As of this posting, 14,578 Georgians have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and 524 have died. Mind-boggling statistics, considering doctors detected the first case in our state March 2. My heart breaks for their loved ones.
This time last year, my accountant husband arrived home early. On Tax Day, his office closes at noon. He ate a sandwich, took a long nap, then treated me to an early dinner at our favorite restaurant. We celebrated the end of another grueling tax season.
This year couldn’t be more different. He’s been working from home since March 20, and we’ve settled into a new normal—him in the basement at a makeshift desk and me in my main-floor study. Sometimes we meet for lunch in the kitchen. Sadly, the tax season isn’t over, and there won’t be any celebrations at our favorite restaurant. Its dining room is closed.
While the stay-at-home order has knocked my husband out of his groove, it hasn’t had much of an impact on me. If you photographed me in January and again today, the picture would be the same—me in a sweater and leggings, typing away on my desktop Mac. I’m thankful the Internet allows me to continue editing The Demons Among Us with my awesome critique partners.
I’ve made a few changes in my everyday life. First, I’ve ramped up my devotion times in the mornings and before bed. I pray for things I never focused on before this crisis: our nation’s leaders, healthcare workers, first responders, pregnant women, and small businesses. I also pray for human kindness to overshadow the horror of COVID-19. And I ask God to open my eyes to the plight of others and to nudge me to help.
Second, I’ve revamped my exercise plan. I’m now taking a Pilates mat class online twice a week. The other days, my husband and I power walk through our local park for an hour before dinner. I have to admit that I like this laid-back strategy much better than racing to the gym for classes four times a week. I don’t have to drive anywhere or don cute workout clothes.
And third, I’ve tightened my spending. Several of my friends and family have lost their jobs. What if that happened to us? I don’t want to deplete our savings. Since I’m staying home, I’m saving money on hair and nail salons, spring clothes, and lunches with the girls. My husband and I mulched our own yard last week. Hard work, but it saved us a ton of money.
What will I change after the curve has flattened and social distancing is a thing of the past? I’ll continue with my new prayer life. I won’t go to the gym as much, but workout from home to save the drive time. I’ve become disciplined enough to do this each day. I’ll continue to cook the majority of our meals. Eating out isn’t that important anymore. I’ve learned that manicures and pedicures aren’t, either. I’ll also let go of a few commitments that I’ve made. My time can be better spent on projects that make a difference for the greater good. And I’ll continue writing and editing.
How about you? How has your life changed? What changes will you make after it’s safe to resume normal activities?