It’s easy to say that this past 8 weeks has been tough. I mean, we’ve all started doing things that we never thought we’d have to do – homeschooling, working from home, pushing back photo sessions, not hugging our friends, stockpiling toilet paper and hand sanitizer because you can’t seem to find any. There have been numerous Zoom drinking games, calls with friends, FaceTimes, and catching up – and those have been incredible. I decided at the beginning of all of this that I would document what quarantine life looked like. And for us – it was a little different. We’re lucky here in Virginia – we’re still able to get out, exercise, go to state parks and walk and wander, get food to go. So while things look way different than what I thought Spring 2020 would look like, coronavirus hasn’t taken everything from us (and we’re lucky, and we know that).
The first entire week, we quarantined from home. Legitimately didn’t go inside anywhere – did grocery store pick-ups, placed orders online. We had a camping trip planned (this was before the campgrounds were closed) and we wanted to make sure we could still go. We went on family walks, we finished up the last bit of my promo video (outside), and just tried to keep our spirits up.
Camping During Coronavirus
The camping trip was magic – minus my stress about everything. I spent too much time being anxious and not enough time having fun – but the kids loved it. We ended up leaving after the first few days because cases started to get higher, and we knew it was smart to get the kids back home. While we were all being smart with the hand washing, the hand sanitizer, etc. – we just knew that it was responsible. The yurts were amazing. Bourbon and cream soda has become a staple. S’mores and fires and nighttime hangouts and sleeping in a yurt in the rain – and the epic storm that happened in the hammock and tent the last night we were there? All fantastic.
Businesses Getting Creative
I’ve been incredibly inspired by the resilience of businesses in all this, too. The fact that Cyclebar Red Mill showed up to my house with a bike that I could rent? Amazing. North End Gelato offering pints of gelato to go? Awesome. Businesses coming up with unique ways to continue to bring in income has been a source of inspiration for me – not even just from a business standpoint. It’s important to be resilient in all of this either way. The ones that will survive are the ones who aren’t outwardly complaining, and instead, pivoting and adapting.
I also went out of my way to go document signs at the Oceanfront – things that I knew needed to be memorialized. I’ve tried to do a little bit of that wherever I go. My camera hasn’t really left my side. I’ve taken more photos these last couple of months than I have in a long time. I’ve used this time to work on my editing, to work on my composition, to work on my skills.
My Kids Might Be Best Friends
Some of the most positive things have been the girls getting outside and getting along (well, until they don’t). Wren says that Piper is her best friend. I’m pretty sure Wren is Piper’s best friend, too, but she won’t admit it.
Piper and I took an Oceanfront adventure, too. And that was incredible. She learned how to use my Mark ii – and actually did a pretty good job. She’s been into photography lately, and I’m all about it.
Celebrating doesn’t look at all like I thought it would.
Holidays and birthdays have looked a little different, too. We’ve made signs for our friends, had family birthday parties just the four of us, driveway visits from friends and family – but done things so that we’ve stayed together and positive. Things are still special even if we aren’t doing things the way that we envisioned.
I’ve also made it a point to get out by myself – mostly so I don’t lose my mind. Mostly False Cape State Park and First Landing. I’ve done bike rides, hikes, backpacking – just anything to clear my head. I’ve tried to emphasize, at least in myself, the importance of what I’ve been calling “soul productivity” – doing the shit that makes you happy so that you can be better for everyone around you. For me, I’m usually doing those things with someone else. I’ve had to learn to do them by myself, and that means learning to be alone with my thoughts and enjoy the outdoors all by myself. That’s new and different – but something that I’m really starting to appreciate.
And set goals for myself – like running a 5k. If we’re being honest, I’ve sucked at fitness and dieting a lot of this time. But I’m trying to give myself grace and set myself up for success for future things, and get back to it.
And we’ve made a lot of food outside (well, Chris has) – and just spent a lot of time outside in general. He’s smoked ribs, wings, a brisket… we’ve been eating well.
And when we couldn’t get outside, ordered some sweet plants from PlantBar in Virginia Beach (curbside pickup for the win!).
So when you feel like you’re going to lose it (which could be every other day, every other week, every other hour of every other minute)…
Remember that there is good that comes from the bad stuff, too.
And that’s not just delicious oatmeal cream pies from friends.
So this is me, trying to find the positive in all of this. Because the more we can be positive and stay creative, the better off we’ll be personally and professionally. Don’t get me wrong – there’s been a lot of stress and a lot of heartache. I was not made to be a school teacher – I don’t have patience like that. My kids (and I) miss our friends and our social lives. But we’re making the most of it, because, in my mind, that’s the only option.
Be on the lookout – there will be a business recap soon (with information about the newsletter, the YouTube channel, and the ways that I’ve decided to be productive with the business in this time, too).