Quarantine Activities and Lists

I love lists.  I love categorizing things and working my way through a list.  I spend more time planning a trip than going on it.  I spend time adding to my to be read book list, sometimes, before reading the several hundred books that are already on it.  I can’t help it.  It’s who I am.

During this time of social distancing at home, I’ve come up with a few ways to have fun with lists.  The first one has been very popular on my social media.  My daughter and I have been Disneybounding from home every day with clothes in our closets.  I first Disneybounded on our most recent trip to WDW earlier this year.  (There is a blog post on it, if you want to check it out.)  For those outfits, I purchased some clothes and accessories to go along with things I already had in my closet to make the perfect outfits for the park. 

For this challenge, we have just been working with the things we already have.  Working our way through lists of Disney characters has been both a delight and a challenge, as we see what we can come up with.  Once we are done, I’m going to put all of our pictures together in a Shutterfly book to remember all of the fun we had.

A long time ago, way before my daughter was born, I worked my way through watching each of the top 100 movies as listed by the American Film Institute.  We’ve been having family movie nights each day.  Usually, we sit around forever trying to agree on a movie to watch together.  So, I came up with a fun challenge to mix it up.  

I wrote down a list of movie genres on small slips of paper and put them in a bag.  Every few days, we draw a new genre out of the bag.  Then each family member is challenged with coming up with a movie for us to watch that meets that category.  So far, we’ve done sports movies, action/adventure movies, animated movies, classic movies, and we are currently on superhero movies.  Once we are done with the genres in the bag, I’ve got even more ideas up my sleeve to keep it going as long as we want.  It’s fun, and each family member gets a turn to pick the movie, so no arguing about the best choice.

Another list that my daughter and I have been working our way through comes from the Usborne book, Step-By-Step Drawing Animals.  My daughter and I are drawing each animal in the book, following the simple instructions.  Together, we sit down and draw the animal.  Then we decorate the background and add them to our stack.  When we have worked our way through the entire book, I plan to connect our drawings somehow into some kind of book for our memories.  It’s a fun activity to do together, and we can see the different interpretations we each have of the same animal.

The list that I have been working my way through since the very beginning of this quarantine is watching the Cincinnati Zoo’s daily home safaris.  It started as a family activity that we did together.  The three of us would sit down to learn about a new animal at the zoo each day.  My family eventually started to lose interest, so we got behind schedule.  I’ve started watching them again on my own, but I am still catching up for time away.  Learning about all the animals is fascinating to me and makes me wish that I was a zookeeper.

a grainy pic of my TV

What kind of fun, new activities have you been doing during quarantine?  Is anybody else working their way through a list?

My One Year Blogiversary

Today marks one year since I launched my blog.  I’m not really an interesting or creative writer, but I’ve still enjoyed sharing my thoughts with those interested enough to read them.  Today, I went back and read my first blog post where I laid out the goals for what I wanted to accomplish.  I am continuing to meet those goals by sharing my positive thoughts and writing about experiences of things that make me happy.  I hope that at some point over the past year, I’ve helped someone to “look on the bright side.”

Over the course of this year, I’ve written something like 65 blog posts, which I’m pretty proud of.  I’ve written about products I like, faith, and books I’ve read.  I don’t blog about all the books I read, because I’m not that great at writing reviews.  But over the past year, I did blog about four different self-help/memoir style books.

a fave shirt of mine

I wrote a lot about travel, which is one of my favorite things in the world.  Over the past year, I was fortunate enough to visit and write about Jamaica, Biloxi, Montreal, Hot Springs, Walt Disney World, and even my hometown of New Orleans.

I wrote about music, movies, and plays that I loved and had the pleasure of experiencing this past year, including Disney movies, Broadway plays, and awesome concerts.  I am fortunate to have been able to enjoy so many of these things that bring me joy.

I’ve written about food, family life, and positive thinking.  I’ve reflected on quotes or sayings.  I’ve shared my thoughts on many different topics.

I hope you have enjoyed following along in my journey of positivity.  I wonder what will happen in year two?  It is already starting off very different since we’ve been social distancing for over a month now.  The adventures and fun this year may look different.  But I shall continue to find the joy in whatever God sends my way!

Love Does

I just finished reading the book, Love Does, by Bob Goff.  It is a Christian book and the basic premise is that love is an action.  We show love to God and others through our actions.

Each short chapter tells a story about Bob’s often crazy and adventurous life, which he then relates to a belief or message he wants to share.  

The book is really good and an easy read.  He shows through his stories how he has chosen to live a fully engaged life.  It was inspiring, but also kind of made me feel like I could never do some of the things he does.  I’m never going to be someone who just picks up and flies across the world on a whim. It does sound cool, though.  And I’ll just have to figure out what my fully engaged life looks like.

How can I be fully present in my life?  How can I be fully present in my relationships?  These seem like big challenges to me, because they require courage.  It takes courage to be fully engaged.

“I used to think you had to be special for God to use you, but now I know you simply need to say yes.” ~Bob Goff

To me, saying yes is often scary.  It involves risk. It involves faith.  I do not view myself as a courageous risk-taker.  It is something I will probably continue working on for the rest of my life.  Taking risks, however, seems to come easily to Bob. He does it all the time.

One word that Goff uses a lot throughout the book is whimsy.  He is always talking about living a life of whimsy. I do like the idea of leading a whimsical life.  He calls it a “renewable, infinite resource that multiplies.”

This book is not just Goff’s beliefs about how we should live our lives.  It is his beliefs about how Jesus wants us to live our lives. It is about putting faith into action on a daily basis.

“I think Jesus had in mind that we would not just be ‘believers’ but ‘participants’.” ~Bob Goff

He suggests our faith should be more than just ideas.  It should matter to us. It should engage us. It should move us to change the world.  It should be a paradigm shift that changes the way we look at every thing and every person and every situation around us.

I highly recommend this book.  It’s not a how-to manual. He doesn’t tell us how to fully engage with life, because it will be different for each person.  Now only does Bob go on crazy adventures, but he saves tons of kids in Uganda through his work.

But through his example, maybe, just maybe, you will be inspired to think about how to live your life fully engaged and full of whimsy and fun and things that matter.  I’m not sure I can put myself out there in the ways that Bob does. He even puts his phone number at the end of the book to say that he is willing to talk to you about anything in it.  But maybe, in my own little ways, I can try to evaluate what “love does” looks like for me.

My husband, the caretaker

Yesterday, I got food poisoning.  The worst food poisoning that I have ever had.  Scombroid food poisoning. It was one of the top most painful experiences of my life.  Like, rolling around on the floor, crying, super intense pain. I probably would have gone to the emergency room if it weren’t for coronavirus.  Instead, I powered through with several different medicines. It only lasted 6 hours, thankfully, but those 6 hours were pretty horrible.

It is moments like these, however, that remind me what a great caretaker my husband is.  He really steps up to the plate and does everything in his power to help the situation. He researched what was happening, found me medicines, called a telehealth doctor, went out to buy more medicines, rinsed out my vomit bucket countless times, got me ice packs and hot packs, all while continuing to parent our six year old in the next room.

When I had my biggest medical emergency, after the birth of my daughter, he was an amazing advocate.  He did everything in his power to care for me (and our newborn) and advocate on my behalf, especially when I was unable to do so.

When our daughter gets sick or hurt, it is Daddy she calls for, not me.  He is a problem solver while still being compassionate. He fixes boo-boos and tummy aches.  She trusts him implicitly.  

He is also a caretaker in other ways.  He takes care of our house, our money, etc.  I rely on him for so many important things.  

I give my husband a hard time, most of the time.  But, he really is good. So this is my “I appreciate you” post.

I Shall Not Live in Vain

Here is my positive thought of the day to share with you during this crazy time. A poem by Emily Dickinson.

We can all make a difference in big or small ways. Right now, we’re making a difference by staying home and isolating.

Shout out to all the people who are currently making a difference in big ways. The doctors and nurses, the first responders, the political and business leaders having to make big decisions to keep us safe, the providers of food and other necessities, and again to the healthcare providers. There are lots of people right now who are making a difference in big ways. But even if that isn’t you, think of all the small ways that you make a difference.

One Week In ….

It has been one week since I posted my “how I’m going to spend my time during quarantine” post. Let’s just say, that I am not always the person I hope to be.

I have no schedule. I know a lot of people have been touting the importance of a schedule, especially in regards to homeschooling, but also just for life. I’m not really a schedule person. Too much pressure. Instead, my goal has just been variety. I don’t want to do the same thing for hours at a time. I try to make sure that I switch it up often enough.

That doesn’t mean I am filling my time with noble and productive pursuits. It just means I want variety in whatever it is I decide to do. Read a book to my daughter – switch to workout – scroll through facebook – draw – take a nap – go for a walk outside – eat a snack – watch an animal video from the zoo – read the news – watch a show – play a board game – and so on and so on.

I have not cleaned my entire house or done any elaborate art or implemented a strict homeschooling curriculum. But so far, we are surviving and trying to prevent too much boredom. How has your time on the inside been going?

Quarantine – How will I use my time?

Today is the first day of our coronavirus quarantine.  My husband told me this was going to happen back in January when news of the virus first came out.  I didn’t believe him and thought he was always assuming the worst will happen. I’ve had to admit that he was right (although I still think he is a negative Nelly).

I am an introvert.  I enjoy time to myself immensely.  But I also know from experience that I can get antsy after too much time at home.  As of right now, schools are closed for at least the next month. I am trying to be proactive and make sure my family doesn’t go crazy during this quarantine.  It actually has the potential to be a great time of togetherness and quality time.

Even on a regular day, I spend waaaaay too much time on my phone and Facebook.  My goal during this quarantine is to fill as much of my time with things of value and not waste it away.  Don’t get me wrong, I do find value in social media. On it, we share information, humor, our lives, ideas, and more.  I do value it as a way to remain connected to others. Collectively finding joy and humor in the coronavirus memes is great.  I just want to make sure that I don’t become consumed (like I have the tendency to do).

So my goal is going to be to look for things to do that bring value to my life during this time of uncertainty.  Yoga, art projects, reading, prayer, walks outside, organization and decluttering, etc. These are things that I always try to focus on, as I’m big on self-care.  With all of this extra time, what more will I be able to accomplish?

And it isn’t just about me.  Unlike me, my daughter is a very social creature.  She gets great joy out of attending school each day and seeing her friends.  My time will be filled with making sure that her learning and fun continue. That means I can’t be on my phone, but directly engaging with her for as much of the day as possible.  Just like I can get sucked into the social media hole, she can easily get sucked into the watching TV hole.

For some reason, I woke up at 4:30 this morning.  I never get up this early, and yet here I am, up early with nowhere to go and nothing to do.  I know it is anxiety keeping me up, but I’m sure I will fit in a nap later today in my busy quarantine schedule.  Look at me, already making good use of my time by writing a blog post for my sadly neglected blog!

My husband and I will still be working from home, but I know that our next month is going to look very different.  My goal is to use my time as wisely as possible. What are you doing to make the best of your quarantine time?