Everything has changed.
Whether it’s for good or bad, everything is different now.
Around this time last year, my world felt like it was in shambles as the typical home improvement projects caught up to me. When I look back on last year, this year makes last year look look like a complete cake walk.
These days? Well when you talk with someone and ask them how they’re doing, you can feel the sharp hesitation in their voice when they say, “It’s going well.” But as I continue to go through the pandemic, I’m hearing more, “Well, you know, it’s going.”
By no means am I trying to minimize the virus because I have known co-workers, friends and family who have gotten it and either survived or didn’t make it at all.
But I think we can all agree that coronavirus is exhausting on so many different levels. The mental toll it has taken on my normal habits has been brutal, but that hasn’t been a bad thing. In fact, where I felt comfortable in 2019, I’ve found that being uncomfortable in 2020 has made me step up to the plate and take action in my life.
So I want to share a few things that I have been asked whilst hibernating in my apartment for the past year.
Nightly Habits: What is your routine when you go into work?
As I have said countless times on my Facebook Live feeds, the pandemic really didn’t change anything for me, logistically. My schedule stayed the same and I was informed in the first month of the pandemic that I was considered an “essential worker” according to the government. Realistically, nothing changed for me.
I mean, I come in at 6:45ish P.M. every night when everyone has gone home, greet Fitz, set up my computer, open my lunch bag and warm up my food for the night. Everything is still the same.
Once dinner is finished, I’ll take it back into the studio and enjoy my meal.
I must admit, I was ordering out more in the summer than right now. I spent so much money eating out this summer it was stupid. I feel like I have eaten out more this year than I have in previous years.
I don’t know. We’ll just have to see when I do my taxes this coming Spring.
Morning Habits: What time do you get up in the morning?
Compared to most people, I’m a late riser. I’ve been full-time with KUPD for the past 16 years and my sleep schedule has gradually shifted from going to bed at 4:00 A.M. to now going to bed around 12:30 or 1:00 A.M.
I’m pretty strict about how much sleep I get, so I’m getting close to 7 hours a night, if I can.
When I hear about people waking up at 4:30 in the morning to get ready for their work day, I’m pleasantly sawing away on the wood. By the time I wake up it’s around 8 or 9 in the morning.
Before all of this coronavirus crap, I was getting up out of bed and heading to the gym to get my workout in. These days, I’ve exchanged that good habit with a bad one by checking my phone. Such a bad habit that I’m trying to break myself from right now.
What’s the first thing you do when get out of bed?
This is a pretty boring answer because it reveals that my ass is getting older.
The first thing I do is clothe myself. I go to bed wearing shorts and a t-shirt every night and and each morning I find that they are always on the floor.
I’ve learned that I run a little hot at night and shed everything down to the skivvies, yet I’m bundled up under the damn covers. So I ask myself every morning, “What’s the point of even wearing shorts and a shirt if you’re just going to take them off in the middle of the night?”
So the first thing I do is put on some clothes. But the first real action of the day is to go to the kitchen and take my medications.
Coronavirus hasn’t changed that part of me because my medication has to be taken the first thing in the morning so I can function like a normal human being in the middle of the day. If you have never heard of hypothyroidism or don’t have it, look it up sometime. Without that medication, my day can put me back in bed by 3:30 PM for a long nap.
This is 90% of the reason why Fitz sees me breezing in the door.
What do you eat for breakfast?
I don’t really eat breakfast. Some call it a bad habit while others call it intermittent fasting.
I just call it, “I can’t eat for an hour after I’ve taken my medication.”
Yeah, one of the things that comes with my thyroid condition is that my medication has to be taken on an empty stomach in order to absorb into my body. If I don’t do this, my day doesn’t run as smooth–which seems so counterintuitive to what people tell you.
It just so happens that this is what works for me and my body and I’ve become accustomed to it.
Earlier this year I rediscovered coffee and started making it at home, but I found that I was far more tired in the day and had the coffee “crash” that didn’t help me by the time I was coming into work. So I laid off that and started drinking this stuff called Mudwtr. It’s A LOT MORE holistic and doesn’t give you the crash at all. It seems to be working for me now and it’s the one new habit I’ve taken up in the morning that has been good for my moods.
But if you’re asking me what the first meal is for the day, well, that happens around 12 P.M. Usually I’m heating up a breakfast casserole that I made earlier in the weekend. It’s loaded with tons of veggies and eggs. I’ll usually pair it with a side of flax seed toast topped with some avocado, a little salt and red pepper flakes. I actually look forward to this meal every single day.
In short, I’m a white girl who should be wearing yoga pants.
What is the first thing you listen to, music-wise, in the day?
Contrary to what some may believe. I actually prefer it to be super silent in the morning and mostly throughout the day–especially since it’s election season and we’re dealing with this coronavirus crap.
In the past, I’d usually throw something on that would put me in the mood to take on the day, but these days it has to be silent.
It’s no secret that I love TOOL so that would typically be the first thing I’d listen to. I’d say that when I am in the mood to listen to something, it’s either TOOL, Crosses, or the Deftones. These days I really love that ambient ethereal feel of music and those bands have that sound.
Outside of rock music, I’ve really been into this electronic artist called E-Mantra. They have a cool song called “Awekening” that I usually start with and then ask my YouTube Music to make a radio station out based on that song.
Have you put on any coronavirus weight?
This is such a funny question because I don’t know how to answer it. I guess my answer would be “no” because I still fit into the same clothes that I was wearing last year.
Before the gyms closed I was already having a hard time shedding some weight anyway. Last year I took up a weight training program and packed on a solid 10 pounds from where I am now. When the virus hit the country and the gyms closed down, I was hiking a lot more to try and shed the weight I had gained with weight training.
Around that time, most learned from a Facebook Live that I had sprained my ankle too. So I really couldn’t run or walk for weeks. This is when I feared I was going to really put on the pandemic weight.
In the beginning of the pandemic I was actually baking cookies and sweets, but that got old really fast. So I tried to get back into my normal routine of how I was eating before the pandemic. That really didn’t work out since everything I ate was fresh fruit and vegetables.
Instead I have learned how to make and freeze food. It’s not the same as making something fresh, but I’ve been doing my best to make foods that are nutritious and filling while trying to reach my fitness goals.
Believe it or not, I had been reading how guys like Joe Rogan and fighters were doing yoga to improve their flexibility in their joints and muscles. Plus, I had also read that yoga is good for those who are hypothyroid.
Since yoga was low-impact, I decided to take it up and I don’t regret it. It has done wonders for me and has been a game-changer.
It seems discouraging when I say that I haven’t lost any weight while doing it, but I don’t even think the weight matters now because I have noticed I am stronger in my core and my lower back pain and sciatica issues have all but disappeared.
If there’s one thing the pandemic has done is that it has taught me all about patience when it comes to yoga. Call me a trendy white-girl who eats avocado toast, I don’t care. I’ve never felt better.
What has it been like working during the pandemic?
For the most part, it has been weird. I’m not even sure I can explain the uncertainty of what the coronavirus has done for work.
Since most of you know that we love to do events, it makes me wonder if this is how radio was back in the 60s when there wasn’t any social media.
Actually, I think the 60s were probably more exciting because at least you could invite people to the studio, invite groupies, smoke out and have lots of sex.
No, work has been strangely eerie from my perspective.
Just as you have experienced, it’s strange to not go to concerts at all.
It’s strange to not go to a radio station event at a cell phone store or car dealership.
It’s strange to not be at Tempe Marketplace to watch a band get up and perform for everyone.
It’s strange to not tell stories of what some promo kid did at a remote and how they got an STD from it.
It has all been strange.
Mostly, working feels empty knowing that all the musicians and artists are doing the exact same thing we’re doing here at the radio station. And work won’t feel normal until a show can come through town without anyone wearing a mask or social distancing.
I wish I had a better answer, but you truly do realize how important it is to see someone’s face, their smile and their reactions. Communication is key to humans, but body language and expressions have never been more important.
Now that there aren’t any events going on, what do you do on the weekends?
Ha! Well, before this bullshit, my weekends were actually pretty tame. I’d go to the occasional show here and there, go out to eat in Tempe or Downtown Phoenix, but I wouldn’t say I was tearing up the town like I did when I was in my 30s.
In a normal year, the weekends would be spent hiking and cooking on the weekends. Even during the normal times, I still found time to head into Downtown Phoenix and meet up with a friend or two for an outing. But these days, I’m mainly sticking at home.
I LOVE to cook at home and so it didn’t bother me before that I would stay home and cook. Even before coronavirus, I would go to events, hang out for a few hours then go to Sprouts or Safeway and pick up food to cook for the night. If there’s one thing that makes me happy, it’s cooking.
What makes me even happier is when I can cook for people and see them happy. We can sit around, listen to good music and catch up. Unfortunately that isn’t the case right now. I mean, I guess I could invite people over and eat outside. That’s a thing, right?
What shows are you watching on Netflix or Amazon Prime?
Believe it or not, I’m not a HUGE TV watcher. It’s funny because Bret Vesely has been begging me to watch Ozarks and I just haven’t found the time to watch it.
It’s not that I don’t watch TV because I don’t like it.
I don’t watch TV because I have a serious addictive personality. Once I latch onto a show, I’ll binge it the whole weekend no matter how bad of a headache I have from staring at the screen.
I did this years ago when I first started Breaking Bad and that’s when I knew I had a problem watching a good series. I mean, Breaking Bad was already a good show, but I found that I did it with Better Call Saul too.
I’ve done it with a few other series out there, but the most recent one was Stranger Things.
My friend Jessica kept telling me that I needed to watch Stranger Things simply for the fact that there was a ton of 80s nostalgia. I resisted watching it because I knew that I would get addicted to it.
Then one weekend earlier this summer, I started the series and I binged the whole thing to the point where I had a headache and I don’t regret it.
As much as I would like to say that the pandemic has been exciting, it really hasn’t. It has been probably just as exciting as yours. But hey, if you ever need spice up your life, there’s no harm in a little avocado toast with some red chili pepper flakes and some salt.
Go ahead. Judge me. 😉