Self-isolation and quarantine reveals my true colours

Productivity is a relative term.

There’s a proliferation of news articles and online information these days about how to fill our days while confined to quarters with the ones we love. Suggested activities include yoga and exercise videos, online singalongs and games, Words With Friends, Scrabble, Tik Tok videos, closet purging, basement cleaning, homeschooling tips, art classes, guided meditation, the list is endless. No one has any excuse for not being active and productive during these trying times. So, please tell me why I’m not active and definitely not productive?

The answer is simple. I’m obviously extremely lazy. My friend Terry is baking up a storm. She even posted a picture of yummy, fresh egg bread she’d made from scratch. Maryse is working her way through “The Artist’s Way”, an excellent workbook by Julia Cameron designed to inspire and develop our creativity. I read it a few years ago and while it’s an amazing book, I lasted two days on her program. Other friends are working their way through their economy-priced Canadian wine collection, while my friend Perry is creating amazing art.

How I’m coping and turning idle time into productive time

We’re now nearly two weeks into quarantine and here’s what I’ve accomplished so far:

Let’s not go there . . . literally!
  • I suggested to my honey that he start getting rid of crap in our basement. He informed me his stuff isn’t crap and perhaps I should start work on my own larger and more plentiful assortment of crap. We’ve reached an impasse.
  • I made an enormous chicken pot pie, enough to feed us both for six (6) evening meals, eliminating the need to cook supper for six nights. That cleared a lot of time to do . . . nothing.
  • I took the dog for an outside walk once in order to go to the mailbox. We were back ten minutes later. She’s still sulking and refusing to cuddle.
  • I had plans to groom the dog but she’s not speaking to me. See item above.
  • A cheque arrived in the mail a week ago and I put it on my To-Do list to use my phone app (that I recently learned how to use) to photograph it and deposit it in the bank before it’s stale-dated. Still on my To-Do list.
  • I’ve finished reading several books. Stay tuned for book reviews to follow, as soon as I get them written.
  • Yesterday I removed my old chipped nail polish and trimmed and filed my fingernails. Why bother putting on new polish when no one will see it except me and my husband and I don’t think he even realizes I have fingernails.
  • I’ve been emailing my friends almost daily with the gripping details of my isolation in order to avoid actually doing anything productive. They love hearing from me and marvel at my lifestyle.
  • This morning I noticed a couple of new chin hairs so I took care of them. A woman’s work is never done.
  • I made a mental note to spare some time to read the backlog of helpful, instructional blogs I follow about how to be a better blogger. Must get at that. Add to To-Do list.
  • Each morning I hop on the scales and lament the rising number. Must do something about that too.
  • Lest we starve to death, I visited the PC Express, Instacart, and Grocery Gateway websites to investigate ordering groceries online. Home delivery will not be available until sometime in 2023 in our area and even pickup has a closed waiting list, so I abandoned that idea. Must email my friends Randy and Marilyn to try and keep on their good side so they’ll fetch food for us. They’ll be thrilled to hear from me.
  • I have taken advantage of the reduced rates at Ontario Hydro (or whatever they call themselves these days) to do laundry during the day instead of restricting myself to those middle-of-the-night off-peak hours. Damn proud of myself. Must put that basket of ironing on my To-Do list but in view of the fact I Harnever get dressed up and go anywhere, why bother.
  • I once read that plenty of sleep is a guaranteed remedy for improving aging skin and losing weight so I’ve conscientiously devoted more than the average amount of time during the day to preventing wrinkles and keeping fit. Good girl. You probably won’t recognize me when this pandemic ends; I’ll be gorgeous.
  • I’ve been very diligent about pointing things out to my husband that need to be done around the house. He’s accomplished quite a few little jobs that otherwise would have been overlooked. I’m confident he’s very grateful for my gentle reminders and I’m feeling quite chuffed about his productivity.
Watch television to expand your mind and other body parts.

I expect you’re also struggling with keeping as busy as I am during this time of self-isolation. I’m expanding my mind by watching movies and television shows that I would never have considered under normal circumstances. That helps me sleep (see above item about good skin and weight loss), which is always a good thing.

I wonder what this tired, old world is going to look like when we resume our normal, pre-COVID-19 lives if we are fortunate enough to survive. Personally, I look forward to resuming my weekly mall haunts and sushi in the food court, going to Five Guys for an order of fresh chips with a pound of salt and a splash of vinegar, accompanied by a bottomless serving of fountain Diet Coke. I might even return to going to the movies unless I figure out in the meantime how to maximize the use of my Amazon FireStick. Another item for my To-Do list.

There is definitely an upside to the pandemic

The current isolation has afforded me time for serious introspection and soul-searching. Despite my guilt-inducing lapses in motivation, I’ve discovered I’m actually very good at certain things.

  • I’m a champion creator of To-Do lists. That’s probably because I’m a Virgo, the perfectionist and being organized is one of our hallmarks.
  • Stress is no longer part of my vocabulary. My stress-free state is obviously a natural bi-product of my superior time management skills.
  • Based on the numerous little household chores that have been completed by my honey in the last couple of weeks, I obviously possess strong executive and leadership skills.
  • As an avid observer of the human condition and current television programs, it seems obvious to me that cable and network executives should consult me first before airing certain programs. At the risk of sounding a bit Trump-ish, I have genius-like abilities to assess good and bad TV programs and movies. My friends absolutely rely on my recommendations.
  • On the subject of taste, I can think of several television programs that could definitely benefit from my input on their fashion choices. Just sayin’.
  • I’m a procrastinator of Olympian proportions. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, run your To-Do list by me and I’ll get your life in order tout suite.

    We’re so 21st century, now that we know how to use UberEats.
  • I finally learned how to use the UberEats app. My honey and I were craving a Harvey’s burger the other day at lunch and when I called Harvey’s they told me they don’t take orders directly. I would have to call UberEats or Skip The Dishes. Fortunately, our son-in-law installed the app over the winter and it was just sitting there waiting to be tried out. It only took the combined efforts of the two of us slightly more than an hour to figure out how to use the app and we placed our order. Next week, after we’ve recovered from the mental strain of learning the new app, we’re going to try ordering Chinese food.

You too can learn so much about yourself

To my credit, I learned all these things about myself, by myself, without resorting to online meditation videos or watching tiresome Be The Best You Can Be podcasts. These insights just flowed naturally from personal introspection gathered in a horizontal position during my isolation. There are endless benefits to having a lot of time on your hands. You can do it too if you adopt my daily routine of reading, napping, neglecting chores, avoiding cooking, and especially, avoiding watching CNN.

These are strange times indeed. There are just so many everyday routines and rituals we’ve had to abandon in order to stay alive and keep those around us alive. It doesn’t hurt to remember how our parents and grandparents experienced far worse deprivation during the war. We still have heat and electricity, the internet, television, Netflix, an abundance of food, and our homes and communities aren’t being bombed.

The environment is also seeing the benefits of fewer cars on the road and reduced air travel resulting in less air pollution and more opportunities for nature to thrive. I may be lazy, but I’m also definitely and profoundly grateful. This pandemic too shall pass and then I can go back to being lazy in a normal world. Have you been as productive as I am?



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[…] less how they were coping with COVID-19 isolation. I composed a précis of my earlier blog posting Self-isolation and Quarantine Reveals My True Colours and sent it off. Then, to my great surprise and joy, they emailed to say my piece had been selected […]

3 years ago

Thanks so much for putting into words my daily “routine”…! A great read.

Lynda Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  debfromtoronto

Thanks so much, Deb.

D.A. Wolf
3 years ago

I recognized myself in a few of your activities. (Smiling.) Very entertaining. 😀

Lynda Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  D.A. Wolf

Enjoy your time off. Thanks so much for your comment.

Lynda Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  D.A. Wolf

Thanks, and stay well.

3 years ago

Great write up… I too don’t feel I need to be running around finding something to do. We’ve gotten ourselves into such a daily routine that I am starting to feel like I’m in the movie Ground Hog Day. No social pressures or items that need to be done…..maybe seniors just like the slower pace….I know I do although happy hour seems to start earlier each day♥

Gail from Oakville

Lynda Davis
3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

As one of the busiest people I know, you surprise me. So happy to hear slowing down agrees with you.

3 years ago

We share similar ‘true colours’, Lynda.

Lynda Davis
3 years ago

I had a feeling I wasn’t alone. Thanks.