Sunday, May 3, 2020

Staying At Home

How are you doing with all of this? 

Loribeth wrote a post and shared some reflective prompts posed by a scrapbooker. 
There are some great questions to consider in there. 

As for me, I've spent the past 7 weeks at home, venturing out only for the post office and curbside pickup at the grocery store. I'm a public school teacher doing my best to help my students get something meaningful out of online school. My weekend job at the hospital is on hold because they've drastically reduced staff in my department. Oh, and my lease is up so I'm renting month-to-month as I prepare to undertake another massive move. 

Some day, I swear, there is going to be a break in major life stressors for all of us. :)

In the meantime, I'll use these questions to reflect.

For some questions, I'm still thinking about my answers.

  • What has surprised you? What has not surprised you?
  • Who or what has impressed you in a positive way?
  • Is there one particular news article or story that stands out to you?
  • What memory or moment will you talk about in ten years?
  • What will you do differently when life normalizes?

For other questions, I have immediate answers.

  • When was the moment you knew this was serious?  

          It started feeling stressful toward the end of February and with each passing day in March. I was wiping down my classroom multiple times a day instead of my usual once a day. Then I read Jess's post about grocery shopping, so I learned I needed to go pick up some things. Little did I know that would be the last time I'd go to that store. But when I was removed from the schedule at my weekend hospital job, I knew it was serious. They reduced our department to just a couple of people and told the rest of us to stay healthy in case they needed us.

  • What has been the biggest change to your everyday routine?

          I don't get to leave the house for work. I really like the separation between my work and my home. There are many reasons why. One small reason why is because I don't have a good work space at home. Another small reason why is because I enjoy listening to music on my drive to and from work. Yes, I can listen to music at home, but it's not the same. Nothing is the same... But the worst part about not getting to go into my physical work space is I don't get to see my students in person. Teaching over video conferencing just isn't the same. 

  • What have you learned to do because of this pandemic?

          I'm using the internet in new ways. I'm ordering groceries online and scheduling a time for curbside pickup. I'm meeting with students over video conferencing. We are using the internet and online documents in real time together, so that's a cool way that I can help students read, write, and edit during online school. 

          I've also been using less and wasting less. Food, toilet paper, money, time spent in traffic.

  • What change has created the most disappointment for you?

          The lack of sports. I'm not an athlete and no one in my family currently plays sports. But they're all sports fans. And there is a particular sport that I enjoy and follow. And my students play sports. And my friends love sports. Sports are just good. They are something to train for, something to strive for, and something to celebrate. Sports brings people together. And then everything just ended. Abruptly. Ended for high school seniors, college seniors, and professional athletes. Ended for coaches, trainers, officials, ushers, and fans. Ended for the economy and individuals' livelihoods. Ended the seasonal rhythms, the positive anticipation, and the joy that sports brings.

  • What have you observed in your community that has been heart-warming?

          My favorite thing so far is my school district organizing to give every district employee a free box of food right after campus closed with basically no warning. Our food services manager made it happen and all we had to do was drive to the district office to pick it up. Everyone got the same awesome box. It was glorious: fresh produce, fresh herbs, boxes of dry pasta, an industrial-sized can of spaghetti sauce, bread, sandwich meat, a box of tissues, homemade cookies, tea, honey, and lemons. It brought happy tears to my eyes. That box gave me such comfort, care, and community in a time when I really needed it.

  • What have you truly enjoyed about sheltering in place?

          The fact that I have felt so grateful. I also feel very stressed, scared, worried, and anxious. Yet I am also very, very thankful. Staying at home all the time without a lot of life's regular distractions really makes me face my choices, and I am satisfied. I have resolved my infertility by choosing to create a life I want to live despite the fact that I didn't get to raise/love my children. I like my life for the most part. I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm not where I was anymore. I'm thankful I went back to school. I'm thankful I moved to another state. I'm thankful I got divorced. I'm thankful I like myself, I'm happy at home, and I live with my boyfriend in a place that's full of warmth, laughter, and love. 

          I think what I have enjoyed most while staying at home is his amazing cooking. :)

What about you? What are some of your answers to these questions? What are your thoughts and feelings on your stay-at-home experience? Feel free to reply in the comments or leave a link to your own blog post on the topic. 

This isn't an easy time for anyone. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. 

And remember that we all have a strength and resilience that we never asked for.


  1. Those are great answers. How wonderful to get that care box from your school district. And I love that you have felt so grateful. I have too. I loved Loribeth's list, and I'm thinking of doing that myself in a day or two. I'll come back and leave a link if I do!

  2. Glad to see this post from you! I'm still working on mine, and you've given me some things to think about. Thanks! :)

    1. Thank you for the idea! Looking forward to reading your post!!

  3. This is wonderful! What great questions, and hard questions. Love your answers. Too funny that for you it was my post on shopping for the apocalypse that prompted you to go out... The grocery situation definitely got real, quick. I'm with you 100% on the virtual learning. I miss in person classroom time so, so much. And the virtual teaching is just completely exhausting -- all the meetings and the screen time and tracking and trying desperately to get kids what they need when what they need is in the damn classroom (the safety, the supplies, the work environment, the social interaction). In some cases though the lack of social interaction has been a good thing -- far less distracting drama! :) It's not the same. And working from home as a teacher definitely blurs that separation and makes it even harder. I love your last 3 paragraphs in particular, that you are satisfied with this life you've built after all you've lost, and the quarantining with your boyfriend. Here, here.

    1. Thanks Jess! In more ways than one!! ;)

      And yesss to everything you wrote about online teaching.