April 1, 2020

My Thoughts, Unquarantined.

Life is sort of funny, isn’t it. One moment we are running around checking things off of our “to-do” lists, telling people how busy we are and the next moment we are being told to slow down and practice social distancing. Let’s be honest, this whole quarantine/social distancing/only “going out of the house when necessary” thing is wild and seems impossible. But here is what my extroverted self has come to the conclusion of:  it’s totally possible. Yes, I understand what is going on globally is very serious and there is a good chance that a majority of us have never experienced anything like this. However, I am the type of person who likes to look at the glass half full and always finds the positive in anything life decides to throw my way. So here they are, my half glass full thoughts on having to put my normal day to day activities on pause for a few weeks and how I am making the most of it. Enjoy!

TBH, I was not prepared for social distancing, like at all, not physically, not mentally, not emotionally. I would make for a terrible boy scout. So of course when everyone was asking me if I had enough food in my house I responded back with “is a half-eaten bag of cashews, a block of cheese, and a box of popsicles count as enough?” To which everyone (my parents) replied with “you’re joking…” This led me to make a trip to the grocery store, which based off of my social media, seemed like it was going to be a complete disaster. Maybe I lucked out, but the store that I had gone to wasn’t terrible, sure all the toilet paper, meat, and water were gone but at least they had eggs and a few loaves of bread left. Aside from noticing how picked over everything was, the behavior of every human in the store was more noticeable…everyone was concerned about one thing: themselves, what can they get and how much of it. It’s become such a problem that stores now have to limit the amount of items one person can purchase! So now every time I go to the grocery store ( about once a week, because I am one person and can’t eat 48 boxes of Mac & Cheese) I make a conscious effort to SMILE at every person that I pass. I thank the clerks for being there and for putting in the extra work stocking shelves! Kindness goes a long way always, but even more so when people are feeling uncertain or anxious! So give a smile, say thank you, have grace for the people around you, grab something off a shelf for someone if they can’t reach it. If anything, kindness matters more than ever right now!

I’ve learned something about myself recently. I can’t STAND being inside, especially if it is sunny. I actually go crazy. So you can IMAGINE how my life is going. THANKFULLY, I am extra blessed to be living on the beach in sunny San Diego right now (especially since we are still allowed to be outside).  I’m gonna be honest, it’s not a bad place to be practicing social distancing. So you can bet that when I am starting to get a little cray cray I am out walking along the bluff. It’s amazing what some Vitamin D and fresh ocean air can do to you! I have a lot of time to think when I am on those walks, but the one thing that I have been thinking a lot about is how I am always in SUCH a hurry, so much so that I forget to look up. Being forced to slow down has cured a lot of that. Usually, I will just walk with no distance or time goal in mind. I’ll explore new places and stop at the beach, sit, look out, and take it all in. The ocean calms me and it’s good for my soul. I’m constantly reminded that there is beauty in every little thing, the sky, the waves crashing, the way the air smells, the sand, the surfers out waiting to catch that next big wave, the succulents that cover the bluff. I probably look like such an idiot when I am out walking around because I just have this perma-grin on my face, but I honestly can’t help it! So I have come to this conclusion: we as a population are always looking for the fastest way to get somewhere, but taking this time to slow down has made me realize that I like taking the back roads. Being able to soak in every detail and appreciate the beauty of the world helps me not take anything that I have for granted!

I have been challenging myself to get creative with how I am spending my time social distancing (basically just trying not to binge-watch everything on Netflix). If I don’t have to be inside and can be on a walk or hanging out in my backyard I will. I have also been challenging myself to read more and learn to cook (I am the world’s worst cook, ask my mom). So if there is one thing that social distancing is doing for me is forcing me to learn some important life skills that should be way more developed than they are as a 28-year-old, hahaha. So thank you COVID-19 for making me better. I am also challenging myself to this: read at least 1 book a week. I have always loved reading, but social media crept in and became an obsession so I am taking a break from that and am putting my nose back into books! So whether it’s learning a new skill, reading a book (or three), going for a walk or getting outside, or picking up a new hobby, challenge yourself to be off of your phone for a few hours every day or maybe only watch TV at night. Use this time to get creative and do something that will better yourself!

I read a quote the other night by Dr. Caroline Leaf who said, “when everything is uncertain, everything that is important becomes clear.” So I’ll end with this: remember to smile, help the people around you, call your loved ones, go for a walk to find the beauty in everything, have fun with your family, get creative, group Facetime all your friends for virtual hangouts and happy hours! This is such a unique time to remind ourselves of what really matters! This isn’t permanent, it’s just a season. We are going to come out stronger and better after this!

Stay safe out there and don’t forget to wash your hands!