I am creating an online journal during the Coronavirus social distancing so I can look back and remember how my thoughts and actions might change during this time. This is Day Zero.

Friday, March 13

We’ve been hearing about the impact of the Coronavirus for weeks, but to be honest, it has felt like a far off-thing that wouldn’t affect my life.

As I was heading out the door to drive our youngest daughter to school, I looked at my phone and realized I had 27 new text messages. I had stepped into the middle of a group chat of all of the moms on our daughter’s gymnastics team. As I scrolled through, I realized their state gymnastics meet had been canceled.

At first, I was shocked and surprised. But as the day continued, the list of places that we would normally have to be was dwindling. First, the gymnastics meet. Then, news that my husband’s office would be closing. Everyone would be working remotely for 30 days. Next, came colleges and universities. Then the local school district. And by the time school ended, even the park district and my daughter’s gymnastics training was put on hold.

My next reaction was an incredible sense of relief.

I wasn’t scared at all about the virus. I wasn’t nervous about stocking up on food. I was actually excited.

I couldn’t believe we were given an indefinite break from all of the rushing, the long commute for my husband, the early morning school bus for our oldest daughter and the daily race home from work to get in the school pick-up line. My introverted side was incredibly excited about the excuse to stay home and work on creative projects, play games and spend time with my family.

I spent the afternoon sitting in my craft room painting little “kindness cards” that were part of a weekly art tutorial I watch online. My mind was full of projects and fun activities I would have time to pursue during the next few weeks.

I wasn’t afraid or anxious or lonely.

It felt like a gift.

**

In many ways, I feel like I was made for social distancing. I love an excuse to stay at home. I love not having any pressure to be anywhere.

I love the idea of hours and hours wide open to dive into a craft or organize my cabinets or spend time with my family. I love that we aren’t being pulled in multiple directions.

Other people are complaining that they won’t be able to do anything fun during spring break. I love that I don’t feel like I have to compete with all of the other “fun” moms who are running all over the place.

I’m excited about a few weeks when our family will be pushed together. I’m hoping for game nights, creative time, family dinners, walks outside and meaningful conversation.

I realize this might all be only a dream, but it’s Day Zero. I’m allowed to dream.

 

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