What 20+ Days of Social Isolation Has Taught Me {About Me}


On March 12, 2020 , I walked out of my office building unsure of what the following days would bring. The narrative was changing by the hour and I made the last-minute decision to bring my work laptop home with me. When I walked over to the school to greet the kids at the end of their day, I chatted with friends as the kids played with friends on the playground, blissfully unaware that the school year unofficially ended that day. It has been a ride. Because Clay continues to leave the house almost every day, the kids and I have hunkered down and have spent our days either at the house or enjoying the outdoors in our immediate neighborhood. We did leave the house this morning – the kids sat in the parked car while I ran into Whole Foods to pick up a birthday cake for Clay and a few grocery staples. To be honest, I waffled between going or not but ultimately decided that he deserves to eat gourmet cake this evening. And dammit – I want a slice too.

I’ve learned things about myself during this 20+ days of social isolation – some good, some bad. I’ve been noticing that on that days I consume more caffeine, I become hyper-focused on all of the deaths, the over-tasked medical workers, and the impact on the economy. I am still finding the right balance of keeping myself informed and preventing being swallowed by the beast comprised of things beyond my immediate control. I’ve never been one to put my head in the sand and I refuse to do it during my first pandemic. But overall, I think I am doing okay. I am coming to terms with the abrupt changes we’ve had to make and I am allowing myself time to grieve for all of the travel plans we’ve cancelled. As of right now, we’re PCSing to Chicago as planned this summer and the Army hasn’t issued us orders saying otherwise. The realization that the kids will not see their classmates, teachers, and friends in their ‘normal’ environment before we move has hit our family. Like most things in life, we’re treating this period of social isolation as a learning opportunity and I am hopeful our kids emerge from the experience with lasting memories and lessons that will serve them well as they grow into who they’re meant to become. And you know what? I hope I do too.

What 20+ Days of Social Isolation Has Taught Me {About Me}

  • I thrive with a routine and absolutely flounder without one.
  • Memes and GIFs are my love language.
  • I need my alone time.
  • Activewear 24/7 is my ideal wardrobe.
  • I’d be an okay Chopped contestant.
  • I rather enjoy my company.
  • A pandemic isn’t the best time to stop drinking alcohol on weekdays.
  • I still don’t like talking on the phone.
  • Even with nothing else on my plate, I still feel guilty to sit down and read a book.
  • I took a lot for granted prior to social isolation.
  • My art skills are rusty.
  • I need a tan.
  • Running on a treadmill is a great stress reliever.
  • How I speak to myself affects my perception of the world around me.
  • I don’t need 3/4 of the stuff we own.
  • My mood has the power to affect our family.
  • Ignoring the process is fatal to success – the process is art.
  • I’m happy I am not too much of a planner – flexibility has saved me in multiple ways.
  • I am married to my person.
  • Lifting heavy things is my therapy.
  • Fourth grade boys are complex creatures.
  • I can see the computer monitor better when I wear my glasses {that I never wear}.
  • I don’t miss gluten near as much as I thought I would.
  • Journaling isn’t only therapeutic but absolutely necessary.
  • Having high standards is a good thing.
  • There is a limit as to how many cartwheels I can watch our 6-year-old daughter do.
  • I am not a homebody.
  • I hate puzzles. I also sort of love them.
  • Rearranging furniture is a perfectly acceptable coping mechanism.
  • I rely too much on instant gratification.
  • This experience has value.

Have you learned anything about yourself during your social isolation journey?

6 comments on “What 20+ Days of Social Isolation Has Taught Me {About Me}”

  1. This is a great picture of you! I agree with the majority of your list in how isolation has changed you. I’m a very restless person who has never enjoyed sitting at home. If we have an hour to spare, its NOT being spent inside. So this change has been a struggle for me. The days are long. My anxiety gets worse as the day goes on and like you, I’m trying not to drown myself in news stories but I find it almost an addiction to check the latest updates. I’m trying to find the positives. I’m focusing on our health. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely stressed, agitated, worried. I want some hope, a light at the end of the tunnel, a date that I can focus on when life will be back to “normal.” The uncertainty is draining me. I think I’ll start a journal just to get these feelings out so my friends don’t have to listen to my late night texts begging for comfort. I’m annoying them enough! Thank you for this post.


  2. Laura – I just love your thoughtful comments. Agitated perfectly describes how I feel. And you’re right, it doesn’t really seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I suppose I am learning that I don’t necessarily thrive in an environment that is open-ended. Uncertainty is so draining – I hope that you find comfort as time goes on. And I highly recommend starting a journal. Thank you, friend.


  3. Last week was mentally really tough. The city is dead quite save the ambulance sirens and I was watching too much of the news, so I became hyper focused on the deaths as well and hearing all the sirens just sent me into a tailspin. It was not fun to be me in my head last week. I’m in better spirits now, I’ve limited the amount of news I watch and am just focused on working out, listening to music, watching movies, and trying to find a job. Ha. NYC seems to be hitting the peak, so that’s awesome news!! I hope things are good with you down in DC. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just seeing this comment – I hope you are doing okay in NYC, Julie. I can’t wait to hear the news that NYC is past the peak. ❤


  5. I enjoyed reading this post and as you can probably notice, I’m catching up on my blog reading. I feel like this period is going one of half a dozen ways for people and your line about using it as a learning opportunity really spoke to me. I know that staying home right now and working from home especially is a big privilege and it’s not lost on me how many people would likely be overwhelmingly grateful to be in my position so I try to use that as a “reality check” when I feel the gravity of the situation beginning to creep in on me. I let my mind go to the dark places of the bad news, but I also recognize in myself when enough is enough and I need to step away. There are big highs and lows going on here, but I think for the most part, we are hanging in there. Big big “SAME” to the not needing 3/4 of the stuff we own!!


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