As an introvert I feel like I have the upper hand with the stay-at-home order. I mean, isn’t this what I usually do anyway? (Answer: yes, and no). But no matter how frequently I have stayed home in the past I think we can all agree that staying home now is different: it’s an order, not a choice. And yet, this experience has led to much gratitude for many things, and the place I get to call home is at the top of the list.
Our house is working overtime for us now, and I feel like giving it a big hug and telling it how great of a job it’s doing, as nerdy as that sounds. I think many of us feel that way right now: just really lucky to have our health and a place to call home. Before now I was concerned about the size of my house, but now I understand deeply how little that matters. What matters right now is what has always mattered and what will continue to matter long after the order lifts. What transpires within the house’s walls is everything; creating a place for peace, love, and joy is so important to our overall well-being.
To that end, we have been getting creative with our time. For example: I ordered craft pom poms and pipe cleaners to assist with indoor toddler activities. We haven’t actually made crafts, but instead have employed them as bombs in a battle field and silly hair extensions. We also organize the pom poms and pipe cleaners by size and color. And a perfectly simple fine motor skills activity is to have my toddler stick the pipe cleaners into a colander. (Side note: that is my kind of “craft”! Easy and no prep work!) Outside the home we have created our own fun in an empty parking lot. We took the outdoor sporting gear and just played until we got tired. It was lovely.
On average, there has been lots of TV, coloring/activity/reading books, weeding by hand, outdoor time, and imaginary play. It’s definitely not the same as a formal school and work day, but we are still growing and developing, especially in the realms of patience and delayed gratification. 😉
As a family we have been able to take lots and lots of walks. This has been so fun, because we get to see all the neighbors out and about too. One family was singing and playing guitar on their porch. Another started a “block party” of sorts and they invited all their neighbors to come out with lawn chairs to drink and talk from six feet apart. Even more creatively, the same neighbor arranged for a food truck to come! I was struck by the ingenuity of this and that such a thing as community and togetherness and a neighborhood food truck could become the new norm in 2020. It’s the simple things that matter, and it seems like we’re all getting back to basics.
Being home so much has also provided insight about growth in nature and personal development. Each day I see my son advance in small ways I otherwise would not be privy to. Likewise, I get to see spring unfold with new growth each day. To be cognizant of the subtle daily increase in shade around my house is a new level of awareness and it’s quite calming. I have to say, being away from the office and separated from the craziness of this world has decreased my stress level tenfold. There’s a reason they say that home is where the heart is and my heart is extremely content and happy right now. I don’t take that lightly, especially considering the challenging circumstances which led to these feelings. It’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? Aside from the working-from-home part, this time has the vibes of a nice, really long Saturday. Hopefully I can maintain this sense of peace and calm long after we are released back into society.