Hello everyone! I’m still in a reflective “this time last year” sort of mood so I thought I’d share things I’d meant to do in the quarantine when it started and if I did or didn’t follow through.
I have 15 items to share that I put into the categories of “yes”, “no”, and “kinda?”. I think those are pretty self explanatory.
Things I Meant to Do in the Q but Didn’t
First up, I’d meant to learn guitar! Prior to the pandemic, my local library had a free guitar class every first Monday evening of the month. I’d gone in the fall but fell off attending for awhile, so I’d meant to go again in April. I’d been practicing and was super excited but when the lockdown started it was cancelled. So I figured I’d keep practicing and learn myself for the May class, then June, etc. But I didn’t keep practicing and the library stayed closed. Eventually I learned that the librarian who had taught the class quit for a new job during the pandemic so that was that. I still have my guitar though, I’d even bought a guitar stand for it so it’d be out in front of me to remember to practice so I should get back to it!
I’d meant to sign up for online classes, paid and free. However, that didn’t end up really happening. I really dislike online learning, as I learned in college that I can’t focus if I’m not in a classroom. That’s why I did my MBA in person even though the campus was almost two hours away from my house! I mean, I did do online ballet but that was different because it was like a workout class I think. It would have been different if I was taking other classes. I did do some webinars of course but even those were difficult to focus on and I honestly feel for everyone who was/is doing online school as a student or teacher during all this.
One of my biggest failures of the Q was not being able to find a new job. I’ve searched and searched, sometimes more diligently and sometimes less so, but at this point I’ve been without a job for almost a year (I was furloughed in April, eventually let go in October) and job hunting for even longer (I hated the toxic environment there). I’m exhausted but I never hear back from places and it’s so annoying! Honestly, these places should at least give applicants a chance but everyone I know has had to settle for lesser jobs (in terms of responsibility, pay, benefits, etc.) and it’s so demoralizing.
I’ve also failed in getting a dog! This was the perfect time to do so! I was finally home every day for the entire day, I wasn’t traveling anymore for work multiple times a year, and I wanted a dog so bad! But I still live with my parents who very clearly do NOT want a dog. They have grown to love my puppy niece and having her around but that’s because she is a very, very good dog and she goes back to her own home regularly. A full time dog is out of the question, unfortunately for me!
As I haven’t found a job, I thought maybe I’d start a business. I seriously looked into it multiple times but each time decided not to. For one, I’d thought about trying to start an online boutique. A friend once encouraged me, saying she thought I’d have the cutest boutique and it’d fit me! But as I thought about it and researched, I realized that it might not be the best option for me. I have been trying to move away from consumerism, especially since the pandemic began, so I thought it wouldn’t make sense to then try to sell clothing or other items. Another idea was to design handbags. I adore handbags but I also don’t buy them much anymore. Also, since I’m not going anywhere, and no one else really was either, why would anyone need a new handbag? There were other ideas too, but most were too expensive for me to feasibly try or just wouldn’t be a good fit for me.
Things I Meant to Do in the Q and Did
One thing that I’ve struggled to do for years to the extent that I’d like was saving money. Naturally, when I realized that the company/industry I was working in would be severely impacted and I would lose my job, I realized that it might be a bit harder to do so. However, when this all started and I began to receive unemployment benefits, I qualified for the extra pandemic help. I had already started to move towards buying more “experiences” instead of stuff, so I wasn’t spending anymore on that because there were no experiences to be had! I saved almost everything that’s come in for this past year and I’m so grateful that I had that ability to do so.
Like many people, I figured that more time at home would mean more time to workout. I decided I wanted to do more ballet classes through YouTube and I did do quite a bit of those! Eventually, my in-person ballet classes moved to a virtual set up, because we couldn’t go into the park district’s gym so I signed up and have done those classes. Now, those classes are in-person again and I don’t do much YouTube ballet but I’m so grateful that we have these options.
I also took the opportunity of staying home and having access to books to read a ton. My original goal for 2020 was to read 20 books. I ended up reading over 60. I think only one or two of those were read before the quarantine. I am so lucky to have access to so many. Not only do I own a ton of books (a lot due to library book sales for under $1) but also I have a library card that grants me access to my local library’s physical and digital content, but also physical books in the surrounding area libraries too. I adore having time and access to read more.
A goal a lot of people seem to have but never actually do is to write a book. I have had that goal myself and always said I didn’t “have time” when in reality, I never made time. There was no excuse this time! I wrote a rough draft of one book in November of 2020 and wrote a rough draft of another book in January of this year. I’m so proud of both drafts!
A more abstract goal was simply to heal. When I was furloughed from my job, I felt like I had escaped because the environment there was so negative and toxic. I felt like I had survived a horrific social experiment of sorts. In those last days, an influx of people kept reaching out to me to see if I was okay. I appreciated the genuine coworkers that reached out but the fake management’s concern was infuriating. When I told people I was okay and I understood, the coworkers who had listened to my horror stories were kind and sympathetic. When I told management the same thing, the people who inflicted the torture reacted angrily, convinced I should be sobbing and begging them not to let me go. The second I logged off for the last time I blocked the abusers from all my social media and other methods of contact (phone and email), deleted every app or file from my laptop and phone, and finally felt free of it all. In the year since, I haven’t fully healed because periodically there will be a bad memory that comes up and I get sad all over again, but I’ve come such a long way.
Things I Meant to Do in the Q but Kinda Did but Also Didn’t?
I’m going to put yoga in this category. I had started the Yoga with Adriene 30 days of yoga challenge for 2020 in January, but then with various travel obligations I ended up not completing it that month. When lockdown began, I started up again where I’d left off. I finished that challenge and then sort of stopped. I did the 30 days challenge for 2021 this year, kept up with each day, and have continued daily practices which I’m super proud of! So that’s why it’s a “kinda”. The first attempt didn’t stick, but so far the second has.
I suppose a goal I have always not fully met is blog growth. While the thought of more people that the number that currently follows me is a little terrifying, I also want to share thoughts with more people on my blog. The number of views has grown a bit, so it’s not like it’s not doing well, but the growth isn’t a lot.
Another goal that I “kinda” met is reaching out to friends. I feel like I have only reached out to my friends a few times and mostly through social media. But I am renewing my efforts again and reaching out more.
Social media is another “kinda”. I meant to keep up with it but I really haven’t recently! But I have a good reason, I think. This winter was so tough for me and I had no energy to manufacture anything for social media. Now that the spring has arrived it does feel like I’m suddenly brought to life again so I think I’ll start posting on my instagram and other social media again.
I suppose something else that’s a little abstract is generally planning for the future. I feel like I just don’t know how to do that anymore. I haven’t been working so I can’t plan to buy a house for example, but I would like to someday. I can’t travel right now but I have a list of places I’d like to go to after the pandemic and after I’m more settled again. Things like that!
So that’s what I thought I would do in the quarantine and either did, didn’t, or kinda did! Let me know what you planned to do when this all started a year ago and if you achieved it or not. I’d love to know.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!