Coronavirus Blog #9: Anxiety Got the Better of Me

Today is March 22, 2020 (a Sunday!)

We had a great day yesterday, running all around all over the forest, staying away from everyone else together.

But this morning I woke up, and it felt like the magic was gone.

It was still super cold, and instead of a blue sky and golden sun, the sky was gray. Low clouds.

I stumbled out of the tent, feeling sore and creaky and stiff.

I got ready to start a fire so that the kids would have something to huddle around when they got out of bed…..and then I felt like all the anxiety I had been holding at bay with our fun and excitement came rushing in.

I could have made it work. But I decided to go with my gut.

So…

While the kids slept on, I packed everything up. I put away the stove, the chairs, stacked up the scooters, and the helmets.

I loaded up the truck, and put out snacks for the kids to eat in the truck on the way home.

And then I woke them up.

They were moany and groany and their hair was sticking up (and full of dirt).

But then…I let them know that we were going to bomb home in the car, and make waffles!!!

They bounced out of their sleeping bags, and into the car. I threw everything from the tents into the car without folding or wrapping anything, pulled the tents down and crumpled them up, and figured I’d just take care of everything later.

(Imagine me just hustling around with the truck running, warming up, while I frantically shoved things in the door like you might see in a cartoon).

90 minutes or less later.

We were home! Seriously, I think we made it home before our neighbors were really even out of bed.

It was gorgeous and golden and sunny and warm, and I was so, so glad to be home!

I don’t know what it was, but having gotten through the first birthday, I’d met that need to be outside and run around like crazy in the woods with my kids. I just felt ready to be home.

Avoiding social media

After we unpacked and spread out the tents to dry out, I took a quick look at Facebook. After scrolling for a few minutes, I decided to just put it away. My feed was FULL of self-righteous people complaining about toilet paper, hoarding, elderly people, shaming and scolding.

I didn’t need any of that stuff!

Instead, I put myself to work on something productive. No more wasting time sitting, staring at my phone. I made the promised waffles. I got the kids set up with activities. I cleaned some house and cooked some other foods. I washed and folded laundry.

Being productive at home

The thing that I love about people being at home is that folks have an opportunity to invest in themselves and their families. We did that, over our weekend. We spent some really quality time together, and loved so much of it.

I see a lot of people out in the streets, playing ball with their kids, riding bikes, hanging out on the lawn. This was something I’d almost never seen!

But I also know that a lot of people are spending tons of time watching the news, scrolling on social media, Tik Toking.

Why not spend that time trying to grow? We all spend so many hours in a day at work, leaving us with very little energy to invest in ourselves. Why not use this time to build something at the house, to take an online class, to learn a skill! Why not try and improve yourself so that when you go back to work, you’ll be more valuable?

I worry that people are wasting this time, and failing to look at the silver lining. This time at home is a gift!

What I’m doing to try and grow

We have no idea how long this government shutdown is going to last. Maybe the kids will be back to school in a few weeks…maybe not. As of today, the schools here are closed until April 28th, though that could get extended.

In the meantime, I’m working really hard to connect with them.

But for myself, I’m also trying to work in learning activities and opportunities for growth. I don’t have a lot of books to read right now (didn’t prepare all that well), so I’ve been looking for high quality podcasts that I can play for free on my phone.

I’m also looking for free YouTube videos on topics that I want to learn more about, such as business, entrepreneurship, mindset, technical skills for building websites, networking, and the like. I also try to focus on consuming content from creators who are focusing on opportunities, rather than fear or anxieties.

Tomorrow is another lame birthday….

My son’s birthday is tomorrow. I honestly feel super lame, because there ins’t much that he wants to do that we CAN do. He wants to go shopping to pick out a birthday present. Not going to happen. He wants his grandparents to come over and bring presents. Not going to happen. He wants to go out to eat, go visit his friends, go to playgrounds, go do something! For the most part, not going to happen.

The camping trip was for both of the kids’ birthdays, so he sort of already did his birthday special thing. It is hard for me, because I want to do MORE for him.

I’m definitely going to try and find ways tomorrow to make him feel special. I’ll make his favorite foods, I’ll let him have cake, we’ll blow out candles, we’ll videochat with any friends or family that are around to see him, and maybe we’ll do a special family “campout” in the living room.

I’ll be back tomorrow to let you know how it goes.

Here’s a link to all the posts in my daily living through a pandemic blog, where I chat about how this virus is impacting our lives here in the Pacific NW.

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