How’s everyone doing? I feel like a couple of weeks ago we were all in the same boat – kind of in shock and coming to terms with social distancing and self-isolation and all that, but now it seems like we’re probably all in vastly different situations depending on how things have unfolded wherever we live. The challenges some of us are facing might be just trying to stay distracted from the news and keep the kids busy and entertained, or it might be the very real fear that comes from a worst-case scenario situation unfolding right outside our front door. If you’re on the front lines of this battle, then you’re seeing everything playing out right before your very eyes.
Our challenges are pretty small compared to what other people are dealing with as of right now. We’re still struggling to settle into this “new normal” and balance work and family life. I’ve been feeling kind of confused at how we’re managing to simultaneously not manage to keep the house in order regularly (despite all the organizing I’ve been doing), we’re not really managing to make a huge amount of progress on house projects, we’re not managing to get a whole lot of work done, and we’re not managing to keep the kids busy and engaged with enough non-screen activities. Weren’t we supposed to have a lot of time on our hands? Is anyone else feeling like they’re moving in slow motion and not really getting much done at all in any area of life?
Honestly, as much as it can make you feel better for a few minutes to complain and hear about how others are facing similar issues right now, I don’t find it to be all that helpful overall. Wallowing doesn’t really help anyone. I do find it super helpful and inspiring though to hear about how others are finding success right now by making the best of things in their own little corners of the world. So I’m going to share a few of my small successes this week. 🙂
I did a little spring porch decorating! Since this is our first spring with our new porch, I had big plans originally for what I wanted to do out here once the weather warmed up. Obviously things have changed a bit so I just gathered up a few things that I already had and put them out there. It’s still cheerful and springy even if it’s not full of new exciting things and I’m happy with it. I’m taking it as a win for this week. 🙂
One of my only successes as far as non-screen activities for the kids has been that we’ve done a great job of getting outside. The latest direction from the powers that be is that we should try to get our fresh air in our own yards as much as possible to keep paths and parks from getting too crowded. I’ve been scheduling walks outside three times per day and I find that once we’re out there, we end up finding excuses to stay out even longer. It’s good for all of us.
If I’m being honest, one of the things that has really helped me to keep motivated and adjust to this new normal is to just sort of put my blinders on and create my own happy little bubble whenever I need to. I feel kind of guilty about this because there are so many out there who aren’t able to do this and have to look this horrible situation right in the eye every single day. It keeps me from feeling paralyzed with indecision though and it keeps me present and useful for my family. So I try to spend most of my day that way and just check the news once if I can.
I ordered some flowers and some greenery too from a local florist for curb side pick up and I’ve put them all over the house in little vases. It’s hard to wake up and not feel cheerful and ready to face the day when you have a house full of vases and greenery like this… even if that cat did snack on this one a little bit. 🙂
I’ve been out in the garden super early this year and I’ve found that there are already herbs that are ready to be harvested. I definitely never realized that in past years. I had my first little harvest of thyme and chives a few days ago and it was so nice to be cooking dinner with things from the garden already.
I’m still continuing to trying to find happy, uplifting, non-dark books. I’m still reading through Home Sweet Maison and really enjoying it. I also read through The Little Book of Fika, which I really enjoyed as well. It’s all about the Swedish art of the coffee break and I loved that it’s all about slowing down and taking a moment to appreciate the simple things. It’s a great one for right now too because you can actually apply the principles of this book right now at home. It doesn’t hurt that all the text and illustrations in the book are done in blue and white. 🙂
I’m feeling hopeful about what next week might bring around here. The kids will be starting some structured online school which is supposed to be led by their teachers, so I’m hoping that will be positive and rewarding for them, as well as provide them with an hour or two of interesting activities to do that aren’t just coming out of my brain. This school work will be mandatory and count towards their final grades, but I’m hoping that it will be actually enjoyable too and not too much of a struggle after the more relaxed schedule we’ve been on for the last few weeks.
So that’s what has been going on over here! How about you? Have you found any good books to read? Have you been doing the homeschool thing or are your kids doing state-run online school too? Have you been able to escape into your own little happy bubble like I have when things get to be too much?
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Courtenay Hartford is the author of creeklinehouse.com, a blog based on her adventures renovating a 120-year-old farmhouse in rural Ontario, Canada. On her blog, Courtenay shares interior design tips based on her own farmhouse and her work as founder and stylist of the interior photography firm Art & Spaces. She also writes about her farmhouse garden, plant-based recipes, family travel, and homekeeping best practices. Courtenay is the author of the book The Cleaning Ninja and has been featured in numerous magazines including Country Sampler Farmhouse Style, Better Homes and Gardens, Parents Magazine, Real Simple, and Our Homes.