A few things happening with us…

A few things happening with us…
Carly Jacobs

I thought it was about time for a life update from my little family. It’s been a rough start to the year to say the freaking least. We were house bound for most of Christmas and January because of the bushfires and just as everything started looking bright and beautiful again, we got hit with a bloody global pandemic.

It’s always the way isn’t it? Just when you think you’ve got everything sorted the world gets knee-capped by a highly contagious and deadly virus. Doing stuff is going to be off the cards for quite a while which sucks because doing stuff is my most favourite thing.

I’m struggling quite a bit with this to be honest, as I’m sure everyone is. Our day to day life is okay – we already both work from home and we’re both still working (for the moment) so it’s really only been a minor adjustment so far but to be honest, I have no idea how to respond publicly to this.

I usually make jokes but that just seems wildly inappropriate. I’m also a solutions gal – if you have a problem, I’ll help you figure out how to fix it. This can’t be fixed with chirpy articles about at home work outs and routines so where does that leave me?

Personally I’m struggling a lot with the stillness of this global crises. I’m an extrovert whose self worth is deeply tied to my productivity. With this extremely eerie and odd world wide pause I’m feeling a bit panicked. Am I falling behind? What should I be working on? What are my global pandemic goals? Who do I want to BE when this is all over?

There’s also not a lot of room for anything other than panicking about our financial security and the safety of my loved ones. It’s a lot. I hope you guys are dealing with it in the best way you can.

There’s no right way to respond to this so I’m trying my best to use it as a learning experience and look at my behaviour and see what I like about my response and what I don’t like about my response.

Lists calm me down.

Things I’m Doing That I Don’t Like 

  • Responding in anger. I’m a massive rule follower and watching other people break the rules or not take this seriously is filling me with rage. I’m trying to not respond at all (it’s not my job to police other people) and I’m also trying to have compassion. People are breaking the rules because they’re scared, not because they’re assholes. So when I see 5 elderly people coughing into their hands, sneezing in each other’s faces and drinking takeaway coffees practically sitting on each other’s laps in the park despite the fact that we’re now on level 3 restrictions, I don’t scream ‘GO HOME YOU FUCKING NUMPTIES YOU’RE GOING TO DIE!!!’. I take a deep breath and walk away. Not my monkeys, not my circus. All I can do is my very best to stop the spread of this virus. Which I am doing wholeheartedly. And rage texting my mum all day.
  • Obsessing about emerging from this lock down a better person. I’m VERY bad at sitting with stillness and discomfort. Like, I really, really hate it. And when you can’t see your family and friends or travel or go see movies it’s SUPER difficult to run away from your feelings and fill your days to the point where don’t feel like a giant waste of oxygen. Don’t you just hate that?
  • Not sleeping. I can’t do much about it because I’m brimming with anxiety. It is what it is.

Things I’m Doing That I Do Like 

  • I’m calling people more often, including my grandmothers which is lovely.
  • I’m sticking to my routines – exercising every day, eating low carb high fat.
  • I’m giving myself evenings and weekends off. I’ve been doing this for a while (since my daughter was born a year ago) and it’s very, very good.
  • I’m helping – I live in a country town and I’ve registered as a helper. I have a volunteer police check and I’m listed as a person who can help elderly and disabled people in my town to get groceries. I haven’t been called upon yet but very excited about the endorphin rush I’m bound to get from being useful.
  • I’m buying local – ordering local wines and produce to support the region. I want my beautiful town back on its feet and thriving when this is all over. It’s been a shocker of a year for our tourism and hospitality industries losing the summer season to the fires and now losing the autumn/winter seasons to a bloody global pandemic. Honestly, you couldn’t make this up if you tried.

So, when I do updates, I always use this sweet template from Pip from Meet Me at Mike’s. Feel free to use it too just make sure you credit her.

Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Making – A knitted cardigan for Ben! I’m a crocheter (and I always will be, something about the movement just works for me) but I managed to learn a crocheters way of knitting (it’s called continental) so I’m knitting him a cardigan and myself a chunky jumper. I’m quite pleased actually – I’ve tried to learn to knit SO MANY TIMES and finally I’ve got it with continental style. It’s also apparently the faster way to knit and we all know how much speed pleases me.

Cooking – Roast chicken! And other big chunks of meat I don’t usually cook. It was slim pickings on our last trip to the supermarket so we bought a whole bunch of meat we don’t usually buy and it’s been fun figuring out how to cook it. Fun fact – Harriet LOVES roast chicken. Ate so much of it we had cut her off. Little chicken face.

Drinking – Local wine from VSANDB. Some friends and I tried their Pret-A-Rose at the Stanley Pub and it was so bloody good I ordered a few bottles of that and some of their Pret-A-Rouge. It’s extremely drinkable – I’ll have to order a few more bottles for when my parents are finally allowed to visit again after we’ve flattened the curve.

Reading – Book club books! I joined a local book club this year (we only got to have one in person catch up before the virus hit) but we’ve moved it online. The first book we read was Where The Crawdads Sing and I’ve put my review of it up on Instagram (you can follow me here!). The March book is Vernon God Little (we’re having our Zoom book club this weekend for this book) and the next book is The Genius Factory.  I’m loving reading books I wouldn’t ordinarily read and our scope so far as been extremely varied. Keep an eye out for my future book reviews! I’ll also include some non-book club books too – ones I’m just reading because I want to.

where the crawdads sing book review

Trawling – eBay for clogs, hand knits, linen jumpsuits, merino tights and knit dresses. Getting my winter wardrobe sorted. My winter theme is Minimalist Hygge Scandi. Think clogs, wooly tights and enormous knits. Messy hair and huge scarves. Hot chocolate in giant mugs, merino arm warmers. Lovely.

Wanting – This to all be over. We had such wonderful plans over Autumn to visit family, have family and friends visit us and to do some work on our house. We’ve had to pause all of it which sucks balls so hard. I was also going to see Alanis Morrisette with Veggie Mama and that got cancelled. Sad face. My beautiful cousin had to postpone her wedding. I know it’s necessary and we’re all doing the right thing but I do want to chuck a little tantrum about all the nice things I don’t get to do now. Boo!

Looking – At Harriet on the baby monitor and she’s sleeping with one arm sticking up in the air. She’s such a little pretzel weirdo.

Deciding – What to plant in our greenhouse. We now can’t buy plants because Bunnings trips are non-essential but hopefully we’ll be able to plant some stuff in spring.

Wishing – That the impact from this terrible virus is as minimal as possible. I’m not being delusional I promise, I know this is (and is going to be) really, really bad but I’m hoping the outcome will be the least horrific it can be.

Enjoying – Our quiet little country life – being in lockdown hasn’t been hugely jarring for us because we generally only go grocery shopping once every two weeks anyway and we spent a lot of time in our own backyard. So it’s quite nice most of the time. A bit lonely but not too out of the ordinary.

Waiting – For my chunky wool and knitting needles to arrive so I can get started on my chunky jumper.

Liking – My new jeans! I asked on Facebook for advice on buying jeans (I’m curvy and tall, tummy is my biggest issue) and I went with the high rise Amaze Knit jeans from Just Jeans. They’re pretty great so far – super comfy. I just need a few tops because I literally don’t have any. Not a single one.

Wondering – What the world will look like at the end of all this. I reckon there’s going to be some really good stuff. I think Covid 19 has given the world a lot of perspective and I can see some lovely things coming from that.

Loving – Harriet’s learning tower! It’s from Little Riser’s and we do really like but it was a bit of nightmare to put together because the pieces didn’t fit well but apart from that it’s been ace. Hats LOVES it – she stands there and boops and bops around while we make meals and drinks her baby chino when we have our morning coffee. Can highly recommend a learning tower for toddlers, because they’re little sticky beaks who just love to be involved.

Pondering – Learning to sew my own clothes. I’ve had LOTS of false starts with sewing over the years (I think sewing machines heard me bitching about them and now they don’t want to be my friend). My plan is to get Mr Smaggle’s mum to teach me one weekend when she comes to visit. She’s a rad sewer and I feel like I need a lot of personal attention in this endeavour. I don’t want to do anything too bananas or have a 100% me made wardrobe. I just want to make a Zadie Jumpsuit and maybe a Peppermint Wrap Top.

Listening to – Elton John’s Rocket Hour – it’s a fantastic show put together by Elton John. I’m a creature of habit when it comes to music (Cher, T-swift, Madonna and musical theatre is on permanent rotation at our place) but I’m discovering so much music through this show. When I’m working (writing) I listen to City Pop which is a new-to-me genre my friend Simon got me on to. I listen to music with no lyrics a lot (Like classical, Bollywood) so I don’t get distracted and City Pop is like folky Japanese music. And the lyrics are in Japanese so I can’t understand them! Ace.

Considering – The future. Since having Harriet and then experiencing a freaky global pandemic I’m thinking more and more about what I want to spend my time doing and what I DON’T want to spend my time doing. It’s a good thing to think about. I highly recommend it.

Buying – Not a lot to be honest. More things online than usual but I had a few must haves on my winter wardrobe list (cute ankle boots, a dressy coat) and I’m just not going to buy them now because I’m not going anywhere over winter. If you look cute and no one sees you, do you actually look cute? Style philosophy.

Watching – Tiger King like everyone else on the internet and it’s amazing. We’re only one episode in so I can’t comment on the whole thing yet.

Hoping – The Babysitters Club drops soon on Netflix. I’m ridiculously excited about it.

Marvelling – At the kindness of people. Most people are being delicious sunshine humans right now and it’s lovely.

Cringing – Well not cringing, more laughing at Mr Smaggle getting really confused over the plot of Spot Goes For a Walk. There’s a page that goes ‘Are you hungry Spot?’ and there’s a bunny eating veggies in a veggie patch and you lift the flap and the rabbit says ‘Look in the flower bed!’. Mr Smags was reading it to Harriet and goes ‘There’s a mistake in this book – the rabbit is in a veggie patch, NOT a flower bed.’ Yeah so the flower bed is on the NEXT PAGE. What a doofus. It’s called a story arc, bro. Look it up.

Needing – New measuring cups and spoons but I want like the Volvo of measuring cups and spoons. I want high quality, hard core, no fade, no break, still going when I’m 90 years old measuring cups and spoons. Any suggestions?

Questioning – Whether or not to get my own at home laser hair removal system. I reckon I’ll be okay for a few months and plus it will be winter but it would be convenient to not have to drive for an hour every few months for laser hair removal. Thoughts?

Smelling – My girl’s luscious little neck when she gets out of the bath at night. It’s my favourite part of the day she smells like sweetened condensed milk, clean sheets and peonies. I’ve created a game that involves her sitting on my lap, us singing a song together and it ends with an epic snuggle and then we repeat it. The fool. This way I get as many snuggles as I want and she thinks it’s a game! Bwahaha!

Wearing – Ice Breaker thermals. I wear them constantly. I have a new set I wear during the day (because I’m fancy and working) and an old set I wear at night that are so comfy and soft.

Noticing – I basically don’t wear make-up anymore. At all. Unless I’m going somewhere (which I rarely do especially these days) it’s bare faced Betty for me. I don’t hate it. Feels good.

Knowing – In a few years we’ll all be saying ‘Remember Corona Virus lockdown???’ as we drink beer in pubs and hug each other and travel? It’s going to be lovely.

Thinking – About (finally) writing a book. Can you guess what it will be about?

Admiring – My business buddy mates and clients through out this rough time. And also the influencers out there who continue to put out top notch content. I know people can get grumpy about internet people and those of us who make money online but honestly it’s a tough gig at the best of times and even tougher right now. I just think you’re all ace.

Getting – Antsy to hang out with people again. I finally made some friends in my tiny town and I had a semblance of a social life which now has now been put on pause. Dang. Extroverts are NOT coping well with this.

Bookmarking – Grown Ups by Marion Keyes. Next on my list after I finish The Genius Factory.

Opening – My last can of diced tomatoes! We bulk buy stuff like that every few months because we don’t live near a supermarket and our stocked pantry is looking very sad. And we can’t restock it because of supermarket limits. So annoying.

Closing – Everything. Literally everything except the supermarket and the chemist is closed. I miss malls. And pubs. And people.

Feeling – Okay and terrible. It’s often terrible one day and then okay the next. But that’s to be expected. Life is REALLY weird right now.

Hearing – Mr Smaggle and Hats maniacally singing Row Your Boat and Incey Wincey Spider, collapsing into giggles and then starting again. My heart.

Celebrating – Not much right now but hoping all this fuckery will be over by September and I can have a whopping great birthday party.

Pretending – To be asleep and then ‘waking’ up and scaring Harriet. She bloody loves that game, lil’ thrill seeker.

Embracing – This weird time… or at least trying to. I am struggling, I won’t lie but slowing down can’t be all bad… can it?

What’s happening with you? How are you coping? Anything that’s helping you get through the day that you’d care to share?

P.S Also you should totally sign up for my newsletter. It’s full of cool stuff.

14 Comments

  1. Cassie 5 months ago

    It has been such a weird time. I, like you, am not loving how riled up I get seeing people break the rules. I swear I had a tension headache on Friday feeling so grumpy. The strangest part I’ve found is how quickly I’ve accepted this is our reality now. 2 weeks ago I felt sick with stress. Every day since has been slightly more accepting to now where it’s just like ok we gotta lock this down, lets stay home. I am worried about what everything will look like at the end of this, but trying to not let it be all consuming because it’s sadly out of our control. Will have to check out the Marion Keyes book – I haven’t read anything by her in years but she’s always good! Stay safe and stay well xx

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 2 months ago

      Oh my god I was getting so riled up! That seems like a different person now!

  2. Liz 5 months ago

    Hi Smaggle! Measuring cups…Tupperware! My mother has her Tupperware wedding present set, still going strong 51 years later. They are olive green…..so retro chic…..They have gone from cool to daggy to cool to daggy to cool again!

    • Anna 4 months ago

      Totally second the Tupperware, Mum’s still got her set (vintage) and upon moving out of home I got gifted my own set (a nice navy blue, less vintage at 10+years)

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 2 months ago

      Oh lovely thank you!

  3. Sarah 5 months ago

    You can order vegie seeds online (diggers club can probably help you out – although I know they’re getting smashed with orders right now) and there should still be time to get them sown for winter crops. Just a suggestion in case you wanted to get into the garden before spring 🙂
    I think we’re all going through very similar emotions so I hope everyone’s doing well 🙂

  4. Amanda 5 months ago

    Highly recommend @elisejoy on insta if you don’t already follow her! I think her minimalist aesthetic would appeal to you, and she has a great beginner’s sewing course too

  5. Claire & Nightfury Cat 5 months ago

    Heard of the Digger’s Club? They’re amazing – they’ll post you heirloom seeds 🙂

  6. Ruth Doubell 5 months ago

    Check out @papercutpatterns on insta, I feel you’d like their aesthetic and the patterns look fairly simple.

  7. Emily 5 months ago

    I couldn’t feel comfortable knitting after crocheting either and I also had to get someone to show me the continental method. I had expected it to be WAY harder or something or really really different, the way some people go on about it… but honestly it’s like the tiniest little difference… you just hold the working yarn in the other hand. Easy. Learning the actual knitting part was the hard bit!

    P.S. have you ever tried weaving??

  8. Missy D 4 months ago

    Nice to see what you’re up to, but sorry to hear you’re struggling. I’m an introvert, so this is completely in my wheelhouse – I actually feel like people are trying to connect with me TOO much now.

    You can plant some veggies from your already bought veggie off-cuts – tomatoes, onions, lettuce, garlic – just use the seeds from the tomatoes and lettuce, onion and garlic you can use their bases to form new roots and plant as is. 🙂

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