52 Pickup…

About this post: Raise your hand if you’re celebrating a birthday during quarantine!!! At the end of the month, I turn 52, and during these days of Covid, with the added stresses and the disappointment of not being able to party with friends, I could use a bit of a “pick up!” Help me celebrate while also raising awareness for mental health. #52PickUp


I need a bit of a pick-up! As of today, it’s 75 days that I’ve been quarantined by myself. SEVENTY-FIVE DAYS of not being with friends or family…while trying to keep myself entertained during this pandemic. 

In the first weeks, I could barely stand the loneliness but as time has gone on…I’m settling into this time by myself. In fact, in ways, I think it’s a little easier dealing with only my feelings and cooking just for myself…rather than some of my friends who’ve been homeschooling and trying to keep their loved ones entertained through rough days, while also cooking for a full house! It’s just me…over here…minding my own business…running another bath.

As we’re well into this, I’m quite concerned about our mental health as fears around finances, jobs being lost, our health and the health of our loved ones…along with all of the disruptions in our normal lives and being uncomfortable as we start heading back into “real life”…are a reality in some form or another for every single one of us. It’s a lot on our poor little brains!

I’ve worked hard to stay as positive as I can through the last few months with:

  • eating properly,
  • getting a good night’s sleep,
  • staying in touch with friends,
  • asking for help,
  • giving myself a break,
  • minimizing my time watching the news,
  • self-care,
  • keeping a regular work schedule,
  • getting outside,
  • and limiting the amount of wine I drink.

I’m able to combat most of the negative feelings, but still…there are days that I feel the Covid-blues and have trouble getting out of the funk!

On May 31st, I turn 52. Like many, I’ll be celebrating a birthday under quarantine and I’ve been thinking of something special I could do so I don’t feel down about a day I typically surround myself with loved ones! My birthday has always been the “kick-off” to summer and I’m usually planning something fun…but this year…things will look a little different.

So…keeping in mind my birthday, my mental health, and the number 52…I’ve created the #52PickUp campaign and I’d love for you to take part!

How does it work? It’s rather simple really. If you’d like to help me celebrate, you can choose to participate in one, two, or all three of the items on my birthday list!

1. Make a Donation!

If you’re able (and I completely understand that not everyone is in the position to do this at the moment), I’d truly appreciate you making a “tribute donation” to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. When filling out the form, be sure to include my name, Colleen O’Dea, and the #52Pickup hashtag (I’m hoping we’ll be able to get a total at the end!) Donations of $10 and more will receive a tax receipt as outlined on their website.

I’ve chosen this nonprofit as they truly are making a difference in our community and at the moment, are really taking a look at ways to help folks through this pandemic and the tragedies in Nova Scotia over the last few weeks.

It’s a challenging time and everyone is currently impacted by mental health either personally or through loved ones facing challenges.

Mental Health hits home for me on many levels…and using my birthday to help others, really means a lot.

Check out their website if you’d like further information on what the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is doing in our community, and be sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram, where they continue to provide hope and work to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness & addiction.

2. Cards and Letters!

Did I mention it’s been SEVENTY-FIVE days! Honestly, the most excitement I get in my day is a visit to the mailbox in my apartment lobby but for the most part, it’s all flyers and bills around here!

I’d love to receive some cards and letters through the next few weeks leading up to my birthday on the 31st…it truly would help to “pick up” my day!

I’ll be sharing on Curtains are Open’s Instagram and Facebook using the #52Pickup hashtag, to show my excitement (and thank you for your kindness) while also continuing to help minimize the stigma surrounding mental health.

If you’d like to send a letter or a card, I’ve included an address where you can send them at the bottom of this post. (ie, PLEASE SEND ME SOME MAIL!)

3. Make a Phone Call!

When we literally aren’t allowed to “reach out and touch someone”…do me a solid and reach out…and truly touch someone.

Over these last 75 days, I’ve heard from so many people out of the blue who I haven’t heard from in a while…each checking in on me as they know I live alone, and let me tell you…every single check-in has felt amazing. Truly appreciated.

Pick up the phone, call a friend, make their day!

One, Two or Three…

So, that’s all there is to the #52PickUp birthday campaign! If you’d like to take part in my celebration, it’s totally up to you! If you’d like to make yourself a cake and eat the entire thing by yourself while thinking of me…you can totally do that too!

Make a donation, send me a card, phone a friend, do a combination of two of those things…or even all three…help me celebrate my birthday!

My Gift to You…

As soon as this pandemic is over, I’ll be heading to Mudwraps to Manicures for a little self-care as it truly is a way for me to de-stress (and tame my unruly eyebrows!) For the #52Pickup campaign, I’m using Mudwraps’ address so I’m not sharing my home address so publicly!!!

For every person who sends a card or lets me know about something they’ve done to help me celebrate (for example, tag me in a photo on Instagram of yourself phoning Great Aunt Gertie and use the #52Pickup hashtag), I’ll enter your name into a random draw for a $100 gift card to Mudwraps to Manicures…so you can enjoy a little self-care and de-stress as well.

My address:

Colleen O’Dea
c/o Mudwraps to Manicures
1083 Bedford Hwy
Bedford, NS B4A 1B7

Thanks, everyone! And Happy Birthday to Me!

2 Replies to “52 Pickup…”

  1. Hi Colleen – I’ve been reading your blog for years. I do hope you have a happy birthday. Our daughter celebrated her 24th with very little fanfare, but we still put up balloons and made the pre-requisite cake! Just hoping for the day soon when we can “increase our bubble”! Take care -Jenn

    • It’s all such a crazy time!!! Hope your daughter enjoyed her day and love that you’re still reading after all these years. xo