The Bright Side of Staying Home

I’ve been thinking a lot about the unexpected positives of staying home due to the pandemic. I actually shared a bit about this on my Instagram yesterday, but I have more thoughts. You can see my initial thoughts/post here.

Many of us have been shoved into a different sort of life. It’s a life we may not have chosen or anticipated, but with very little warning it happened. Suddenly many of us are working from home full-time. Vacations have been cancelled, shopping habits have changed, and we have to figure out how to help our kids with online schooling while working at the same time.

It’s easy to focus on the negative. Sure, I’m super disappointed that I had to cancel our trip to Universal Studios. And I’m crushed that Jack and I haven’t had a chance to go to the beach at all this summer. And we miss the pool.

However, there have been some unexpected positives:

Positive #1: I’ve been home since March. That’s 5 months (so far). When I gave birth to Jack, I was home on maternity leave for a little over 2 months before I had to go back into the office a few days a week to keep my health benefits (I was too new to qualify under FMLA). So, this is the longest I’ve EVER been home… including when I pushed a baby out of my hooha. Yes, I’m working. But I’m HOME. And that’s amazing.

Positive #2: Typically, my morning commute into Baltimore is 30 minutes by car and then another 30 minutes by metro. And back in the evening. That’s 10 hours every week of commuting time that I am saving. I just did some quick calculator work: 5 months is about 20 weeks. 20 weeks x 10 hours a week is 200 hours. I have saved over EIGHT DAYS of my life just in commuting time.

Positive #3: With all this extra time, I have time to do things I want to do:

  •  I’ve been taking a morning walk.
  • I’ve been exercising using fitness DVD’s that I’ve thrifted.
  • I’m getting a solid 9 hours of sleep every night.
  • I have the time and energy to complete home improvement projects.
  • I started playing with watercolors and really enjoy it.
  • I have the time to read and I’ve read 67 books so far this year.
  • I’m more confident in my cooking and have made some dang good meals.
  • I have been purging and purging and purging some more. I’ve not only listed a bunch of stuff for sale on Poshmark, but I’ve donated truckloads to our local thrift stores!

Positive #4: I’ve stopped wearing makeup. For years and years and years, every workday I’d paint on eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, pencil in my eyebrows and then add a little powder on my nose before I left the house. It got to the point that I didn’t really like the way my face looked without makeup. I felt that I looked tired all the time (which maybe I was… but now I’m getting NINE HOURS OF SLEEP EVERY NIGHT!). Since March, I’ve barely bothered to put on any makeup at all. Occasionally, I’ll mix it up and stick on some eyeliner. But it’s been so long that my go-to products now feel like they are too much. I actually like my bare face now. Not too bad for a 42-year-old woman!

When I posted this on Instagram, I had friends telling me that they have experienced positives too. Many said that they now have the time to work out and focus on getting healthy. And I’m not the only one enjoying getting more sleep!

How about you, have you experienced unexpected positives?

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