Seven Steps for Staying Home

We’re in a weird time, y’all. But I don’t need to tell you that – I’m sure you’re just as affected, if not more so, by the recent events attacking not only our nation, but our world.

Personally, I realize I’m holding onto a lot of fear about how all of this is going to end. In a way, I’m okay staying at home. I’ve got my groceries, I’ve got my man, I’ve got my cats and my goats and my WiFi and my pen. But what about everyone else? What about the amazing local businesses that can’t sustain their employees? What about the lives we lose, and how many? What if I can’t see my family before my wedding in September? What if I can’t have a wedding at all?

It’s easy to spiral under the weight of all these questions. But it’s also very easy to look out the window and be filled with gratitude for all that I’ve been given to prepare for this season. So more often than not, that’s what I’m trying to do.

This week, I’ve been reflecting on how I decided almost a month ago to rename this blog and change its direction towards a focus on simplicity. I was doing it for myself, because I needed it – not because I had any inkling that soon enough we’d all be forced into it the way we are now. I had no idea that the weight of my words was about to change – that my intentions for a simpler life would not only be rooted in my desire to have less clutter in my home and in my mind, but in my desire to survive and allow others around me to live in health and safety, as well. None of us could have seen this coming. None of us could have prepared. But I feel some fortune in having established this mindset before all of this happened – even if my simpler lifestyle hasn’t been fully formed just yet, it’s something I wanted. It’s something I asked for.

The fact that all of us are navigating this mess together is actually quite beautiful to me. Maybe it’s just the accounts I choose to follow, but my Instagram feed has been filled with such love, such hope, such community, and such honesty. At the head of this week, I was tasked with re-writing the writers’ colony newsletter in a new tone – one that admitted the impact this virus will have on our business and those who can’t fulfill their writing residencies at this time. It was strange to be in that position – one that challenged my writing skills in a new direction and provided me with a certain kind of power to share some positive energy in the light of some not-so-fun news.

Because I think that’s our job as humans right now – to just be there for one another.

I truly have faith that we’re going to come out of this “okay.” Not to say that no one will get hurt or suffer, because that’s inevitable – heck, it’s already happened. But those of us who get through it – of which there will be many – will be so united under this energetic force that is the intense and natural desire to live. Things we once took for granted will taste so much sweeter. Friends who once annoyed us will be wrapped in long hugs. Our ability to be at peace with what we have will skyrocket. And our prolonged lack of social interaction will hopefully help businesses thrive in the aftermath.

It’s only been a few days, and none of them have been bad for us here at the farm. I’m sure this will get harder, easier, and harder again. There will be fear. There will be uncertainty. There will be things out of our control. But my goal through this – and the goal of many others’ whose words continue to push me through each day with gratitude – is to hold onto that faith of what things will be like AFTER, and remember that,within our own homes, there are many things that we can control.

Here are some of the things I’ll be doing to stay sane in these coming weeks:

  1. DRESS WELL: There’s no need to whip out the stiff blazers and pressed slacks, but I do intend to put forth some effort in my appearance on these days when I’m stuck at home. That’s what makes me feel normal – like my day is started, like it will be productive, like it’s just another day.
  2. #OPTOUTSIDE / MOVE: I’m going to do my best to get all 10,000 steps every day, even if it means I’m just pacing up and down our (rather long) driveway. I’m also committing to an indoor yoga practice (Yoga with Adriene is amazing and offers so much variety – plus I was thrilled to see that my home studio has started sharing live Facebook classes, too – Acts of Kindness, y’all). And if all else fails, I can always read from the porch in a rainstorm, which I did today. It felt so refreshing and out of the norm.
  3. INDULGE: I’m really hoping the Corona 15 doesn’t get the best of me, but these are the days in which brownies after dinner are absolutely necessary. The Family Size box of Cheez-Its is also sure to receive much love on these lazy afternoons. Add to that: bubble baths, wine, and face masks (the clay kind).
  4. CREATE: What better time to cultivate some posts about simplicity than right now, when I have nothing to do but bask in this simplified version of life? But seriously, create your way through your pain. Take up painting or knitting, cut up your magazines to make a vision board, write, draw, make a toy for your cat out of a piece of string and an old wine cork.
  5. TALK: As we avoid the news, grow tired of scrolling on our phones, and wear out our Netflix account, deep talks are becoming a real thing here at our house. Sure, a lot of the time we’re just processing through what’s happening in the outside world, but that’s so necessary. It’s therapy. If you don’t have someone at home, please pick up the phone and find someone to talk to. We can’t go at this alone.
  6. DAYDREAM: Like I said, we will get through this somehow. It could be weeks, it could be months, but eventually it will end. And just think about all the awesome things we’re going to do once it does. Not only the get-togethers and the fancy dinners out, but the increased vibration of our world, all having come out of this together in this wild shared experience that no one can avoid. Think of the art that’s being created, the words that are being written, the inventions being dreamed up right now in this very minute. Think only of how good it will feel for this to be over. Now how does that make you feel?
  7. NOTICE: Whether we realize it or not, we’re all changing, way deep down inside of ourselves. We’re taking notice of the things that matter, we’re taking care of our bodies, we’re relaxing in the JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) because there’s actually nothing to FOMO anymore. We’re growing more mindful of the global consciousness; we’re connecting in new ways. Whenever you start to feel out of sorts, look at who you are today in this moment and congratulate yourself. Maybe the changes are apparent, maybe they’re subtle consistencies. Maybe you set out to do so many things today, and you only did one, but you did it well. But you are you, and you’re doing great. You’re still here. And hopefully, you’re still healthy. If you’re locked up, you’re helping others. If you’re sharing positive vibes online, you’re doing good work. And if you’re happy, well then, you’ve found the holy grail. Practice gratitude in these days ahead – I promise it will change your entire experience.

As a final point, I hope you find this blog an inspiring resource in the weeks ahead. I’m going to be sharing my personal story (non-virus related) of being attracted to simplicity, some of the awesome ethical brands I’ve been discovering (who are running some pretty great sales online), books I’m reading, songs I’m listening to, funny things that the goats are doing outside as winter turns to spring, and much, much more.

Feel free to reach out if you ever have a question or just need someone to talk to. We’re here for each other, y’all. And We. Can. Do. This.