I’ve had the privilege of being able to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic. I also benefit from having a partner to share homeschooling duties with, a kid that generally enjoys learning, and a team of dedicated teachers supporting us along the way. I put all that out there because I know I’m in the minority. These are exceptionally difficult times for the vast majority of people who can’t work from home, are trying to homeschool their kids on their own, have lost their jobs, or God forbid, are ill or have lost a loved one due to the virus. I have no illusions that my experience of sheltering at home in relative comfort with extra time on my hands is universal. My ability to use this time to gain new skills is an absolute privilege. So lately, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to how I’m using my “free” time in quarantine – to better appreciate these moments and not view them as mere time-killers or distractions from reality.
So, here’s a list of some of the skills I’ve gained and things I’ve learned so far while in quarantine – from the silly to serious:
- How to properly shuffle a deck of cards – including the “bridge” move – something that has eluded me for years:
- How to make a pie crust and pasta from scratch (thanks to John of The Preppy Kitchen and Chef Billy Parisi)
- How to identify a Mexican West Coast Indigo Snake (because I encountered one on a walk by my house!)
- Learning so much new Spanish vocabulary! Thanks to homeschooling Maya in Spanish, I’m learning lots of fun new words like adivinanza (riddle), trabalenguas (tongue twister), and palabras compuestos (compound words).
- What different guinea pig vocalizations mean, so I can tell if Woobu (our new pet guinea pig) is making happy squeaky noises or mad squeaky noises (listen to his happy squeaks in the video below).
- How to finger crochet (thanks to Maya’s instruction)
- How to host a kid’s virtual birthday party on Zoom
- How to give my husband a haircut using an electric razor
- How to make hand sanitizer with rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel
- And most importantly, how to help organize a Fundly fundraising campaign to support my local community (please consider making a donation to our local food bank!!)
I will continue to pay more attention to how I’m using my time during quarantine, and try not to take these moments of “idleness” for granted. How are you focusing your time? What are you learning? Please feel free to share in the comments below.