Finding Contentment in the Confinement of COVID-19

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Confinement isn’t always limiting. Sometimes, it is within the limitations that possibilities emerge.

blooming pink and red lily flower drowning in water among lily pads

As we all wade through these uncharted waters of life, feelings of frustration, loneliness, and sadness are likely to creep in. We are all drifting solo on this big sea of uncertainty. I keep hearing the phrase, “I can’t wait until … I’ll be glad when … I’m going to throw a party whenever – things get back to normal.”

But for me, “normal” was becoming high-paced and hectic even on the weekends. As I loaded groceries in my car the last day I was out in public, it was raining, and people were scurrying everywhere in such a hurry. I mumbled a desperate prayer under my breath, asking for the sanity and stamina to make it through the rest of the day. I had finally hit a wall of tiredness.

Within 24 hours, there was suddenly a new set of priorities, and my social calendar became miraculously empty. I’ll be honest- I wasn’t mad about it! I had dug into so many things in efforts to “come out of my shell” and be more engaged with the community and those around me. I gladly took on many roles and responsibilities so that I would feel like an equal contributor in my circles. I began working part-time, and my days were becoming a tangle of late school drop-offs and barely on-time pickups. And there was a myriad of things I attempted to fit in between it all.

I might have been silently drowning, but I was never going to admit it. I was overwhelmed with life and had expressed to my husband several times that I “needed a break.” But this year hadn’t been kind to us, and neither was the previous year, so I knew in my heart that the break wasn’t coming any time soon.

… Until it did!

So, excuse me while I cartwheel in my living room and dance to my private playlist! Yes, I’m anxious about the state of the world a bit and concerned about what the future holds, but I needed this more than anyone will ever know. And if you’re honest, maybe you did, too. As I snuggle with my daughter on a lazy afternoon watching Disney classics and eating snacks, I take a whiff of her hair, and I’m reminded of all the moments we hadn’t had time for until now.

The fort is up in the living room, and I’ve decided it can stay for the duration. I won’t rush her to take it down and scurry clean it all up because no one is coming over anytime soon. I’ll be protecting my own challenged immune system and hanging up my cape, for now, relying on my husband to do the grocery shopping and necessary errands. He’ll set up shop in the home office daily and come down for lunch.

an unmade bed with books and a coffee mug to symbolize the comfort in confinement

Most of the time, I’ll be unaware of exactly what time it is. We’ll laugh at silly jokes and become way too familiar with each other. We’ll be a family in this together, not pulled in several different directions like we are accustomed to. I plan to take this time to work on myself, love myself, and be kind to myself because I haven’t been.

Before this, I wasn’t sleeping well and I was navigating my day around too many appointments, obligations, notifications, and duties. I’ll be working on making this little kingdom of ours seem bigger – all the way from the sidewalk to the front porch and backyard. My daughter is finally learning to ride her bike because, until now, we hadn’t had the time to take her. I’ve read two books in the last couple of weeks and have plenty more. While I’m at it, I’ll revisit a classic favorite: “Meditations for Women Who Do Too Much” by Anne Wilson Schaef.

a woman leaning on a railing and reading a book while outdoors

After this is all over, I have no plans to throw a party. But I do plan to ease into our new lives slowly – whatever that entails. In the meantime, I’m content to love and be loved in my little corner of the world where life seems easier and simpler. I’m no longer grieving my freedom. I’m accepting my gift.

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