Summer is winding down, so this past week I sat down with myself for a good long chat. It wasn’t hard. I was, after all, available. But because this was going to be a formal chat, I made myself consult the paper calendar and booked a time.

Monday morning looked good. I penciled it in before “morning sighs” and after my sauna walk around the block.

I made coffee. I warmed a bagel. I cut a rose from the garden and set it on the table. And, after some deep breaths, I broke up with myself.

Don’t worry, I was gentle. I let myself down easy. I made a transcription in case others wanted some healthy modeling in this arena: Listen, you’re wonderful. You’re interesting (well, not lately) and full of great things to engage with (although I can’t remember what), and you’re well-versed in something.

The bottom line is, I’m sick of the same old/same old from you. So, I’m breaking up. We’ve had some fun these past months of the pandemic. But no more, “what shall I watch on Netflix?” Or, “I’ll just check the headlines one more time.” No more, “what the heck’s for dinner?” Or, “why am I the only one reloading the toilet paper onto the roll?” I’m done with you and everything you’ve said, done, or thought, lo, these past five months.

So please clean up your area, which includes this coffee cup, and move on down the road.

It felt good! I could breathe again. I was excited to get my life back on track. I was a woman of fresh ideas. Gosh darn it, I did stuff. Like, break up with my pedantic, repetitive, no-help, pandemic self. So hopeful in my plan to usher in new things I ran to our summer home (living room) from our winter house (bedroom) and launched the new me!

First, an updated Netflix queue. Forging a new path deserved relaxation. (Plus, there was that new series.) Giddy for new adventures, I opened my laptop. New recipes had been delivered. “Bake me this weekend!” But I felt an odd déjà vu strolling into the bathroom as I snapped on a fresh roll of TP and….

I knew I had to break up.


But first, Netflix.


Cate Berry is a children’s book author and mother of two based in Austin, Texas.

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