As I reflect back on being quarantine and having COVID I remember many things I learned.
At first, being locked in my home with my family made me really fearful. Being unable to freely leave home felt like imprisonment. The loss of a sense of control created such anxiety for me. Sometimes it felt like the walls were closing in.
It was an emotional time not being able to see friends and family. Trying to do anything to gain a sense of familiarity. It started with all activities only occurring at home. We worked from home, schooled our children from home. We cooked all our meals at home. We started making everything from scratch baking bread, pasta and the soup of the week. There would be no eating out or getting take in. We order groceries and essentials online. Amazon and Aldi was the life line.
Daniel mastered sour dough bread making it every few days. I always cooked but now it was leveled up by being a social media chef @Instagram.com/john.chianelli.
At first the scene from “little house on the prairie” seemed fun. It was new and interesting. Netflix came into our daily routine along with ABC David Muir joined us for cocktails every night. We made the decision to have only one news source which would be Muir and Dr. Fauci.
A friend of mine said “ At the end of this pandemic we are either going to be really good cooks or need rehab“. Right?
I also used all my extra time to become a minimalist. After reading countless articles by Joshua Becker the minimalist guru and pastor I started room by room emptying everything. Old toasters, coffee pots, electrics dating back to IPhone 3. Clothes I haven’t wore since the 90’s. Cookware, any china not touch for decades would go. All chachkes that I picked up that wasn’t associated with a deep feeling or memory would be put in the box.
Creating a Facebook Marketplace and finding new homes for my unused stuff lifted a burden from my back. Goodwill and Purple Heart drop offs weekend after weekend.
Suddenly my bank account grew, unneeded stuff in my house was gone, Life was simpler, I was eating better more home cooked delicious meals and my debt and weight were disappearing. Suddenly it was true, less is more.
Did being in quarantine improve our lives?
This is what I discovered.
1. Work to live not live my work.
2. I do not need entertainment constantly, times of nothingness can be sweet. Like the old Italian saying, “Dolci far Niente. Translating to mean the sweetness of doing nothing nothing. Italians have this right.
3. Stuff does not create joy.
4. Old Fashion backyard picnics and patios parties are the bomb. Coolers full of drink and ice, potable wireless speakers, campfires, yard games and grills, can be the best replacement.
5. Hobbies are a great way to use your right brain. It’s important to give your left brain a rest.
6. Self compassion and care is essential for wellbeing. Relationships with a higher power, for me Jesus, brings a wholeness and peace to your soul. It’s filling.
7. Home cooked family dinners needed to make a come back anyway. Big pots of soups and pasta, slow roasted roasts and big weekend breakfast all work from your kitchen big or small.
8. Loving people you surround yourself is what matters. . Family and Friends made Family is essential.
9. Wash your hands a billion times a day, wear a mask, keep your distance. Elbow bumps are in Italians touching and two kisses are out.
10. Tell those I your life you love them everyday.