Melanie writes in her journal Fairly Traded When I don't know what to do I write

When I don’t know what to do, I write.


Nothing matters anymore.


Or, at least…what used to matter somehow doesn’t now. That’s what I wrote in my journal the morning of Christmas Eve. But I’m getting ahead of myself.


You see, on December 24th, Dan and I did rapid Covid tests just to make sure we were negative before seeing my parents and nonna. Dan was negative…I was positive.


But in order to understand my journal entry we need to go back one day before.


On the night of December 23rd, I was telling Dan I was feeling a little overwhelmed with all the things we had to do the next day. This isn’t new for me- call it the burnout of being an entrepreneur or the stress of the Christmas season but little things have been getting to me lately.


What was making me anxious that night you ask? Let me give you the to-do list for the next day:


  • Buy wine and flowers
  • Make dessert
  • Shower, do my hair and makeup, get changed
  • Drop off a gift basket
  • Get gas
  • Pick up Indigo order
  • Wrap presents
  • Put up a few final Christmas decorations outside


All to be done before we went to my parents house for lunch.


Would it all get done? Would we feel rushed? What time should we wakeup? Why didn’t we get these things done sooner? Does everything really have to get done anyway?…and my thoughts went on as they do.


Except for this tiny little detail the next day where none of that would need to get done at all. None of it really mattered like it used to. As soon as that rapid test showed 2 pink lines my to-do list was scrapped and replaced with another one:


  • Text everyone I’ve seen in the past week
  • Call my parents and Dan’s parents and let them know we wouldn’t be seeing them for Christmas this year
  • Try to book a pcr test
  • Try again to book a pcr test (keep refreshing the government website for 1.5 hours until slots opened up)
  • Order all my favourite sick day foods/drinks to be delivered
  • Spend another hour getting on every pharmacy waitlist for the booster shot (I don’t know why this seemed urgent to me at the time but here we are)
  • Cry, sleep, eat, watch TV, drink tea…repeat


Why do I tell you all this? It certainly isn’t to complain (even if it seems that way) but it’s because as I was thinking about me and all my lists, another one came to mind today.


One that I think matters much much more. One of gratitude and appreciation for what I do have right now:


  • Daniel <3
  • Calls, texts, and Facetime
  • Amazing friends and family
  • Lively group chats
  • Mild symptoms
  • Porch drop offs of homemade goodies
  • Delivery drivers
  • Hot water, heat, electricity, wi-fi, a warm bed, and food on the table
  • TV, games, good books and records


So…all this to say…my perspective has changed on what matters most during this time of year. What overwhelmed me on Thursday, I wish was all I had to worry about on Friday. And what worried me on Friday was replaced with what I was grateful for on Saturday. Who knows what the next few days will bring!


It’s not even being sick that bothers me (thank God for mild symptoms), but I’ve just been so sad that I can’t be with everyone to celebrate Christmas after looking forward to it for the past month.


I hope I remember this next year. That gifts, desserts, wine, and decorations don’t mean much without those around you to enjoy them with. And that much has made itself even clearer through the messages from friends and family checking in on us and making sure we’re okay.


Thank you (you know who you are). Our relationships and connections are what matter most. I’m sorry it took me getting Covid to realize that all that other stuff is nice to have (and certainly adds to the magic of the season) but not necessary in the end.


So what am I going to do now? Whenever I write I feel like I need to give myself an action step. Like I need to wrap it all up in a nice bow (pun intended) and make it all mean something. Well, Dan and I have decided, when it’s safe to do so, we will be visiting everyone we wanted to see but didn’t get to.


Aunts, uncles, cousins…get ready for us to come and hug you all and share stories over a good cup of tea or coffee. That’s all I really want right now.


I’m done waiting for the once a year to come around when we can spend time with those we love. Because it may not come. I want to align my life with my values today. Because that’s all we really have. My mom used to tell me, “Tomorrow never comes” and the gravity of that statement is finally settling in.


Stay safe and warm out there my friends. And now, more than ever, I really mean this: if you EVER need someone to talk to about ANYTHING- give me a call. I will try to do the same with you. The only way we will get through this thing is with one another- even from a distance.


Thank you thank you thank you for reading my words and I hope to write to you again soon. I hope you could relate or connect to something I said today. And if not…well that’s okay too.


Merry Everything and Happy Always,




Disclaimer: I am writing this from a place of privilege as a healthy, young white woman. Dan and I have the privilege of isolating from home with electricity, hot water, a roof over our heads, and plenty of food. This is not lost on me and I in no way want to take away from the severity of others experiences during this time.


Writing helps me process things. It is meant to provide you with a snapshot of my thoughts and feelings from my perspective over the past few days. I hope to never take these for granted and do my best to share my privilege with others as I continue to learn how to do that.

December 27, 2021 — Melanie Vert
Tags: Reflections



Carmela said:

My dear Sweet Melanie!!! This post brought tears of joy to me because you spoke truly from your heart with such transparency!! It’s not easy at times to dig down deep and express one’s feelings to one’s self let alone in a blog post!!! Christmas iis a very beautiful season of the year but it does come with many stresses unfortunately!! It makes me happy that you were able to see the light when given a bit of darkness with being positive for Covid!! Thank you sincerely for sharing this!!! Makes me proud that you continue to be who you are and help change the world! Love you Babgirl!!💞

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.