Looking at our leadership in my country right now, holding onto that optimism has been harder. But at least I'm in this with an intelligent and thoughtful partner, who has a very useful skillset for managing an isolationist life for a while.
And we're lucky, truly, on a lot of fronts. We're all still healthy. Both adults are able to work from home and are still being paid. The kiddo at home is introverted and digitally connected to her friends, so is handling social distancing pretty well for someone her age. The dog is old enough to appreciate a slow life.
So, looking to the sunny side: here are some plus sides to the pandemic at our house.
1. We're playing with our toys. Over the years, we've collected a lot of them: video games, board games, legos, musical instruments, books, craft supplies, DIY project tools, recipe books, etc. An embarrassment of riches really: more than we can realistically use.
But with extra time at home, we're digging into all these wonderful things and enjoying them. Go past us! For buying things even though we didn't have time for them? At least we're occupied now, without having to shop while we're money worried.
2. We're getting out in nature more. I'm a walker. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that my feed is full of pictures of beauty I spot on my daily nature walks. It's my main stress relief.
Because I'm a teacher and my hours are early, even during the winter months, I can usually make it to a trail with a little daylight left to burn. But, my daughter is not so much a walker, and my husband isn't usually home in daylight, so it's usually just me and the pup.
But, without commutes to worry about and with the kiddo legit needing a stretch of the legs, we're able to get out into the woods together. It's a real joy to me to share this love with my people (and still the pupper).
3. Lots of family time. My husband and I have been feeling the rush of time whooshing past us in recent years, as our baby turns into a teenager and our older child becomes an adult.
We've struggled to arrange our days so that we get time together as a family, time for each of us with our daughters, time for just the two of us, etc. all while still holding down demanding day jobs and handling the business of the household.
It's been lovely to be right there for our daughter when she hits a bump in completing her school-from-home assignments, to help her problem solve or just be amazed by how well she does this on her own.
We're playing games and watching shows together. We're really in tune with how everyone is feeling and doing a good job balancing the needs of each of us.
I think we'll miss this part when the speed of life picks back up.
4. The house is getting cleaner and better organized. When it's time to "take a break" from our work from home situations, we're each handling household tasks: cleaning up messes that have been allowed to linger, changing out loads of laundry, running the dishwasher, re-organizing storage situations, sorting things, etc. It gets us moving and clears mental space as well by making our surroundings more pleasant.
It's lovely to slip these tasks into down moments of the work day, instead of struggling to do them *after* work when we're exhausted and wanting some relaxation and more playful togetherness.
We're even making progress on our giant attic project (building an entire new room up there for game storage). The supplies were mostly already purchased, and now we can repurpose that commuting time for mudding, sanding, and (hopefully soon) painting!
5. We're eating better. We're planner-aheaders, the sort of people who usually have a deep freeze full of meats and boxes and cans lining the shelves waiting for use. So, without panic shopping or hoarding, we've stayed pretty well supplied.
Since I'm not coming home from school emotionally and physically exhausted from managing 160 children across the day, our dinners have become more luxuriant affairs, rather than the "what can I make in 30 minutes that is palatable?" trick we'd mastered so well.
So, new recipes, and old favorites that "take too long" for a school night. Cooking together because we're all there. Dancing to music while the potato pancakes fry. I'm enjoying the prep time as much as the eating.
What's a plus side to isolation time for you and yours? Anything you'd like to hold onto when life returns to something more like normal? I'd love to hear from you in the comments.