Quarantine & Chill

Long time, no see!

I’m dropping by to remind you I’m still here, even though I haven’t posted in two months! So grab a drink, sit back & relax. Here are my life updates since the last time we spoke.

Traveling

I have a trip to Chicago back from February that I will be sharing with you all in the coming days. I fell very behind on that post when all of this craziness broke out!

I was supposed to head to London in March, and since the cancellation of that trip I’ve been pretty bummed (to say the least). I’m still on the phone with travel insurance claims & trying to figure out when I can reschedule my trip. I’m hoping that this summer I’ll be able to get it some traveling, and I’ve planned a few road trips! However, I’m not sure when we’ll be able to go international again. Once it’s cleared for U.S. citizens to go abroad I know I’ll be making it a priority.

Until I can get back out there, I’ve been thinking of some creative blog post ideas so keep an eye out for those!

Work

As a teacher I am an essential worker, although it’s so much different working digitally with my students! I miss their faces, especially my eighth graders who are moving onto the high school. It’s so sad to think I won’t get to see them again! We were gypped on our 8th grade graduation party I wanted to throw them.

I’m trying to make the most of it with digital learning opportunities, but I know my heart will remain heavy for the rest of this school year.

I’ve picked up a second job to help keep myself busy (hence another reason the blog has fallen a bit by the wayside). I am back working as a digital content creator and I’m loving it. Even if it’s just an hour or two a day, I’m the kind of person who needs a schedule, so I set my working hours each day and it gets me up and moving!

Mental Health

During this quarantine, a lot of people have been struggling with their mental health. Even I have been feeling the effects of having to stay inside my four walls!

Going into this I was pretty excited – I’m introverted by nature so I was looking at this as a time to sit back, relax and do all the things I loved. I was ready to plow through my reading pile, paint, puzzle, yoga, catch up on TV shows and napping during the day. However, after about a week I was starting to feel stir crazy. Getting outside to walk for an hour every day wasn’t enough. I was just itching to do something else. And today it’s snowing, so I’m not setting foot outside! That’s why I decided to jump on here.

I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo early this year. I get to do it twice! This is National Novel Writing Month, for everyone that’s never heard of it. It takes place every November and it’s a challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. It’s pretty challenging! And I’ve found that even during quarantine I haven’t been quite on track. I’m at 25,000 words, but now I’m two days behind. I have a lot of writing to do this weekend!

I’ve also been reading like crazy. I know this is a pretty stationary activity, but it’s so much better for brain activity than binging shows on TV. I’ve even starting a little traveling library (totally inspired by The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes) and I’ve dropped books off on my friend’s porches!

I’m in a book club with my college friends that we started back in January. We’re now Zooming to discuss the books and our first wine & chat is this evening. Having not only something to read, but then people to share it with is really fun and important for socialization! If you aren’t doing it, ask some of your friends if they want to join a book club. And for anyone wondering, the next book we’re tackling is ‘The Heart’s Invisible Furies’ by John Boyne.

Cooking has been a godsend to me. I get a few meal ideas and lists prepared, then hop on Walmart or Kroger’s ClickList and see what I can find. Taking the time to get up and make meals gives me something to do and gets me on my feet every day. Instead of eating out I’m not only saving money but also protecting myself even more against germs. I’ve made street tacos, banana pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, vegetable curry & other yummy meals! You just have to get creative if chicken isn’t available to me. I opted for ground turkey and there was plenty!

How are you doing?

I’m sending lots of love. I know this will be over soon and we can all return to financial security, warm summer days & shopping at Target without fear of getting sick.

I know the emotional turmoil of all of this has been a lot. For the first time in 4 weeks I went to Walmart in person because I needed food and there were no available ClickLists. I brought my own hand sanitizer, the workers were sanitizing all the carts with spray, and there were wipes available. However I was still on the verge of a panic attack about halfway through. People were not giving my 6-feet of space, they were just cutting in when I was looking for something on a shelf. I had this fear that everything I touched was contaminated, and by the time I got home I was close to tears. These are very real fears for lots of people. I laid down for a while and just rested, then took a bath and read until I felt better.

For anyone who needs to hear this, know that you are not alone and we will all be together again soon! It’s important to take this all one day at a time. Focus on the little things. When I’m feeling down I tell myself to think of 3 things that have made me happy today. When I can’t do that I start with just one and work my way up from there. It sounds small, but it really does help.

Lots of love, fellow adventurers!

Kate

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