We've all seen the posts - what changes have you made in your life that you want to, well, KEEP in place? How is your life better while your circle is smaller? Some of these may be more serious, and some may be more tongue-in-cheek, but here are ten GREAT things about our 2 1/2 months in lockdown.
- Sleeping in. Yes, I love my job, but I'm there by 7:30am Monday - Friday. Even when I've had to go in during lockdown, it's never quite that early. I'm really appreciating sleeping and not using an alarm clock. Like, really a lot.
- Spoiling myself with dinner prep. It's pretty much the focus of most days. Instead of being my regular bored with the choices, and someone doesn't like it no matter what I make, I've been spending a little more grocery money to get meal prep boxes from Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Every Plate, and Gobble. (We'll both get a discount if you use one of my links to sign up for any of these.) They ship a full meal, veggies and all, with sauces and everything in exact amounts that you need! All you really need on hand is olive oil and salt & pepper. Saves me a trip to the store, gives us at least one well-rounded meal/day, and the prep teaches me more cooking skills and gives us something to do (my 12-year-old daughter and I usually cook together, another GREAT thing).
- Saving money. Sure - there are a few impulse buys and indulgences, but I think overall we're spending less. We don't need gas when we don't go anywhere, and there are no extra stops that spend more money when we are out and about. Going out is a pretty regimented thing now ;)
- Practicing a hobby. I've started playing the flute again. According to the notes in my sheet music, I haven't played (or at least had a lesson) since 1987. Whoa. That's like 13 years, which is a long time anyway, and then I realize that it isn't the year 2000 anymore, and it's actually 33 years. Bigger whoa. Muscle memory is amazing, and practicing is just as therapeutic for me as it was back then.
- 10? I really said 10??
- Dinner as a family. When we've all got our things, planning dinner around baton practices and swimming (for the kids), and race car build nights and teaching ski lessons (for hubby) is really challenging! While Friday night pizza and a movie is a pretty hard and fast tradition for the kids and I, since lockdown started, I think we've had dinner as a family all but one night (when hubby went on a road trip to get car parts). We're all here, so no excuses!
- Seeing the good in people. Social media, ya'll. It can raise your spirits, or totally crush your heart. Today we're talking about the GREAT things, so look at all the good. Women have started groups of anonymous 'wine-ing' - delivering goodie baskets to other strangers in the group. Multiple food banks, with numerous employees and volunteers, are helping to both feed the needy, and employ or give a social outlet to those turning up to help. Birthday parades! Seeing neighbors across the street when we're all out for a walk on a nice day.
- De-cluttering, cleaning, and donating. Maybe this counts as more than one? After this long, we're legit changing wardrobes and donating anyway, but we've also got a bit of extra time and focus, right? My office has been re-organized, with a shelving unit (also recognizable as a baby changing table) donated, and a whole list of books available to anyone who wants them. Our basement has been re-organized to make room for hubs at-home office. And the local charity has started pick-ups again for donations. Look out next week, Purple Heart, we're at three bags and adding more!
- Slowing down. True story. Yes, there's more of a different kind of stress, but most of us have the luxury of less constant pressures on our time. Working from home is its own kind of stress, but we do appear to have more freedom listening to our hearts about when to go to bed and wake up, what to wear, not needing to be as available. As my hub's friends say on the car chat boards, your mileage may vary. But hopefully you're able to enjoy a little more time to process the new strangeness that is life.
- Time to re-evaluate. Yeah. That's kind of the point of all of this. What do you actually miss from your 'real' life, and what would you be happy to continue doing without? This is your big chance. I get that I won't be able to sleep in forever, but I can keep playing the flute, appreciate the reading time when I've got it, and enjoying my new de-cluttered space and found treasures from storage. Moods are changing fast - be sure to appreciate the time when you're feeling, well, appreciative of the current normal.
My own disclaimer: Yes, I'm a middle-class, privileged white woman. I live in a home with 'enough,' and free of abuse. I get that not everyone has the same GREAT things that I do, even if I wish they did. This post was about me choosing to focus on the good for a bit, and not the fury and frustration I imagine for those trapped in less fortunate circumstances.
And I don't want to end on a downer note. What's the BEST part of lockdown for you?