A Vacation in Quarantine

Today is last day of my weeklong February vacation. This year that week was spent in quarantine as my husband came down with COVID the week before the break. I was sort of dreading a whole week inside my house. Don’t get me wrong. I love my small, cozy home, and I feel so lucky to have this time off, but I wasn’t sure I could find enough to do to keep me engaged for a whole week, especially when my husband was going to be out of commission and my younger daughter did the right thing and quarantined in NYC. And did I mention it is February in Connecticut with lots and lots of snow?

But the truth is, I had a really great vacation. Being confined to a small space for most of the week (with the exception of a daily walk) taught me a few things.

I learned:

-To relax and get comfortable with the idea of a calm, slow week.

-How to live in the moment.

-It can be nice to choose the shows and movies I want to watch without having to get agreement from others.

-To crochet.

-To establish a solid exercise routine.

-To cook a few new things.

-That I miss my husband when he is not around (He had to live in a separate room!).

-That life is more fun with people in the house, but I can manage alone if I have to.

-I always need a few pets around to snuggle with, take for walks, feed, and look after.

-That reading is one of the best ways to spend my time. (I knew this, of course, but it’s been a long time since I had hours and hours and hours available to read!).

-There are so many things to learn and so many ways to learn them (podcasts, Ted Talks, blogs, documentaries, books, shows, audiobooks, etc.).

-I can be happy without having to travel, visit, shop, and eat out.

Of course I wish my husband didn’t get sick (His case was quite mild and he has recovered nicely.), and I wish I didn’t have to spend my vacation week in quarantine, but all in all, I had a great vacation and learned some important things about myself.

Kindness Abounds

Today is my first day of a weeklong winter vacation…..in quarantine! In normal years (2021 is certainly not starting off in that category!) my husband and I would have had plans to travel, visit family, spend time with friends, and be out and about. But this year’s vacation will look quite different. On the Friday before break, my husband received the news that none of us wanted to hear. He tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Thankfully he had his first dose of the vaccine and his symptoms appear to be relatively mild. But we are now in lockdown; my husband in his isolation room and me at home.

As soon as my family, friends, and colleagues heard the news, my phone started to ping.

“Oh no! How can I help?”

“What do you need?”

“Take care of Tim and take care of yourself.”

“Go home. I can drop off anything you need.”

The phone calls and texts were endless and everyone wanted to help. Friends and family were willing to do grocery shopping, take care of things at work, run to Target, give advice they have gained from their own experiences with COVID, and help with anything we might need.

And then Saturday came. More texts and calls.

“I’m running to the store, do you need anything?”

“How’s Tim feeling?”

“Are you feeling OK?”

“Take it easy.”

“I’m going to drop off my CO2 monitor just in case things get worse.”

And then there was this one:

“The girls and I are dropping off a plate of Valentine’s Day cookies we made for you.”

A beautiful platter of stunning, handmade cookies arrived on the back porch with a handmade card completed by my friend’s three young daughters.

There’s a lot of terrible in the world, and this week’s going to be hard, no doubt. But I’ve been reminded that kindness abounds.

Our hearts are full.

I’m in

Today is February 1.

Today Black History Month begins.

I am white.

I am a woman.

I am privileged.

I want to eliminate racism.

I want to disrupt and eliminate the system of oppression that effects so many.

I’m not sure how to do it, but I will work hard to make it happen.

I will listen.

I will read.

I will have difficult conversations.

I am not sure that having one month on the calendar to celebrate black heroes is the answer.

I think that we will be somewhere when we don’t need Black History Month (or Women’s History Month for that matter).

But this is where we are.

If it helps to learn about and celebrate the many black Americans who have contributed to this country’s history, I’m in.

If it gives us fodder for more complicated conversations, I’m in.

If it gives someone hope, I’m in.

If it helps someone feel seen, I’m in.

If it pulls communities together around an idea, I’m in.

If it disrupts racism, I’m in.

My One Little Word this year is hope. Later I added action.

This month I will take some action and hope that it moves this world toward a more perfect union.