Friday, April 29, 2022

The Anxious Red Leopard

Hello, my friends and welcome back. My anxiety has been flaring up lately - you may have noticed that I haven't been responding to comments for a while - and yesterday was a rough one for me. I found out that I'd been exposed to someone with Covid, and that sent me into a spiral of stress. I went from that feeling of being panicked and scared (hello, March 2020), to a state of high anxiety. 

I've been lucky to avoid being touched by the pandemic directly (aside from that Christmas adventure here), so this was a shock to me. After talking with L, who is so good at calming me down and helping me think rationally, I slowly de-escalated myself back to a low-simmer stress. 

But it did mean I had to cancel the planned Mom-Day Adventure yesterday - I didn't have any rapid tests on hand, and had to go get some - due to not wanting to put Mom at risk if I tested positive. I've since had two negative tests (hooray!), and am feeling no symptoms, so I should be fine although I have to continue daily tests until I go back to work on Monday.

I spent Thursday trying not to eat my stress (semi-successful) and to do things to lower my anxiety (cuddles with Vizzini, work on my art, napping), and today I popped into the office very briefly to do a few urgent things and then took a sick day. Today is definitely a Mental Health Day!
Instead of slouching to town in my house clothes, I made an effort and put on the next best thing: my red leopard denim suit. 

  • Suit jacket - Smashed Lemon; last worn here with the pants in November 2021
  • Vest - Religion, consignment; last seen here over the Dalmatian dress in March 
  • Pants - Smashed Lemon; last worn here in January for that missed Christmas in December 2021
  • T-shirt - not tracked, gift from Casey
  • Shoes - Mephisto, thrifted, not tracked

The t-shirt is from Duthie Books, a long-gone awesome bookstore from Vancouver. I'll be wearing it all day and sleeping in it tonight! 
I layered the long black vest for badassery and extra pockets.

Added the jacket/blazer over that. Voila! 
I look dressed up, but this is very much Clothing As Armour. No one look at the stressed-out woman!

The pants are stretchy and very comfy. 
All this red made me feel better, more confident and in charge. I'm faking it from the outside in. 

Masked up: 
With two negative tests under my belt, I'm safer than many of the people I saw, although I didn't interact face-to-face with anyone. 

Accoutrement-ed and incognito. 
Just enough to dash out and come home again and hide from the world.  

The stuff: 
The shiny sneakers are my spring/summer walking-to-work shoes; back into the closet they go. 

  • Scarf - fake Louis (Lewis!) Vuitton, thrifted
  • Belt - gift from Ruth
  • Gloves - Echo
  • White gold hoops - 10th anniversary gift from L
  • Mask (not shown) - by Mom

Anyway, I hope you all understand my need to step back a bit and take care of myself. I'm not going to stop posting, and I am trying to visit all my favourite bloggers and comment on their posts. I will respond to questions in comments if I can, but by giving myself permission to not respond to every single one means I have more time to deal with my mental health. I do read each and every comment, and I thank you all so much - they mean a lot!

I will be back later this weekend - we actually have a jam-packed schedule, which is going to proceed as originally planned - with tales of adventure.  
"Mine is the only tail you need, Woman. Come cuddle with me."

Purr Therapy works - he's been happy to have me home (and I've been keeping him off my knee!). 
"I prefer my blanket, anyway."

Take care of yourselves, first and foremost, my friends! Wishing you a weekend of calm blue skies.


  1. Just a stranger from the internet here to tell you you look fabulous as always. I took a mental health day myself for anxiety/job-related stressors. I hope you'll be kind to yourself. Thanks for keeping your blog going all these years, your style is an inspiration. <3

  2. Take the time you need to destress and relax. We do live in stressful times. It is up to all of us to take care of ourselves the best we can.
    I'm sorry to hear you have been exposed to someone with Covid and I hope your tests will continue to be negative. In situation like this, when we feel anxious, it's good to have someone to talk to, so it's great you have an understanding partner you can talk to.
    I do like this red leopard suit look! A boss lady look for sure. Great sneakers too!

  3. You look fab, and Covid is still a stressful situation. You do what you need to do. Mental health is as important as physical.

  4. That suit is fabulous on you and I'm glad Vizzini is enjoying you being at home - stay away from Mummy's knees, naughty boy!
    Fingers crossed you continue to escape Covid, several of our friends have had it twice now but all are jabbed and said it's no worse than a bad cold. I can understand your anxiety though, I'm glad you're taking care of yourself and being cautious by not seeing your mum. xxx

  5. Oh I am sorry to hear about your anxiety flaring up. It’s been a really stressful time during the pandemic and you are wise to pull back and focus on some self care Sheila. Getting outdoors for some nature walks always helps perk me up as I find the ocean and gardens in our neighbourhood very inspiring. Hope you find some solace in your days and weeks ahead.
    Leslie (hostess of the humble bungalow)

  6. I totally get your anxiety, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that those tests continue to be negative. As far a I know, I haven't been exposed to someone with Covid-19 but I guess this is something which can happen to anyone of us. Like Vix, there's people we know who got it but only got symptoms corresponding with the mildest of colds. I think this is something we'll have to learn and live with, although I'm the first to admit I'd be anxious as well. Sending you oodles of hugs and lots of positive vibes, my friend! Oh, and your red leopard suit was just the perfect attire for your day! xxx

  7. I'm keeping everything crossed for you.
    Replying to comments is always optional, I think. People understand. It would be a full time job just keeping up with everyone's posts and comments as well.
    I hope you're able to relax a bit. Take care.

  8. Sorry to hear about your brush with Covid! I was stuck in a train carriage with Mr Coughcough on Friday and there was no escape. No one was wearing masks except me!
    You need to take care of yourself so don't feel pressured to blog. I am terrible at replying to comments so I think you are well allowed to not reply.
    Red leopard is a great look!!x

  9. Love the red leopard! Sending hugs, Sheila. Glad to hear you are taking care of yourself :)

  10. I love how you dressed up even though you weren't feeling the best - stylish through and through! I'm sorry you had so much stress though - I think that panic is a normal reaction to being a contact! It's good you were able to get some tests to set your mind at ease, and take some time off to recover, definitely needed after a big scare like that. I have had to use way too many tests lately as the kids have been sick and there have been so many cases in their classes at school. I had to pick my son up early from school the other day as he was unwell and they require a negative test before he returns - even though I explained I'd tested him that morning and the day before as he was feeling a bit off. I tend to assume that whenever they get a little sick it's Covid but there are still other germs going around and thankfully we haven't had any positive tests yet.

    Definitely be kind to yourself and do what feels right - even if it changes day to day, we need to give ourselves grace and not add to the stress when there is so much to deal with already! I've thought of packing in my blog so many times lately but it really is the only little creative thing I have for me and I think while it would be good to remove the pressure to post in the short term I'd regret it long term, so skimming through with the basics until I get back on top of things!

  11. Oh Sheila, I'm so sorry that you don't feel okay. Someone's it's better to have pain somewhere then to feel mental not strong. I hope you feel yourself soon so that you can continue to enjoy spring again.

  12. Just happy to know you are doing okay and taking some time to recover. Taking care of you is your first priority! Be well.

  13. The leopard print denim suit is one of my favourite outfits in your closet, and is a perfect example of clothing as armour. I'm sorry you have had an emotionally stressful week - I understand the COVID anxiety completely - so many people I know have had it, or are just getting over it and I am doing my best to avoid it. I have the feeling that if I got it I would have long-lasting effects. It's hard because all the mask mandates have been lifted here.

  14. Covid is a very worrying thing and I would never have exposed myself to it voluntarily as you never know how it will affect you. Even if you are young and well vaccinated, it can still leave you feeling exhausted for half a year or longer.
    I was lucky when I caught in in Paris last month, as it hardly affected me and now I have all these anti bodies.Yay. Silver lining.

  15. Totally understand that you're stepping back, taking things easy and keeping anxiety at a lower level. I'm glad that you keep on posting, dear Sheila, and enjoy every post (actually, I feel grateful that blogs are still here and that we keep them!). Do whatever feel right to you!.
    This red suit is such a fabulous thing, it ticks all the right boxes, it's Red, comfy and cool and badass elegant!, totally Rocks!

  16. Oooh, my sweet friend, I am SO sorry that you had a Covid scare and that it (beyond understandably) elevated your anxiety levels. While Tony has taken a test (quite recently actually; thankfully it was negative), knock wood, I have not yet had to. Chances are, sooner or later just about all of us will though and it is far better to know early on and tackle things head on if need be.

    Please, by all means, spend as much time as possible taking care of yourself and your well-being. Blogging is awesome and, like yourself, I am very grateful that it exists, but virtually nothing is more important than our health (be it mental, physical, emotional or all of the above) and I would venture to guess that the bulk of your readers completely understand if you don't always respond to comments. Goodness knows that doing so can easily become a (no joke) full time job unto itself if one's site receives a number of them.

    Thinking of you SO much and sending the most serene energy I possibly can your way.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life


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