Do You Think You’ll Make Permanent Life Changes after COVID-19?

Source: photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash.com

I read a bunch of articles all the livelong day, including many on LinkedIn and CNN that are saying that after we make it through this pandemic, life will never go back to what we previously considered normal. One example is that now that many businesses have been forced to switch to a teleworking model, employees will want to continue teleworking for a better work-life balance. Other surveys show that many people plan to reduce their spending over the next six months, to build up their savings accounts in an uncertain economy.

Obviously, everyone who is on a Stay at Home order or self-quarantine has made a bunch of sudden changes to their lives. Some of us have used a grocery pick-up service for the first time, when we would typically just take a trip to the grocery store. Others may have purchased some clippers and went to town learning how to cut their husband or son’s hair. Or maybe you’re just cooking at home more often and you realize that you’re pretty darn good at it.

So, I’m curious: is there something that you’ve adapted to in quarantine that you’ll stick with?

Here’s some changes I made that I think might stick:

  • I feel like I did a good job cutting hair — I did Jack’s a few weeks ago and Travis’ over the weekend. Now that I know I can do it, I’m planning on doing our own in-between appointment touch-ups on my own. I already groom Ollie, so why not groom the whole family!
  • After years of having my colorist dye my roots and never being totally happy with the color until I use Overtone a few times, I resorted to a $6 box dye… and it worked out great. I may save myself quite a bit of time and money and go back to doing my own hair color touch-ups.
  • We’ve been getting Home Chef orders every week that we’ve been at home. It has saved me so much brain power in deciding what I’m going to cook and I actually enjoy making new recipes each weeknight. I’m thinking that I might keep our orders on a ‘more often’ schedule one we can go out again. Maybe not every single week, but possibly every other week!
  • I like a mix of teleworking and in-office working and I hope to be able to continue that with my work schedule. However, I’m not sure exactly when I’ll feel comfortable going on the metro again. There are just so many germs on public transportation — so even though it is less convenient and more expensive, I’ll be driving into work once I need to return.

How about you? Is there something you’d adapted to that you’ll continue to do once the world is “normal” again?

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Losing My Mind & Gaining a Roof

Actual photo of the hole in Jack’s ceiling. I photoshopped on googly eyes for funsies.

You know how when you put a household task off, and put it off some more… it just goes away? Oh. Yeah, that doesn’t work for me either. Which is why when the ceiling in Jack’s room started leaking again, I figured I should probably do something about it. This wasn’t the first time it leaked, but it was the first time the leak morphed into a scary mouth not unlike the Harry Potter Sorting Hat.

While keeping a bath towel folded up on Jack’s dresser to catch raindrops seemed like a pretty great long-term plan, I decided to give my dad a call to see if he had a ‘roof guy’ and… of course he had a roof guy. So, just two days later, I poked my head out the door when my dog started barking his head off during my conference call to find a strange man climbing a ladder to my roof.

Not too long after, I decided to record a couple videos. Because I’m totally going to want to look back on this in a few years and laugh. Actually, it’s been a few days and I’m still laughing at the absurdity of it.

Click the little arrow on the right to enjoy all three videos:

So, there you go. Because obviously the perfect time to have a nice man rip off your old roof and replace it with a new one is when you are quarantining at home, working from home, and online schooling with your kid. Obviously.

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Life Update

Okay, as I’m rounding in on day 13 of teleworking, I thought it was time for a Life Update. And to be honest, I had to count days on my calendar over and over, because even though this is day 13 of teleworking, out of the last 27 days I have spent 21 at home.

Which is 77.7% of my days.

I’m an introvert… but it is still a lot of time at home.

Since my last update, Maryland schools have extended their closure through April 24th. They implemented online schooling with Google Classroom on Monday, so now we have a new routine of printing off Jack’s assignments each morning and having him complete three sections each day: math, writing, and a bonus assignment (extra writing assignments, PE, art, etc). After each assignment is complete, I upload it to the Classroom for his teacher to review. Each assignment earns him screen time, so the complaining is bearable.

Here’s some Minecraft Yoga:

And yes, Jack does sometimes take off his robe so I can wash it. And he gets regular showers. But getting dressed each day… way down on the list of importance right now.

This week, the Governor of Maryland also announced a stay-at-home order, which means we are only supposed to leave our homes for necessary reasons such as essential work, grocery/medicine shopping, etc. This is pretty much how we’ve been living the last few weeks, so we didn’t have to do any big changes in order to comply.

I’m still teleworking each day, Monday – Friday. The marketing team is making it work with a daily morning phone call and using Slack to instant chat throughout the day. We got some secondhand good feedback at the end of last week, so I’m feeling confident that we are getting an acceptable amount of work done.

My husband has an essential job, so he’s been lucky enough to work most days. This week, he was home Monday and Wednesday due to lack of work… so that’s a little scary moving forward when it comes to his paycheck. However, we are spending less… so perhaps it will all come out even. I’m certainly saving on gas and public transportation costs. Not to mention the lack of Starbucks runs and lunches out with my work buddies.

We had a family Jackbox/Zoom party over the weekend and it was pretty fantastic. Basically, my mom, each of my siblings, and their spouses and called in with Zoom and we all played Jackbox together. There were silly hats and drinks and lots of laughs. It was an absolute highlight of our weekend, so I’m hoping to schedule another ‘get together’ soon!

It seems like we will be sticking with this schedule at least through the month of April. Which is fine and necessary. I fully support everyone hunkering down to help flatten the curve.

However, to be honest it is a bit exhausting.

Okay, it’s A LOT exhausting. I don’t know if it’s just the daily pressure/news cycle of coronavirus news, or that I’m juggling a full-time job, online schooling my son, the normal housework (cleaning, cooking, laundry), mom-ing and wife-ing. But I’m tired.

I’m also a little sad. Since January, we had been looking forward to a family vacation to Universal Studios Orlando at the end of April and I finally went ahead and cancelled it yesterday. I know the world won’t be back to normal in 3 weeks, but it just felt like giving up all hope to make those cancellation calls. As it is, we won’t get the money back from Universal for 3 – 5 business WEEKS and the plane fare will sit in the Southwest travel account until we book our next trip. I’m hoping we can schedule something for September or October, but I’ll wait a couple months to re-book anything.

I’m feeling a bit like Eeyore at the moment, but if I had to guess I bet a many of you are feeling the same way. So, let’s end today’s blog post on a positive note…

Some things that have been great about the last few weeks of staying home:

  • I haven’t worn makeup since March 18th and it feels pretty great.
  • I love being more involved with Jack’s daily classwork and it’s great to see how his brain works with his math and ELA lessons. I feel like his writing is getting better with all the one-on-one attention too.
  • Our dog, Ollie, has been enjoying all the extra attention. And pretzels. In fact, he might be getting a little fat.
  • We have been eating at home much, much more with just 2 carry-out purchases each weekend. This is much healthier for our waistlines and also nice for our money situation. Jack also informed me last night that I’m awesome at cooking… so I’ll take it!
  • After work each day, I sit down and enjoy a book for a bit. I’ve kept up with posting my tiny reviews on my Instagram stories and so far I’ve read 26 books in 2020.
  • My husband is cute and funny, so I’m happy to see more of him.
  • Jack is also cute and funny and I’ve been getting a huge number of hugs on a daily basis.

I hope you all are safe and healthy and happy!

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