It’s a Quarantine Thing
Maybe you figured this out weeks ago or maybe you haven’t yet (spoiler alert for you!), but I had an epiphany this week. There is no end. We don’t wake up one day and return to life prior to March 12 (for most Americans, this is the date when life really started to shift).
With this aha! moment of mine, I decided to get curious about what life could look like for my family – for now and into the uncertain future. Abiding by all the trending Instagram thought provokers, we started to look at the aspects of quarantine life that are keepers. We’re putting them in the suitcase that we’re packing for the return flight to “normal life.”
In order to decide what our keepers are, it was important to get playful, be curious, and define our interests – individually and as a family. The restrictions of time have changed. The eyes of judgment have been removed. The constraints holding us back from vulnerability have been released. Anything goes! So let’s try it all on for size and see what sticks.
Thanksgiving dinner on a random Friday in May? Heck yeah! Chocolate sauce on fish sticks? Why not?! Wear 6 pairs of underwear at once because in case you FaceTime with the cousins, they’ll think it’s really funny? Sure, I suppose so. Staying in PJs all day; trying new recipes; dancing in the middle of the street after bedtime; playing with different hairstyles? Yes, yes, yes, yes!
When something seems a little too absurd, we can look at each other and simply say, “it’s a quarantine thing!” (And for emphasis and clarity, that is a when, not if.) This one little phrase is an allowance, giving us freedom to be curious.
This freedom, this little bit of extra grace, has helped us in our parenting approach as well. There are a lot more moments of us accepting “a bad moment” as simply “a moment.” When there’s a tantrum, or an episode, or we go to ridiculous lengths to avoid one, we can look at each other and shrug and say, “It’s a quarantine thing!” And we allow ourselves to begin again.
This is a rare time of life when shutting out the outside world and turning inward is required, or at least strongly encouraged.
For the rest of this period of close family togetherness, I am going to foster this curiosity with new vigor, keep trying out new ways of living, and enjoying myself without the same rules as usual. This is the best opportunity I can make of such an ugly and tragic global pandemic.
I’m going to learn how to make sourdough bread, not because some lifestyle blogger or the Mrs. Jones down the street did it, but because I have always been curious about it. Maybe I’ll decide it’s not for me, maybe I’ll start making a weekly sourdough loaf. Who knows?
For now though, it’s a quarantine thing.