There’s a lot I’m going to miss about quarantine, but let me start off by saying…
Yes, I’m an introvert.
No, I do not have kids.
Yes, I have been able to work from home.
And yes, I am incredibly grateful for all of the above right now.
But before you roll your eyes and exit out of this blog, hear this: Even if we’re all in a similar situation, remember that everyone faces their own set of challenges.
Maybe you have young kids that are driving you crazy.
Maybe you’re single and are feeling extremely lonely.
Perhaps you and your spouse can’t seem to get on the same page.
Maybe you’re a medical professional and the responsibility on your shoulders overwhelms you.
Maybe you’ve lost your job and you fear the future.
Or maybe your environment is great, but you’re struggling to process all of the emotion, fear and transition.
All of us have been going through changes, whether good or bad. And no matter who you are, there have been a whole lot of obstacles in the past two months. I’m not here to ignore that fact! But all of us have also had the opportunity to reflect on our lives, make needed changes, and grow closer to our family and friends. And that’s just one thing I’m going to miss about quarantine.
I am going to miss the empty calendar. I love keeping busy, and I used to add unnecessary tasks on my calendar just to have something to fill it. So I’ll be the first to admit, all these slow-paced evenings stressed me out at first. But over time, it’s forced me to use my imagination, be intentional about connecting with others, and learn how to lean into boredom and use it to my advantage.
I am going to miss the days of soaking in some sunshine while I work. There’s no rushing from meeting to meeting. There’s not a pile of tasks that I can’t seem to focus on. But there is something about the birds chirping, the neighbors mowing their lawn, and cars driving by that provides a better stress-free soundtrack than I could ever make on Spotify.
I am going to miss connecting with loved ones. The Zoom dinner parties. The family game nights. The quiet evenings to cuddle on the couch with my spouse and a good book… All of these have provided a sense of normalcy in a time of chaos.
I am going to miss the forced self-reflection. I am not one to enjoy self-reflection. It can be uncomfortable to feel so vulnerable and open. And don’t get me started about implementing change for self-growth… But over the past two months, I’ve learned to enjoy pushing myself to grow in ways I never would have seen without this time to reflect.
I am going to miss the creativity needed to figure out what to do next. Hear me out. Yes, it is stressful in the unknown. That will never change. But coming up with creative solutions to difficult problems is something to be proud of. It’s given me confidence in myself and my family to withstand hard things. I know that we will be okay as long as we’re willing to come together.
Now, you may be thinking, “Okay, but I am NOT going to miss having everyone cooped up day after day; I am NOT going to miss trying to figure out how to work; I’m NOT going to miss only being able to see people digitally; I am NOT going to miss all of these extreme emotions, and I am NOT going to miss having to sit in the unknown.”
And I hear you. It’s so easy to get stuck in this mindset of all the hard things, all the painful things, all the things we wish were different. But my challenge is this: Today, choose to find one thing that you will miss about quarantine and then choose to never let it stop.
None of these things have to end once the quarantine is over. There are 24 hours in every day, and we choose how to spend those hours.
We might have more things on the calendar, but we can say “no” when it’s getting too full.
Work might resume as normal, but that doesn’t mean we can’t spend the evenings off our phones, listening to the birds chirping, enjoying the company of the people around us.
When we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, we can prioritize self-care.
And when we’re facing hard times, we will get through them together.
Remember: Just because we may get back to some sort of “normal” does not mean that things have to go back to how they used to be.