5 Remarkable Quarantine Stories From Family & Friends…
As parts of the country are re-opening (and re-closing), I’m left to wonder how others are adjusting to this new normal. What is this new normal anyway? For some it may be a way of life they’ve always known, for others, it’s a number of parameter shifts. Different agendas, jobs, safety precautions, cancellation of events.. the list goes on. I don’t quite believe there is a single person who hasn’t been affected by this pandemic in one way or another.
Kicking it into reverse, when the state issued a heavy quarantine, I decided to pour my time and energy in to the things I love most about being home. Cooking healthy meals, actually eating lunch with Sam on a work day, walks, and sleeping in (on occasion). Having the responsibility as a wife (and dog mom!) at an especially young age, I’ve had the opportunity to learn. Learn who and what is important in life, to focus in on faith, family, kindness, and how to establish priorities..
Most importantly, I learned to be cautious of my time. I know in the future, Sam and I will look back on this year with our children. We’ll realize that because we were forced to stop our hustle and bustle lifestyle, we were actually forming the groundworks of our own home- a happy home.
We took the time to make things such as walking, talking, eating dinner together, and playing with Maggie a priority we otherwise didn’t always have time for. This time right now, past and present, are memories we are grateful to have experienced. They are the lessons we learned and will continue to take with us the rest of our lives.
So, I took some thought to it, and sat down (virtually) to ask some of my dearest family and friends a few questions. Would you describe what your personal experience was living in quarantine? Anything that surprised you most about your own life? Some of the answers are exactly how we all may be feeling from time to time, and others, may take you by surprise..
Dasha Kuznetsova, Dear Friend Planning Her Wedding During COVID-19
“Overall, I really enjoyed the changes quarantine has brought in to my life. There are a lot of positives, such as the ability to work from home, wake up at the time I want, and plan my own day. In the early stages, I was able to get away and move to Arizona for a month while working. However, I never imagined the quarantine to last longer than two months, so I started to become restless.
The guidelines tightened, and I wasn’t able to go in to my favorite workout spots (as all activities were limited or closed). That was the part I didn’t like, but I guess quarantine wasn’t supposed to be a vacation.
On top of it all, I’ve been planning my wedding, and that has to be the most stressful. As you may know, wedding planning isn’t for everyone, and it sure wasn’t for me. Mix that in with a change of guidelines in life, and it’s nothing short of a nightmare. Every week, I had to adjust my plan and settle for something I didn’t want. The wedding vision had changed several times, and at that point I just wanted it over. All together, this year has had its ups and downs. If I were to take out the wedding planning, it actually wouldn’t be quite as bad. Early on I discovered old hobbies that I once loved as a child (painting, nail designs, etc). It sounds silly, but truly has brought me joy! My advice to anyone that is struggling or planning a wedding right now: remember that it could be much worse. This all shall pass, so enjoy the slow moments in life.”
Kassi Gagnon, Dear Friend and Hair Stylist at Studio K Salon
“Life in quarantine was a whirlwind of emotions. Each day appeared different than the last. I was forced to put my career of doing hair on hold. I would wake up one day either fearful, or grateful to actually have time to myself. Now, as we are out of quarantine, and slowly approaching work again, I feel as if I came out better than when I first when in. (Since no one I know or love has been contracted with COVID-19). Overall, I can say that I had so much time to self reflect and better myself- mentally and physically.”
Angi Gragg, Mother-In-Law and Director of Wesley Children’s Hospital
“I think the hardest part of this pandemic has been waiting for COVID-19 to hit the Midwest. At the hospital, we have been planning for months for this virus to come, and it’s finally here. I would love to say something profound, but it is what a healthcare worker does every day- caring for those extremely ill patients and then celebrating those that recover. The uneasy feeling is just if you will contract it, and then what it will do to you.
One thing that has surprised me is that I am a complete homebody. I have enjoyed this time to simply slow down. In a way, I hope life stays at this slower pace. I am also surprised how the community has stepped up to support the healthcare workers around us.”
Kelley Littlefield, Neighbor and Mother of Two Young Girls
“This year has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Spending much of the year in quarantine has been challenging, to say the least. The first couple weeks were surreal, but there was hope. Then it started to set in, school was cancelled, I was let go from my job (which turned into a blessing) and “online schooling” was thrown our way. Being tasked the role of a teacher and parent, means learning to manage kids assignments and their Zoom meetings. All while fielding lightning questions from them on when they would get to see their friends again.
As a mom, the hardest part has been explaining to our girls why we can’t go to parks, church, have a birthday party, or see friends on a regular basis.. and my heart breaks for them. But I know we will get through this. Whether it resembles some sort of normalcy again, or adjusting to a new normal. I know that either way we will manage.
Before the pandemic, my day consisted of filling everyone else’s needs. Work eight hours, then filling all the needs again. I would hit the pillow at the end of the night, exhausted. Now, it’s surprised me as I find myself with more time in the day. I’ve made it a priority to start off each morning by filling my cup first. It usually compels me to be more patient, definitely energized, and does wonders for my soul.”
Ashley Brown, Family Friend, Teacher, and Mother of Three Young Kids
“My personal experience while living quarantine was very eye opening. I realized my daily habits (i.e. talking about COVID-19, reading articles/ stories, news-watching) was making me a very unhappy and uneasy person. I had to make a change, so I turned it off (first week in) and started living in the moment. My mood lifted, I started feeling happier, less stressed and more at ease. We didn’t necessarily isolate the kids from COVID news, but rather educated them and hoped that staying calm, and following the “rules” would help them stay at ease as well. It’s been a very weird time, stressful for me, and everyone at home. Having three kids to take care of and work was hard, but we made it work, and will continue to make things work as a new normal. That is just how life goes I guess. We can’t always have things go our way, and can’t live in the past (because we seemed happier in the “normal” routine we lived).