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We've been in quarantine for 7 weeks. I'm still adjusting. The kids are adjusting. Dad is adjusting. We're good most days. Some days I'm over all of them and I want to run away. Feel me?

Two weeks ago we had to implement a schedule for the kids. For us, really. They were running a little wild with bedtime and I lost track of their school work. To their defense, I should have initially prepped for a long term situation. For my sanity, I had to put a stop to the late nights and last minute Google classroom checks.

Insert our new quarantine routine and my two cents on how to manage/cope with quarantine life.

1. Create a Schedule/Routine

Our schedule is basic. Breakfast is ready at 11am. I expect their rooms be cleaned before they come down to eat. This keeps them busy in the morning and it allows me to read, enjoy my coffee and get a workout in before they "need" me. After breakfast they are responsible for an hour of their regular school work which must be done by 1pm. This is my clean the kitchen window. At 1pm I teach them Spanish for 30 minutes to an hour. When we're done with the lesson, they're to finish 2 more hours of school work. This is also my 2 hour work block. Somedays it becomes laundry time. Between 4-5pm they have P.E. with Dad. The boys wrestle and the intention is to keep them conditioning while in quarantine. We have dinner around 6:30 and bedtime is at 10. Once a week we have family movie night. Our goal is to keep everyone busy with the flexibility to adjust as needed. We're trying to teach them time management skills in what feels like endless days.

2. Limit Social Media

Social media can easily consume the entire day and I don't want to waste my days consuming so much. It's really a compromise with teenagers but it's doable if you keeping bugging them.

3. Establish Goals & Create Lists

Some of us have extra time on our hands and now is a great time to get something done. Whether it's a home project or a creative outlet...whatever the case may be utilize this time. I cannot stress that enough! Just start. The fist step can be as simple as making a checklist. Use the list to identify the next starting point. Set goals, set timelines and set deadlines. Work on the list every single day. Don't get caught up on all the reasons you can't do something on the list because I promise you, where there is a will there will be a way. Move on to something else on the list. This space you see right now, these words you're reading...I made it. From scratch! I made a list, I researched and I learned. I gave myself small goals to get here. No fancy equipment. No budget to spend. I use what I have in front of me every single day and the list changes every single day. Some times I write an idea and start typing only to realize I have zero pictures or zero inspiration. I don't dwell on it. I move on to something else. Sooner or later I'm inspired or a picture will present itself. I don't waste 8 hours searching or attempting to capture the perfect picture, the perfect post. Perfection is perception and art is art. Thats how I view all of this online activity. It's art and eventually you have to create and express from the heart not the mind or the illusion of perfection. All that fuss in your head is just a distraction from your goal(s). Work and work every single day. That's how this works.

4. Exercise

Move your body. Give yourself 30-45 minutes to breathe and to be present. It's easy to dread a workout and want it to be over ASAP. Practice being in the moment. Focus on breathing, muscle contraction and pain if there is pain. Feel it. Be tired. Be angry. It's ok to do or be any of those things. One thing is certain. It will pass. You'll get through it. We've all completed a dreadful workout at some point in our life. Remember all those P.E. miles you ran in school? How many did you run? That's how momentary it all is. Just a speckle of time. The same concept applies to life. Many people are uncomfortable where they are in life. Much like a workout, they dread the day and they're eager to get to the future. It's an anywhere but here mindset. That little revelation is how I started to learn the power of exercise and awareness. Learn to control your body by controlling your thoughts. Learn to control your thoughts by controlling your mind. It's all interconnected. Mind, body and soul. Exercise. The benefits outweigh the inconvenience of being uncomfortable for a while.

Overall, my goal is to remain productive and positive during this time. I rather see my glass half full than half empty. I spent too many years of my life thinking I was half empty. I always wanted time. More time with my kids. More time with my husband and more time to work on my own goals. I don't like the circumstances that led to having more time but that is out of my control. What I can control, is my attitude. My perspective.

Stay safe out there. Keep dreaming and keep working! This too shall pass.

Xx Dee

UPDATE: 10 months later...the schedule went out the door and I balance chaos Monday through Friday. Still finding gratitude in the day(s) though. A day of life is good enough, right? At least it's another day to try again.


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