This is Susan’s latest newsletter. Subscribe to receive it directly in your email box once a month.
Hey, y’all! I wanted to check in with everyone during this very strange time and make sure you’re staying home and staying safe. I’ve had to turn into a 2nd grade teacher, which doesn’t exactly give me a lot of writing time. But I’ll do whatever it takes to keep my family away from the Coronavirus, and I hope y’all are doing the same!
Thought I’d share some of my tips for being well and keeping your sanity until we can all roam freely again! So, here goes:
- Home workouts. I miss workouts with my buddy Teresa, and I miss my Mommy Boot Camps with Cari. But, on the bright side, I can still do yoga with SarahBethYoga on Youtube. And, even better, I can workout with Teresa! She has her own YouTube channel, and she’s created home workouts that everyone can do while they’re homebound. Check them out and subscribe!
- Home schooling. I was not prepared to turn into a teacher this spring. I’d hoped to get my work-in-progress done. But I’m rolling with it, and I’m thankful for the guidance from Emily’s teacher, plus the online tools that Emily’s classroom regularly uses anyway. I’m also seeing where Emily has weak spots, mostly in her attitude (if she can’t do everything perfectly the first time, she tends to meltdown). I’m able to address why she’s having problems and try to make getting past the bumps as fun as possible! We take lots of breaks to read and do our own thing. I am grateful for Amazon Prime for Prime Lending. Emily gets to check out books to read and then we can return them and check out more. We also invent fun writing exercises, like taking a walk with a camera to shoot pix of whatever catches our eyes (flowers, trees, the sky, a big rock, etc.). Then we go home and write poems to go along with the photos. It’s amazing to see what Emily comes up with! Her poems are always more elaborate than mine, and they give me insight into her seven-year-old soul.
- The headlines. I can’t watch the news, except to see the weather. It makes me crazy. I do get on Twitter once in awhile to see what the journalists, lawyers, and doctors are saying about what’s going on. I want up-to-date facts on the Coronavirus, not press material. Be informed, but don’t make yourself nuts.
- Spring cleaning. It’s a GREAT time to do some spring cleaning! Go through closets and drawers, wipe away dust and make piles to give away once donation sites are open again. Wash windows that haven’t been washed in forever. Sweep up your porch and wipe down furniture (I did that last weekend!). It’s good exercise, and it’ll give you a sense of accomplishment to get some of that busy-work done that we normally put off!
- Grocery shopping. I stopped going out to the store a little over a week ago. I don’t want to risk bringing something home to my family, if I can help it. I’ve discovered ordering groceries online, and it’s awesome! I can make a list and add to it over time, and someone else does the shopping. I have them leave right outside the front door (and I leave a thank-you note with an additional tip in an envelope taped to the storm door). I have a strict procedure for bringing everything in, wiping all items down, and disinfecting any surface that was touched in the process. Look up your local market online and see if they deliver. Try out it out and see how you like it. I’m going to have trouble going back to the store once this is over, because I love shopping online. I save money, too (even with tips and fees), because I’m only buying what I need and not picking up dozens of extra things that look good while I walk down the aisles.
- Staying connected with nature and with humans. Take a walk around your yard to pull the weeds and to listen to the birds. Sit with a sketch pad and draw (Emily and I did this the other day, and it was lovely!). Suck in some deep breaths and remind yourself that this won’t last forever. Reach out to friends online or by phone (or even write a letter!). Being stuck at home doesn’t mean being disconnected. We just have to get more creative about everything!
- Read more. Yeah, you know I wouldn’t leave out reading! I’m trying to finish up the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series while I’m homebound. Then I’ve got piles of other books I’m dying to read. Hopefully, all the reading will inspire more writing, when I can figure out how to sneak it in! Share what you’re reading with your friends online. Yes, we want to know!!!
- Reach out if you need help. Ask your neighbor (via the phone or from across the fence). Call your doctor (I had to have a skin spot examined by my dermatologist via a photo recently!). Ask your friends on Facebook or Twitter. Email someone (even me!). Don’t feel like you have to suffer in silence. The world might seem far away when you’re shut inside, but it’s really no further away than an email, a Tweet, or a phone call.
Take care, my friends! I will check in with you again in May and see how you’re holding up (and let you know how I’m holding up, too!). Be safe. Wear a mask and gloves if you have to go out. We will get through this together.