Thursday, April 23, 2020

My Love/Hate Relationship with Quarantine

Is it possible to both love and hate quarantine?

I miss being alone. I crave alone time as a flower craves sunlight and water. I need time to refuel and think and plan and recuperate. But . . .

. . . I love being with my family all the time. I love uninterrupted family dinners and family movie nights and family bike rides and family work projects.

I miss schedule. I miss being accountable to obligations that relieve some of the pressure on me to get things done. But . . . 

. . . I love having less to do—less kid homework, fewer kid activities, no church obligations, school-year weekdays that can be movie nights.

I miss the kids’ school. I miss teachers that direct their learning and grade their work and know where they should be in each subject. But . . . 

. . . I love less accountability. I like watching John Green’s “Crash Course” for history class or Mark Rober for physics or TED talks for English. I like “forcing” my kids to read books I think they should read then talking about them.

And I love morning scriptures in pjs and with no stress to "get moving."

Someone said recently, “Quarantine isn’t hard. Quarantine is inconvenient.” If what they meant was that I don’t have anyone dying or losing their job or suffering too badly from the closed economy, then yes—that’s inconvenient. If what they meant was that I can’t find powdered sugar for the four birthdays I have this month or find the right brand of toilet paper or sit down at a restaurant and movie for date night, then yes—that’s inconvenient.

But if what they meant was that this isn’t hard on families being together 24 hours a day EVERY DAY for weeks on end, then no—that’s hard. If they meant that it isn’t hard for kids to miss milestones, weddings, graduations, summer sports camps, even daily interaction with their friends, then no—that’s hard. If they meant that it isn’t hard to be solely responsible for your kids’ education without any firm direction from the school or curriculum to follow but they still have to log on daily and “learn,” then no—that’s hard.

If they meant that the government and health officials can say, “Humanity will survive this, but we don’t know how long it will take for us to flatten the curve, so hang on and we’ll let you when you’ve sacrificed enough income and enough social interaction and enough funerals and births and graduations and weddings,” then no—that’s hard.

Forgive me if I think that this is inconvenient. And that it’s a blessing. And that this is hard. And that it’s good.

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