Pandemic: Time At Home

This has been an unusual opportunity for an unexpected helpful slow down of sorts to focus on what matters – the health and well-being of human beings.

This shift has me spending more direct time with my kids since school is cancelled for the time being and we’re waiting for next steps.

I’ve started on some home organization projects I’ve been wanting to get done (for too long).

One involves my 15-year-old daughter sitting with me to go through storage totes of her old stuff from when she was four and five. I didn’t expect it to be fun, but it was a hoot.

We laughed so much pulling out various funny memories and useless junk from the boxes. There were things I assumed she’d remember from childhood she had no clue about and there were things she remembered that stunned me. Unexpected bonding opportunity. Plus, it was satisfying to have emptied two boxes tonight after supper knowing there are more from other years to go through and time ahead to do it now.

My 10-year-old son helped me start cleaning up the backyard today. We emptied old planters, planted new seeds, transplanted some starts that survived winter, and put out several spring flowering bulb plants in pots on the back patio to get that fresh green look going. It’s so much more cheerful already back there especially at this worrisome time.

Oh, and he jumped on the trampoline loving the fact it was warm enough to do it on this sunny day begging me to join him while I was elbows deep in dirt. Not today, but next time, Liam. I promised him. I’m usually always game for his adventures.

I have a creative arts studio in my basement that’s going to get a lot of extra use during this time. We’ve spent some hours down there between yesterday and today already and it’s a bright energy kind of space which is cheerful when all in one place looking for things to do. Plus, it’ll get special spruce up attention with work from home happening and I’m here looking at it every day so much more for now.

I was looking around the house in a new way today considering my list for the coming couple weeks noticing dust and that drab winter layer that needs some deep cleaning in different rooms.

I’m here staying busy and that’s going to get done much faster this year which is great for several reasons and good mojo for the house, overall.

Today, I got my cardio in and lifted free weights watching a movie to adjust to the gym being closed as I create a new exercise schedule that will work well for a while.

Here are just a few podcasts I listen to off and on exercising, working in the yard, cleaning, or doing creative work with my hands, etc… Hidden Brain, On Being, Speaking of Psychology, The Science of Success, What it Takes, The Moth, The Psychology Podcast, Invisibilia… They range from personality-related – to – why we do what we do – types of podcasts. Maybe that offers you something new and interesting to seek out.

My very suburban neighborhood is more vibrant and active as people make adjustments for the time being. It’s usually stoic this time of year. I saw a dad and two kids playing catch in the street. Two older kids played soccer around the corner. I noticed several runners, walkers, and one bike rider. I even saw a dad on his driveway working on some kind of wood project with his young son – all today on my block of the neighborhood. That never happens – that much activity in one day this time of year? No way. It was a lift to see so much life in these parts.

I reluctantly left the house long enough to deposit a check at my bank drive thru and stop to vote. There were no lines at either place midday.

I was conscious of my proximity to people, general human movement around me including listening for coughs or sniffles from others, and paying attention to how long I was out and about. No lingering. I expect many or most days for the time being now I won’t even leave the house. It’s not necessary since I can get outside in the backyard and get out for cardio – walks, bike rides, etc. … as long as that’s considered appropriate to do. Home has a nice, warm, inviting vibe, so being here is very pleasant.

I, of course, got work done that needed to be handled, phone calls, writing, emails, etc.

Those are a few things that filled today.

There’s a nostalgic aspect to this kind of experience that silently calls on you to be more creative, resourceful, and patient – a slower living mindset. I love that and think there’s a great opportunity for a different type of awareness and connectedness that’s priceless at this time – like a sort of precious pause all the while knowing this shift in habits for this period of time is for a much greater good way beyond our tiny little personal experience today.

This has already been a good teaching moment for my kids who rightfully worry about their 90-year-old grandma among others. We’ve talked about it several times including how they can help through their own actions right now.

There’s something powerful, with no words spoken, in knowing you really are all in something important together … profoundly impacting each other even if it’s hard to see.