What’s most important to you right now? 

Right now. Right now is what’s important. The next 10 minutes. Everyone’s taking on these big projects, doing all this stuff. I’m trying to do that, but I can’t finish, so I’m doing things in 10-minute increments. The next 10-15 minutes is what’s most important to me right now. It helps because I have to go onto the next thing. I’m not going to complete things, but it has been the only way to do this. 

What was most important to you before you had to social distance? 

Trying to figure out what was next. How to get to the next big thing. It was so important to me and it seems so silly now. Right now is all that’s important.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over? 

Have a martini! I could just make one right here, but there’s something about having a martini given to you. That whole process of going to happy hour, sitting at the bar, ordering a vodka martini straight up with a twist and having someone hand it to you–I don’t know what it is! I miss that. There’s a social element to it.

What are you doing to pass the time? 

Sewing masks, making bags, I’ve been cooking everything, baking–I made a dozen cookies yesterday for no reason. I’ve been playing the piano a lot–trying to learn a song every couple days. Everything! I can’t do one thing. I can’t sit and finish a thing. There’s a lot of other things to do. There’s simultaneously nothing to do and a lot of other things to do or try that seem more important right now. Everyone’s trying to come out of this with a big skill, or some new thing, and I just want to try a little bit of everything. That seems to keep me peaceful right now. There’s time. There’s literally nothing but time. 

What makes you happy right now?

The cooking helps. There’s this moment after dinner where [my boyfriend] is falling asleep on the couch with our dog and I’m sitting across from them like “oh, that’s what’s important right now.” It’s a really simple thing around 8:15 where I’m watching him and the dog sleep on the couch. It’s every night, and that’s kind of fun to me. 

What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today? 

Stop trying to do the next thing. Be right here. If I look back, I don’t think I’ve ever been good at that. To stay right in this thing, and see it out. I want to try to practice that. It requires looking into peoples eyes and breathing; really being aware of what’s going on around all of us. I’d really like to be in it. I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t until you took me out of it. I miss the opportunity to do that. When I’m talking to friends via FaceTime, it’s so cool to just see people’s faces. I would love to be that invested in people out at happy hour ordering the martini–just really be there and invested. That’s my thing to keep reminding myself–when this is over, promise yourself you will be in it. 


James J-Jersey City

DAY 46