I literally NEEDED to do this project this weekend, just to bring some semblance of normalcy to my life. What do I mean, you may ask? I mean, my friends, that I recently had the dreaded task of completing my civic duty as an American, by participating in jury duty.
Ah, jury duty. That thing no one wants to do, that seemingly wastes your entire day as you sit in a room waiting until the jurors are selected at random so that you can be dismissed along with the rest of the folks who showed up but weren't needed. Not so bad, right? Bring a book. Wait to go home.
Except sometimes you get chosen.
After waiting in a security line for about 30 minutes, I sat in a room of 150 or so people and attempted to read my kindle while desperately trying to tune out the sounds of a deliciously 80's informational video that was outlining the importance of jurors in our justice system.
There were apparently 4 court cases that day and every so often a clerk would come and call 20 names from a list, and 20 potential jurors would leave the giant waiting room of hell. Over the next two hours and by the time my butt had gone numb on one side, three different groups of 20 had left - all I had to do was get through one more group without my name getting called and I'd be able to go home!
You clearly know what happened next. I grabbed my things and followed my little group into a courtroom where we were told we'd be interviewed as a group by both the prosecution and the defense, though we'd be called on individually to address specific questions. But first, we each had to answer a series of 14 demographic questions out loud...so after what felt like ten hours, that was finally over and we were interviewed.
Both sides asked some probing questions, and though we didn't know what the case entailed specifically, everyone could tell by the nature of the questions that it was clearly a case of domestic violence and possibly child abuse. Fucking great.
Each side was then able to dismiss some jurors and we were constantly reminded not to take it personally, and that they were just "picking the best jurors for this case" (read: getting rid of any biased, racists, sexist bigots and/or anyone who threatened each side's case). One guy mentioned he couldn't help but to feel sympathy for the defense since he'd "been in that seat before" -- guess who got to go home after that? Lucky bastard.
Guess who DIDN'T get to leave, despite not being asked a SINGLE question?! Yours truly baby. They only needed six total jurors and after not even a single question asked of me, I got to be part of the lucky six.
The case was INSANE. Stressful, emotional, and truly one of the most difficult things I've ever done. We had one particularly childish and intentionally defiant juror that struggled to accept any facet of logic the rest of the group could lay out, so we ended up not coming to a unanimous vote on one of the charges, and had to COME BACK THE NEXT DAY.
Two days of pure hell. When people complain about jury duty, I will immediately ask if they had to SERVE on the jury...because that is WAY worse. I'm grateful for the experience, and I am certainly grateful for the reasonable, rational, human beings that I have in my life, but I never want to do that again.
So you can see why I needed to zone out and immerse myself into a project - I needed my brain to consume itself with anything unrelated to the case, and throw myself into some good ol' DIY.
If you need to throw yourself into something easy and satisfying, whether because of holiday stress or in the unlikely event that you too are reeling from an intensely demanding jury duty experience, I've got a good one for you. You'll need:
Some pine cones
White acrylic paint
A pretty bowl
A paper bag or scrap paper
First, pour some paint on the paper bag along with a small pile of fake snow.
Dip/roll your pine cone into your acrylic paint, just enough to get all the edges.
Next, roll your pine cone (while the paint is still wet) into the fake snow. At first, it won't be very pretty, but just coat all of the painted edges in fake snow, and then tap off the excess.
After you've tapped off the excess, just set them aside to dry.
And that's it! Once everything is dry, place all the pine cones in a bowl and set it out for all to enjoy :)
Hope you enjoyed this super easy DIY - it doesn't cost much in terms of time or money, and it's not anything super special, but I really needed it after my weird week. It was a significantly positive impact to my mental health this weekend, no matter how simple ;)