I work in public health and I didn’t start this stay-at-home stuff at home. I wasn’t approved to work from home until two weeks ago, so I was going into work each day while my family stayed home. The great thing about it is that I know with certainty that I am in the right line of work because I still love my job, even when my family was home hanging without me. I feel so blessed to know that even when the going got tough, I still felt drawn to my work. I love being able to fill a void in people’s lives and to be able to give back to our community, especially to those in need. Now, more than ever, I see how what we do in public health truly serves our community and it makes my heart sing.
Since we have been quarantined at home for the last two weeks, I have been reflecting on the lesson I can learn during this time. I believe all things happen for a reason, and it’s usually to teach us something. I have learned so much about my family now that we are forced to spend all of the time together. Not that we didn’t spend time together before, but it’s just different now. We don’t have other choices. My husband can’t go play pool with the neighbor; I can’t have a girls’ night with my friends. We are in quarantine, just the four of us. I have learned I actually like my family. Like a lot. They are fun, silly, smart, and all of them are way cooler than I will ever be. It has been fun finding things to do together to entertain ourselves. We play lots of games and watch lots of movies. We are trying to see the blessing in this time together and create memories. We are sad that we had some trips planned that will not happen now, but I still think we will come out of this and remember this time fondly.
I still hate laundry, and we have so much more of it somehow and I can’t figure that out. We aren’t leaving the house, why are we changing our clothes so often? But I feel blessed that I have the detergent and can afford the water to wash them in.
Now that my college freshman has moved back home, I feel so blessed to have this time with her, time I would have never had without COVID-19. I missed her so much when she was away, but I have been so completely proud of the way she has handled her first year of college. She is so smart and so responsible; it’s amazing to see her grow up into a wonderful young woman. I know she was disappointed to not get to finish her semester at school where she was flouring and thriving in her new community, but she really just takes it all in stride and has made our home more alive again with her silliness and her beautiful songs that constantly float from her.
With my youngest we have connected anew now that I am in charge of her school at home, her gymnastics at home, her everything at home. We struggled at first; she really just wants to play and is shocked each day when we have to do schoolwork, but now that we have a nice schedule and rhythm, she is doing great.
Our parents are sent from heaven above. They are all pitching in with FaceTime or Zoom daily, spending an hour reading to her, having her read to them, playing hangman or Simon says. That gives us about two hours most days that we can feel good about sticking her in front of a device and getting stuff accomplished. I know it isn’t the same as in-person time with them, but at least she is able to keep that connection with them while we can’t be together. I also love to hear the giggles from her as she interacts with them.
I think our dog is thrilled we are all home all day every day, and since she is getting older and has a seizure disorder, this is such a great time to be stuck at home. She is getting so much more attention and tons of exercise, too, as we all take her for walks just to get outside. I am sure we will look back at this time after she is gone and consider it a gift. As thrilled as our dog is, I think our cat is disgusted with us. We also might have to install a kitty-door when we all go back to school and work. She comes in and out about twice an hour now. I don’t know how she will go back to the way things were, being either in or out for eight hours at a time!
I am an introvert and I love to be home. I don’t get cabin fever; I don’t even know what it feels like.
That being said, I do miss eating out. We usually ate out once a week before the quarantine. That was at least one meal I didn’t have to plan, buy, prepare, and clean up. I miss that meal. There is just something about having a meal prepared for you that makes it taste better. Even if it is a sandwich, if someone else made it, it is going to taste amazing and way better than if you made it for yourself. The first thing I will do when we are allowed is to go out to eat again.
I need quiet in order to think and work. I am not the great multitasker I always thought I was. Sure, I can do the dishes and answer the “Mama, mama, mamas,” but when I am writing or working, I need quiet. I need to be able to concentrate on what I am doing in order to get it done. Otherwise, nothing gets done. Turns out my nice quiet office at work with a door helps make me a better me.