What I’m doing during lockdown

Like everyone else in the world, my spring travel plans went kaput due to COVID-19 (or as we call it in the South, “everything going on”). I’m also not working much at the moment. Though I’m a worker in an essential industry, our office is closed temporarily for probably at least a couple more weeks minimum until the worst of the infection passes. Until then, I’m only going into the office once a week or so; other than that, I have a lot of free time on my hands.

So I can’t work, and I can’t travel. What to do with the day? I’ve read in several places that it’s important to keep a daily structure during times like this and have a list of goals, whether or not those goals actually get accomplished. I’ve been doing these things, and I think it’s good advice.

Here’s some stuff I’ve been doing with my time off:

  • I still wake up around 7 AM Monday through Friday. I want to maintain some sort of healthy sleep schedule, and by waking up just a little after my usual time, I’m not up wide awake at 3 AM.
  • Each day I check my finances to make sure everything looks right, and if there have been major market swings, which have been quite regular lately, then I make rebalancing plans.
  • I’ve been going on a daily run around the neighborhood as long as it isn’t cold or raining. I prefer trails to roads, but unfortunately all the local state parks are closed at the moment, so road running is better than nothing. My picky preference is that I don’t like running around a lot of people or cars, and fortunately the path that I run doesn’t have much of either in the mornings.
  • Catching up on some old video games. For this Shelter in Place occasion, I resurrected my old Nintendo DS phat and am finally playing through Final Fantasy 4 Advance; a game I bought years ago but never got around to playing until now.
  • Reading books. I’m currently reading A Song For A New Day by Sarah Pinsker. Good book so far. It combines science fiction and music, which are two of my favorite leisure activities.
  • Taking naps. I’ve always been a big nap person during my adult life, and I wish it were socially acceptable for me to have a hammock at work so I could zonk out for half an hour during my lunch break. No going to the office = more naps.
  • Cooking. This hasn’t changed much since I love cooking my own food; it’s one of the best parts of my day. Last night I made curried chick peas (recipe here).
  • Gardening. We picked up some vegetable plants and flowers not long ago. It’s still too cold in the evenings to plant them, but at least we have the plants in our possession. Once it warms up, we’ll set up our above ground garden bed. This is something we’ve done for the last 4 years, but the garden will get extra special attention this Spring.

Overall, the day is fairly unproductive in the traditional sense with a lot of free time to let my mind wander. Some people (cough, most Americans, cough) feel guilty if they’re not constantly doing productive activities, but I encourage you to let go of that mentality and bask in the joy of doing-nothingness while the opportunity is upon us.

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