Intro to Quarantine – Why Was it So Good?
Quarantine was good for me. I say “was” because I’m back to work now. I was laid off after just starting my new job. I had only been there for two weeks and was practically still in training. Then, I was home for almost three months straight. But quarantine wasn’t all that bad for me. I had my moments — as I’m sure we all do — but it was actually a time for me to heal and finally relax.
I cried when I got laid off. It felt like I had been desperately trying for months to improve my life. I wanted a job with better benefits. I wanted to start paying into a retirement plan, saving for a house, pay off my debt. But when I got that call from HR my world instantly caved in on me.
After two weeks at my job, I was already crying in my supervisor’s office after getting off the phone with HR. I was mortified at myself for not being able to hold it together. But I had also been putting myself through mental warfare months beforehand. Just brutally pushing myself to be better, think better, look better. I felt I had failed and everything I had worked to manifest in my life was gone. It may seem dramatic because, well, it is.
In March I was mentally exhausted. Kenny and I had just gotten a new puppy still only ten weeks old at the time. We were trying to get Ellie on a routine and get her potty trained ASAP. If you’ve had dogs you know that itty bitty puppy stage is hard. But now I had the time. She could be properly trained. She would get attention, walks, treats, and training sessions. She would be perfect. I would put my energy into her!
And that’s what happened for a while. I pushed off all my hurt and anger that I had been holding in pre-quarantine and pushed my ten week old puppy to be perfect. And when she fell short (which is inevitable) I cried. I think if I had to choose a time in my life where I have cried the most it would undoubtedly be March 2020.
So, I let Ellie breathe and be a puppy. We ran around and I let my inner kid out. I laughed at her tantrums instead of yelled at her “misbehavior.” I wrestled with her, walked her, made her homemade treats, cuddled with her, removed ticks (yes, ugh), bathed her, and loved her.
A lot of people don’t know this but I had a miscarriage in October 2018 and having Ellie felt like a healing process. To love something so deeply again in such a short amount of time was incredibly rewarding. Needless to say I became Ellie’s person and she became my best friend.
The Romance and Laughter
My boyfriend and I became closer. I’m sure other people can feel the “spark” die a bit after being together for a while. It is, after all, only a chemical reaction that happens after you meet someone knew. Just because our honeymoon stage was over didn’t mean I loved my boyfriend any less. In March I was coming off of a high stress job that put a huge space between us. I was never happy, always upset, and just wanted to be left alone all the time.
After starting my new job I was happy. I didn’t come home mentally exhausted. I didn’t feel drained or empty. I felt good. I wanted to tell Kenny about my day instead of just swallow it down with my dinner. I wanted to cuddle. I wanted to go for walks after work. I wanted to play with my dog. I laughed and smiled. And after being laid off all of that remained the same. We had a solid family unit that we worked on for three months while quarantined together. We communicated and learned about each other’s routines and responsibilities and likes and dislikes even more.
It felt like we reconnected. By the end of quarantine that “spark” (which I really hate that term) was back. It may have never really gone away, per say but it did dim due to the circumstances before quarantine.
My first thought after being laid off was, “I need to work on my blog.” I didn’t think, “Wow, what a great opportunity to work on my blog.” Or, “Oh, yes. Finally, some time to dive in and write.” What an opportune time right? Well, no. I do my best when I’m busy. I looked at it as a chore. I had no motivation to do anything in those months. When was I going to get almost three months off with no responsibility to do anything? Why should you, or I, have to feel the need to appease others. I love my blog. But I wanted to appreciate the time given to me. I never relax. My mind is always racing, pushing me to do more, and reminding me that if I’m sitting down I’m not doing enough.
I took the downtime and feel better for it. I feel like a better person. I listened to my body and mind and stepped back and allowed myself to heal from the mental turmoil I put myself through with my last job and the last year, and the year before that really. I let myself breathe so I could be a better, more relaxed person when I did return to work.
What Did You Do With Your Time Off?
I’m still afraid to be blatantly honest when asked that question. I want to say, “Nothing. I took walks with my dog, watched Netflix, and made cookies a couple of times.” But what I say is, “I did a lot of baking and cooking and trained my dog.” Unfortunately, people sometimes think they need to tell you how you spend your time. During quarantine, I decided I was my own boss and for once let myself have a messy house and happy life.
If you’re looking to stay positive and figure out how to stop listening to silly online quotes and find true happiness click here.
And just for a bit of proof that I’m not the only one who thought nothing was the correct thing to do during quarantine check out this article from the LA Times.