By: Daisy Gumin, Community @Monument
I assumed that within my first 60 days sober, I would become a girlfriend. I thought I would lose weight, become not depressed for starters, and of course, fall into an extraordinary amount of money.
Unsurprisingly, those things didn’t happen in the first 60 days and sure, a few still haven’t come true, now three years later. I will say, however, that my life has gotten exponentially better, and yes, stay with me here…fun.
Pre-COVID, having fun felt fairly easy. I enjoy dancing, eating. Obviously, going dancing and Friday night restaurant-hopping date-nights with my girlfriend aren’t pandemic friendly.
But! Here’s the but — I am still having fun. So, I’m sharing the activities that are keeping me in good spirits. Peppy, even. Let me preface this with, I still get sad and lonely and confused and furious like anyone else. Take one look around. But, I promise, one of these will scratch the itch. Even if it’s a half-fake smile or a single laugh — that’s enough for me. You’ve officially had fun and I’ve done my job.
Ok, so first, cook something new
I hate chopping things. That’s probably my least favorite part of cooking (In the event that I do cook). And what requires little chopping? Yep. You guessed it: Sour cream and onion biscuits.
Biscuits are great; I love biscuits. But, I also wanted to prove myself to myself. Like I, Daisy Gumin, can make biscuits and if I don’t have fun making them, I will undoubtedly have fun eating them.
Back home in New York City, I fell into the humdrum of egg, oatmeal, toast, smoothie (but no shade to Daily Harvest. Excellent smoothies.). A silver lining of quarantine is that wherever you are, you can make the time for things. The days of I don’t have time to make sour cream and onion biscuits are canceled.
In other words, make the biscuits — whatever your biscuit thing is.
I am not proud to say that I am occasionally a nay-sayer when it comes to traditional games. Ask me to play Monopoly? No. Uno? Eh. Scrabble? Have to be in the mood to be creamed by my family.
Now, Enter Jackbox.
Ah, Jackbox. The king of all games. The ultimate unifier. The games that don’t care if you’re young or old or funny or not. Jackbox games are the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time).
And no, I am not an ambassador.
Jackbox is a series of games that you can play with anyone (together or not) at any time, as long as everyone has the “room code.” These are drawing games, fill-in-the-blank games, laugh out loud competition games, trivia games. Believe me when I say, if all else fails, Jackbox will be your lifeline. And, if you don’t know where to start, try Jackbox’s “Quiplash” and “Drawful.”
Make an AF drink (Hold your horses, it means alcohol-free)
One of my favorite rituals of Friday night restaurant-hopping date-nights was asking the bartender, I’d like a cocktail without alcohol. Whatever you want to make, just no alcohol. Go Crazy.
I’ve had tons of success with that opener. I’ve had muddled tomato and lavender in elderflower tonic. Pineapple, Thai tea, and coconut milk in a Moscow mule gauntlet. Citrus on citrus on citrus adorned with boysenberries.
It’s safe to say I was devastated when shelter-in-place went into-place and I could no longer do my proud, I want a delicious bev and hold the alcohol introduction. The good news is, the AF beverage industry is booming. Spirits, wines, beers, all AF.
Alas, in quarantine, I had to become my own bartender. But let me tell you, there’s nothing better than passing your drink around a table of alcoholic cocktails and getting the, “yours is the best” remark.
Like, yes. Thanks. I know.
Date (but very, very, for the love of god VERY, safely)
I love dates, whether with my partner or a friend. Pre-COVID, dates were my highlight of the week. Dates bring that sweet anticipation, the opportunity for spontaneity, and joy.
Spontaneity is somewhat impossible in the time of Coronavirus. *Safety is wildly more important than a last-minute plan for the sake of adventure.
So, my partner and I adapted (with the advice of some other couples-in-quarantine) and started putting together COVID friendly date-nights. Here’s my advice.
- Get dressed (dressed, dressed. Like, changing from the clothes you slept in, dressed)
- Order take-out
- Put the phones away
- Make your AF drinks
Workout to Youtube
Before shelter in place, I wasn’t working out. Sue me.
I was doing triple overnight shifts at a sober living home and thought if anyone is busy, it’s me. Upon reflection, I think everyone believes they’re the only busy New Yorker.
But, if you want to flex that muscle (no pun intended), Youtube is a great place to start. You might surprise yourself. The 20-minute MadFit video could turn into two. Maybe you end up mixing and matching with Chloe Ting, POPSUGAR Fitness, and a full-body 5-minute boost to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, as the finale.
Lastly, serve up some nostalgia
Do something that brings you back. A flashback Friday kind of thing.
For me, I’ve started rollerblading again. I think the last time I rollerbladed I was 11-years-old and had just officially gotten over my unicycle phase, for better or for worse.
Anyway, get back in touch with that childlike you, before well, this pandemic. Or long before this pandemic. Let yourself look dorky. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Some lighthearted goofery never hurt anyone.
I promise, there’s fun out there (especially sober). Because who are we kidding, booze is so un-fun.
About the Author: An NYC native, Daisy works on the marketing team at Monument doing all things content and community. Daisy has been an addiction recovery support specialist, a Columbia University undergrad, a columnist, a keynote speaker, a notoriously Highly Sensitive Person, and a proud circus recruit. Daisy loves crime podcasts, her West Virginian god-dog Louise, sweatpants, and 90-Day Fiance. Find her at firstname.lastname@example.org