What I’ve Learned While Social Distancing With My Family
I've never spent this much time with my family, and we are not even two full weeks into fully staying at home. We started our social distancing and staying in right about when the President announced his initiative, if not already avoiding places before that. In the last week we've really locked it down and avoided going to any public places if we can help it. This much time together in a scary situation has taught me a lot about what's important. This may get a little emotional and sappy, but trust me I have some bizarre observations as well.
We've got a family of four, and a kitchen cupboard's worth of glasses. Somehow, we are always desperately low. At times there may be one glass left in there. Daily, I round up these glasses and run them in the dishwasher. Next day, the same thing. I think we are slowly losing them at about the same rate as socks. Oh and plastic cereal bowls too, where the heck are they?
No joke, we're home all day to drink the milk. Why do we even bother buying it? I've only used it to make instant mashed potatoes and mac n cheese.
We made it 3 days without running out of chips. That's right, it was like a long weekend and the chips were gone. I've got two kids who think it's the base of the food pyramid. And then my wife and I are also to blame as we say "It's the pandemic, don't judge," to each other with a mouthful of chips and crumbs spilling out.
I love time being alone. It's how I rewind. I generally don't enjoy large groups of people. So it was surprising when I started feeling lonely and missing things like concerts, or even a bustling bar. We're wired to be social as human beings, and this just doesn't feel natural. I understand how necessary it is, but man I didn't think it would be this hard. I really feel for those people who live by themselves. At least I have three other humans to interact with. Which brings me to my next point.
Sometimes even in isolation with your family, you need to isolate yourself for mental health. I am so glad I bought those noise cancelling headphones a few months ago. They are worth double what I paid for them.
My mom is alive and well, but we haven't seen her in a while. Up until this pandemic she would come down at least once a week from the Iron Range to help us out. She'd take the kids to swimming lessons or hang out with them so my wife and I could go on a date. I didn't expect to miss her this much so soon. Not only because of the help, but she's a big part of our family. The biggest takeaway is to enjoy the people around you when you can once we all get past this virus.
Yeah I thought working more from home was going to be awesome. We're still coming in to do the morning show, but the rest of our job (which is a full day, btw) is done at home. I cannot wait to get back to a normal schedule going into the office. I've learned that I like to keep them separate as much as possible. And that's something I'm going to try to practice after this is all over. I want home to be a place free of work as much as possible for the rest of my life.
My wife has been begging for a dog for years. I finally caved, and we picked up a rescue puppy just a couple of weeks before this whole thing started. I guess it was meant to be, because there is no better distraction for all of us than this pup. We get to spend all day with her, bonding, watching her grow. She's already potty trained and kennel trained. She can play fetch, sit, lie down, and shake a paw. She's a good dog and is rescuing this family from the sadness that sometimes creeps in. Good girl, Koira.
My typical day pre-pandemic was getting off work, running errands, frantically trying to make it to the school on time, get the kids home, cook dinner, eat, and then try to get some peace and quiet before my early bedtime. Most days for the last few years have been a sprint from start to finish.
Now that we have extra time on our hands, I've been able to be more patient with the kids. I've spent more time playing games with them. I've spent more time talking with them, asking them questions about the things they are into. It's been great.
My wife and I are used to seeing each other for about 2 hours a day if we were lucky. Now we've doubled that, and it's been really nice.
Sure we have no idea how long and how greatly this is going to affect us all, but we can enjoy the little things now. We just got to keep looking for them.