For us, January and February 2020 were clipping along as planned but in general, March just fell down with a big flop!  Did that happen to you too? 

For the last week of February, Roger and I were lucky enough to squeeze in a wonderful cruise to Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao.  At the time, COVID 19 was out there but really, not a concern and far away. 

Walking the pier; February 2020

The week after we got home, we picked up our new RV and off we went on our first official camping trip.  Again, COVID was out there and we were listening to reports but especially since we were in our own vehicles in the woods, we weren’t terribly concerned.   

Our first s’mores over our first fire!

However, within three days of returning home from our camping trip, my job as a Student Nurse Recruiter saw massive cancelations in on campus recruitment events as Universities started implementing social distancing and sending their students home.  Within the next week, my office started social distancing which quickly shifted to working from home full time amid the growing concerns.  Looking back, it is just stunning at how quickly our normal life was disrupted.     

Thankfully, we are well and in our safe place.  On the rare occasion we watch the news, I feel the anxiety sneak up on us after a particularly hysterical news story prompts Roger to ask me, “do you think we need to get some groceries?”  All we can do is make smart decisions and stay home as much as possible.  Luckily, we have masks in the house because Roger wears them in the yard due to his allergies.  I always have gloves in the house and as a germaphobe, I always travel with individually wrapped  hand sanitizing wipes so we feel we have the gear we need to safely step out on the rare occasions that we need to.  We have chosen to go grocery shopping late at night, just before the store closes, when there are very few people in the store.  With masks and gloves, we look like bandits robbing a train, but there we are!  God bless our local grocery store staff!

Now, we are in week 5, day 34. 

In September 2019, B.C. (Before Corona), I started a habit of listing 5 things that I am thankful for each week.  I make my lists right on my calendar each Friday and it has been a positive addition to the end of each week and a great way to start the weekend.   Over the last 5 weeks, this has been a practice that has helped me to focus on the positive.  That along with limiting my exposure to the news and it’s toxicity.

This little piggy needs to stop making banana bread!

This week, I was thankful for:

  1. Working from home. B.C., I worked from home three days a week, which is a true blessing.    Now working from home full time has eased the anxiety of going out to possible exposure.  As an asthmatic and  someone who is immunosuppressed, limiting my exposure to any illness is paramount to my health, in the best of times.  In this pandemic, I am mindful of this in the extreme.  
  2. I was thankful that bad weather passed us by earlier in the week.
  3. All family and friends are reporting healthy.  BORED, but healthy!
  4. I am thankful for being home which reduces my stress, thus helping my body to be well.  My particular illness is made worse when I’m stressed and despite the stress of the world outside, being safely at home has seen my symptoms all but disappear.  A real plus for me and a surprising benefit of all this!
  5. Time.  The time at home has given us the ability to focus on things that need doing around the house.  We tend to put many of these things off so having no excuses has made us happy to get some mundane, long awaited projects completed at long last.  We are also reading more with our time.  We are hoping that this becomes a habit we hold onto when quarantine is over. 

What are you thankful for?  I am hopeful that you have at least 5 things this week that are blessings in your life.

I’m thankful for the time that I would otherwise be spending on my commute.  This has also saved us big money in tolls and gas.  I have enjoyed having more time to dedicate to reading, kicking off my blog, and working in my own office where I can make it as warm or cool as I’m comfortable with (my other office is one of those offices where you wear a coat inside even when it’s 90+ degrees outside in August). I am thankful for banana bread, my favorite comfort food that I need to stop baking!

I miss jumping in the car and turning up the tunes.  I miss an impromptu trip to Target, Hobby Lobby, and Home Goods.  I miss our usual Friday night dinner with friends and visiting with my parents.  I miss texting my friends during a meeting to set up a lunch date. 

Pretty accurate!

Of course, from a travel blog perspective, there is no question that I am missing my suitcase! I miss packing a bag and catching a flight or crawling into the truck and heading off on a road trip.  We’ve had to cancel two camping trips and our Easter Family Reunion in Mississippi.  Not having travel plans on the horizon is unusual for us.  We do hope to be able to venture off to the Gulf Coast in September and sneak off to the woods with our RV soon.  Fingers crossed!

 I hope that if you can’t pack a bag, you aren’t limiting your travel.   Follow a travel blog (there are tons of them), get on YouTube and travel with those who have travel Vlogs (there are lots of good ones out there), or research a trip you want to take when this is all over.    

No matter what, we are thankful and blessed.  When I hear myself start to complain or I get frustrated by being “stuck at home, ” I go back to my gratitude list.  I remind my self that, you know, this could be a lot worse! 

I hope you all are well and finding things you can be thankful for.