Sunday, March 7, 2021

Quarantine Update: One Year of Life on the Inside

Being in quarantine these past twelve months have made me feel a little like the potted plants growing in my window. They flourish even though they're rooted to one spot. They still get to enjoy the afternoon sunlight through my office window every day. They're still growing, even though they stay in one place day after day, month after month.

I'm trying to do the same. During the first few months of Staying Home and Staying Safe, I had a hard time seeing the bright side of things. I was distracted with worry from the Covid scares my "essential worker" husband experienced (and continues to experience). Hardly anyone in our community is taking the virus seriously. I was skeptical about the future. I lost my faith in humanity.

Already somewhat of a germaphobe, we discovered that nothing is safe. Everything must be washed, wiped, quarantined in the garage before it can be brought inside the house. So far, our over-the-top diligence has paid off.

To keep busy, I've been working on a dozen different books, whichever one can hold my interest at the time. I know I should have published several books by now, but I've been feeling stuck, literally and figuratively. As my agoraphobia worsens, the plants in my window mock me. I have now become Olivia, a character I created years ago, back when the world was a "safer" place.

Online challenges have me living my life one month at a time. First it was the Alphatitles Book Challenge and then I moved on to the physical with workout challenges on YouTube. I spent a month of mornings riding on the stationary bike, pedaling and pedaling and getting nowhere (a metaphor for my new normal?) and then followed along with thirty days of indoor walking. Some habits I've kept doing every day, and some have gone by the wayside. I eventually stopped participating in the challenges I came across online because isn't day-to-day life challenging enough? One day at a time has become our new motto at the Vaughn household.

In putting my life on hold and staying inside my house for an entire year, I've gotten the feeling that I'm the only one who seems to have done so. A peek out my window and a quick scroll through social media shows me that everyone else is out and about, living their lives like normal. Some are still not wearing masks and are fueling the pandemic, enabling it to spread around the nation and creep into the nooks and crannies of even the smallest communities everywhere. Even nature has become crowded and overrun with people who just can't help themselves. No matter how much I love hiking, I just can't take the chance.

Last year at this time we were planning all the day-trips we wanted to take for Vaughn the Road Again. None of those happened. I was first. And then I started to enjoy my time at home more and more. While saving on our gas bill and mileage on the car, we've gone all this time without eating out either. The drive-thru used to be the reward for a long day of birding. Now we are cooking all of our own meals and having more fun than ever in the kitchen while we try new recipes and simply enjoy our time together.

I've used this time indoors to clean my house from top to bottom, rearrange furniture, read all the books that have been on my to-read shelf for years, make dozens of bracelets that bring a smile to my face whenever I wear them, and create things out of polymer clay that brighten up our home. 

Most of us have made sacrifices during this crazy time and I'm encouraged by the resiliency of those who have kept on keeping on. After all, without the darkness, we couldn't see the stars, right?

There will come a day when I venture out into the great outdoors again, but until then I'm happy watering my plants and watching movies with my hubby while our cat tries to decide whose lap to curl up on.

Maybe my hope for the future isn't completely gone after all...

No comments:

Post a Comment