When Life Doesn’t Go As Planned: EVERYONE

Since this quarantine has started, I don’t think life has gone according to plan for just about anyone. It seems it has affected us all in one way or another. I liked this thought I saw about all of us being in the same storm, but each of us being in different boats. I wanted to share some perspectives from different boats.

Emma, “My name is Emma and I live in Riverton, Utah. I have six kids: 19, 16, 14, 11,8, 2. My oldest was attending BYU in her first year. My next four kid’s schools are 1-3 blocks from our house. Their teachers made it super easy to do school at home. They haven’t overloaded my kids either (only about 1-2 hours/day of school)… they’ve left plenty of downtime. We have had our moments of arguments, but miraculously they have been very few. Seriously, I was expecting a lot of arguing, but it has been a nice surprise to see the bonding we’ve experienced. One thing I decided, in the beginning, was to make a conscious choice to give up a lot my normal routine, put aside some projects I had on my schedule, and just be with my kids. I still got up early for prayer, scriptures, and pondering though…I have found that is critical for me to fill my cup first before my kids get up.

I do have to admit, I was kind of excited that my kids would be home all the time. I might be in the EXTREME minority, but I’ve hit that stage in motherhood when your little chicks are growing up and starting to leave the nest or are too busy working and hanging out. Also, when you have multiple kids, all with different interests, even if you limit them to 1-2 extracurricular activities, life is a lot of running around with schedules that don’t allow for a lot of time where we’re all home together. So, for the most part, I’ve loved quarantine life.

Four blessings that I’ve noticed in my family during this quarantine time:
1) our family is bonding better now than at any other time.
2) a lower level of anxiety in two of my kids-they have been much more at peace when they’ve been able to be home and have me by them as they do school.
3) Increased time to be creative, read my giant pile of books, and have more talks with my kids
4) Sundays. Each Sunday we have been able to have church at home. We have been able to partake of the sacrament, sing hymns, and have some of the BEST Come Follow Me lessons we’ve ever had. I will treasure these moments with my family.

If Quarantine hasn’t been so great in your home, I hope that peace and hope will come to you as you keep trying, keep moving forward, and taking it one moment at a time.”

 

Kendra, “I first have to say that I almost feel guilty in admitting that our lives have not been dramatically affected by Covid-19 and the orders to stay home because I know it has flipped some people’s worlds upside down.

I am a wife and mom to three kids. My husband goes to work at 6:30 in the morning and gets home around 8:30 after the kids have usually gone to bed. I have been so grateful that he is still working during this time and feel truly blessed to still have our normal income. There are people being laid off and our hope is that seniority will prevent that. Because I do know that would be a trial amongst many others.

Our oldest is in first grade, our middle child in kindergarten and the youngest in preschool. So having them home with me all hours of the day is very familiar. We have very organized teachers to help the schooling at home run smoothly. We start our schooling in the mornings after breakfast and finish up within a couple hours and have the rest of the day to play, luckily outside. A hard part is watching other kids play with their friends and telling their little hearts why we are choosing not to okay with friends, but know that this time will pass.

We miss our weekly adventures to parks and libraries and even just a quick run to the grocery store. But we want to keep our workers as safe as possible. So we are willing to sacrifice in small areas of our lives to help others. Because we know this isn’t forever.”

 

Taylor, “Life in quarantine for me has not been easy. I was in Utah, and once returning to Canada I had to quarantine myself for 14 days. The first week was hard, which is honestly an understatement. I don’t like large groups, but I am a person who needs human interactions. I need hugs, and one on one conversations. Struggling with multiple mental illnesses, especially Borderline Personality Disorder, and having to isolate myself, has triggered my fear of abandonment greatly. I’ve felt alone and distant from everyone I love, which has left me to feel like everyone is leaving me, even though they aren’t. I’ve felt trapped, and it’s been really scary for me. I fell into a very dark depression, accompanied by severe panic attacks daily. Also, this was my first Easter I’ve spent without my family, my family lives 12 hours away, I always go home for Easter, but this year I couldn’t because of the virus. That was really hard. It’s all been really hard.

It’s been almost a month since I’ve been home in Canada, in self-quarantine. I wish I could say that I’m used this time to better myself and get my priorities straight and such, but I can’t. I have truly just been in survival mode. But in the last week, the depression has lifted, and the panic attacks aren’t so bad. That first week of quarantine I truly didn’t think I would make it. I was in the darkest place I have been, in years, if not ever. I felt suffocated every moment of every day. But now I’m starting to breathe again, my chest doesn’t feel so heavy anymore. The sun truly does rise. Maybe not the next morning, but eventually, it will. That’s what I’ve learned this last month. God is still good. I have felt comforted during this time. It’s been so hard, but I know that these experiences will refine me, which I am forever grateful for.”

 

David, “During this pandemic I’ve felt set apart from the rest of my community. Job loss, sudden illness, transitioning to school and work from home, these are affecting many people very personally, but not me—or at least not as directly. I’m a single man, working an essential job, and I’ve been going to school online for years.

My painful transition in this pandemic is social distancing. I understand why we’re doing it, but it has left me feeling isolated and disinterested. I don’t want to see any more memes on social media, I don’t care how celebrities or families are getting creative with their “corona-cation,” I’m just ready to have a game night with some friends or have dinner with my parents. I’m ready to feel connected again.

Despite these difficulties, the pandemic has also left me with time to self-reflect and accept some parts of myself that I want to change. I’m starting to realize how many things I took for granted.

I’m not calling for an opening of the economy or to reduce social distancing, I just want you all to know that even a simple smile or personal message could do more good than sharing another post about your opinion.”

 

Cori, “How has my life changed because of this COVID-19 pandemic and being in Quarantine? Let’s just say it has DRASTICALLY changed.

I have OCD and tend to focus on the negative so firstly, let’s start with the positive. I have been able to connect with others I haven’t in a long time. I am in a book club with some friends from work and we connect through Zoom. I am also taking different fitness classes online since I am unable to attend the gym. It’s been great taking classes with people I went to high school with. Also, I have been reading more than ever (started the BOM again!) and supporting my local food trucks, other businesses, and have loved to see the connection of the small city of Kaysville come together.

Alright… but what is REALLY ON MY MIND! I haven’t been to work in 4 WEEKS!!! This is the longest I have gone in 4 years without leaving the state/country. I am a flight attendant, so I am out of work. NEVER in a million years would I have thought I would be someone who would file for unemployment, but here I am unable to go back to work until August 1, 2021, and it might be even longer. I work for Delta Air Lines, and they have cut their flights by 80%. They are losing money by the minute. So… that is a constant worry. There are so many things I could talk about how my life is different in just these last 5 weeks, but the main one besides work is I miss my grandpa! I usually see my grandpa 3-4 times a week, and I didn’t see him for 5 weeks straight. It was the darkest feeling I’ve ever felt. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS TO BE OVER!!!”

 

Andrew, “At first, I didn’t think this whole thing has affected me very much. I’m still able to go to work and do the things that I need to do. I see things going around on the internet about introverts and extroverts and how this really isn’t affecting the introverts as much. I laugh because that’s how I feel. I’m the type that stays home, in my room, doing my own thing.

But then I look at the family that I haven’t seen since this started. Yes, I have still seen some of them and will continue to do so. If they need my help, I will do what I can to help them. But there are some that I haven’t seen. There are family parties that haven’t happened. There has been more extreme caution with some. And there are some that are scared. Not necessarily scared for themselves, but scared for their family and friends that might be a little more susceptible to getting sick. My heart aches for my family and friends that all of this has taken a toll on, physically and mentally.

I’ve been blessed. I guess I’m the one that’s more relaxed. Not relaxed about how serious this is or could be. But relaxed as in, either way, we still move forward. Maybe it’s because of how I was raised, that the difficulties you face, you just keep going. But it’s also because of my faith. I know there’s more than just this life. Yes, want to keep ourselves, our families, our friends, everyone safe. But we do all that we can to help others, and then we have to just leave it at that. It’s in His hands.”

 

As for me, I have gone from extreme anxiety to peace all within an hour. This is the most anxiety I have had in the past 6 months. I have started having chest pains again. My Vitamin D levels have also been low, which has affected my breathing again so needless to say that really freaked me out but I am making sure I get outside to soak up some sun. Most days have been hard, but I am so grateful for the days that have been good. I have been praying constantly through this and am always trying to give myself pep talks to just live in the present moment and worry about things as they come.

My family has been getting along just great. My oldest is in preschool and her wonderful teacher has been dropping off school packets every two weeks for us to continue to do. She misses her classmates but hasn’t seemed to be phased too much. She just keeps saying, “When the virus is gone can we _____?” My husband is doing all of his schoolwork from home, which wasn’t too different than before. We have only been going to the grocery store every two weeks and occasionally have gotten curbside takeout or food delivered.

I am happy to stay in my home where I believe it is safe and protected. When life does go back to “normal” I don’t know that I will be ready and willing to jump right back into things right away. I am just keeping my eyes on the Prophet and waiting to receive more guidance from him and our Heavenly Father.

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