A Hermit No Longer

May 14 marked the end of the two-week waiting period from our second vaccine (we got it on April 29), and since then, we haven’t had a free weekend. We spent the 14th celebrating our six-month wedding anniversary/the end of the vaccine waiting period by getting dressed up, going out to a fancy restaurant, and then coming home to build a blanket fort. We’ve gone and seen friends and family. We’ve got so many gatherings on our calendar (still small gatherings, with people that we know are vaccinated). And I realized, our weekends of just sitting around and doing nothing are probably over.

Before the pandemic, we had either X-Wing tournaments, friend gatherings, or weekend getaways planned nearly every week, and of course those stopped as soon as the state shut down. We had our wedding in November 2020, and we had a Christmas party with a few friends in December 2020, but aside from that, before May 2021, we hadn’t seen our friends since March 2020, except over video call. We’d seen a few in person, but never for a long period of time, and it was never more than one or two at a time.

But now that the world is reopening, our schedules are starting to fill back up, and I realized that we’ll probably have to schedule some us time into the calendar now so that we don’t get overwhelmed and not have a rest weekend at least once a month. Don’t get me wrong – I am super excited to see my friends again, but man, it’s been nice and restful not having to leave the house sometimes.

I’ve picked up two new hobbies during quarantine – cross-stitching and candle making (we’re not counting the hundreds of paper flowers I made as a hobby, because I probably won’t be seriously making them again, just a few here and there if someone wants one) – and I’ve managed to read more books while the world’s been locked down since I was in high school (college and grad school just absolutely killed my desire to read anything for fun. I’ve cooked a lot more (it’s so much easier cooking for two than cooking for one!), I’ve worked out more (I do at least 10 miles a night on my stationary bike, along with using the FitOn app in the mornings before work), and I’ve stopped impulse buying as much as I did in the first few months of the pandemic. I’ve almost paid down one of my two student loans entirely (I haven’t kept a single cent of my paycheck for the past two months aside from what goes into our joint account for bills, etc. – everything goes into my student loans to try and shove one of them down before interest starts accruing again). I’m feeling better in my body and about myself. Who knew that being locked in a house by yourself for a year would lead to some sort of self-improvement? (And I know not everybody managed to do this and that’s okay. It’s a personal journey for everyone.)

June 1 marks my first week full-time in the office, 8 am – 5 pm, and I’m honestly still not sure how I’m going to handle it. I love sleeping in late and being able to get up and to my office in about thirty seconds. I like being able to clean things around the house during my down time (it’s so much better than coming home drained from work and then having to clean, or taking up precious weekend time doing chores). I like being able to pet my cats and see my husband all day. But I know that all good things must come to an end. I hope they’ll allow us to be a bit more flexible with our work-from-home/remote work schedule, because I’d love to WFH one day a week (Tuesdays, the day we have X-Wing night at our local game store). I’m still going to be wearing my mask in public areas because I don’t trust anybody at this point, and I loved not getting sick this winter. I’m going to be wearing my mask during flu season from now on, because people are gross.

The world is slowly opening, and while I’m not sure we’ve got the vaccine numbers to open safely (meaning I’ll still be staying away from large public gatherings for the time being and getting pick up from my favorite restaurants), I’m so ready to see my friends.

Here’s to a happier and healthier 2021, for all of us.

And as always, keep reading.

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