I sat down today to write a post on my thoughts from one year in “quarantine”, and I started by looking back at the quarantine thoughts post that I shared in May of 2020. We were only a few months into the pandemic, and we had absolutely no clue that we would still be here a year later. A few things have changed since I hit publish on that post – there’s now a vaccine available for COVID-19, we have a new president, I’m MARRIED, I’ve gotten to see friends and family along the way, things have slowly begun to reopen, and there are some big things happening for me personally that I am so excited for.
But overall, my thoughts haven’t changed. This time has been hard and confusing, and there has been so much pressure on us to DO IT ALL. So instead of writing a totally new post, I’m sharing my words from May of 2020 here again. Once again, I want to know… how are you?
How are you? I wish that I could sit down with you for coffee and just talk. Talk about how you’re feeling, what’s been going on in your world over the last few months, what you’re looking forward to, what you’re worried about in the future. I wish we could talk about the things that we missed out on because we were indoors, the people we’ve missed so terribly. But more than anything I wish that we could sit down with coffees in hand and nowhere to be, and talk about the wonderful things that blossomed out of this time, the relationships that were nurtured from afar, the celebrations that were made even more special because of their intentionality, the small, simple joys that we never would have noticed if we weren’t forced to just slow down. I want to savor this feeling of being in a season that we’ve never been in before and will never be in again. Because we can’t sit down belly to belly, let me share my thoughts with you here, as rambling and all over the place as they may be.
I haven’t shared much, if anything, about COVID-19 and this season because, truth be told, I haven’t had the words. Everytime I tried to voice my feelings to anyone, it came out as “This is such a weird time,” “It just feels so uncertain,” or the light-hearted, but ever truthful “What a time to be alive.” I meant all of those things, yes, but they were more of placeholders for my real thoughts. “What a weird time, it just feels so uncertain, what a time to be alive” might translate to “I feel overwhelmed and anxious and scared, I don’t know when I will see my grandparents in person again, and watching the news stresses me out, and I feel like every day there’s a new development that isn’t good, and I want to be excited about my wedding but I feel guilty for worrying about things like a bachelorette party when people are getting sick and losing their jobs what a time to be alive, right?”
If the news doesn’t get you feeling anxious, why don’t you try social media! During a time when we all had a seemingly endless supply of “free time”, we have been bombarded with messages reminding us not to waste said time – whatever that means. Feeling like you must do all the things, such as: read a book a day, listen to all of the personal development podcasts, bake bread, get into the best shape of your life, declutter and deep clean your entire home, clean out your closets, start a side hustle, learn a new language, bake more bread, send cards to everyone you know, start training for a marathon, drink a gallon of water a day, get the best skin of your life, tackle all of the home renovations and diy projects that you’ve been putting off, go on two walks a day, watch all of the new movies and tv shows dropping, go viral on tiktok, etc.
I have seen someone talk about every single one of the items on that list over the past few months, encouraging me that now is the time!!! If not now, then when?! And I’m not going to lie, there have been times over the past few months where I have felt like an absolute failure. Why can’t I, or more likely, why don’t I, make time for these things. As quarantine got underway, I struggled daily with the weight of all the things I “should” be doing, as if there is a way to “succeed” at using free time during a global pandemic. I still struggle a little bit with this, that after three months, I still haven’t finished some of the things I set out to do at the beginning of all of this. But I’m also realizing that’s okay! There’s no right way to do quarantine. And there’s no right way to process your feelings of what’s happened these last few months. The world and our lives have changed drastically in such a short time, and we’re all just trying to make sense of what that means for us in the future.
For now, I am trying to take small steps, building healthy habits and routines that I can continue maintaining once things start moving back towards “normal” – whatever that looks like. I am reading my Bible. I am taking better care of myself than I have in quite some time. I am reading for pleasure. I am taking long walks with Millie in the sunshine. I am getting organized in my job and staying on top of projects. I am getting married in thirty one days, and that is the best thing of all. I know this time is “weird”, but just hear me when I say, we’re doing the best we can, and that’s all we can do.