*I’d like to note that this blog post was written before the murder of George Floyd and subsequent protests around the country demanding racial equality. A major part of my quarantine the past few weeks has been listening and studying ways I can be a better ally to Black people in this country. I want my Black readers to know that I stand with you, I hear you, and I see you. I’ve shared ways I’m doing this over on my Instagram.
We’ve reached the middle of June (but who’s keeping track of time anymore) and the world is starting to open back up, little by little. To be honest, I feel conflicted about it. On the one hand, I’m happy to see local businesses get back on their feet and see my city come back alive. On the other hand, I’m nervous at what a sudden change “back to normal” will mean for the future. Will there be another wave of quarantine? Selfishly, I’m also sad to see this time coming to an end because it’s been the togetherness Devin and I needed.
We have such different work schedules that quality time together is few and far between. We’ve had our ups and downs over the past few months, but overall it’s the time I’ve always craved with him. I’m sad to see our little bubble burst with commitments to everything and everyone else again. We can look back on this weird, scary, dystopian time together and think about how it made us even closer. I’m grateful to have had a partner through this, and for our health and safety, of course.
Beyond that, quarantine has reminded me of things I knew I valued before, but reinforced while we had nowhere to go. Here’s 3 lessons I’ve learned during quarantine.
Not to Sacrifice Dinner Time for Screen Time
There’s nothing much I love more than cuddling up to a good meal in bed with one of my favorite TV shows. It’s heaven. But we got in a routine of eating every meal together on the couch in front of the TV. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s normal and will still enjoy it after this is over from time to time. But it often left me feeling like we didn’t get a chance to download on our days or share real conversation.
Throughout the past few months we’ve eaten dinner almost every night at the table together with no screens. Just good conversation and a good meal. And you know what? I didn’t even miss Parks and Rec playing in the background. This is definitely one habit I’d like to see us carry on after this is over.
Create a Space That Brings You Joy
I’m into creating a well-decorated space, but I often forego what I really want because I’m indecisive and have champagne taste on a beer budget. So therefore I don’t buy anything. However, spending so much time inside made me reframe my idea of interior decor in the sense that I don’t have to overhaul everything at once. I can do little changes to each room that make a big difference.
For example, we did a DIY vinyl record wall I had seen floating around Pinterest. It didn’t cost much and utilized what we already had. It wasn’t the new furniture change I wanted for the living room, but it was enough of a change to uplift my mood when I entered the room. It’s now my favorite place in the whole house!
Make little changes where you can and create a space that brings you joy. Your home should be your haven and a place you want to spend time, even after quarantine.
Looking Inward is Hard
I’ve learned that I often distract myself with anything possible not to think about what’s really going on in my life. I think a lot of us do this. And we do it because it’s hard to look inward and face tough decisions. To think about what we want out of life, where we’re going next, how we can improve our behavior or overall health. It’s overwhelming.
I didn’t make any life changing decisions during this time. Let’s not be dramatic. However, I did give myself space to think about little changes I can make that build up to bigger changes, like taking on photography more seriously. I think part of life is to continuously improve who you are, and that includes getting real with your thoughts and feelings. I hope I can continue to make small changes and embrace them instead of facing them with fear.
How have you all spent the majority of your quarantine? What have you learned? I hope everyone is safe and healthy and just doing the best you can.