Who knew that we would find ourselves self-quarantining for at least 12 weeks, wearing handmade masks when we go out, and worrying about 6 feet apart rules. Yesterday, here at home in NC, we finished 6 weeks of quarantine; my company has extended the work from home policy through May 31st; schools in NC are now finishing the year out at home until early June. I am relieved and thankful that the government and my company are thinking of people’s safety. But y’all it’s been scary.
I can honestly say that we are doing ok. It has not been all roses. There are days where anxiety gets the best of me and that usually means I can’t sleep. My husband, son and I, though, have got into a good routine. I am somehow, surprisingly, managing work (constant conference calls that can be from 8am – 9pm), supervising school activities, and getting food on the table.
We are adapting to talking to family in different continents at least once a week instead of one or twice a month. It is hard knowing that you can not see them in these times, especially your parents and for us when one of our siblings (my husband’s) is hospitalized, not for COVID other health issues. Thankfully, they are back at home and everyone is doing well. We are still hopeful that we may make it home (NZ) for Christmas.
Adapting and managing would not be possible though, if I didn’t find balance in doing more creative things. I took a vacation day a couple of weeks ago and just enjoyed being out in the sun in our backyard, spending time collaging, stitching and drawing. It was very calming and stress free. Likewise, updating my quilting journal, cutting fabric swatches, gluing designs images and inspiration photos down, and making notes….it’s just enjoyable. FYI….I hit 50 quilts documented in my journal this week and amazingly I have 31 of those finished. The other 19 are at various stages from not started to tops complete.
And then what would you do without friends?? They are there when my day goes south, if we need to complain about our kids or just share good news. (BTW, if you have not seen John Krasinski’s Some Good News you should). FaceTime once a week with an alcoholic beverage has been a much needed touch point. We just catch-up on all the craziness in our lives. A couple of weeks ago, we even got together over zoom and sewed a Juniper basket together. It was almost like being in each others sewing spaces, chatting, laughing and enjoying each others company (almost).
I have been thinking too, that I wish I had invested in a flour or yeast company at the moment. I did join the bread making movement this past week too. I have been finding baking, in general, has been rewarding. It has just been nice to have a sweet on hand every week that folks can grab and enjoy for snack. We have enjoyed Chocolate chip cookies, Oatmeal Raisin cookies, Orange Lightening cake, Chocolate nut and raisin bars and fresh No knead bread. This weekend, Lemon Pound cake is on the menu.
The only thing, right now, I wish I could improve on is exercise. I was hoping during this period that I would be able to walk more but that hasn’t happened as much as I wanted. So let’s see. My new challenge for myself, this week, is to get to bed between 10:30 and 11pm, and walk between 7-8 am every week day.
I hope you are all staying safe and doing what you need to get through. Thinking of you all, especially my friends on the front lines, those in New York area, Italy and Spain. I would love to hear about your coping mechanisms. What new skill are you learning? What are you, family and friends are doing to stay in touch? What are you baking? Any good recipes?
What is fascinating to me is how much my husband and I are loving our Zoom face-to-face chats with family… and the fact that we could have been doing them for years. It’s definitely a habit that I don’t see going away. It’s so wonderful not only to hear and talk to everyone but to see them, too.
My daily routine honestly hasn’t changed much except my husband is now working from home so there are times when my sewing / quilting is too noisy to continue and I can no longer go to the gym so I’ve had to adapt to figuring out a home workout.
I just learned this wee that the best thing for me is to unplug after dinner. I do puzzles or sit and read, but no more time online after dinner.
I hope that you find a rhythm for walking that works well and feels good for you. I know that now that the weather is finally warming in my mountain pass town that being outside is helping me a lot mentally and emotionally.
OMG, yes to seeing people’s faces and not just hearing their voices. I make sure for most meetings at work that video is on. The weather is a big thing for me too. Wednesday was grey and rainy here and it just took something out of both my husband and I. I love the idea of no online time after dinner. We have device free Tuesday’s and Thursday (except for work or school reasons) and we have scheduled game night Thursday and Tuesday usually a family walk or something.
Michelle, would you blog about your quilt journal? Such things as what it’s purpose is, what things go into it and how it is organized, how it might help you? I always like to hear how creatives work behind the scene.
Laura, I look back often at quilts for measurements (for those WiPs that might have been sitting for a while), and fabric choices (with labels) in case I want to use it again. Looking back at the 50 quilts its been fun looking at the quilts, some feel like I made yesterday, others were like oh I remember that one.
Here is a post when I first started https://factotum-of-arts.com/2016/08/30/quilt-journaling/ and also on Instagram I have a few highlights on it https://www.instagram.com/stories/highlights/17884963993283417/. Happy share more information with you, just let me know. Just an FYI, the only major thing I changed, I now use a cannon ivy printer to include pictures of my inspiration, finished quilts (especially if I give it away) in my journal.