I recently started a new blog at http://andihays.dev. Or as I have lovingly named it, Technically Scattered.
I have loved this home for many years, but I wanted to venture out and try something new. I wanted to learn some more about websites and programming and this new space is perfect for it. I hope you’ll come visit me over there!
I have been a reading as much as I can during quarantine. I always wish I had read more or faster, but I’m still happy to be finding time to read in whatever form I can get right now. But I have been in a bit of a slump. The kind of slump where I am not loving any of the books I read.
There have been plenty of books that I have liked or enjoyed or even would have loved at a different time in life, but not many have been cherished. I don’t expect to love every book, but nothing was exciting me. Then I read I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel. She has a website called Modern Mrs. Darcy and she has a bunch of reading lists and reading-related content. She also has an instagram page I follow called What Should I Read Next.
This book was exactly what I needed right now. It was about reading (obviously) and I was so connected to it. It talked about having ebbs and flows with your reading and how life can make a difference in your reading choices and feelings toward books. It felt like a confirmation to my reading life right now.
Quick side story: I was listening to this while mowing the lawn and was loving it. Then it suddenly stopped playing. Sometimes a library book I am reading with need the app refreshed and then will work fine. That didn’t work. Hmm. Wait. WHERE IS MY BOOK? It returned it…weeks early. I was so sad. So I started another book while I was mowing and then when I was done, I went inside and bought it on my kindle and continued reading. I needed to know what else she had to say!
Back on track now. This book talked about reading styles, books in general, the reason you should read the acknowledgements at the end of the book, finding a book twin, that there are probably other readers just like you and so much more.
Going along with being in a reading slump, I’m not the kind of person who will easily give up on a book if I don’t love it. I am always hopeful that the ending will turn the book around for me. But I have stopped reading a couple books recently. It just wasn’t fulfilling me and I didn’t want to spend more of my precious reading time on something that wasn’t making me happy or I felt like I HAD to finish it. You never HAVE to finish a book you are reading for fun! I am learning this is ok. It probably goes hand in hand with me being a pleaser. I never like to say I didn’t like a book because I feel like it will hurt someone’s feelings. I’m really trying to get over that and embrace what I enjoy reading and stick up for my decisions.
I may have even found a book twin! Or at least something very close to that. I came across this wonderful lady via another person on social media. I think she might have sent me a comment on someone else’s post about something. But we have chatted and connected. When I mentioned to her that maybe she was my book twin, she told me she was reading THIS EXACT BOOK right now. I mean, if that doesn’t scream “meant to be” I don’t know what does!
I am so thankful I found this book at this time. It rekindled my desire to read and let me allow myself to not feel guilty about what I am reading and how I am feeling about it. Thank you, Anne! I can’t wait to read more of your books!
This time in our lives is so weird and unique. No one has ever been through this same set of circumstances. We are paving the way for this virus and making huge strides in technology to accommodate life. But we are also making history.
Our parents and grandparents have seen hard times and lived through historical events…wars, illnesses, political events, etc. But none of them have experienced it exactly like this. We can’t say “how did you deal with these things in the past?” “What did you do to solve this problem?” “How did it work out in the end?”
From the beginning of all of this, we have been lucky to have so many advances in technology. This has allowed us to be able to stay in touch with friends and family (which has greatly helped sanity levels I imagine). Technology has also allowed many businesses to stay open by allowing employees to work remotely, made a larger online presence for selling their items and coordinating pickups and delivery of items. Technology has also greatly improved the healthcare system by making virtual visits easier and more accessible to so many and they are learning more each day about how to do it better. Technology has also allowed children to continue learning from home with various distance learning elements and that is also improving and changing constantly as we learn more. Technology has also pushed companies to make their apps and websites and services function better to help serve our needs for effectively.
I am so proud of what we have done with technology and can not stop thinking about how different this experience would be if technology was not to prevalent in our lives.
Yes, I know we will one day need to set new screen limits for our kids and things will be harder in some ways because of all the time we have spent on our devices, but I still think life would have been so much harder without it.
We are setting the path for the future and this whole event will be written about in history books. I would really love for this time to be looked at and have our children and grandchildren say that we did a good job handling this and did all we could. I don’t want them to say “why couldn’t you have just stayed home longer and not been so anxious to get to a Target?”
I know that everyone’s situation is different and not everyone can stay home, But if you can…PLEASE DO IT! The other risk is that everyone stops taking this seriously, goes back to “normal” too quickly and we have to do this all again!! Let’s make sure that the history we are making is one that we can be proud to have been a part of.
I have been an emotional rollercoaster recently. I have been crying over everything. Reasonable or not. I cry if I’m happy or sad. I cried myself to sleep the other night because it was all just too much emotionally.
Let’s think about the things I have cried about:
School being closed
Moving (both happy and sad)
Minor changes at the new house
Not having our boat lift installed so our boat is living in the garage
Needing to pack
Not having friends or family help move the big stuff
Kids can’t play with friends
Can’t snuggle my new niece
That I can’t wander around stores
That I have to video chat with friends
Friendships fizzling because we don’t see each other in person
Stress eating and feeling guilty about it
Days off of school
What we will do all summer
Gifts for Mother’s Day
That my popcorn supply was almost gone
Ordering food online
No kids sports
That people don’t follow the rules and have just given up
That states are reopening
That we still need to be extra careful
Kids getting hurt
Wanting our house closing done
Wanting the new house built right. this. second.
My puzzle is hard
I haven’t read the books I have checked out yet
That I fall asleep reading
And again, just general pandemic.
So yeah. Some of these are legit things to cry about. Some of them aren’t. And it just doesn’t matter if they are reasons to cry or not. They just made me cry. And that is freaking OK.
This time is hard for everyone. We are all dealing with things in our own ways. I get that. And I get that we are all in different situations. I know that my struggles are different than other people. I am so thankful Chuck and I both have jobs that we can do from home and that we are able to move forward with this move. I know that we are healthy and have food and shelter and are safe. I understand that so many people are not in that situation. But just because we are fighting different battles, doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to be emotional.
This post is not to whine or complain about everything. It’s to say that emotions are high right now. And life is weird and hard and we are all going through it in our own ways. Some days are good and some suck. Some days I love being stuck with my family and other days I just want to stay in bed.
So I am going to ride this rollercoaster through the ups and downs. I will hold on tight and cry and laugh and embrace all the changes. And I am confident we will get to the end of this ride eventually.
There are a number of chatting and video apps available right now (and everyone has their own favorite), but I wanted to remind you about (or introduce you to) **Duo!** It’s the app my hubby has worked on at @google for many years now.
It works on iOS and Android and works between the two. It even comes pre-installed on some Android phones. I have been using it to send video messages back and forth with friends lately. And my family has been using it for group video chats.
And for those that are interested in the back end, it has end-to-end encryption which some other platforms don’t have. So your messages and videos are protected.
It’s a free download (for phones and tablets currently) and worth a try. It’s another great way to stay connected with friends and family right now.
This is not an ad, I just really enjoy the app and I’m proud to say my hubby has helped make it so great! 💙
Do you ever get something in your head and you just can’t get rid of it? I’ve been trying to figure out a couple things on my site here that have been bothering me and I can’t focus on anything else. I haven’t figured out how to fix it, so all I do is think about it.
I do this with lots of things. Once something gets stuck, I have a terrible time getting it out. Usually it’s something on my to-do list, some question I can’t figure out the answer to, something I need to research, or even something I have been meaning to buy. But it also happens when I am doing things for work or learning more about websites.
I can have my hubby help me with my website issues, and if I have exhausted everything I can think of, he can usually come to my rescue. But I’m also quite stubborn, so I do like to try first. I am still learning, so there are a lot of things I haven’t figured out yet. Plus I feel like some of the things I am using on my site have limited me a bit (layouts, templates, plugins).
Some of the time I can just let it go and decide I don’t need the answer. But other things I just can’t get out of my head. I think it depends on how much it affects me as to how likely I am to pursue it. Like my website issue. I have been thinking about this issue for days because I see it all the time when I am editing and publishing posts. But it would just flutter out of my head if it wasn’t something that was readily in my sights.
What gets stuck in your head? Is it a problem you need to solve? A question you need answered? What are your best methods for solving them? Do you ever just forget about it or does it continue to nag at you until it is resolved?
A little over 18 years ago, I came across this cute guy with these stunning blue eyes on a yahoo dating site. (Yes, we met online back when it wasn’t cool or even really recommended. 😬) I immediately sent a message and we started chatting….LOTS. After we had been talking and video chatting for a bit, we decided we would go on a date. And 18 years ago today, this cutie is still mine!
On our two year dating anniversary, he proposed! He recreated our first date and since it was rainy, he improvised, bought an umbrella on the way and took me onto a dock on the lake and proposed under it. I’m so thankful that this sweet guy took a chance on the hot mess that I was so many years ago. 😂
Happy 18 years together my dear! I am so lucky you are mine and I will always get lost in those eyes of yours! Love you! 😘❤️
I have been thinking a lot about how we will act after all of this is over. So many people are so hopeful this will be over soon and go back to normal. But I fear what normal will be after this.
I have noticed this in simple things. While reading a book, while watching tv…I see (or read about) people gathering and I get a sudden panicked flutter “You shouldn’t be doing that! You are supposed to be 6 feet apart! That is dangerous! You’re going to get sick!” And I don’t foresee this bit of PTSD going away very quickly.
Yes, for some people, I think they will just immediately go back to normal as soon as they are told it is ok. I will definitely be much more hesitant. I will still want groceries delivered and I think it will be a while before just randomly wandering around stores. The idea of hanging out at the Mall of America freaks me out. So many people!!! I don’t think this will help my dislike of large crowds.
If they say our kids can go to school (which I don’t think they will), I don’t know that I would send them back. It’s just too risky. Just because kids have lesser symptoms, doesn’t mean they can’t get it and pass it on to others (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.) and many of those are immunocompromised.
I am so glad to see that so many businesses are doing what they can to adjust. Online shopping, curbside pickup, delivery services, helping people work from home….It’s such a nice thing to see. And so many of these companies will now have better policies implemented in case this happens again. This is also a good time to see which companies are doing a good job and which companies maybe aren’t doing such a great job.
I don’t think this will be the last pandemic we will see. I believe that everyone will be better prepared if it does happen again, though. We will have a better idea of how to live and work virtually and how to function with minimal contact. I think this will ultimately change us. Hopefully for the better (help us to appreciate everything we have when we were so limited to what we could do). I hope we appreciate time with our family and friends more and I hope the lasting repercussions of this are not too harmful.
I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy. Continue to do the best you can, because we aren’t alone. We are all going through this in our own ways and there’s no right way to do so. Hang in there!
I’ve always been an extrovert. I need to be around people to thrive. This means this quarantine time has been hard for me. But not as hard as I thought it would be….let’s figure out why.
I think if this had happened during a time where social media wasn’t so prevalent and we weren’t able to communicate so easily with phones/iPads, computers, this would be a very different situation. I think we should be so thankful we are able to stay in touch with friends and family via video chats, phone calls, texts, emails, and social media.
Along with being an extrovert, I am a huge people pleaser. I know I have talked about this on here before. Maybe these go hand in hand. I always feel the need to schedule things with people (play dates, hang outs, dinners, book clubs, family gatherings, etc.) and it can become stressful and time consuming. I never really thought about how much time I spent on all of the scheduling until I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s a weird feeling, but also a little freeing.
I am the person that my friends always thank for planning a gathering or get-together. But I also stress if I don’t make everyone happy with what is chosen. This is the case with book club as well. If not everyone can make it, I feel like I might be disappointing or letting someone down.
I am still missing my friends like crazy, but not as much as I expected to. Which kind of freaks me out.
I still connect with many of them via social media, video chats (on Duo), text and I have seen a couple from a distance. And these things have been very helpful and so much fun. It isn’t that I don’t miss them. I do, but I am not missing the in-person interaction like I thought I would.
On another note, with our pending move, I am having a bunch of emotional breakdowns about leaving friends. There’s a pretty good chance we will end up leaving the house before quarantine is over. I know we will still see each other and I can come visit (and they will probably want to visit the new house sometime), but we were supposed to have all summer together to hang out, let our kids play together, drink by the pool, make stronger friendships that are more likely to last with a move…it has just been emotional. And I have tried not to let my kids see how it makes me emotional because I know they are having similar feelings with their friends and not being at school and sports.
I am really curious what things will be like when we are done with this quarantine. I know there will be lasting consequences on all of us. But to what extent it is unknown. I know that I am still going to be very hesitant for in-person interactions for a long time after this. Because it will be what we have become accustomed to.
I guess all of my rambling was to say that yes, I am definitely an extrovert. But I’m finding that being secluded is not all that bad right now, due to all the ways I’m finding to be “with” people and help me thrive. I’m looking forward to a video chat with a friend tonight. And just realized there’s a few others I haven’t talked to in a few days…so I better go do that!
I hope you are finding ways to connect with those who are important to you during this hard time. What are some of your favorite ways to keep in touch? What do you think this time would be like without digital connections?
Chuck and I have always had a dream to have a place on a lake. We weren’t sure if that would be a cabin or living on the lake. When we first started considering living on the lake, we made lists of pros and cons for cabins vs. lake houses. The more we thought about it and considered everything, a lake house seemed more like what we would want. A cabin would be hard for us with all the sports the kids are involved in and we really weren’t keen on the idea of owning two places.
So we started looking at lake houses last year while we were out on our boat. We got the boat to see if the kids liked boating and to make sure this was something we enjoyed as much as we thought we did. And it turns out the kids LOVED being on the boat and asked to go on it any time we could.
So our hunt for the perfect home started.
We put in an offer on one house that we really liked and it fell through. At the time, it was such a disappointment, but we are so thankful it didn’t work out because we are so excited about all that is to come.
We ended up purchasing a lot (it currently has a house on it that we are tearing down) and we will be building the perfect house for us. It checks all of our boxes and we couldn’t be happier.
During quarantine, we decided to get our house ready to sell because we weren’t sure how the market would be later in the summer (which was when we originally planned to sell the house). We had some time on our hands and got the house ready to sell and were able to sign a contract in under a week after 8 showings in 3 days, with 3 offers. It was more than we could have hoped for!
So we will be in this house until August and hopefully have a better idea on the state of our house by then and decide where we will live until our house is ready.
The kids are really excited for this new adventure and can’t wait to make new friends and go to a new school. They are really being wonderful about all of the craziness in our lives and all the changes.
To say this has been a stressful time would be an understatement. We were stressed about all of this working out BEFORE the pandemic. So it feels like a nice relief to be rewarded for our hard work and preparation with the house and the ability to move forward with our dream.
If you are interested in our adventures, you can follow my posts at @haysonthelake on Instragram.