Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
7:01 pm EDT
Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Final Thought: Staying inside opens doors

With quarantine comes new possibilities.

While considering this month’s column, I really didn’t want to write about anything related to the coronavirus or quarantine—but that’s all that was on my mind.

Every time I turned on the TV, the screen was filled with the most recent virus statistics or a press conference about new steps the government was taking. Social media was cluttered with memes about toilet paper, innovative “masks” that people had created and pictures of all the things we’d appreciate much more once we were finally “free.” And, when you’re stuck at home all day for weeks, what’s there to think about besides what’s keeping you there? 

I tried to focus on the positives of the situation and what I was doing to stay busy at home. I started new routines and habits, tried new things and spent the extra hour I wasn’t using to commute on other productive activities, rather than sleeping in all the time (but I’m not going to pretend I didn’t sleep in on the weekends). 

Without a 30-minute drive to work and additional time spent on my hair and makeup, I had more than an extra hour in the morning to read, journal, make a nice breakfast or smoothie and get ready for my day of working from home. 

I love cooking and grew up doing so with my mom and grandmother, but during a normal busy workweek, I rarely have the desire to make more than a three-step meal. During the stay-at-home order, I spent a lot more time cooking and being more creative with meals, as well as making family recipes we don’t get to eat too often.

I finally had time to make my homemade pasta sauce, and even made gnocchi from scratch. I also made homemade tzatziki to have with souvlakis and the gallon of Greek dressing my mom made. I also did a lot of baking from scratch and tried new recipes, like matcha cookies with coconut sugar and chocolate-filled pastries. 

Another perk was the money I saved from my Starbucks hiatus. Instead, I made my own cold brew with coconut water, “fancy” coffee shop-inspired lattés like “cinnamon roll latté” with brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and oat milk, and way too many of the viral “fluffy coffees.” 

Via Zoom, I also started a virtual book club, which has forced me to read more, as well as connected me with friends I don’t normally talk to very often. We first read “Misery,” by Stephen King, and then watched the movie together online. I also finished two other books on my own. 

So, although being stuck inside wasn’t my favorite thing ever, I made it work to my advantage. Overall, I kind of enjoyed quarantine, though I am very relieved it’s finally over.