Quarantine and how I’ve used it to my advantage.
Quarantine has got me thinking.
Well, I’m sure all of us have been caught up in our own heads a little more than usual because of quarantine, but I’m saying that quarantine has given me time to think.
I don’t currently have a job. I go to school online. These things don’t require me to step outside my front door, most days.
Which means I have a lot of spare time on my hands, as some of you might have as well.
And, surprisingly enough, I’ve been able to take advantage of this time.
I am currently working through Camp NaNoWriMo for the first time, which I never would have had time for had I still been employed, along with the fact that I would’ve been distracted by meeting with other people in places that are, right now, closed.
I’m not angry about this. I completely understand the need to social distance and stay inside.
And, yes, I am going to be one of those people that tells you this can be a good thing for you.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to make quarantine a fun, productive time if you have incredibly persistent depression, like I do. I spent the first part of this quarantine lying around and doing nothing more than the bare minimum for my schoolwork, which was enough for me to be proud of, but I knew I could do more.
So, I started going outside.
It’s a small step, and I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but taking the time to get outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes, can make any day seem like you’ve done something. Like you aren’t just reliving the same day for weeks on end, since there’s practically nowhere to go if you aren’t an essential worker, or if you no longer have duties that take you out of your house.
Going outside gets me in the sunshine. It reminds me that there’s still a world out there, that there are still people who are also going outside to make themselves feel better. That I’m not as alone as I might’ve thought I was. And as I write this, late at night, I find myself getting emotional about it. About the fact that people are going outside, masks and gloves on, ready to get even half an hour of sunshine before they decide it’s much safer inside.
When I’m ready to come back in, I make a list.
It doesn’t have to be a big list. Hell, I’ve given myself a list of six things and barely managed to get half of them done. Productivity is subjective.
Once I make this list — it can be anything from chores to writing goals to which friends or family members I want to FaceTime with — I make it my goal to finish at least half of it.
Clean up my apartment and do the dishes? Sure. Call my mom? Already on it. Write another thousand words by sundown? I can do that. Way to go, me.
And now comes my current favorite thing to do.
Well, it’s always been my favorite thing to do, but I actually, genuinely have time for it now: writing.
I’ve already mentioned that I’m working on cramming a novel into this month, and it’s going fantastically.
And that doesn’t usually happen.
I write and write and write, and, most of the time, it doesn’t feel like I’m absolutely nailing it. Which is okay, but I love the feeling of feeling like I’m getting things done. And with this quarantine, I’ve been getting it done.
I write every day now, without fail, and I like what I write. And I know quarantine hasn’t given me the gift of magically finding everything I write to be amazing, but it’s certainly helped me to really work and focus on my craft.
My point is that I have time to think. Time to plan out what I’m going to work on, time to get inspired, time to get creative and work, time to do whatever I’ve been putting off because of a lack of time before all this happened.
At least I can find something to be grateful for in all this, right?
And I know I will continue to write, and work, and daydream, and wonder, and read, and take time for myself, and become someone who I thought I had lost.
Maybe it’s because I’m running on two hours of sleep, or because I’m listening to old jazz music in the dim lighting of my bedroom, but I get the feeling that everything will be alright, and we can all use this time to become who we truly want to be.
How’s your quarantine going?