Before March, my days were full of a buzzing noise of all the places I had to be, things I had to do and people I needed to see. In fact, in March, I had a social commitment every day of every weekend, sometimes even two commitments a day.
I was feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin, but I had no idea what to do about it. I have an impossible time declining invitations because I feel an immense sense of loyalty to my friends and family. Not only do I enjoy spending time with others as an extrovert, but I feel a huge amount of guilt at the thought of letting people down. On some level, I believe that if I don’t show up for my friends’ events, they won’t want to attend mine or be my friend anymore and I cherish my friendships too much to let that happen.
For that reason, I was a “yes mom” for as many brunches, parties, play dates, dinners and birthdays as was physically possible (and sometimes even more than was truly physically possible). I didn’t realize how stressful it was and what a toll it all took on my mental and emotional well-being until it was all stripped away.
My nonstop days of going to the park, to the zoo, to the library, to get coffee, to go shopping, to grab lunch with one friend and dinner with another were replaced with lots and lots of nothingness at home. The days got slow and quiet. One day melted into another until six months had passed by.
The buzzing noise of social obligation was replaced by calm comfort and then, one day, a longing. Removing every opportunity for social interaction with the people and places that had once filled my days to the brim gave me the chance to see what I actually missed and who I actually wanted to spend my time with. And it reminded me (or maybe even taught me for the first time) that there is boundless joy to be found right at home.
Being isolated in my home was once a nightmare that was easily cured by hopping in my car and going somewhere, anywhere. I never for a second would have thought that I would enjoy being stuck at home for a day, let alone half a year. Of course, there are many days where my mind, heart and body ache for social connection. Those are difficult days. In addition to slower days and gaining clarity on who and what I want to spend time on, these were a few of the other things I was able to do during quarantine that I had been putting off for months:
What are some things you’ve done in quarantine that made you happy or proud?