It takes human beings a little more than sixty days to adapt to a new normal, even if that normal is less than ideal. (Here's the science behind it: https://jamesclear.com/new-habit) 66 days to be exact.
Yesterday, we hit 66 days, as our house in specific has been locked down since March 14, and I have to admit that some of this is starting to feel ... normal. But normal in the way that we are hanging out in a perpetual waiting room.
We were somewhat cocky going into this. I have lived in third world countries, as an orphanage relief worker in post-communist Bucharest in the early 90s, and as a family we adventured on an out-island off the coast of Utila for a year in 2013. We have had the power go out on the daily, dealt with shelves that were bare and made dinners and entertainment out of what was available. We have homeschooled in almost complete isolation, without even the grace of reliable internet.
There were times when island living was not dreamy. Rainy season, endless bugs, loneliness, stir-crazy kids and uncertainty made for some long days and I remember going into my bedroom and making a countdown calendar to 66 days, when my sister was coming to visit, when I hoped there would be some assimilation to normal. And yet, I stopped needing to put an X through days long before we got there--swept up into new friendships, projects and adventures.
When they announced the two week lockdown in March, I had a feeling it would be longer--a lot longer for those like us with high risk factors. We had already been quietly planning to exit stage left, to keep our kids home and send a runner to the stores, to circle the collective wagons and ride this out.
We have the luxury to hunker down, and let me be clear that I am aware this is a privilege. Our jobs allow us to mostly work from home and while we love the house-cozy of winter, there is endless work to be done here in spring to get ready for the outdoor aspect of our lives.
Just like Utila, there are days when we are weary of this, when each one of us wishes for an aspect of another life, a different life, an escape, a run away, a before, or a soon, or a firm promise about WHEN something will happen. Until then, we are trying to focus on our little life, our handful of acres, 5 humans, Finn the Newf, Sophie and Sporty, twenty-something-mumble-mumble chickens and most recently, the (ahem) fostering of our girl kittens Kevin and Prim.
We are starting seeds and tilling gardens, painting by number, painting doors and coops and fences, hatching chicks and adopting kittens, shaving heads and eyebrows, dyeing hair, celebrating a "thirteen in quarantine" birthday, participating in zoom bingo, zoom doctor visits, friend drive-bys, walking the dog, running 5ks, working from home, sewing masks, hexagons and quilts, playing tennis and badminton, doing ab-ripper at midnight, feeding sourdough babies, baking bread, deep frying anything, making bug spray and room spray, watching the news, reading the articles and waiting... for the new normal to feel okay.
Check out our video below to see what we've been up to. Photos: my iPhone camera roll Music credit: "Before" by the uber talented Michelle Lordi