If I’m being honest, my daily life hasn’t changed as much as so many others in the wake of the pandemic. I’ve never had much tendency to leave the house in the first place; even when I would be exceptionally bored and think, “Maybe I’ll just go to Barnes & Noble and browse for a little while,” I would inevitably find myself still at home and before I knew it the day would be over. The biggest changes have come in the form of Dan working from home for the foreseeable future and the constant unknown of what he’ll actually manage to come back with from the grocery store, not matter what I put on the list.
I’ve always been a homebody, and I’m okay with that. I’m one of the people all of the introvert/pandemic memes are referencing on Instagram. But even though I was made for a life at home all day, every day, I’ve still been on a roller coaster of discomfort and anxiety over the past couple of weeks. Some days I feel hopeful and confident; other days, I check the news. Sometimes, it just doesn’t feel worth it to stay informed.
Although I’m doing pretty much all of my usual stuff each day, the small, normal things have taken on even more meaning for me. Being able to bake my own bread (something an astounding number of people have started doing), knitting, even starting my small herb garden have all helped me get through each day and feel like I have some semblance of control and…not significance, exactly, but something like it.
In all my love for oddities and the macabre, I of course find myself going down conspiracy theory rabbit holes every once in a while, though I would far from consider myself a conspiracy theorist. I’m more like a casual observer, and I scoff at most conspiracy theories after researching them. I’ve come up with my own surrounding the pandemic, but they come entirely from my own imagination so they’re more personal entertainment than anything; however, this entire situation has cemented my homesteading dreams. For years I’ve wanted to make my way into a slower, more self-sufficient lifestyle. We had our own little brood of chickens a few years ago, and I still love the experience of collecting the eggs and just hanging out with the chickens. (Sometimes they were friendly enough that they would even jump into my lap, which, as an animal lover, I had such a blast discovering!) There is nothing quite like eggs so fresh the yolk is blinding.
Of course, there’s also nothing like picking up a little box of technology, taptaptapping a screen, and connecting with an endless number of people. I have no intention of disconnecting. I may be an introvert, but I’m not a hermit.
In this scary and uncertain period that we’re all going through, I’ve found so much comfort in not only being able to maintain my usual habits, but also in using my skills to help keep my family going. I can cook for us. I can keep us warm. I can take care of the baby. I have a role to play and a way to keep busy, and my skills and hobbies aren’t useless, even if it has felt like they were for so long. As someone whose work is often creative and abstract with no immediate monetary payoff, if any, it’s hard to justify how I spend my days in a capitalist society. In this time of crisis—whether you believe it’s big or small or you’re not even sure anymore—it’s reassuring to know that the things I do that don’t make money are still worthwhile.