COVID-19 has made its appearance in my county. It was a homeschooled student, however, all schools are out for the rest of the month. Needless to say, things have taken a turn for sure in my community. I’m set for the foreseeable future in the department of disposable paper products. I’m accustomed to buying Amazon brand toilet paper and paper towels and was grateful to realize I purchased at just the right time before everything started going out of stock and prices took a massive jump.
As far as I know, I do not have Coronavirus. However, since I am currently in between jobs, I have been at home for the majority of my time for about a month, so I have certainly felt like I’m being quarantined. During this time of encouraged social distancing and just watching the world as we know it totally change due to this outbreak, I have found myself immensely proud of the skills I have chosen to cultivate over the last couple years. Here are some skills that have come in handy and may come in handy if things continue to worsen for us. I thought of things for this list that are helpful in terms of being conservative with our resources.
1. I know how to make hand sanitizer. Knowing these recipes for DIYs is one thing, but having the supplies in your home when you need them is a completely different story. I follow the recipe from Laura at ouroilyhouse.com. Her recipe is fairly simple, consisting of witch hazel (or rubbing alcohol), Aloe vera gel, and essential oils. It just so happens I have a happy and thriving Aloe vera plant in my kitchen, so this recipe is definitely something I’m using.
2. My household cleaning routine is sustainable and affordable. As I was packing up my stuff and going through my wardrobe as I prepared to move in with my husband, I had a few t-shirts that I just didn’t care to hang on to and they were so personalized that I knew nobody would pick them up from Goodwill. Therefore, I decided the most sustainable thing would be to get a big glass jar and cut the shirts up into little pieces to use in lieu of Lysol wipes. I use them, wash them with my laundry, and reuse them repeatedly. With the t-shirt cloths, I purchase Young Living’s Thieves Household Cleaner, which is a concentrate. I have an amber glass spray bottle I purchased off Amazon and I mix just a little more than a capful of the cleaner with purified water and white vinegar. The Thieves Household Cleaner lasts forever and all things considered, I think it’s really worth the price. If I need an extra cleaning boost, I use baking soda.
3. I don’t stick to a meal plan. I have a wide range of items I consider my pantry and refrigerator staples. You may be rolling your eyes at me for not being more frugal regularly. I have friends who really buy for the week-to-week plans they create. That is a beautiful thing and perhaps the path to eliminating food waste. However, this plan would not work best for my husband and I, I believe. Our tastes are fickle! I like options. Because of this mentality, I didn’t have to go out and stock up for weeks and weeks and weeks. I always buy just a little more than I need. If I can’t leave the house at all for the next three weeks, I’ll be alright and I’ll probably have really delicious meals too.
4. I socially distance myself by living a bit out of the way anyways. I actually love the area I live in, although, after years of living in the heart of the suburbs, it was an adjustment. When I do need to go out during this time, I live very close to a gas station, a Dollar General for quick odds-and-ends, and an Aldi. Praise the Lord for Aldi.
5. I take advantage of time for hobbies. While this is probably the most terrible time to job hunt, that is what much of my time is dedicated to right now. But, when I take breaks, I have some fun. I enjoy trying new recipes and writing songs at my Yamaha P-115. There are YouTube videos and podcasts to play in the background as I am dishwashing. I enjoy writing blog posts. I enjoy just keeping my home organized. It keeps me from feeling stir-crazy. I should also let you know my home is severely small. Sometimes I look at it from outside and I’m surprised I enjoy it so much.
6. I’ve found that people on social media are much more engaging right now. Since everyone’s been dialing it back and slowing down, I’ve found that I’m connecting more with others on social media. It doesn’t replace good ol’ fashioned face-to-face communication, but I’ve had a lot more meaningful virtual communication with others as of late and given the circumstances, I can certainly appreciate that. I don’t post the majority of my “content” on what’s going on with the world and try to steer people to focus on the beautifully ordinary. For example, yesterday I shared a few pictures and clips of my baby steps as a gardener. On the day before, I shared a picture of my first homemade pie. People ate that up! It’s good to remind each other of simple triumphs. It feels good to have your triumphs celebrated by others too!
7. There are fewer excuses for not spending time with God! I hate to start expounding upon this statement with excuses, but I do tend make excuses for not spending time with God. I was diagnosed as ADD as a child. I hate sitting still and reading. I like to multitask because I have an unhealthy obsession with productivity. But through this slower time of life, I am finding myself doing just that – slowing down – and reading the Bible through my YouVersion app. I’ve uncovered a lot of scripture that I feel compelled to share through checking out familiar passages in the Message translation, which I don’t have a ton of experience with. I have been enjoying just checking out a passage in a few different translations to see the different ways a statement has been conveyed. I have been more diligent in prayer and especially since I’m facing unemployment, I’ve been relying on God like never before.
Seven’s my favorite number and I feel like I saved the best for last, so I’ll cut it off here. If you’re in quarantine whether it be because you are actually suffering and sick or you are just trying to #flattenthecurve, I hope you are finding ways to stay positive, connected to your loved ones, and keep entertained. Look for ways you can support others during this time. I promise you will find something.