Hey guys. I’m recording this on Saturday, March 21. I hope you are doing well wherever you are today. Here where I am, in Illinois, we are on the first day of the official governor-directed Shelter in Place order. Seems like a good time for me to learn some new Zentangle patterns and invite you guys to join me.
For today’s video I’ll be learning how to draw Zentangle from the website tanglepatterns.com. Links to pattern pages and other stuff I mention in this video will be listed in the description if you want more info.
First thing I want to do for this third Tangled Talk video, is let people know that my husband and I are doing okay. We’re grateful that our family and friends have been checking in on us frequently and making sure we have what we need. One huge thing I’m really thankful for — my mom and dad helped us buy a washing machine this week – what a time for the old one to give up the ghost right? During a pandemic?
Dan and I literally spent all day yesterday washing the laundry that had piled up over the last week and a half, and we were back at it first thing this morning. Last night we put freshly washed sheets on the bed, and my stress level came down a notch or two just doing that one mundane little thing.
Which prompts me to say, if you’re looking for some small things you can do to help someone out right now and you have a washing machine and they don’t? Just knowing how stressful our own situation was being without a washing machine and not finding paper towels and stuff anywhere…I worry about the elderly, the sick, and the disabled.
Others like us who can’t just truck themselves over to a laundromat even under normal circumstances. So you know, look out for your family and your neighbors and stuff.
In addition to a functioning washer, another thing I’m really grateful for this week: A long-time internet friend sent us a care package, and it arrived yesterday. She found a few boxes of Kleenex for us that we couldn’t find locally and had them sent to us along with a box of green tea and some pretzels. And honestly, simple gestures like that are what’s going to get us through right now.
Oh and another thing, I was just reading an article this morning too about two displaced college students in New York starting a group called Invisible Hands that delivers groceries to the vulnerable and they got more than 1,300 volunteers to join them in something like three days. That is really heartening news to hear.
I think a lot of us are looking for stories like that right now, because, just to be totally frank, the President has completely bungled the response to coronavirus here. And it’s not doing a whole heckuva lot to alleviate people’s very valid concerns about this thing. You know, when you’re already worried about your at-risk friends and family and neighbors and you see your country’s leader not reacting appropriately, it helps to see that others are like you know, “Screw that, I’m doing what I can.”
And along that line, I’ve been trying to think of what I can do to help. I don’t have money or health, but I’ve got this YouTube channel and I was thinking you know maybe it can be a place where you guys come just to get away for a few minutes and draw with me. I’m going to try to upload a little more frequently, because I know for me personally, I’ve watched probably every Zentangle video on YouTube out there like twice now. Every time a new video drops you know I’m just like on it and I’ve watched it already. And I was thinking I want more videos to watch right now! So my philosophy going forward for the foreseeable future is just “be the change you want to see on YouTube.”
I’m still limited by my health to a great extent, but it has never been about whether I can do as much as someone else. It’s just about knowing that I’m doing what I can. I hope you’re all managing ok out there, but I do just want to gently remind you to ask for help if you need it. Because as much as it benefits you to receive what you need, it benefits others to know they have something to give.
I feel like this asking for help thing is one of a few areas where you all should really listen to me and that I can talk to you as something of an expert. As former head of the National Stubbornly Independent Society, being at the mercy of other people was the absolute last thing I ever wanted for myself. But someone told me once after my cancer diagnosis that generous people can’t exist in a world where no one’s willing to accept help. It took me going through some real crap to really internalize that message, but I have now. And the absolute truth of it makes it a whole lot easier to live on this planet. Just to be totally honest.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soap box. I do want people to know that it’s not a personal failing to need things, and it’s not a personal flaw to ask for help getting them. So whether you need to borrow a cup of sugar or you need someone to do your grocery shopping, just make sure you ask.
All right, that does it for today’s Tangled Talk. I’ll be back as soon as I can with another video. In the meantime, don’t forget that my memoir Who You Gonna Believe is still free to read at emilysuess.com for at least the rest of this month. And if you’re curious about what else I’m up to during self-isolation, you can catch up with me on the blog, on Twitter, and on Instagram.