The corona virus pandemic has affected our lives in ways we could not have imagined and it has happened very quickly. For many, the day to day routine of life has changed drastically. For our family, however, the routine hasn’t really changed that much. We still get up at the crack of dawn to do barn chores, we still sit and have coffee together and discuss the itinerary for the day, we still commute across the driveway to make soap, we are still running nonstop and wishing there were more hours in the day to complete what we were unable to get done. I will say, there is a noticeable shift in the energy, for lack of a better term.
The world feels like it has slowed down, people seem to be reevaluating what is necessary, I think we are feeling as a whole that something big is about to happen and we aren’t sure exactly what that is going to look like. I’m trying to focus on the positives of the situation and believe it or not, I’ve come up with quite a few.
First and foremost, Jordan is home with us all the time. I love my kid; I really do and not only to I love my kid but I LIKE her. I like hanging out with her, I like hearing her sing, and play, and discuss. She has just started to become a bit argumentative, I’m not in love with that but I’m thinking perhaps it is a learned behavior…insert throat clearing. Not only is she home, but we are working on skills that we deem important life lessons. She is doing things like planning our lunch menu and acting as main chef to create her planned meal. She is a renowned terrible eater but she is more willing to try something new and take more culinary risks when she is in charge. She is also planning a garden and I am hoping she is more willing to eat fruits and vegetables that she has a hand in growing.
Also, we are more conscientious of what we are using. Rather than run to the store for a single ingredient or plan last minute, easy meals, we are more aware of what we are going to cook and what ingredients are on hand. I have always liked to keep a well-stocked pantry but I thought nothing of running into the little grocery store just outside of town to grab this or that on a whim. Afterall, it is only 10 minutes down the road. Those days are over. We are also more aware of wasting food, water, paper supplies, and laundry supplies. It is like a subtle shift has happened and what was once taken for granted is now understood to be limited. Jordan is even limiting herself to one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup a day! Conservation takes many forms.
We have always appreciated our barnyard family and have always appreciated our stewardship responsibilities but there is a greater appreciation for the abundance they share with us on a daily basis. We appreciate the milk the goat’s give us but there is a greater gratitude for the opportunities the milk and the goats have presented. We feel the same about the pigs. We lost our large white pig, Shawnee, this week and our hearts broke for her situation and her piglets she left behind. However, I think we felt it a bit deeper because we noted the loss of possibility for the future as well. I have wanted to expand our family to include laying hens for several years now but we have all felt like we did not need another animal to feed and care for. As I sit here writing, I have a cart from a local hatchery filled with baby chicks to be delivered in May. It just seems like a good time to expand and be just a little bit more self-sufficient.
I also find that we are spending our time on more quality activities. When we are not completely drained from the day’s events, we spend time playing games (I hate to play games, I really do) but our lovely neighbors turned us onto a really fun card game called Nertz! We are also spending more time doing things we have enjoyed but let slip to the wayside like writing, reading, listening to classical music, sewing, decorating, and creating. We are walking and have plans to go on bike rides when the weather is fit. I must admit, I am enjoying this slower pace and inability to run around on a whim. Don’t get me wrong, I have days when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders and a serious case of cabin fever sets in. There are moments I think if I don’t get some quiet time or alone time, I am going to go insane! However, when I see my friends and neighbors, it is more pleasurable and enjoyed at a deeper level…if that makes sense. I enjoy the morning cuddles with Jordan because all the sudden I realize they are fleeting. Barbies, babies, forts, and boxes turned into whatever is in her imagination are enjoyed and relished for sadly and simply they are not here for long.
I truly believe every situation offers an opportunity for growth and learning. This situation is no different. Hopefully, we are taking the time to learn about ourselves, each other, our community, and our world as a whole. Families have an opportunity to be closer, neighbors have an opportunity to be more neighborly, communities have an opportunity to create stronger bonds, and our world has a reprieve to heal and grow. These are the positives I am trying to focus upon when the days feel long and isolating. I also try to focus upon the fact that this will pass, there will be light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully we will be better for it. Until then, stay calm, stay smart, stay safe, stay home and wash your hands!