Sometimes, I Miss the Spring Quarantine

While I was showering, I was quickly transported back to a time when this was my routine. This was how I lived. I woke up, had breakfast, exercised, tried to fill my day for another seven hours, had dinner, watched something, went to bed, and repeated. I was miserable and I silently and not-so-silently complained. When I was having phone calls with, what else but Linkedin connections, I remember someone told me that they were finding the little victories in each day. They said that it was something they had been practicing for a long time, so when everything shut down, they were still preparing to find the little things. Looking back, I had quite a few victories from my time in quarantine. 

  1. 1. Reconnecting with things I love.

    I’m still reeling in appreciation that Disney+ had already launched when quarantine hit. I actually watched the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe during my time at home, spending time with myself and the movies that I love. I read a few books and caught up on shows. Sure, it was a bit lazy of me to do, but what else was there to keep me busy?

  2. 2. Forming new habits.

    I was running every day? What? I just? I mean, yeah, I was only doing it because I simply had nothing else to do (and if I’ve made it to my last resort of running, something has gone wrong), but it became a source of motivation and energy. With so little structure around the rest of my day as classes began to wind down, going out for a run gave a purpose to my day. Once my internships started up and I went back to Boulder, one day I just didn’t go and now haven’t gone since (oops). I relish that time when I woke up energized and genuinely excited to make it happen.

  3. 3. Smartening myself.

    Journal in front of laptop

    I had all this time and knew that if I wasted it, I’d look back with regret. I buckled down and read the books I’d been meaning to. I did puzzles, wrote  more, did online courses, and certifications. With my dream internship canceled, I was applying like mad to opportunities I had never considered before. I was having informational interviews with other industry professionals at home. I try to channel that energy today when I’m struggling to knock something out. 

  4. 4. Dance parties with my slightly-intoxicated mom.

    Nick Miller New Girl GIF Drinks

    There was nothing but time to sit on our patio around our firepit, drinking, snacking, and listening to all types of music. Sunset after sunset, I connected with my family in a way that we never had to before. So yes, that included some dance parties (and pong?) in our backyard. 

  5. 5. Minimal responsibilities.

    Jojo Rabbit

    Once I went back to my place in Boulder for the summer, I still went home every few weekends for dinner or to sleep over. For whatever reason, I could sleep in forever at my house at home. When I emerged whenever I pleased to the kitchen where there was already a breakfast sandwich in the queue for me, I felt guilty and said, “I don’t know why I always sleep in so late here” and my dad said “because it’s home. You have no responsibility here, it’s a happy place.” I find this to be true still. I went from having a packed schedule from alarm clock to shut-eye every day to absolutely nothing. My Google Calendar was empty for two months. I think the whiplash change was hard, but I find it difficult to imagine a future where I ever get that kind of downtime again (but at this rate, anything can happen).

Chandler Long Day Giphy Although in the moment quarantine was quite the bummer, I look back on it as a time where I ran every day, I spent considerable time with my family, I watched movies, I gave attention to neglected interests, I slept well, I never had to dress up. The times I saw or talked to friends were special, any little errand out of the house was a treat, there was hope and promise for the world to band together (and I got to love on my dog as much as I wanted).

With the entire world changing around me, the sameness I did find put me in the eye of the hurricane (“there was quiet,” as my dear friend Lin-Manuel Miranda would say. Speaking of, I wrote a 30-page doc for one of my friends to reference as they [found the time to!] listened to Hamilton. Where did that time and effort come from? Oh yeah, quarantine).  

To bring any positivity into the situation that changed everything so drastically, people would say to take advantage of the time. I feel that I did, but I can see now that it’s gone as quick as it came. Of course, the irony lies in the fact that when quarantine was happening all we wanted was for it to be over, and now that the world is slowly opening, I wouldn’t mind having those days back for a day or two. School is demanding as ever, jobs are hectic, and I’m moving from one thing to the next all day. While I’d always prefer to be busy, I will look back fondly on the empty schedule, shifted responsibilities, and time for reflection that March and April brought me. 

P.S. thanks mom and dad for letting me crash your empty-nester vibe.