I can’t help but feel that I am in the middle of a bad dream. The country is in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and we have been ordered to stay home. Schools, restaurants, stores, sports…everything has hit pause. It feels like a punch in the gut to have everything come to a screeching halt. Never did I dream that our lives would be impacted in this way because of a virus.
We are almost done with our second week of all being home. All 5 of us (plus two dogs) are hanging out in our small home, sharing the internet and the bathroom. Fun times. It is easy to be depressed with the current state of things. Everything we have been looking forward to doing has been canceled or postponed. No sports, no school, no trips, and no friends. The kids are sad and frustrated because they don’t understand how serious these restrictions are and have been pleading to go about their normal lives. Being an extrovert myself has posed similar feelings. I miss my co-workers. I miss happy hours. I my on the go life.
This pause hasn’t all been doom and gloom. It has allowed me to reflect and be grateful for many things in my personal life.
- Time with my Teenagers – My kids are typical teenagers. They are involved in sports and they love to hang out with their friends. I don’t see them enough because they are always on the go. With this “shelter in place” business, I get to take the opportunity to enjoy them and actually get to know them better. I even get to hang with their friends on FaceTime. I still get the eyerolling, the back talk, and a few slammed doors but for the most part things are good (probably because they want to be fed).
- I am Cooking – My family might not be grateful for this because, frankly, I suck as a cook. Being at home has forced me to put some thought around how I need to feed everyone. I plan my meals, cook them, and we eat as a family. I am embarrassed to admit that in the 2 weeks we have been home, we have eaten together at the kitchen table more times than we have in the last 5 years.
- Our Jobs– My husband and I have the ability to work from home. For us, things are business as usual. Our employers care for our well being and check in on us often. To be quite honest, I am more productive without the commuting and the constant traffic at my desk.
- Lunch time Walks – We got a puppy. I will post more on that later. I am grateful that I can step out during my lunch hour and walk these furry beasts. I find that I come back to my work with a clear head and dogs
- Our Health – At least for now, all 5 of us are healthy. Thank God!
- Leisure Time – Since we have nothing but time on our hands, we have pulled out the board games. I have discovered that my children are as obnoxiously competitive as I am. A game of Sorry can send one of us storming off in tears. My son taught us a few card games and we taught them how to play Left, Right, Center (Every hockey family needs to know how to play that). In addition to the quality family time games have provided, I have also had the opportunity to read, watch movies, binge watch TV, and WRITE!
- Exercise – The quarantine is my message from the universe that I have absolutely zero excused to not to get moving (at least if I stay healthy). This is my push to lose some weight and get running. I have started walking a lot more but am still struggling on the motivation piece.
- Technology and Social Media – Technology is an amazing thing. The internet keeps us connected for work and to keep us connected to our friends. While I don’t always love social media, it has kept me entertained with funny memes and allowed me to get a small glimpse into my friend’s lives. Instagram allows me to post ridiculous photos of the shenanigans that go on in this house. I am able to FaceTime friends and family and have “happy hours”.
- My Dogs – I don’t care what anyone says, a dog can help you in dark times. Last Friday my husband said, I want to get another dog. By 3 PM that day, he brought home Milo. We are now a house hold of 2 dogs and it is adding to the craziness.
- We found Toilet Paper and Paper Towels – Enough said!
Hang in there! Find the silver lining and know we’re all going to come out of this with a bit of fresh perspective (and 20 extra lbs or an alcohol problem).