I’m doing better than I expected during this pandemic. I have bad days, but nothing like what I expected before all this started.
I honestly believe our home has a lot to do with it.
I’m grateful for everything that my home has done for me lately. It is currently tasked with keeping all of us safe, entertained, warm, healthy, and happy. However, it also has the responsibility of keeping my anxiety at an all-time low.
Last January, I described how an episode of Marie Kondo made me cry because she essentially suggests thanking your home for everything it does for you, including protecting you.
And boy, has it been keeping us safe for the last five weeks.
I didn’t always appreciate my home, despite what you may believe based on all of my DIY and decorating projects I’ve done over the years.
I was appreciating it on the surface, but I didn’t realize how much it was doing for our family. I’ve learned to be grateful for the fact that we even have a home at all, and I’m trying hard not to complain about being inside of it all the time.
Oh, my dear house, I’ve never been more thankful for you than I am right now. Thank you. I love you so much.
I enjoy routine. I even included it in my list of 100 Things I Love. It is how I retain my sanity in my environment, and with anxiety. Trying to keep the scary thoughts out of my mind is a lot easier when I have a routine. It’s my way of controlling things in an otherwise uncontrollable time.
When the girls were little, our routine was something we all looked forward to and almost craved. When there was no routine, we all went off the proverbial rails.
Routine is part of what is saving me right now during the stay at home orders.
I keep busy Monday through Friday from the time I wake up until around four in the afternoon. During this time, I keep music on downstairs, no television. This is not to say the girls’ can’t watch television, but rather they watch it in my room or Anna watches on her laptop during the day after school is finished.
If they want to watch television downstairs, they are more than welcome to, but they also have their little routines as well, so it works for them too.
I am unable to sleep in, unfortunately, no matter what time I go to bed. I thought I might be able to start sleeping in every morning but alas, my body won’t let me. So after Mike leaves for work for the day, I write for several hours while the house sleeps. This has become one of the self-care routines that I love.
I usually exercise on the treadmill for an hour after or go for a walk with the dog or walk with Mike at a forest preserve near our home on his day off.
Then as the girls wake up, I make breakfasts, clean, put the dishes away, feed the animals, do laundry, homeschool and so on. I call my mom as I am drinking my afternoon coffee, and then try to take Buddy for another afternoon walk before starting dinner and eating together at the end of the day, followed by Mike and I binge-watching something distracting until bedtime.
But on Saturdays, I have my “Luke’s dark day”. If you’ve never watched Gilmore Girls, you won’t understand, but essentially one of the characters (Luke) has a dark day every year on the anniversary of his dad’s passing, November 30th.
My dark day is nothing of that sort, but rather the one day a week during this lockdown where I let myself sit in my feelings, binge eat, binge watch and just lay around the entire day. No routine, no schedule, no nothing. Mike works every Saturday and while it isn’t normally my favorite day of the week in normal time, it is during this time that Saturdays just suck more than normal for me.
I don’t shower on Saturdays, I don’t eat anything healthy on Saturdays, I don’t intermittent fast on Saturdays, I don’t exercise on Saturdays, I don’t cook on Saturdays.
I just. Don’t.
At first, I felt guilty having this day. I felt like I should be mothering more, cleaning more, cooking more, or doing something more. But with each new Saturday that came around, I would look forward to being lazy. It became my secret guilty pleasure.
Within a pandemic, I was actually excited about something.
It has been while we’ve been locked inside that I thought I might miss all of this. This not having anywhere to be, this not feeling guilty for eating cereal for dinner, this jammies all day long.
I almost don’t want to say it out loud, missing it. But I will miss it.
The time I had both of my daughters just up the stairs.
The time I got an extra couple of months with my oldest.
The time the four of us sat downstairs and watched conspiracy theory YouTube videos while eating Doritos from the bag. When making homemade cookies was the highlight of the day, or ordering takeout was met with such glee, it almost felt like Christmas.
There are many aspects that I will never miss of this time, but I will never forget the good stuff.
And how all of it happened within the walls of our own home.
While a virus raged outside, during a pandemic lockdown.