It hits me at weird and random moments, that are so routine and show me just how much my ‘normal’ is off. Sitting down to meal plan, I’ve been taking a look through our pantry/freezer/fridge before this whole virus took over. I have been following Jordan Page’s “Shelf Cooking” Facebook Group and loved the idea of not wasting food and using up what you have instead of buying too much at the grocery store. Now I do it because I don’t have a choice. I stare at the upcoming week and immediately mentally check off each day in my mind: “Monday is Joe’s late night, Wednesday is dance…” and stop myself and realize I don’t need to plan meals around our schedule. This is it. We are home.
We have been home isolating since Friday March 13th. The week prior we saw the progression in China and Italy and honestly began ‘preparing’ a little before that even. Joe and I would run the “what if” scenarios, and slowly grabbed an extra this or that while out. I have to thank my acupuncturist for her wise words and guidance. If she didn’t educate me on exactly where this Covid-19 was headed, we would be in such bad spot. (And if I chose not to listen) She gave me a random Instagram account to follow and all I can say is that it scared the crap out of me enough to get up and out of the house early Sunday March 8th. I hit up two grocery stores spending way more than I typically do. And then I went again on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and one more time on Thursday. By Thursday the stores were super packed and buzzing since Trump had taken to our TV screens Wednesday night. While I would not consider myself a “hoarder” I knew that if we were to stay home and stop the spread, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house as we have no face masks! So I did what I could do.
Since Joe has Crohn’s Disease AND is on Humira (a biologic which lowers his immune system,) if he caught the Coronavirus, he would have a really hard time getting better. More than likely, he could die. We knew it was super serious and were willing to do anything in our power to be smart, stay healthy and safe. Joe did go into work 3/13 and mentioned to the owners his concern and sure enough Friday the 13th, he received a call to stay home and not to come in Saturday or Monday…basically work from home. My eyes immediately filled with tears because I knew this was going to be bad. We had already decided that morning to not send Brooke or Bradley to school, and I planned on pulling them out for however long we needed to. The very next day the schools closed anyway, and we are all doing this ‘distance learning’ as best as we can!
I have to say while emotions are much like a roller coaster, overall I believe I’m handling this fairly well. We are in a bit of a rhythm here all 4 of us humans and 2 dogs. Some days we feel like rockstars, checking off completed tasks, being all-star parents and doing all the things. We’ve been able to really dive in and work real estate since Joe was laid off and all Car sales and stopped. Other moments? We just zone out playing video games, reading, watching Hulu. Overall my favorite part (if there can be one?) is the way we are connecting with friends and family. We are all so busy (all the time) that we never slow down to catch up and chat with so many amazing people. Friends Joe hasn’t seen or spoken to are now part weekly check-ins. The kids miss their schools, but seeing friends and teacher via zoom calls has been so rewarding. We’ve also had a lot of love shown from so many friends and family, offering to grab anything we need, including an incredible supply of fresh produce and meat from Joe’s good buddy Chris. Another friend dropped a goodie bag for the kids to open—so many sweet souls lending a hand it warms my heart.
Sure I miss my Starbucks, going to and fro as I please…but more than anything we just want to stop the spread and stay healthy. At the end of each day I thank God for that. We do not get any takeout as this virus can live on surfaces for a very long time. I have done one small Target Delivery last week so that my kids will have a little something special Easter morning. We also haven’t gone anywhere since we are good with groceries and honestly there’s no reason for us to be out and about. I think maybe a drive would be nice, but we also don’t want to waste gas money.
I’ve been working out daily, getting outside with the kids and dogs, having ‘tea parties’ after dinner and if you haven’t downloaded the app House Party, you are missing out!! Lots of fun happy hours around here. We are not stressing over what we can’t control, but we are sharpening our saws and really putting forth the effort to help make us even better and stronger when this is all said and done.
So wherever you’re at, it’s okay to feel whatever it is you’re feeling. Once I “got that” I have been doing better I think. I was feeling bad for feeling bad, since “I don’t have it as bad as someone else”–but our feelings don’t work that way. It’s okay and you should all yourself to feel the hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, loneliness etc…and then make a plan to move on.
I have this belief that humans are going to come out of this one of two ways: I can make the most out of the situation and realize we’ll never get this time back, so use it wisely. Drink the water, eat the healthy foods, relax and enjoy family and little pleasures. Workout and become the best, strongest version of me that I haven’t even ever seen. I can put the time in to study, grow with Joe in business and strengthen our marriage.
Or I can become miserable, lazy, negative, gain weight, cause emotional trauma and stress to my children, and probably drive my husband crazy (more than I already do!)
It’s our choice. We can evolve and become great or we can fizzle out and be left behind. This world needs us to step up and shine now more than ever. And in a few more months? Even more so. This is not going to be a quick fix —this is going to take awhile for things to go back to normal.
Now that I feel like we’ve gotten into a groove and the initial shock factors are over, I hope to make more time to spend here on this blog. I have lots of recipes I’ve been trying and I hope to read lots of books! (Luckily I grabbed a small stack of books from the library before we went into quarantine!)
I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy and that you too can make use of this unexpected extra time. And if you’re one of the heroes on the front line, I am praying and sending so much love and light to you! Thank you to everyone who is making a positive difference during this time.