Weekend Recap: Living My Best Isolation Life

This past weekend, I stayed home just as much as the previous weekend, and I was still just as alone at home. (Well, alone with Sesame!) But my attitude was so different this weekend… and it was a good one.

I started the day by jumping right into my workout before anything else: a 60 minute yacht rock spin class with Jenn Sherman. These days, I’m used to doing an ab workout and walk with Sesame before my real workout, so I sometimes have trouble gearing up for an intense workout first thing. Yacht rock sounded like it would be pretty rhythm-focused… and it was! Jenn picked fairly mellow and melodic yacht rock songs, but gave us solid resistance levels to keep up, so it was kind of a sneaky way to feel mellow but still get a good workout in :)

After spinning, I did a 5 minute core class with Ally, so as not to break my quarantine goal to start every day with an ab workout. This was one of my first times branching out from this 5 minute Robin class I’ve been doing a ton, and I really liked Ally’s class too! I think this will be another keeper.

Finally, one more workout before I called it quits and showered: a run with Sesame. We hit the sidewalks for a full 5K run, and ended up running the whole thing! That said, I am continuing to classify my runs with Sesame as “walks” according to Garmin, so that I can track my paces separately for each. Even though I am deciding where to go (and therefore how long we run), I am being very conscious of letting her set the pace so that I’m not pushing her too much. If Saturday is any indication, she generally likes to go around a 9:30 / mile pace, though we lose time getting distracted by birds, rabbits, squirrels, cars, and other people ;)

5K_with_Sesame

I’m so excited I can run with her!

After breakfast, I spent most of the morning knocking out chores on my to-do list. I’ve been making a conscious effort to not let things languish on my to-do list, and each day, I try to put together a realistic list of what I hope to accomplish by the end of the day. On Saturday, I was determined to check as much as possible off and not carry tasks over!

I vacuumed the stairs, did laundry, washed all the windows / mirrors, wiped down all the doorknobs, dusted everywhere, and a bunch of other random things. It feels good to get back on a cleaning schedule! And I’m pleased that after an initial few days of chaos with Sesame’s arrival (toys, gear, and dog hair everywhere!), I’ve now corralled everything and my house feels back to its usual neat and tidy cleanliness. I definitely feel much calmer and more relaxed at home when things are organized and clean.

I took a break from cleaning for lunch, and then spent time in the afternoon catching up on computer stuff – work, blogging, and the Peloton Reddit community. And then it was time for… game night! Several friends and I were had plans to play Scattergories via Zoom, and we had a blast :)

Virtual_Game_Night_Scattergories

So much fun that we booked it again for next weekend!

After game night, the rest of my evening was just like how my weeknights are these days: a Peloton cardio dance video for a little extra movement before dinner, followed by dinner and reading before bed. The class I took was the new release from Hannah and Cody, and oh my gosh – this was by far the best one of the bunch. The dance was really fun, and Cody and Hannah were great teachers – slowing the moves down to learn them, but then adding them on in sequence so you easily got the feel for the overall distance. Meanwhile, the two of them were an absolute riot – and the names they gave the moves cracked me up. One of them was “a businesswoman walking through Times Square like, ‘out of my way, peasants’!”, and it was immediately followed by “a gay man running backwards trying to escape a swarm of angry bees.” I was laughing out loud at these colorful descriptions, and shouting “bees, bees, bees, bees, bees” to the beat with Cody and cracking up every time we did that sequence.

Cody_Hannah_Peloton_Dance

Definitely give this one a try!

Sunday was definitely a bit more low-key, but it was a lovely day nonetheless. I decided to make it a rest day for both me and Sesame, so instead of a high-energy run, we went for a long and leisurely walk on the open space trails behind my house. 4.3 miles in 90 minutes!! I used the first part of my walk to make some calls and try to catch up with friends and family, then I mellowed out to some podcasts the rest of the way. It was such a beautiful day! These trails are pretty tame, but I’m definitely looking forward to some “real” hiking (Bear Peak, Boulder Peak, Green Mountain, etc) once our shelter-in-place lifts and it’s safe to start having a bit more human interaction.

Superior_From_Coyote_Ridge

What a stunningly beautiful day! I miss those mountains and can’t wait to get back to them someday.

As with the previous Sunday, at 11am, I headed to the basement and hopped onto Facebook Live… where my church was streaming their services. I put Sesame in her crate so she wouldn’t bark, and then I proceeded to alternate between steep hill walking at a slow pace (3.5mph and 8-10% incline) and flat walking at a fast pace (4.0mph and 2% incline). Walking was actually a really nice way for me to take in the church service undistracted while still feeling like I was multitasking! I haven’t been much of a churchgoer in some time, but not having to physically go makes it much easier to attend, and I’m liking this more meditative part of my week, focusing on how I can help those around me.

After church, I hit the kitchen to prep and pop this sweet potato cornbread into the oven, then knocked out a few more chores while it baked, and also made a grilled chicken breast and side salad to go with the cornbread. It came out delicious! If you decide to make it, I substituted plain yogurt for the sour cream, and next time would probably go a little lighter on the sugar. I have been cooking a lot of Budget Bytes recipes lately, and have been very impressed by how consistently delicious everything I’ve tried is… and yet still very simple and easy.

While church is one of my new Sunday rituals, my other seems to be reading – I settled in with a silly romance novel that I ended up not wanting to put down all afternoon. I finally took a break for a Zoom call with two friends at 5pm, and then finished the book before bed that night. Two books a weekend seems to be my norm lately!

One of the things I keep thinking about a lot is: while it sucks to be staying home and not able to see any of my friends in person, how can I avoid wasting this time? In talking to a lot of people about the COVID19 situation, my impression is that if there were a sleeping pill you could take that would magically knock you out and wake you up whenever (months down the line) this is all over, that many people would choose take it. So many people seem to be focused on killing time, either with drinking or Netflix, and just wishing this were all over.

But if a pill like that were available, I would want nothing to do with it. No, I can’t do all the things I want to do thanks to the shelter-in-place. You all know how little I tend to be home on the weekends – I’m always out going places and seeing friends! Being stuck in my house isn’t really my idea of living a “balanced” life; I typically like to spend some time by myself, and some time with friends, and right now, I can only spend time by myself.

But… I can spend time by myself. That’s half of what I want in life, and here I am with no excuses and plenty of interrupted chunks of time to do that. I’m proud that I’m genuinely viewing this isolation with positivity – realizing I have so many different things I can do, that I’ve always wanted the time for.

When I was a kid, I was super nerdy, and basically had no friends… so I would read nonstop from when I got home to when I went to bed. (I think it was in 5th grade that I broke the school record for reading the most books in a year, reading somewhere just north of 400. Clearly I had a lot of time on my hands!) In college, I still loved reading for fun, but there were so many other things I wanted to do as well… and after college, reading became a treat rather than something I did all the time. Reading is giving me so much pleasure right now, and I’m thrilled that I’m getting the opportunity to rediscover how lovely it is to lie on the couch reading as long as I please, with nowhere to be and nothing to do. Normally this kind of uninterrupted reading time makes me feel guilty about the other things I’m missing out on, but right now, I can just enjoy it as one of the few safe things I can pursue.

The other hobbies I am really enjoying right now are cooking up a storm (mostly healthy stuff), working out (I’ve finally settled into a routine that’s working great for me at home), and playing piano. I know how lucky I am to have a beautiful home with all these amenities (a piano, a home gym, a big pantry), and I’m trying to make the most of it!

The one thing I’ve been avoiding so far even with my extra time? Cleaning out my “beautiful home” ;) I really need to go through my closet and ditch a lot of stuff that may be okay, but I just don’t enjoy wearing and always push past these items to get to other stuff. No point in having things I don’t love to wear! I think throughout my house in general, I have some things I’ve been hoarding – and while this isn’t a great time to sell them on Craigslist or even take them to a thrift store, it is a great time to sort through them and maybe move them to the garage until I can ditch them entirely.

I feel guilty describing how well I’ve settled into the shelter-in-place, knowing how many people are really struggling right now (mentally, financially, or both). But I’m proud that I’ve figured out what’s working (so far) for me to “live my best quarantine life.” Hopefully I can keep my spirits up as it progresses, because I know we’ve still got a long way to go.

Comments

  1. I’m glad you had a good weekend. I really enjoy spending time alone too, though I’m not doing 24/7 with the virus. Sometimes I wish I was home alone

  2. Arianna Georgi says:

    Really liked this post, Laura, and your thoughts on this strange time. Like you, I am very comfortable being alone, but also I have a hard time “sitting still” and not constantly striving for some goal. So it’s a balance between not beating myself up that I have this time and am not learning fluent french, writing the great American novel etc, and still finding ways to make it meaningful. I have two kids so that helps. I keep thinking that although this is hard, every little minute with them at these ages isn’t one I’ll get back and I should savor it. That being said, daily runs help with my sanity as well. On an unrelated note, for old clothing, be sure to checkout ThreadUp (just a cool concept). Another neat thing is looking to see if your area has a “buy nothing” group. You can “gift” your items to people that need them.

    • I love the way you are looking at your time with your kids! And totally agree with you on daily runs being great for sanity :)

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