March 13, 2020 is the date that I associate with the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. I know that it had been brewing months prior, but it wasn’t until that date that I can say it began to affect me personally. On March 13, my kids and I were in Orlando, Florida to spend a few days at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. Our trip was cut short because we kept getting notifications that major sporting events were being postponed or canceled. For me, it got really serious when I heard that the NCAA basketball tournament and the NBA games were canceled.
Things Just Got Real
After the notifications increased and information kept coming to our phones about coronavirus, we decided to pack up and head home. As we traveled home, the seriousness of COVID-19 became more and more apparent. When we got the news that schools and universities were closing, it became crystal clear that this was something that we needed to stay abreast of. We needed to pay attention to the news. We needed to begin thinking about our next steps.
Because of the magnitude of the COVID outbreak and the uncertainty about how to treat or slow the spread, our next steps were planned for us. The country would go into an intense lockdown until leaders could determine how to best move forward.
So, This is Quarantine?
For the next three months, my family went into hiding. At least that’s what it felt like. We only left our home when absolutely necessary to retrieve essential items. We no longer left our home for work, school, church, dining, or any other social events. We were in quarantine.
At the beginning of the quarantine, my family had fun. We could stay up late, eat junk food, sleep in, play games, or whatever else we wanted to do. After a little while, though, we began to feel deprived. We managed to find some ways to pass the time and pushed our way through the quarantine’s remainder.
Long story short, we learned so much about ourselves and each other during the quarantine. We had so much time to reflect and grow during a relatively short period of time.
- Little things mean a lot. It meant so much to me to have some downtime with my family. We are so often pulled in so many different directions. Finding time to slow down and talk to each other is difficult so I really appreciate the little things like having everyone in one house for extended periods, uninterrupted.
- The most important things in life are not things! The quarantine forced us to go without things that our family had grown accustomed to. But, you know what? We made it just fine without those things. We learned that the most important things in life are not things at all.
- We have a new perspective on how we’ll spend our time. We realized that we needed to say no to some things that were draining us. We learned that we needed to put ourselves first more often.
- We learned that we are way more disciplined than we thought. If you had told me a year ago that we could stay at home for three months straight (sans a few grocery runs), I would have laughed at you. But, we did it! If you had told me that we’d go three months without eating out, I would have laughed at you. But, we did it!
- We learned that we have so much to be grateful for. It’s so much easier to look at the negative things. But we truly have so much to be grateful for and we realized it even more during the quarantine.
Though we are glad to be back to something that resembles normalcy, we often admit that we miss the quarantine a little. In fact, we are already secretly planning our next mini-quarantine. While the circumstances that caused the quarantine were not ideal, we appreciate the lessons that served as the silver lining in this all.