overdue organizational tasks at home. Seeing all of these projects start from zero and then come to fruition has given me a great sense of accomplishment, as well as affirming that I am, in fact, a capable and creative person who can make something wonderful out of nothing. And best of all, one of my sisters (she is a professional musician so has been completed sidelined by the pandemic) and I FaceTime each weekend and share what we’ve accomplished over the past week.

  • I’m going through a divorce right now with an entitled woman who’s a pathological lying cheater. So that’s fun. However, I’m still working. Still enjoying playing outside with my kids, I read, we go to our pool and little adventures at the park with hiking. Anxious for the mask bullshit to end but I’ve enjoyed my time. I come here a lot for therapy. LOL. I’ve also given up alcohol (didn’t have a problem or anything) to just be the best version of myself during this lunacy.

    • Kudos to you for giving up alcohol during this time. Most people are drinking way more than usual and feeling it around their waist line !

  • A ton of people complained about quarantine because they’re incapable of being by themselves or simply enjoying kids. I LOVED IT! I got two months off from work, got to educate my kids and spend so much more time with them. Grateful for it because I’ll likely never get that time again. I also learned there’s a lot of bullshit we do not need in our lives (for me-sports no longer matter).

    The only downside is going through a divorce during this as I want this wrapped up as soon as possible but keeps getting dragged out.

  • I live alone, in a new town where I know *very* few people, so it’s hard. When I first moved here, I was *determined* to “gain a life”, so I joined book clubs, the WI, a swimming group, walking clubs, slimming club, yoga, etc, etc.

    Since Covid, all of that has of course gone by the board, and I’m ashamed to say I sometimes feel very sorry for myself. I know how revolting self-pity is, and I *do* struggle against it, but it’s sometimes very hard, especially when I know the fuckwit and his rat faced whore at least have each other, and their ‘fishing buddies’ Sigh.

    So, I read, a *lot* (sometimes 3 books a day) 📖😁, go for looong walks, listen to music, binge watch Netflix. Altered Carbon, (fabulous), Star Trek Discovery, Lost in Space. I’m going to start watching ‘The Woods’ tonight. Play Words with friends a lot. Incidentally, if any other chump’s play this, there’s a lot of creepy men who ‘message’ – yuck.

    My house is super clean, blah, blah, blah.

    Oh dear, all the above sounds like a long self pitying wail. Sorry.

    I know *lots* of people have it a hell of a lot worse than I do.

    So counting my blessings, I have a much loved brother, nephew and neice, who chat to me and text me, and kind neighbours. And of course, CL, and CN! ❤️ I’m trying hard to see the enforced isolation as a chance to reconnect with myself, work out some of my issues, etc.

    I suppose eventually things will get back to normal, but until then it’s still hard sometimes.

    But thank God for CL and CN, you’ve been a lifeline. xx

    • I randomly have the same issues with spurts of depression and self pity especially since my ex is still with the AP. But it goes away after a bit. I have relied on my best friend and my mom to discuss anything that’s bothering me regarding my ex wife. Books and playing outside with my kids has been a lot of fun for me. I’m glad you’re doing well and continue to stay strong. Lean on who or what you need to until you strong enough to stand tall like a statue. Blessings to you!

  • Going to finish Anna Karenina. Started it years ago, and got half-way through before putting down (which I don’t usually do with books.) I got restless with Levin’s endless guilt-infused introspection. I do know how it ends. Sadly.

  • I’m into Audible books these days because I can listen while walking. And walking daily for miles helps me (even though the mask is a constant reminder of pendemic times).

    Anyway, I recommend the Louise Penny series of books. I’m late to the game and am sure many of you have enjoyed these books. For me, these are the first books that I can focus on. There’s no adultery. And she’s a good writer.

    • I have a hard time with “romance” stuff right now…probably why I’ve gone to sports for the time being since a lot of things have a love story of some kind. Are these books your listening to romance? If so, do you find they impact you at all? Just wondering if I’m the only one who’s like this.

      • I can’t comment on this series in particular, but for me, I’m kind of ok with romance stuff–it’s mental junk food to me and I don’t retain much of it but I’ll nosh here and there. The exception is if any character in any genre of book has cheater’s extremely common first name. I can’t make myself read a book if I see his name in it and have stopped reading books part way through if it pops up.

        • Interesting you bring this up, I find I have a hard time with anything that has the OW’s name. It immediately gives me anxiety and PTSD.

          My XH has an extremely common first name too, and I’ve always loved his name. It’s upsetting he’s ruined it for me. His name doesn’t impact me as much as OW’s does though, although his does impact me.

          My sister sent me some movies to watch and I had to put 3 in a drawer because they were romance. I told her I’ll watch them someday. Weird thing is, I can watch some romance movies I’ve already seen before. I discovered it’s only the movies though that I’d seen before I knew my XH. Any movies I saw during our almost 10yr relationship I can’t stomach. It’s so strange, like very.

          • Right, Tommy Tutone’s 867-5309 song came on the car radio yesterday and I immediately changed the channel. I was having a fun adventure filled Saturday with my kids and I didn’t want my mood damped by the hearing the name of the married howorker over and over again.

            • Oh geez–that’s a glass of horrible. For me, the whore’s name isn’t too common so I don’t see it too much but it does irritate me when I come across it. Speaking of songs, for whatever makes-no-sense reason Ed Sheeran’s song “Perfect” triggers the hell out of me. It has no significance in our previous life but if I hear it in a store I have to walk out. Or like you said if it comes on the radio I change it NOW. I can hear our wedding song and it doesn’t bother me as much. Weird.

      • I can’t read that genre right now eithe specifically if there’s cheating and it’s twu luv 🤢🤮. I’m also overly weepy at movies which I think is a newly chumpy thing.

        • I get that, for me it depends on the cheating (I realize it’s all the same). What I mean is, who the story focuses on. For example: the movie “An Education” with actress Carrie Mulligan. That story I can handle because it focuses on Carries character.

          Other movies like “The Last Kiss” make me cringe because of scenes where it shows Zach Braff essentially admitting to being in a relationship and the OW, Rachel Bilson still going after him, etc.

          Can’t do romance though, maybe someday I’ll be able to stomach it again.

  • I live inMontana along the Rocky Mountain Front and I’ve been on unemployment since March.

    I‘ve been gardening, making wine, decluttering, taking care of my kids and granddaughter, and next week we’re taking a trip to the coast.

  • I think I am the busiest empty nester I know during the pandemic.

    I work in a hospital, so that part of life never changed…it was really odd when they closed down to visitors…it looks like a ghost-town some days.

    The first 3 months, I was packing/moving my parents. I had to sell like 200 items without having a sale which was miserable. I posted items online and after deals were struck, the item was placed outside for pick up…200 times. I had to clean 35 years of shit out of their house which was hard because my parents held me as a very low priority for years. Some of their stupid trinkets are things they literally valued over me. Some moments were agonizing. Mom having become demented made it easier because she quit being a viper. I threw away her cigarettes out of spite. Don’t judge me.

    I also completed my spring semester in a masters program and published an article.

    Now that things are calmer, I am doing house projects and making all the shutterfly books I promised myself I would get done. In some odd moments of pandemic insanity, I built a gnome house in my back yard…it has a mailbox and a dutch door I handcrafted in my woodshop.

    That sounds like a lot…and I still admonish myself when I think Im wasting time.

  • I garden a lot. Especially pruning. I love pruning. Nothing like taking your anger out on an overgrown plant.

    Also cycling – it reminds me that I’m still alive and that each day I take breath is a blessing.

  • I am forty-one and suddenly realizing I don’t have to answer to anyone. It feels pretty good!
    Reading, friends, kids, running, and probably more wine than I need. I freaking love Schitt’s Creek on netflix! It feels good without them cuffs.

  • Fantasy/SciFi novels. Also Scrabble with the boyfriend 1-2 times a week.

    My sons and I also fit in a trip to Colorado to visit with my sister. We drove straight through, 15 hours with only 4 stops with masks at rest stops and hand sanitizer as soon as we got back to the car. We got tested as soon as we got back. We’re clean. 🙂

  • I am fortunate as I can work from home so my days have some structure. My mother and I share a house with a dog and 3 cats so I’m not lonely. My grown children/grandchildren live in the area and I have great neighbors so I feel connected to the world even as we are sheltering in place. I have hobbies and a garden that provide creative outlets.

    But I’m going to say that I have found the slow down in my life to be a positive benefit. I am almost 3 years out from DDay (not the day I found out but the day I DUMPED him!) My life was a whirlwind of working on the gaining a life part. I’ve stopped trying to do online dating (doesn’t really work for my personality) and I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what I want MY new life to be. And it’s kind of counter intuitive but I have also given up daily drinking. I think that evening wine consumption was my way of coping with the anxiety of creating a new life. And I now feel less anxiety as I do some more mindful processing of the worries I have been carrying.

    So, I’m enjoying the quiet and working toward more inner peace.

  • I’ve been watching a British art historian Waldemar Januszczak on Amazon Prime. He’s a hoot. And I’ve been planning a trip to Italy in my mind, if that’s ever possible again.

  • Cooking!! Mixology and reading.
    I live in SW USA. I have 16lbs of pork shoulder trimmed and rubbed refrigerating right now.
    Gonna make some pulled pork tacos tomorrow around lunch time. Cooler of ice cold beer. Love making va refreshing Long Island iced tea. Have changed up with Boston iced tea and Texas iced tea.
    Do a lot of spicy Cajun seafood boils. Cooking projects that take up some time and require care and effort.
    With left over pork I will make red pork enchiladas. And if you’ve never tried? Chile Colorado.
    I get online and learn other simple things like learning how to properly cut and prepare a lobster tail. SILY I know but its a great time to learn simple things that I could have years ago.

  • I garden, read, go for walks, swim in the pool, watch movies with my bf. Trying to learn to crochet but my eyes suck and always did 😉

  • Stranded after quarantine because of injury that’s not healing.
    Lost job and sleep disordered.

    I found God, perhaps predictably.

  • I am doing a few things around the house, but still not up to par. Pretty sure I caught covid 19 a couple of months ago and it didn’t play well with asthma. Still tired and short of breath on walking and even on some days talking too much. Formerly I was the woman who could shake off the flu in two days with a slight fever and some body aches. By day three it was back to normal albeit with a runny nose. Always have been an active go getter, so this is taking some getting used to. Slowly increasing my activity level and backing off when it gets hard to breathe.

    These days it’s reading, enjoying my son who is home temporarily after losing his job and housing, and a wonderful friend, sister of the heart who is staying with me till things get back to something resembling normal. I also have been cooking and baking some, and culling out excess stuff that is not needed. It’s mostly stuff that can be done slowly and sitting down. Of course there is some movie watching and internet surfing happening too.

    My other challenge has been to reflect on what lessons are there for me in all this. So far it has been to slow down and smell the roses, to recognize and appreciate all the blessings in my life, to give thanks and be grateful, to give back, and that I matter just because I exist, not because of how much I can accomplish.

    Wishing all of chump nation safety, serenity, sanity, and continuing good heath.

  • Reading, napping, cooking (and then eating too much). I’ve recently been introduced to a dreadful, impossible to look away reality TV show called 90 day Fiancee. I’m appalled at myself for watching but like a wreck on the side of the road I can’t help but look. So if your looking for a guilty secret watch check it out Oh and trying to catch the dang field mouse that has money himself into my space. Sorry little furry dude, I don’t allow freeloaders in my home anymore. Ask my ex.

    • 90 days is my latest guilty pleasure. It’s entertaining even the Pillow Talk recaps. After living thru a narc discard, I pay attention to the show’s relationship dynamics. Some couples I root for and others I shout at the screen run away!

  • I love watching Ozark!! It’s so great to see someone with a more fucked up life than I have! No matter how bad it gets- I can always say that my life is better than Marty Byrde’s! Lololol

  • OMG. Chumplady loves Nigel (now Nellie and the usurp yorkie who is excellent)! Tracey you go up even higher in my estimation. I am just settling down in the uk to watch the Friday edition. The fact you know about this stuff has lifted my day! Gardens and dogs. What’s not to love!

  • I distinguish what I do to self-soothe from what I do to fill Covid-idled time and both of those from what moves I’m trying to make toward a mighty future. I’m retired, and hunkered down alone without a pet (my beloved cat died a few years ago and my then-husband-now-ex nixed another one). The best thing I do to self-soothe is to watch the birds that come to my feeders and birdbaths, and hand-feed the squirrels peanuts.

    • Adelante, one of the few places I’ve been during this pandemic (I even have groceries delivered) was a shelter. My 20 year old cat died last year and I decided to wait to get another cat until after I had completed major renovations on my house. Windows and floors were on tap for this spring but Covid nixed that.

      Don’t know when (maybe a couple years?) I’ll feel comfortable having a work crew in my house for hours at a time, so I started an online search for senior cuddly cats (I’m in my mid-60s so I won’t get a young cat that might live 20 years). I said I didn’t care if the cat was missing an eye or a leg – looks didn’t matter but I insisted on cuddly because that’s the kind of cat I’m used to.

      It took about a month but my new little cuddle buddy acts like he’s loved me for all of his 10+ years. I’m so happy we found each other. Maybe you could get another cat too?

    • When I was in the process of getting divorced years ago, I had visions of practicing my martial arts on my ex and the OW. In a way, it helped.

  • I work in my garden. I love that I can just focus on one thing at a time. I am also (65 year old woman) learning I love to sit in my garage and repair things like my lawnmower, chainsaw, and other things. And my daughter got me watching Schitt’s Creek which I hated until about the 5th episode of Season 1. When I’m not doing any of the above or working from home, I hike (anywhere near a waterfall is my favorite), kayak (recently upgraded my car rack to a Thule Hullivator so I can go alone with no heavy lifting), or bike.

    • Oh, and sew cloth face masks for friends and family and for my son who is a community activist in another part of the country. I hadn’t sewn for decades and was intimidated at first because my late mother was a super talented quilter, but I’ve discovered I’m pretty good at it.

  • I have been binge watching Korean dramas. They tend to be enjoyable fluff with happy endings, which is what I’m in the mood for. My two favorites don’t have as many of the Korean drama cliches and are really well acted. I recommend “Because This Is My First Life” and “Something In The Rain.” I have lived abroad and love to travel and learn about other cultures. Since travel is out of the question right now, watching shows from other countries is the next best thing. Both of these are on Netflix.

  • I moved to a new city but I still talk to my three closest friends a few times a week, we are all on healing and exploring journeys: we are a professor, a lawyer, a dean, and an elementary school teacher. One is the ex-wife a of a rotten guy I went on a few Match dates with a few years ago and he said to me in anger, “you’re just like my ex-wife” so I though wow, his ex-wife must be great. And she IS! So smart and funny and alive. I think these friendships have deepened. We literally talk about kids, worry, work, men, injustice, healing childhood stuff, politics, shopping, decorating, gardening but somehow it feels profound. I made a new friend among 20 great Dialup quarantine chats (really recommend). I bought a snazzy brand new light tough hybrid bike that I ride to explore my new cool city and I take pictures sometimes with my phone of the fascinating things I see. I dance! Alone! I’ve just gotten back to my next book I was writing by thinking about the time three years from now. The present makes me feel speechless, like I can’t write. I’m still lonely and dull sometimes and Taylor Swift’s new album Folklore made me crave an interesting but ultimately ill advised romance. I had one of those in spring with my contractor. It was probably “net” a good idea, I’d known him a decade. I can be worried and sad all the time because of all the suffering and so I have to have a rigorous morning commitment to listen to inspiring women podcasts or mediate or journal to start my day with light.

  • Got a super cuddly older cat who needed rescue, but maybe I was the one who was rescued…
    Love my little garden (like Chumpanda I find pruning extremely satisfying!).
    Lots of birds visit the trees and my birdbath – birdsong is one of the loveliest sounds on earth.
    Clearing out clutter (The Python had turned into a hoarder and he abandoned a ton of his crap – I made good money on ebay for some of his toys, since it was declared legally mine 3 weeks post-divorce).
    Lots of calls and texts with friends and family.
    Found out my nephew has been participating in Black Lives Matter marches in his state and I am so proud (since his parents don’t approve, he and I have become much closer because he feels supported and he lets me know how much my support is appreciated).
    Chocolate is my drug of choice (dark only – I’m hardcore); gained the Covid 15 but I don’t care because I LOOOVE chocolate!
    I’m an introvert so this hasn’t been very hard on me. Life is so good without a lying cheater around!

  • A regular morning run in the park or taking a walk with my kid. Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy. YouTube. Hobbies. Work (what little there is).

    So far, managing through this current crisis has mostly (thankfully) been a mere inconvenience compared to the slow walk through hell that I took post-D-day through the divorce. Good days will return. Here’s to all fellow chumps! May we all be blessed with meh.

  • Chump Lady,
    As a single mom to two golden retrievers, and an avid gardener, to see this recommendation sent me over the moon! I must watch!!!

    My dogs are wonderful company but not great conversationalists so, to temporarily forget my loneliness for human interaction, I, of course read the Chump Lady blog religiously, and watched the entire series of “The West Wing” on Netflix. For a lovely hour, every night, I was taken to a magical place where the President is actually caring and knowledgable and has morals and the government functioned like a team of adults.

  • How have I been self-soothing?
    1. Historical biographies: If my life isn’t brimming with adventure right now, I can read about someone–Babe Ruth, say, or Ulysses Grant–whose life was.
    2. Long drives: I keep a folding camp chair in my car and pull off on the side of the road when I find a great view, sit, listen to my favorite songs on Spotify, and eat a tub of cold, cubed watermelon. Double soothing points if you bring stale hot dog buns to feed the sparrows and starlings.
    3. Buying mineral samples on ebay: We’re cooped up, but for a few dollars you can hold in your hand a piece of brilliant bullseye green malachite from the Congo, peacock ore from Mexico, or a meteorite from outer space.

  • I don’t know if this will be considered self soothing or not, but it made me feel better this morning after I watched my normal Sunday Morning programs. I do not mean this message in a political way, but in a reflective way, and it may not work for the very young. I watched the ceremonial crossing of the bridge from Selma toward Montgomery AL, for John Lewis’ funeral procession, and I thought about his message. Move forward, the future will be better.

    Most of us look backward. We think we remember a better time or place where our lives were good, and we long for that time. But, in reality, that time has become a memory mirage. It glimmers, it shines, but it is not real. There were things happening then we didn’t know or recognize, things we believed that were not true. So the best time is not over. We leave a cheater, and we gain a life. It may be a different life, it may have hard times, but it is better because it is not an illusion.

    I was a young child in the 1960’s, and television was changing the way life was lived in the United States. It was my normal, but not my parent’s normal, or grandparent’s normal. Television news showed people how they really were. Television entertainment shows may have presented an unreal mythology of who we were as a people, but the news brought the Viet Nam war into the living room, and showed us young black girls being assaulted by a fire hose, and state patrol officers hitting peaceful demonstrators in the head with night sticks. Those folks were walking for the freedom to vote, to live a life of opportunity, a life as a first class citizen. They were walking. They were beaten bloody because they wanted to be free.

    Perhaps there are bad actors in every protest, people with other agendas who want something else. They may show up because they like violence, or anarchy, or want a chance to loot a store. They are not what the protest is about. If it is a Chinese student standing in front of a tank, or John Lewis walking headfirst into a beating that could have killed him, the desire is the same. They want to be respected as a human, and given the chance to grow.

    I remember where I was when President Kennedy was killed. I remember his horse drawn funeral procession. I remember hearing nasty commentary about whether or not he should have been killed, whether or not he deserved it. I remember the same thing about Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, and on and on to the brutal visual of George Floyd dying in the street while a police officer kept his knee on his neck. This is 2020. How long do we keep believing it is ok to kill someone because we do not like their opinion, or their race, or their religion, or their gender? I lost my innocence watching the news, because I learned how cruel and selfish people could be, and how even people I trusted would lie to me and distort the truth to suit their own agenda. I learned I could not trust blindly.

    Just as it is hard for us to lose our dream when we find the truth about a cheater, it is hard for any people to keep fighting to be free of a life of oppression. We have to stop looking backward. The best time was not in the past. The only way I can be soothed in this time of uncertainty is not to long for the good old days before the pandemic, or the time when I was young and hopelessly romantic and idealistic. I have to listen to the message John Lewis provided his whole life. Walk forward in the face of adversity, listen to the truth, follow your conscious, and be thankful you have one. The best time is yet to come. If we don’t believe that, what is the point?

    I would love to see a political commercial that does not endorse any specific candidate, but asks us to reflect on what we are voting for. I don’t want to hear insults hurled or distortions of the truth. I would like to see a visual commercial of key events, both good and bad, representing the last 60 years of history in the United States. Assassination, War, Watergate, Space Launches, Freedom to Worship, Freedom to Vote, Freedom to Work for a Living Wage. I would like to see an American Flag, not used as a politicians prop, but as the symbol for what it is supposed to represent, freedom. The Statue of Liberty, welcoming wanderers to our miraculous country of opportunity. At the end of all the pictures, a simple question — What Are You Voting For? Let people have a moment to stop clinging to our past, and instead look toward our future. The idea of that sooths me.

    • ((((Portia)))
      When I see your name, I know I will be moved by your post & your very wise words.
      Every.Single.Time
      Much love to you Dear Lady!

  • I have worked on my new house that I WAS ABLE TO BUY AFTER Fixing up the derelict Family home four years After d-DAY 5 in a post nuptial agreement I got the home, and 90% of our assets because he just didn’t care anymore and he told me he could compartmentalize and that was my problem that I didn’t understand how he could live his life wherever he wanted with whoever he wanted but still be a father and husband😫 I had previously tried different are RIC solutions not telling my family there was a problem , not telling the children there was a problem even though they were being abused and they knew there was a problem,RIC SAYS you’re not supposed to tell anybody there’s a problem in case you might reconcile, Then the family won’t like your partner anymore, what the fuck, one day I came across chump nation it save my life with a knowledge chump lady left me and the book leave a cheater game of life I negotiated AS a CHUMP what she advocated cannot say enough get your ducks in a row so blessed to live in a reciprocity state so blessed that he’s just a total asshole that left such a paper trail that my lawyer said just ask for what you want he’ll sign he did, it was a hard slog I’m not gonna lie it took three years , I sold the original family home ( Took me four years to renovate it )bought a new one got 95% of the family assets truly blessed I know ! I’m a teacher so I took a summer job working as an essential worker in shipping and receiving for a company in order to pay for upgrades and college for my son, it’s not easy I was fortunate enough to get a lawyer the clerk for Judge Roberts and I know that sounds like an oxymoron but she is a lesbian and she saved my life gather your information get your ducks in a row and keep on moving forward you’re worth it you’re worth everything in this universe and don’t forget it and I know right now maybe some of with kids don’t believe it I am so truly blessed my children have been my rocks they just keep me keeping on keep keeping on , I endorse and try to make sure they maintain a relationship with their father BUT I also make sure they try to maintain a healthy boundary

    • Ain’t Crying more
      YOU are so strong & MIGHTY!
      I am so thankful there is a CL & CN, and that you found them in your time of need.
      They are LifeLines, LifeGuards who reach out to save Chumps!
      Heros, with courage, dignity & grace!
      I wish you & your precious Children much peace & happiness!
      ❤️

  • I go to work. I wash my hands. I wear my mask. I live my regular life in respectful consideration of others.

    But because big work events which normally keep me busy in the evenings are all postponed, I have time now for a long overdue project to digitize my old photos and to purge my house of useless items. Four and half months in and I still have plenty of projects to keep me busy.

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