On the eve of what would be Day 70 of isolation, a day which will now mark my first day back at work, I reflect on the past several weeks.
When I went into isolation, I didn’t know what to feel. I didn’t know where this would lead. I still don’t know these answers. But there are some things that I’ve learned about myself and some things I knew about myself that were reinforced during isolation.
Here’s a collection of a few of them:
*I like dogs more than people
I don’t think this one comes as a surprise to anyone who knows me.
*I prefer to be alone
Yet another one that’s probably not too surprising. I can be social when I need to be or when I’m in the mood to be, but I’m not an extrovert by nature. I find too much socialization to be mentally exhausting.
*I enjoy yoga
Yoga is my workout and meditation routine of choice. When I injured my back several weeks ago, I took a week of rest and started introducing yoga back into my routine. I have been doing yoga for years, but this was different. This was restorative. And since I started, I have been doing yoga 4-5 days a week for the past month. It feels amazing, and I hope I don’t let it slide now that things are changing.
*I can be a creative chef
Take a look in the cupboards after not grocery shopping for two weeks and see what you come up with. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s scary!
*Laziness is not always a wasted day
Sometimes your mind and body just need time to recoup. And it’s ok to take that time.
*Hammock days and backyard blanket days are therapeutic
These are the days that bring you closer to your loved ones or closer to yourself and nature. I will cherish these memories.
*I like watching nature and sometimes taking photos
Again, no surprises there. Love the opportunities I’ve had!
*Kayaking can almost always pull me out of a bad or sullen mood
*I miss my husband when he’s gone too often, but I also cherish my alone time
There’s a balance that needs to be found. But what I found is that I’d prefer more time with him than time away. I think our tolerance of each other stems from how long we’ve been together, how well we understand each other, and our journey together on the road.
*Plans make me anxious
There, I said it.
*Not having daily goals makes me anxious
*I do well with checklists
*I am a person who utilizes a planner, even during isolation
Ok, I feel like these last four all go together. I do well if I have stuff written down. I do well if I have some type of plan for what I’d like to get done for the week. I do well when I can check stuff off and feel like I’ve accomplished something. If my daily goal is to not do anything and watch Netflix all day, then at least I know I’ve accomplished that goal! If that goal is to have a writing day or submit stuff to different publications, I like having that in my planner.
*I can find peace in quiet moments if I allow myself to do so
Part of adjusting to isolation was knowing that it was OK to enjoy the quiet times, to take advantage of them, to realize that nothing needed to be done, to know that I was the one making my plans. I’m thankful to have a husband that doesn’t guilt-trip, doesn’t judge, he just supports me and whatever I do.
*My husband is my favorite — he’s my person
Everyone’s relationships are different, but one thing I know is that our relationship is awesome. Sure, we have our ups and downs like everyone else. But this guy right here is my person. He supports me through my dreams and craziness and anger and sadness and everything in between. He understands me like nobody else. Later this year, we’ll be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary and half-life anniversary (we will officially have been together for half of our lives). And you know what? There’s nobody else on this planet that I’d rather spend my time with. He’s my person (did I say that already?).
*I have conversations with my pets
Again, probably no surprises there. When your husband comes into the room asking who you’re talking to/singing to/mumbling to/giving kisses to and knows it’s probably (most likely) your dog, well, there you go.
At the beginning of the year, I wrote down a list of things I hoped to accomplish in 2020. While this was supposed to be our “year of travel,” I still wanted these things to be a focus. Isolation has allowed some of these things to happen, and I hope for the rest of them to take place in the coming months. (This is not a complete list cause, you know, privacy and all.)