I was doing pretty well during this time of isolation until it snowed 12 inches Sunday here in Boulder County. The snow melted quickly, and by Wednesday afternoon most of it was gone. Then Thursday it snowed another 12 inches, 24 inches in five days. Boulder has had 151 inches of snow this season, breaking the all-time record for snowiest winter.
I spend most of my days writing my book. The first draft is due to my editor in two weeks. I’m getting close. I’ve saved the most difficult chapters for last, because that’s what you do. But I can’t write all day. In fact, if I’m lucky, I can write five or six hours a day before my brain turns to mush.
I used to surf the New York Times and Washington Post during my breaks from writing, but I only let myself do that once a day now. More than that is too much. My first and third TED talks have been doing well of late, so in-between writing sessions, I sometimes check their views. I know. It’s pretty pathetic. “Hey, I wonder how many people have looked at my red sweater and blue scarf and thought to themselves, ‘Really, she wore that in front of thousands of people.’” I mean, what else am I supposed to do? I live alone and there’s 12 inches of snow on the ground and it’s 26 degrees outside. The highlight of my day is catching up on this season’s This Is Us episodes, which I do every night at 10:00, when what I want is a good cry. It always delivers. I’m spreading the episodes out. I only have three left.
The newer TEDx talk is up to 175,000 views, which is nice, but it’s slowing down. The first talk is inching close to three million views, though it is also slowing down. It may be a few more weeks before it hits that milestone. That’s a lot of views for a TEDx talk. Views tend to rise and fall with the moods of the algorithm gods, but it feels pretty good to have both videos doing well. That is, until I compare them with other videos.
The number one cat video on the Internet has had 174 million views, 58 times the number of views my first TED talk has had. There is a great white shark with a GPS monitor on her fin who has over 130,000 Twitter followers. Her name is Mary Lee. I have like 12 Twitter followers. Yeah, I think I’ll stop checking my TED talk counts.
I made a video today for Colby Martin’s new book Shift, about the difficult journey from condemning theology to generous theology. I was excited. It meant I could take a shower after riding my stationary bike in the basement. Showers are when you get inside a glass box and water comes out in droplets all over your body. It feels very good. I used to take showers, in another life. Then I put on make-up and sent a Marco Polo to my friend, who has been watching Marco Polo’s of me all week in which I am not wearing make-up. I look like the “before” picture from a face cream ad.
Anyway, I put on light blue spring jumpsuit with a white spring sweater so I could make the video look like spring, even though the neighbor kids are sledding outside. I’m going to keep it on all day because it’s spring, dammit. So even though I have to get virtually naked every time I go the bathroom, I’m going to stay in the jumper. Tomorrow I am going to wear stiff pants, the extremely tight ones you wear outside that are made of denim. I am going to wear them just because I want to wear them. Actually, I want to make sure they still fit because, you know, those M&Ms did arrive.
I want the snow to melt so I can go mountain biking. But with the amount of snow we’ve had, the trail won’t open until, I dunno, August. It’ll be way too muddy. If I have to ride my stationary bike in the basement one more day, I might start screaming. But that’ll be fine, because there is no one around to hear. If a woman screams in her basement and no one is around to hear, does the scream make a sound?
Right now I can see three golden eagles outside my office window, circling high over the ridge just south of me. They are riding the thermals up, then circling slowly down until they catch the next updraft. The eagles came to remind me that there is nothing new under the sun, and this too shall pass.
Hang in there, friends. Try on the stiff pants once every couple of weeks, check in on your neighbors, call the people who live alone, and trust in the hope of spring.
And so it goes.