How I’ve Been Spending my Time During Quarantine

It’s crazy that my “Coronavirus Came in Like a Wrecking Ball” post was published one month ago. Gah! Today, I want to take it easy and share how I’ve tried to put the extra time to good use.

I’m going a little stir crazy since I can’t attend all the church-related outings that come throughout the week and/or month. Fortunately for me, I was already used to the staying-productive-while-being-home-most-days routine, but NOT having those outings sprinkled in my days (along with going out to eat sometimes, nail salon appointments with my grandma, other little activities) makes the time seem monotonous. [In case you’re wondering, I’m a contributing writer for a small, local newspaper.]

Before I go further, I want to say–I pray for you to have strength, peace, and “daily bread” (whatever you need today physically, mentally, or spiritually) if you are still working in public, attending full-time college online, taking care of children 24/7, the owner of a small business, laid off from your job and trying to make ends meet, etc. I’m very much aware how blessed I am to have extra time and comparatively few worries right now.

Clutter is the worst!

Time management has been better some days and worse on others because monotony is demotivating. Overall, I have been blogging, spending more time on devotionals (praying/reading Bible/perusing commentaries), reading books, and tidying up dusty shelves, baskets of unused items, junk drawers, unneeded clothes and books, stacks of papers on my desk, and all those little nooks and crannies that are easier to ignore when the hustle and bustle of life is in full swing. [Check out the Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, or one of the countless YouTube videos about decluttering, for inspiration.]

Current reads: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (awesome!♥) and America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis (informative but debatably longer than needed–glad I am reading it but eager to knock out these last couple chapters).

Sidenote: I’ve been utilizing the cleaning time to listen to new (to me) music. Lecrae has so many good albums. GAWVI’s new album HEATHEN dropped last week, and it’s got several bangers. Fun fact: “Fight For Me” by GAWVI feat. Lecrae is the first Christian rap song I downloaded about two years ago. And the rest (my love for Christian rap) is history. 😉

Anways, it’s ironic because I discussed my aversion to cleaning and organizing in my recent post on procrastination. But, alas, dynamics in the world and in my brain have shifted. Now that I’m cooped up in the house almost 24/7, tidying up helps time pass quickly and leaves me feeling accomplished, which makes my life seem purposeful despite being on “pause.” In the same vein, jumping into tidying up enables me to banish feelings of sluggishness. [Who knew dealing with the inch-thick layer of dust on literally everything would be so gross and annoying?! Remind me to get off my butt and do this more often…]

Another thing that helps with sluggishness is exercise, so I am keeping a consistent schedule (1x/week at home, 2x/week with trainer). I’m blessed that I can still exercise with my trainer in his apartment, so that is all I leave the house to do. Funny enough, I think these quarantine workouts are harder; we have no machines, so we just do all the tough body-weight stuff that gets my heart pumping like squats and push-ups. He also lives on the second floor, and part of my “warm-up” is walking up the stairs. Oy vey!

Yesterday, I discussed how privileged Americans are with my fiancee, who works at a grocery store. He only visits a couple times a week right now because my heart condition makes me vulnerable. We notice so many people on social media complain about how bored they are and how much they want this to end. This is certainly not ideal, but we can still leave the house for essential items, we have all this technology to entertain us, etc. We agreed that it’s tragically ironic how we Americans have SO MUCH, yet all we focus on is WHAT WE DON’T HAVE. [Not gonna lie–I low-key teared up because I was impressed by this humble wisdom coming from someone who serves on “the front lines” right now.] LORD, FORGIVE OUR UNGRATEFUL HEARTS! [Please, give yourself permission to feel frustrated/lonely/disappointed/sad about the circumstances, but don’t dwell in that mindset.]

Thanks for reading! What have you been up to during this time? Let me know in the comments.

As much as I want this all to end, I am trying to learn any lessons I can in this time, whether it’s just how blessed we are to have our usual conveniences, how to be hopeful and trust God in an uncertain season, how much we NEED community, how should technology intersect with mission and ministry now and in the future, etc. Between Good Friday and Easter, I read an analogy between this unsure time and the uncertainty the disciples must’ve felt on that day between Jesus’s death and resurrection…poignant!

34 comments

  1. You have been redeeming the time wisely! Good for you! I wasn’t ready for “summer vacation” when we did not return to school after Spring break but after a couple of weeks of shaking my head and wondering, “what just happened” I broke out my sewing machine and started making masks. The weather cannot decide if it is spring or winter, but when it’s warm enough to walk or ride my bicycle, I am outside every chance I get. Staying connected and encouraging friends in the Lord, I believe, is an essential part of my day, too. God bless you, Lily!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s awesome that you went from confusion/frustration to productivity. That is literally what happened with me–and probably a lot of people! 😉 I’m also glad you are getting outside to enjoy the coming spring weather and staying connected with loved ones. Blessings to you, Deborah! ♥

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  2. I appreciate your transparency. The first two weeks of “ lockdown “ I went crazy. I couldn’t get past of how much I now have to do. It got easier but some days are still a lil rough. Sunday’s online service made me realize how blessed we still truly are. Imagine this going on & we not even having all of these worldly things. To even be able to type this message & send it to you is a blessing honestly. We’re literally together, apart. Hang in there, as I am hanging as well ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s great to hear from you, Bri! I hope things are going well for you and your family. Are you the teacher now? Lol. Sooo true that even being able to type this comment to you right now is a blessing. Blessings to you!

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  3. Cleaning frustrates me because my toddler crates mess. I clean something up, she creates more mess. It’s a never-ending battle.

    Lately, I found exercise to be very helpful. For the past few weeks I was very lazy and ate junk food, and felt awful. Now, I am cleaning up my diet and exercising. I realize that the best time to break a bad habit and start a new habit is NOW. I refuse to use the quarantine as an excuse as to why I can’t be healthy. Yesterday I left a similar comment on someone’s blog post which got deleted. But that’s how I feel about this quarantine thing – I rather come out of this mentally and physically stronger! And I think we all do to an extent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can only imagine how frustrating that is!! So true that now is a great time to break a bad habit–or maybe pick up a good one. Maybe now I will pick up the habit of NOT letting things get so dusty, haha. I’m so happy you are using some inner strength to get yourself mentally and physically stronger. Maybe you could post about that! 🙂

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  4. Well, someone has been spending their time productively! It’s so good to see that you’re making the most of your time, Lily. And that you’ve adopted a positive attitude in lieu of this whole pandemic saga.

    I haven’t been up to much lately. All I do every day is write (for clients), read different kinds of content, play some RPGs, listen to music and watch some movies. I’m thinking of using this period to learn how to play the guitar, since my guitar has been sitting in a corner, eating dust, for a very long time.

    When it comes to learning to play the guitar, I’ve discovered that I learn faster when someone is tutoring me offline than when I’m learning from online videos. So this particular project may be a little difficult, thanks to the quarantine.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Great to hear from you, Obinna! What is it like in your part of Nigeria right now? How has this affected your studies? I hope you are doing well. I’m glad to see your reference to “clients” since that must mean you are writing for a profession. That is awesome. I remember feeling pained in my heart when you posted last year that your parents wouldn’t let you study English. With learning to play the guitar, I can understand how that could be tough to learn from online videos!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you kindly, Lily. I truly appreciate the sentiment. Regarding my parents not letting me study English, there’s been a slight development: I can now study English, but only after I complete my biochemistry degree. And — yet another condition — I’d likely be solely responsible for any costs I may incur while pursuing a degree in English.

        I admit that these terms don’t seem fair at all, but at least I finally get to do what I want.

        Since you asked, in my part of Nigeria (Lagos), there has been much unrest and violence for a while now. A notorious gang, which we Lagosians are terrified of, have been attacking people and robbing homes for nearly a month now. They’ve sworn never to stop until the government lifts the lockdown.

        These past few days haven’t been easy. I’ve heard more gunshots this month alone than I’ve heard my entire life. I’m scared for my life and that of my family. I just hope we make it through this dark phase.

        (I noticed I replied under the wrong thread the first time. I’m sorry about that.)

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    1. Thank you kindly, Lily. I truly appreciate the sentiment. Regarding my parents not letting me study English, there’s been a slight development: I can now study English, but only after I complete my biochemistry degree. And — yet another condition — I’d likely be solely responsible for any costs I may incur while pursuing a degree in English.

      I admit that these terms don’t seem fair at all, but at least I finally get to do what I want.

      Since you asked, in my part of Nigeria (Lagos), there has been much unrest and violence for a while now. A notorious gang, which we Lagosians are terrified of, have been attacking people and robbing homes for nearly a month now. They operate mostly at night and have sworn never to stop until the government lifts the lockdown.

      These past few days haven’t been easy. I’ve heard more gunshots this month alone than I’ve heard my entire life. I’m scared for my life and that of my friends and family, too. I just hope we make it through this dark phase in one piece.

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  5. Nice!! I’m quite a homebody even though I’m pretty extroverted BUT I’m actually getting a bit stir crazy being at home..we try to take advantage of the nice weather by spending time in the yard but we’re in Nebraska so there was literally snow on the ground yesterday morning and now today it will be in the 70s😂weird!
    Enjoy getting out for those exercise sessions, I’m sure it’s stress relieving!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in NC, and the weather is crazy here, too! Frost advisory in the morning, warm enough for short sleeves by the late afternoon–ugh! Hope you guys are doing well. Maybe you’ll have time to come up with more crafts for the DIY posts. 🙂

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  6. Hi Lily! So good to hear about your ‘lockdown’ pastimes. 😊 My hubby and I are working full time from home right now, but we also find the time to get out and get a little sunshine now and then. The hiking trails are pretty empty right now so we’ve been doing a little bit of hiking. Today we took our kayaks out since it’s been warming up. I’ve also been going through and getting rid of our over abundance of stuff and doing some spring cleaning. Glad you’re doing well! God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I miss gathering at church too. But I’ve been able to keep busy. I’m still doing a few things for church, but I’ve primarily been focusing on improving my blog and learning more about algorithms and SEO, as well as fighting FB’s ban of my content. T and I’ve been walking regularly which is good. Great post! Thanks for giving us some insights in to how you’re spending your COVID-19 experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Rainer. I’m glad you are getting in more walking and, I assume, enjoying warmer temperatures. It’s also nice to have some extra time to devote to your blog. Refreshing my site and learning new things about marketing is important but can tend to fall to the wayside for me. Sorry to hear FB is banning your content–that’s weird!

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