Self-Quarantine Diaries No. 02

Welcome!

A few weeks ago, I shared a few reflections on my first week in quarantine due to COVID-19. I had been furloughed by work, started my first experiences with online classes, and started a puzzle. Well, a month later, a lot has changed.

To begin, I went back to work in a very limited sense. My work is only fulfilling curbside orders or ship-to-home orders for books. The biggest focus is having us rearrange the entire store and deep clean everything. I returned to work on Tuesday, and I legitimately could barely walk by the end of my shift. I had moved bookshelves, loads of books, and laughed with my coworkers again. I know I am incredibly blessed to be back at work.

Which leads me to my next change: I am giving back to my community. With the stimulus check and returning to work, I have some extra money to provide to my community. I have shopped a few small businesses, ordered contactless delivery food, and donated to food banks. My donations are nothing huge, but I know the difference a small act can make. I encourage you, if you can, to look around your home and see if you can help in any way you can. Perhaps it’s staying within your home.

Before quarantine, I bought two puzzles with the idea that I would have an abundance of time. I didn’t even finish one puzzle. My brain could not focus on the puzzle for extended periods of time, and I grew frustrated. I quickly fell into binge watching shows. Within a month, I watched a season and a half of This Is Us, all of Girl Meets World, and five seasons of New Girl. I can confidently say I will have New Girl finished by the middle of next week at the latest.

I have not been able to focus on reading in any capacity. As I scroll through Twitter and Instagram, I know many other readers are feeling the same way. Reading is usually an escape for me, but, after a full day of terrifying news and online classes, I simply cannot focus enough to start a new book. I did manage to finish Enlightenment of Bees by Rachel Linden.

It was a light enough book for me that I could easily sit down and read it in bigger chunks. I loved the focus of the humanitarian work, but I did get irritated by the main character not believing in the importance of baking. Let me know if you would like to see a full review here on the blog about this book.

As far as school goes, I officially was late to one of my Zoom classes since my professor changed the time, and I forgot about it. I have definitely gotten less motivated throughout the month to actually do my work in a consistent manner. A few of my professors have even stopped posting consistently which does not help my procrastination. I can feel the drain of online classes every day from my classmates, professors, and myself. I have three weeks left, so I can only hope to find motivation somewhere.

Realistically, I am feeling the drain of quarantine on my spirits. I try my best to check in with my friends and family with video chats or texts. As well all know at this point, it’s not the same. I know I have to do my part, though, to stay home as much as possible for those around me. I am doing all that I can to practice my part in this whole system.

How have you been doing during COVID-19? What does quarantine look like from where you are? Let me know in the comments!

xo,

Charley

Self-Quarantine Week One Reflections

Welcome!

I started writing three different posts this week, but none of them felt quite right. I struggled with knowing whether or not to write about the Coronavirus quarantine. One part of me wants to create “timeless” blog posts that don’t mention the quarantine at all. The other part of me wants to be relatable and express where I am in life right now.

So here goes a reflection on what has happened since I went into self-quarantine:

I got furloughed

If you’re like me at all, then you may have never heard the term “furloughed” before COVID-19. I know I certainly had no idea this term existed which was scary when I heard it the first time from my store manager. Furlough is when you are still an employee of a company but you don’t go to work for an extended period of time. It’s not a vacation, but you can get paid depending on company policy. I am so lucky to get my PTO and two weeks’ worth of pay.

The last time I didn’t have an hourly job was my freshman year of high school. Even in middle and high school, I volunteered after school or babysat. My spring break week was strange to have no schoolwork or work to do. I will touch on what I did later, but I had to create a routine for myself to feel some semblance of normal.

Luckily, my state governor announced being able to file for unemployment even if you are just furloughed, so I will hopefully be able to start seeing an income in that way. Unemployment has a negative connotation in society, but these circumstances will hopefully change the shameful words used.

classes went online… to Zoom

Many of my classes this semester are teaching methods courses which requires going into schools, group work, etc. With schools shut down for the rest of the semester, half my professors are requiring Zoom calls. I had never heard of Zoom until two weeks ago. As I’ve gotten used to it, I do think it’s a pretty neat program for classes with breakout sessions, whiteboards, etc.

I struggled to get into a zone with online schooling since I have always attended school in-person. I rarely used my desk for homework, let alone lectures. My chair definitely isn’t as comfortable as I thought it was. I have construction going on outside that literally shakes my entire house while I’m trying to concentrate.

Overall, this week went pretty well with classes. My schedule is blocked out for my morning classes, lunch, and then three hours of strict homework time. I surprised myself with how productive I have been recently. Thursday was a struggle, though, since I didn’t sleep well. I tried and tried to focus in my homework block, but I was simply too tired. Thursday turned into a nap and mental health day for me. I pushed myself during the rest of the week, and I thought I was alright with the quarantine. I discovered I need to structure my night for more relaxation than normal.

I re-downloaded TikTok

If you missed my Lent post, then you may not know I gave up social media for Lent. No Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok. This week I downloaded TikTok, though, out of pure boredom. I watched just about every YouTuber I subscribe to on YouTube try to learn new TikTok dances in their videos. I decided to download the app and allow myself an outlet to be creative or just goofy. I have a timer set, so I don’t sit on it for hours. I haven’t downloaded the other apps onto my phone unless absolutely necessary (i.e. I’m a small group leader for middle school and the weekly large-group teachings are on there.). By the time this post goes up, I will only have about a week left of Lent.

I started a puzzle, read four books, and watched too many TV shows

Before I went into self-quarantine, I picked up two puzzles from work for spring break. I decided to start with the really difficult bookshop puzzle, but I have lost some steam with it. I didn’t realize how large the measurements are for the entire puzzle, so I started putting the puzzle together on my floor. With my bad back, I can’t sit on the floor for extended periods of time like I would enjoy. Perhaps on the weekends, I will put more of the puzzle together.

When I visited my sister for spring break (pre-“safer at home” orders), I read three books while in self-quarantine. I shared those reviews on Goodreads (and one here). I just finished reading A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews aka Cait from PaperFury (recommended as part of my ’12 Book Recs from 12 Friends’). I devoured that book in a matter of days. I cried at the beginning, the middle, and the end. I really wanted some vegan cake. I can’t believe it took me so long to read that book. 10/10 recommend!

For the past two years, I have fallen behind in watching so many shows. Well, last Saturday I watched half a season of This Is Us. The combination of a comfy bed, rainy outdoors, and a cry-worthy show made the entire day escape me. I also started watching New Girl for the first time. I am weirdly invested in that show now.

Let me know what you’re doing in quarantine! Any recommendations for what I should do next? Also, let me know if you want more posts about how I created my weekly schedule, reviews, etc.

Stay safe and healthy! Be mindful of those around you.

xo,

Charley