“I pray to be like the ocean, with soft currents, maybe waves at times. More and more, I want the consistency rather than the highs and the lows.” ~ Drew Barrymore
Lost Track of the Days.
Going into week four or is it week one hundred? Seriously, what day is it? I have no idea friends! It feels like the days and weeks are blending together, and with the stay at home order extended nation wide until April 30, and in New Hampshire, May 4, it seems endless. Am I right?
Honestly, as a writer and someone who works from home anyway, my job has prepared me for this. I am a pro! Self Isolation? I do that anytime I have a deadline! I got this!
That said, there is a huge difference between doing it for a job and doing it for a pandemic. And I am finding the latter hard. Not because I want to be out and about, (though I might be calmer and happier if I had a house by the beach, just sayin’) but because all I want to do is hug my loved ones and be with them. This week has seriously tested me and according to officials we haven’t hit the worst of it yet.
My heart hurts (and feels guilty for not being there) for my Concrete Jungle. I know so many people who are fighting for their lives and friends who are thankfully on the other side of this, but what they have gone through is truly horrific. This isn’t a joke, so please, PLEASE, stay home. It really does save lives!
I honestly hadn’t meant for this post to start out so heavy or lecture-esque, but like I said it has been a tough week. Hopefully this week will be much better, I pray that it is for everyone. At least the sun is shining! Bright side and baby steps friends!
While being at and working from home isn’t that much of a struggle, I am social distancing with family and it is a miracle we haven’t killed each other. (and no, I am not joking) Staying busy and constantly having activities helps a ton. I know people are taking the time to take up old or new hobbies like painting (guilty) or cooking more, or heck channeling their inner child. Speaking of which, I think the kiddos feel like Christmas has come again or that the Easter Bunny is being extremely generous (which they are) because they have gotten quite a few new toys to keep them preoccupied. Here are some of the activities I have done to stay busy, and don’t worry the quarantine haircut is NOT included in this.
Social Distancing Outdoors
With warmer weather not only upon us, but fingers crossed, here to stay, this is probably my favorite activity, especially with the kiddos. It is funny because despite loving the beach, I never thought of myself as an outdoor person, but I really am. I think it is one of the reasons I walked everywhere in New York. As a kid my Mom would “shove” us outside and we would play for hours, and I now encourage my nephews and niece to do the same with one difference, I join them in their outside shenanigans.
I am lucky that my parents not only have a huge back yard, but that attached to it, are trails I can explore with the kids or go on runs if I want a change of scenery from my parent’s attic, especially now that all the snow has melted. While the kiddos run around letting out pent up energy and steam, if I don’t join them in a rousing game of tag, or jump rope, I will pull out a beach chair and soak up some much needed Vitamin D, that I miss so much!
I actually have a post I have been working on about Board Games, that I haven’t gotten around to posting. (soon!) I have always loved board games, and coming from a huge family growing up we would have game nights. Whether it was playing various card games, Monopoly, (Mafia Monopoly is the best guys!) or as we got older, more adult games like Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity, my competitive side always comes out as does all the laughs. The apple (pun not intended) does not fall far from the tree as my nephews also love them and are also showing their competitive streaks when playing. They keep us entertained for hours, and are always so much fun!
I feel like this could be its own post. The term “Spring Cleaning” is coined this time of year and with all of us stuck in our homes, all that added clutter just adds more stress, at least for me. After moving last year, it doesn’t seem like I have that much to clean out, but I can always organize (and find something to throw-out/donate) which is what I have been doing.
My closet at my parent’s house, is smaller then my closet in New York (if that is possible!) and holds my entire wardrobe, both warm and cold apparel, which means I need to find creative ways to organize from hanging shelves to pant hangers that I use for my dresses, which I have a gazillion of. I have not only (shockingly) found clothing to give to Thred-up, but also have re-organzied to make it more efficient.
I have also helped my Mom clean the garage out which is filled with my brothers’ and my things, toys such as old bicycles that not only could be considered antiques, but also probably need a good ol’ tetanus shot, croquet sets, (does anyone still play croquet?) and even old but “new” toys the kiddos can’t wait to play with. It has been a much needed purge amongst all the craziness!
I joked with my friend that I will be bikini ready with no beach to go to except my parent’s backyard and the kiddie pool. While it was a joke, it kinda seems true. Running and yoga have always been my go to stress reducers, and it’s something I have been doing almost daily.
From running on my parent’s treadmill to the paths behind their house, I have been racking the miles up on my sneakers. I am still recovering from a lateral and bicep tear in my left shoulder, so I am trying not to over due, but with time on my hands and being type A, it is hard NOT to overdue.
I wish I could say this was one I was getting extra time in, but alas it is the one thing I am not doing more of. That said reading is always an amazing hobby and during this time when the news is so depressing, delving into a good book is great escapism.
Okay this one probably only applies to myself and any and all writers out there. Though anyone thinking of new projects to pitch to their companies or a business idea for a start-up now is the time to do work on it.
I have actually been working on a book proposal, as well as editing my novel for awhile now. It has reached a few snags thanks to me getting sick and then my Dad, but I am attempting to use this time as a way to get back on track.
I have mentioned it before, but for newer readers, I use to be a chef. I even had my own cake business. For personal reasons as well as a New York City sized kitchen, I stepped away from baking. While I have dabbled in it from time to time, thanks to this pandemic, I have been baking ton and rediscovering the love I had for it. It won’t ever again be a career for me (I need to be able to socially distance myself from it, bad joke?) and honestly I am fine with that. But I love that I can still dig out the old skills for my Mom’s birthday or make a decadent dessert for Easter and actually enjoy it.
Also completely unabashedly guilty, but I have been jumping on the Insta and Tik-Tok (which I just got!) bandwagon of making delicious coffee creations like Delgona coffee as well as egg coffee, because one why not? And two, I AM a coffeeeholic and proud of it!
This one also might not be for everyone, but I was inspired at Christmas, when I did an acrylic painting for my friends Yankee Swap during their Christmas Party. I have never thought of myself as a painter, and while I won’t ever be a Da-Vinci or Michanegelo, since stick people are still very much my forté, I love channeling Monet or Renoir (which ironically is my least favorite art movement) and just slapping paint to canvas imagining waves or gorgeous beach sunrises. While I like to think that is what comes across, it is so incredibly calming and soothing, that I am okay if it doesn’t. After all it won’t be hanging in MOMA anytime soon.
Facetiming Friends (and Dance Parties)
This past weekend I had two THREE hour long Zoom convos with friends. While many of us are working from home, staying home is forcing us to find new ways to not only connect with friends but REconnect with them. I know I am guilty of getting wrapped up in the craziness of life. It is also a defense mechanism for me to shut down when life gets overwhelming, (definitely did that in February and March) Instead of disconnecting, alot of friends and I are reconnecting with each other via FaceTime and Zoom. Half hour convos turn into three hour ones and I do NOT hate it.
The laughs are plentiful as are the creative ways we hang. We might be separated by a screen, but we can still have all the coffee dates and happy hour drinks. I have also gotten glammed up for a Fancy Friday with all of us social distancing hours apart. My friends and I also have had a couple dance parties that would make the hottest clubs in New York jealous! My heart really is happiest when I not only get to talk to my friends, but “see” them.
As I mentioned a few paragraphs back, yoga is a great stress reliever for me. I am a certified yoga instructor, and not only was the certification incredibly healing (as well as life changing) but the practice itself has saved me and gotten me through some of the most difficult periods of my life. Like an old friend, being able to sync my breath to movement and focus solely on that is comforting and calms me in ways I don’t even think a Xanax could do.
I admit since I came back to New Hampshire my practice has lapsed. Shamefully so. I have never had great discipline when it comes to self practice, despite many attempts too, and the classes here I have not been able to connect with. Thankfully, many of my friends, who are amazing teachers and mentors are sharing their classes on Instagram and Zoom and I am able to cultivate a more consistent practice again.
Not only am I practicing again, but my nephews and niece have been yoga crashers, especially my niece. It is the cutest thing! I was even teaching my niece how to do assists in Savasana and she was so proud of herself to do it on her auntie! It makes my day seeing them so interested in something I love so much.
How are you spending your time Social Distancing? What is something you want to try, but haven’t yet? What has been your favorite activity to do so far?