"Quarantine gave me glimmer of what I need, to slow down, to say no, to bask in what truly gives me peace."
Fear of the unknown drove us into lockdown. Streets were devoid of cars, restaurants were closed, ball parks fell silent. We were confined to our homes for weeks, unsure of what was to become. But, during the silence I heard more than I ever did before. I heard kids playing outside with their families, I heard my students telling me how much they appreciate me, I heard laughs around my dinner table as we played games, I listened to the birds on my runs, I watched the bike trails fill with first time riders, I thanked the workers who kept the grocery store, the gas station, and my favorite coffee shop open for the rest of us. I heard the silence and it was powerful.
Quarantine was a much needed respite from the hectic lifestyle I was living. Teaching high school and teaching fitness classes before school, I was exhausted and stressed coming home from work. Add in triathlon training, my son's high school swim season, club swim season, my husband starting a new business, girl's nights, and just "FOMO" in general, and my energy tank was depleted.
Quarantine allowed me to have both my sons under the same roof again, as colleges closed and my oldest son moved home to finish his master's degree online. Family dinners once or twice a week, now became a nightly ritual. Board games were dusted off, conversations were had, movies were watched. There was nowhere to be, except with each other.
Working and living in athletic apparel was marvelous, working out in the middle of the day was extraordinary, facetime cocktail hours were gratifying, anxiety levels dropped, sleep was recovered, and life was great. I was one of the lucky ones who got to keep her job, as well as my husband, although he just started a new business and had to apply for government assistance, there was never fear of our next paycheck or our next meal. In my little bubble, life was enjoyable.
Now life is resuming, shops and restaurants are opening, the streets are busy, the noise is back. As a family who owns a small business, I understand the desperate need to reopen, but I am saddened by the bustling pace I have so quickly resumed. My anxiety levels are creeping up, family dinners are becoming less frequent, work meetings and dinners have started again, swim practice recommenced, the gyms reopened, so I started teaching classes again…the hurriedness of life was back.
Quarantine gave me glimmer of what I need, to slow down, to say no, to bask in what truly gives me peace; to maintain game nights and family dinners, to not fill my schedule just because I can, to stop and tell myself it's okay to not accept every invitation, it's okay to be alone, to watch TV, to read a book, it's okay to not be busy. Quarantine gave me my life back.
Written By: Renee Edwards, Tri Sirena Siren Luminary
Follow Renee on Facebook @renee.v.edwards
When was the last time you were able to stop and smell the roses? Let us know in the comments below!
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