If you had asked me to look three months into the future in March and tell you what I see, would I have ever thought I would be sitting here writing this newsletter at the beginning of June and there would be such a thing as phase 1.5. No, never. We are only just moving into a phase where we can start socially distant gatherings of 5 or less, at times I find it surreal, in fact if we’d had the conversation in March I doubt I would have believed the world is like it is today. Are you on the same page as me here?

If you had asked me if I would enjoy the process of staying at home until the beginning of June I would probably have said heck no! What about you?

BUT, I do have to say life snuck up on me and slapped me right over the face with a wet fish and awakened me to the fact that, although I suspected that staying in place would be a good thing for me personally, and my family life too, I didn’t quite appreciate how fantastic it would be in so many ways and on so many levels.

Please note, this newsletter was written over a week ago, much has happened since then and I in no way mean to detract from what is happening in the world with regards to Black Lives Matter, and I also recognize the pains and pleasures of COVID vary greatly person to person, family to family. Millions of people have suffered emotional and financial due to this virus. I am in no way undermining or disregarding their troubles and heartache, I am here to provide some sunlight into your email box so please take this as it is meant.

My kids think differently.

Life as a twenty one and seventeen year old, at home with their parents for almost twenty four hours a day, seven days a week is not always easy, and it’s safe to say the whole situation has affected my guys differently. My son is a stay at home guy, very happy in his own company, he can spend many hours without talking to anyone or going anywhere, in fact he’s so happy doing exactly that he can go for days or weeks doing so; as long as DoorDash delivers every now and again he is happy. My son is exactly like my husband in this regard, the two of them are as happy as pigs in poop on their own.

My daughter is much more sociable and loves communication, community and getting out of the house to exercise and be with her friends so this has been a long road for her. No prizes for guessing which parent my daughter takes after in this regard 🙂

The Guessing Game

Do you know what your family members would say if you were to ask them for the top three things they have most and least enjoyed about staying in place?

Why not make it into a little Q&A game for the family dinner table for when the conversation is running low.

  1. One person (guesser) is assigned someone else in the family.
  2. Guesser then guesses the three most and three least enjoyed aspects of stay at home for their assigned person.
  3. Guesser also tries to guess one thing the person has done secretly over the period without anyone in the family knowing. (this threw up a few surprises in out house!)
  4. The second person then writes their answers on the back of the paper, or another piece of paper (this avoids any arguments later – trust me!).
  5. Cross check the answers and discuss. Offer awards and prizes for right answers and forfeits for wrong guesses or answers you are calling BS on. Forfeits can include clear up and stacking dishwasher. Let me know how you get on and if you have any surprise answers.

My Guys

For the purposes of this newsletter I asked my family for their answers and while I wasn’t blown out by what they said there were definitely a few surprises amongst them. I found it interesting that some used the words liked/disliked about staying in place, while used others enjoyed/not enjoyed. ‘Liking’ and ‘enjoying’ obviously have two different meanings here; I leave it to you to guess who said what, answers on a postcard to…

Person 1

Likes:

  1. Increased time with family
    2. Reduced stress in relation to social activities
    3. Lots of golf

Dislikes:

  1. No restaurant eating
  2. No social interaction with friends
  3. Online school (not my learning style)

Person 2

Likes:

  1. Chilled out time
  2. Far less stressful school
  3. Going outside more

Dislikes:

  1. Not seeing my friends at school
  2. Trying to make a normal routine
  3. Shared space with the whole family

Person 3

Likes:

  1. Loving Family dinners
  2. Convenience and access to family
  3. How People have innovated around quarantine

Dislikes:

  1. Lack of social interaction
  2. Lack of personal freedom to enjoy life as I like it
  3. Not being able to eat out
  4. The impact of face masks on society and the surrounding suspicion about having the virus.

And me?

There are many things I have loved about staying at home, some of which are listed below. And the things I haven’t enjoyed? I think I will leave those for another newsletter, let’s finish this week’s message on a high.

  1. I have a newfound appreciation for a slower pace of life, I don’t feel the constant pressure to be doing more, possibly because almost everyone else around me is doing less too.
  2. Family meal times have now fallen into five categories and I have enjoyed them all for different reasons.
    • Date night – we escape outside for dinner when the weather got warmer, put the music on, open a bottle of wine and have a casual meal.
    Family TV dinner/movie.
    Lots of chat with no phone at the table type of dinner, often about world events. These nights we don’t discuss what’s going on locally, and we tend to get quite heavy. I love to see and hear how my young adults form their opinions and how passionate they become around certain topics.
    Full belly and off! The complete opposite of above. Sit down, eat and get out of there ASAP!
    Themed dinners. We started these on a Saturday night and continue to do them, sometimes they are food related and other times it could be an outfit, theme or movie.
  3. 5 o’clock date walks with my husband, dog and a “coffee” in hand 😉
  4. Reducing my Starbucks bill to almost nothing
  5. Working out at home 5 to 6 days a week. (I do know this was made easier by my commitment to you for daily live workouts 5 mornings a week, so thank you for being there)
  6. Tweaking my home interiors and exterior and general nesting around the home
  7. Not shouting to my daughter about being late for school.

And You?

Have you taken a moment to think about what you have enjoyed about staying at home? Putting it in writing for this blog post started the process for me, the more I thought about it, the more granular my thoughts became which made me dive so much deeper – such an eye opener. Give it a try, I bet your list will be many lines long.

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About Zoë Dodds

Life, Health, and Fitness Coach

Zoë has a passion for helping and empowering women to the best version of themselves.

With 20 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, she delivers inspiration and wealth of knowledge to her clients, some of which she shares in her blog and weekly newsletters.

Originally from England, Zoë has lived in Seattle for 9 years with her husband, two grown-up children and a Labrador called Jordi.

Click here to read more.

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