Who knew the life we live on the weekends was called quarantine? No, seriously I'm an introvert who's lucky enough to be married to an introvert. For us, this "shelter in place" business really is our regular life, mostly. There are fewer trips to grocery stores and the post office, but mostly this is our normal life.
I know there's any number of people from my professional life that might be reading this, questioning the introvert part. They've only ever seen the "on" part of my personality, commonly referred to as extroverted. My day job requires a lot of talking and being with the public. I've been in customer service my entire life and seem to have developed and polished the "on" setting, to the point where it can deceiving to the public. Left to my own devices I prefer to be introverted, also known as the "off" setting. I prefer a more intentional social life. Where I only have to be witty, or funny, or know things, or for that matter be social, through my own choosing.
Since I've been "socially isolating" I've rediscovered my passion for cooking and my love of writing about food. Two things that haven't been high on my list for a few years now. Things I'd almost forgotten I enjoyed. I love talking, writing and even teaching others about food.
This time of quite is making me really rethink some of the things on my priority list. I haven't felt this calm and relaxed in over a year. I'm finally well-rested, and not chasing my next cup of coffee to get me through the next day at work. I'd also like to point out that my office these days has a better view, especially since my office at work does not have a window.
I've been reevaluating my availability to my current job. Before the lockdown, as it seems to be, I was answering work-related emails, calls, and texts at all hours, which for someone who is supposed to be part-time seems a bit absurd. When we resume "normal", there will be a definite shift happening in that habit.
I hope that many of us are taking this time to reflect on our values and what is important to us. It's time to start putting those things first. I know I've thought a lot about relationships and family. Many of us are lucky enough to be with our families at this time, but some of us are hundreds of miles apart. We're staying in touch by any means possible, sending cards using video chat, texting, and calling more.
The other thing that I've focused more on is gratitude, counting my blessing if you will. Thinking about how fortunate we are during this time of crazy uncertainty. I'm thankful we're in a small town, which so far only has one case of the virus. I'm thankful we're both still employed and earning paychecks. I have a lot of gratitude for technology and the ability to stay in touch with our friends and family, more now than ever. I'm also grateful for the ability to be content staying home, even with a few stir-crazy moments. I'm thankful we have a warm house and a full pantry.
There is no doubt in my mind that this will leave a mark on our society, but I'd like to think it will be for the better. That we will come out of this stronger, less focused on the "me, me, me" and more inclined to put family before earning every grubby dollar we can snatch up. That we will return to teaching our youth to value people, not things, that they aren't owed anything and that the world does not revolve around them. Most of all that we learn to be grateful for what we have and that we make sure our families know love them.