Tuesday Topics | What I learned about myself during the pandemic

This week, I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics and we’re talking about what I learned about myself during the pandemic.

Uh, we’re going deep, guys. I am sure the last 11 months have revealed some surprising – and maybe not so surprising – things about ourselves. 

I am a homebody, but I still miss going out.

Quarantine has been relatively easy for me. I love being at home. I am not somebody who has to be out and about all the time, but I do miss the freedom to decide to go somewhere or meet with someone whenever I want.

It takes me a long time to get bored at home.

As in, I have not gotten remotely bored during the restrictions. This is not to say that I haven’t been paralyzed (here and there) by the news – COVID- and politics-related – or that I don’t wish I could do things outside our home, but I have never been someone who goes stir crazy when stuck at home. I always find lots of fun and/or practical things I can fill my time with.

Two-week meal plans are just as easy as one-week meal plans.

I used to meal plan for one week and shop once a week. When the stay-at-home order hit, we decided to minimize the times we wanted to leave home and expose ourselves to the virus and switched to a bi-weekly shopping schedule. The big American fridges (ours is actually on the smaller side – ha!) can just about hold enough groceries for two weeks and it’s been working out great. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to shopping weekly. 

I am adaptable.

Well, that’s not really something new I learned about myself. I knew that I am able to adapt to new situations, but I am surprised how little discomfort it has caused me. I had days in the beginning (and still now sometimes) where I felt tired and drained by *everything*  that was going on, but it was more the mental aspect of the unknown and not so much the physical aspect of our new situation. 

I can be very judgmental.

I usually go by the motto “live and let live” and don’t really care about how other people live their lives, but I realized that during the pandemic, I am pretty judgmental when I see people not abide by the rules: social distancing, mask wearing, not gathering in groups, all that good stuff. It seems so easy to me to do these things to keep everyone as safe as possible.

We’re in this mess that we’re in because people feel that they can just go about their damn day without considering other people around them, and while I know that I only have control about what I personally decide to do (or not do), it upsets me that we’re having this uphill battle (for months now!) because people don’t listen to the scientists. People complain about the stay at home orders and restrictions, but what it comes down to is personal responsibility and I think we could be in a better spot if people could sit tight for a little while and don’t insist on traveling and eating out and gathering in groups during a pandemic.

I really like working from home.

I never thought that this was something I wanted to do, but working from home has “slowed down” my everyday life considerably, and I kinda like that. I am not rushing out the door early in the morning. I’ve enjoyed going for early morning runs (or just hop on my spin bike) and then be able to shower and just plop down in front of the computer, instead of getting all ready and grab all my stuff to head to the office (and I don’t even have a long commute!).

I don’t *think* I am saying that I’d want to work from home forever, but a part-time work-from-home schedule would be nice.

What have you learned about yourself during the pandemic?

  1. Many of the things you shared are true for me as well. While I have missed all the socializing, I have enjoyed the slower, more laid-back (almost) year we’ve had. As frustrating as it’s been, I know this will not last forever, so I’ve done my best to stay as positive as possible. That’s an uphill battle, too, but worth it. Hang in there! ((hugs))

    1. I think trying to stay positive through all this key! We’re all in this together. Thanks for stopping by, Kim!

  2. Cute mask! While I’m looking forward to going on vacation and hanging out with my friends in person again, I love, love, love being at home all of the time. I completely and totally judge all of the noses that I see poking out of masks in the grocery store. WFH is awesome and I would totally do that permanently – just need to get my employer on board with that;-) As it is I’d be willing to trade WFH for the end of the pandemic.

    1. Thank you – one of the masks I sewed at the beginning of the pandemic ;)
      I am glad I am not the only one judging all the non-compliant people.

  3. In the beginning I enjoyed working from home. I am a social introvert so it didn’t really bother me. Then I got bored of it. I miss the routine of going to work. I missed being in a classroom and did not like being in a cluttered room. Nothing wrong with being judgmental. You are concerned about your and your family. Some people just suck because they don’t follow the rules and are not thinking about anyone else but themselves.

    1. I can totally see how as a teacher, WFH is truly not the same….

  4. During our first lockdown, we decided to see how long we could go without grocery shopping. It was so much fun – we found stuff in the deep freezer we never knew we had including a turkey that must have been about 2 years old. It was the best tasting turkey ever! I think we got to 3 weeks and then had to go in!

    I’m generally not a judgemental person either but I do struggle when I see others hurting others. And that’s exactly what I feel not wearing a mask or following the rules is doing. So if you’re doing something that just impacts you, I don’t mind. But when it impacts all of us, that’s when I get annoyed.

    I’ve loved working from home. I do pop into the office a couple of times a week but for me it’s been the perfect balance. And I’m actually more productive at home!

    1. I totally agree with you. Not wearing a mask is not affecting the non-mask-wearer, but other people and that’s just a no-no!

  5. I only worked outside the home as a teen, a college student, and the first few years of our marriage. Then I started my own business (which eventually I ended) — and I worked from home.

    I’m a homebody, too. But yes, I also long to go out to eat in a restaurant, and have someone serve me & clean up — even though I like to cook, having to cook every meals for practically 365 days — it’s been wearing on me.

    Mostly we get groceries delivered now, which is something I never did pre-Pandemic. The truth is I don’t really like it, but then again, grocery shopping in a Pandemic isn’t so much fun either!

    1. I have yet to try grocery delivery… I agree that grocery shopping during a pandemic is no fun, but it’s the one time I get out every two weeks and I “enjoy” it for what it is (a change from the daily grind ;)).

  6. My list would be the same, except the meal planning! We started a bit of meal planning during this (we never did before). How do you get your produce to last two weeks? We can’t get our salad to (and we eat a lot of salad, ha).

    One strange thing I learned was how to stop giving so many Fs about people who don’t reciprocate reaching out/communicating with me. In many relationships, it was mostly me, and I just stopped, and it felt so much better. LOL. (Laughing because this is the opposite of what most people did.)

    1. We plan our meals strategically so that we use most of the fresh produce first and supplement with frozen produce for later in the two weeks …. I understand that this is hard to do with “lettuce”, as you can’t really freeze that LOL although I feel that I can make lettuce last for up to 1,5 weeks (depending on what we buy).

  7. I feel very similarly! I love being at home, but I do miss being with friends and entertaining. We are party animals by any means, but it’s just nice to be able to have people over for dinner. Working from home has been a joy, and I love the slower pace. I don’t love the working all the time aspect that has creeped in, but at least I can be in my pjs!
    I know we all are, but I’m really over it at this point.

    1. Yes, having people over for dinner every once in a while would be nice again!

  8. I think every single one of these is true for me, too!

  9. I’m an enneagram 1, which is a type prone to judgment so Covid really brought out that tendency! It was hard to see what people were doing because I am such a rule follower. And the rules are there to protect ourselves and others. But people just ignored it because it was hard for them. Eye roll.

    I learned that I get more social fulfillment from going to work than I thought I did. I am an introvert and pre-pandemic I was so burned out on social plans and wanted to just be home when I wasn’t working. But after the pandemic hit and we were staying in, I realized how much I needed those interactions. So I was glad when it was safe to see people outdoors for walks and such and I look forward to being able to do that again when the weather is nicer!

    1. I am totally a rule follower too and it especially irks me when people do things and “endanger” others…. as long as it’s just their own “risk”, I don’t care as much, but when they endanger others, I can get really judgemental.

      I get what you’re saying about the “social fulfillment” at work… I feel the same way. I miss interacting with my colleagues.

  10. I am also a homebody (didn’t really go out much before the pandemic), but I do miss going out to brunch on the weekends or to a restaurant for lunch. I would usually do that once a week, so now I just order take out so that I can still support local restaurants and not have to cook every day.

    I don’t mind WFH but sometimes I do miss getting dressed and going to the office to have in-person interactions with people. For me it’s super easy to get Zoom burnout so I try to not schedule a ton of meetings back to back.

    1. Ah, brunch! I miss it so much!

  11. I am so judgmental when I see people not wearing their mask correctly. We’re almost a year into this, people, MASK OVER THE NOSE!!!

    I should try to do two-week meal plans because I really, really hate going to the grocery store. But it’s hard enough to meal plan for one week for me, lol. But I think it could be a good exercise for me and force me to order less takeout! Maybe.

    I learned how much I love working from home! I am so glad my company is now remote so I can continue working from home for as long as I want.

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who’s giving people the side-eye…. wearing masks correctly is NOT HARD!

      I love going to the grocery store LOL so only going every other week is a bit of a bummer for me, but planning-wise it’s really nice and doable!

  12. I find myself in all of these, except the working from home. It has definitely slowed down things, but five days is just too much. When the restrictions were a little less strict I went to the office 1/2 times a week and found that the perfect balance.

    1. A part-time WFH schedule would be perfect!

  13. Most of this post resonates with me.
    I have discovered more love for home, and always find things not to get bored. With my little girl in particular there always are things to do and engage with. Now being in the third lockdown in the UK I have made some adjustments to help with our health and well-being:

    1. Exercise, indoors or outdoors, is really, really important. While I knew this before, I push myself more and put gym gear on at the start of the day and any time I’m home now.
    2. Working from home has challenged me and I’ve decided to go into work 3 times a week as my work is around supporting vulnerable, marginalised people in the community. We’ve had triple the work since summer, supporting people who struggle with alcohol abuse, recovery, loneliness and often have no support network. I found this very difficult to do from home and prefer my work environment, where I have colleagues to exchange with, resources to help with.
    3. I miss hugging friends.
    4. I too found myself to be judgmental and recognise the divisiveness this pandemic has caused.
    5. Slowing down life has been great. We made another step into appreciating nature and getting more committed to do our part in the protection of our climate and planet.

    1. I love your list on how to adapt to the “new” circumstances… there’s definitely something to be said about finding a new routine!
      Thanks for stopping by, Manja! Glad you’re still reading!

  14. This is a great idea. I also want to make sure to write down observations / recollections from this time, as I know they will fade, eventually. As unbelievable as that is right now!

    I am so with you on the judgmental (note: I can NEVER spell that right the first time!) thing. I just… can’t. It’s not a chin strap, it’s a mask. You breathe through your nose. Cover your nose AND mouth, for the love of Pete!

    I also LOVE being at home, and hope to shift to teaching my classes in person, and being in the building 2.5 days / week, and being at home the other 2.5. What do you think will be the eventual outcome for your job? I thought it involved field work?

    1. I’d love to work part-time from home when this is all over. We already have a pretty flexible policy at work and many of my colleagues worked from home (at least part time) before the pandemic. I hope my supervisor would be okay with it. You’re right, you can’t do field work from home, but since my job is 90% office work and 10% field work (we have people that go out more often, but not me!), it would be doable.

      1. That’s fantastic that your job could be modified to allow WFH the majority of the time. I hope your supervisor is on board. It does seem like most companies / institutions are a bit more open to changing long-held beliefs about the need for people to be physically present to contribute. On that note – I am really hoping that my institution gives up on its (antiquated) belief that remote attendance for meetings is somehow “less than” being there in person. I actually pay attention better when I’m not distracted by other people!

  15. Besides the meal planing I guess I am with on all of those points. It is a blessing that we are able to adapt quickly and feel rather comfortable with the situation overall. I try to remember that when I hear all the complains. And I really am glad not to juggle kids during a pandemic.

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