I recently learned there is such a thing as “Anti-Skills”; you know personality traits you should really leave behind. Simply stated this refers to what you should NOT do is just as important as what you should do. From what I understand bad personality traits have run rampant since Covid. Just another side effect of what society seems to deem flaws we have yet to rectify.

There were many traits listed in the article I read. The list seemed pretty lengthy so I picked a few that I thought we all could relate to. The traits I chose were being flakey, passive-aggressive and indecisive or constant bragging. I think we all have definitely refined those skills over the last year. Each of these have their own allure but a key one for me what started as non-aggressive behavior in 2020 honed itself right into the pit bull don’t mess with me category by the end of last year. And don’t get me started on being indecisive. Scanning take-out menus on line, sifting through hundreds of coupons and deciding on Lift or Door Dash to deliver, what a dilemma and the height of indecision!

Being unfocused was another one. I am a writer after all so you would assume that focus was my middle name right? But there I was getting up most mornings during the pandemic drifting around in my pajamas deciding in which part of the house to spend my day was unfocused at its best. I have an office dedicated and nicely laid out for me to write. But that became boring as sheet after sheet of paper strewn the floor when I lost my focus and concentration. I guess my newly found adult coloring books were certainly a distraction. Many days after wandering from room to room with a cup of coffee in search of the perfect place, I recreated the playbook from my first book, “Hiding in My Pajamas” plopping up the bed pillows, stretching out and switching on Netflix. Remember when your mother said you wouldn’t accomplish anything by lying in bed all day? In my defense I did learn about history watching the Crown!

To combat “flakiness” we were told to take time to think things through. Seriously did we not have eons of time during 2020 to think things through? I would sit in my office trying to emulate Rodin’s iconic sculpture the Thinker. You know this guy represents the creative mind at work. Just like mine I thought smugly. Although the figure is seated, he is not at rest. That’s me, not at rest, always thinking and trying to create. But according to my husband, who rolled his eyes daily at me during the pandemic, I thought things to death moving constantly from the ridiculous to the sublime before I could settle on an outcome. I reached out to a fellow writer for inspiration. Unfortunately she was in an entirely different frame of mind. “I can offer no condolences.” She said seriously. “My train of thought derailed and there were no survivors during this miserable pandemic.” She replied hanging up on me. At that moment I remembered watching Sesame Street with my kids and Cookie Monster saying something very profound that has stayed with me all these years, “Today me will live in the moment unless it’s unpleasant in which case me will eat a cookie!”, sound advice in my opinion so I headed off to the cookie jar. No more thinking today.

As far as bragging, how many people did you talk to last year who just kept boasting about all they accomplished for the year they stayed at home? It is called ‘quarantine bragging’. It is really a thing and it supposed to be hurting our mental health. So of course I took the high road and did not participate in any bragging at all. Ok I will admit there is a tad bit of jealously because perhaps I really did not accomplish everything I wanted to do and did not really have anything to brag about. You know, all those people out there doing amazing things, creating new food groups, launching go-fund me pages for their new businesses, and discovering inner peace, yep just a bit of jealously. There is that quote, “think less do more” that I really should have listened to.

I did start out thinking I was the person who would get up every morning and work out and brag about all my weight loss and flex my newly acquired muscles to impress. Had all the hand weights, my daughter sent me stretch bands, but I was wrong, that was not me. As the Covid pounds appeared I thought I wish everything in life was as easy as getting fat.

Although I have to admit I became an expert at surfing the web for YouTube videos that taught me amazing things I did not know. And I absolutely fell in love with the Gloria Gaynor video washing her hands to “I Will Survive”. It was awesome and I did learn many new dance moves. Also I am certain my toilet paper roll crafts videos took my skills to new heights and I have a lady bug and three very colorful pencil holders to prove it!

I admit my “Anti-skills” did kick in. I blame it on the internet culture changing daily at warp speed. Spending more time online can be both exhausting and enthralling. Did we not all have to stay current and focused with so much to learn and accomplish? As I watched the whole world belly up to their in house bar it’s no wonder I became hooked on videos about making cocktails. Chocolate martini’s with a crushed chocolate chip rim yum! I watched celebrities post depressing photos of themselves without their hair and makeup stylists insisting they were now one of us. I laughed and cried at cute dog videos and sang to every 70’s video I could find. My friend YouTube celebrity Elise Marquam Jahns who is the makeup guru for women over 50 was a godsend. After many hours watching her videos I am sure no one will recognize me as I step out with my new and improved face. The good news is I have learned to laugh pretty hard at myself and I did refrain from the eyebrow ring I was seriously considering.

We are on our way back – Stay strong America!