March 22, 2020

Changing the Family Dynamic (due to social distancing)

"Social Distancing"...

This is an actual phrase now! How odd is that? Taken out of context, it seems like such a negative (a nicer way of saying "anti-social", I guess).

It feels so odd that this what we are doing right now. For some of us (introverts), it's great! For others (extroverts) it's incredibly boring.

I was chatting with my sister on the phone and she mentioned that she wonders how this "social distancing" is going to change the family dynamic overall.

Families are being forced to slow down--no more sports, clubs, and activities one after another for kids after school. Families staying together for most of the time, with limited options of what to do.

I love seeing pictures from Brian and Becky showing what they're up to with the kiddos...

They were fishing in their pond and they've been doing lots of nature walks. Because Brian is a pilot, and the airlines are flying about half as much as they used to, Brian has been able to spend more time at home with the fam :)

I have actually really enjoyed the time of "social distancing" with the family so far. I understand that there are SO many people who have temporarily lost their jobs and I feel awful about that. We are lucky that Jerry is still working (for now). His hours have been cut down (no overtime) but we are thankful that he is still able to work.

But in terms of being at home with the kids, we've really liked getting to spend so much time with them. All of us have been doing things we personally enjoy, and then we spend time together as a family each day as well.

I have been working on projects in the garage. I made my first project with my table saw, and I want to share a picture, but the paint is still drying. It's frustrating--I painted it DAYS ago, but because of the weather, the paint just isn't drying. A couple of days ago, it was 60 degrees! And right now, we have half an inch of snow on our porch.

Whenever it's cold or humid, the paint takes forever to dry in the garage. This summer, I'd like to work on insulating the walls of the garage and adding drywall. But we are holding off on spending any extra money until after this virus passes over. But here are a couple of progress photos... hopefully I'll be able to share the finished photos tomorrow!

Any ideas of what it is? ;)  Some days, it's SO cold in the garage. I have Reynaud's syndrome in my feet pretty bad, and my toes look like this when I come inside...

(I have to blur my ladybug tattoo, because it is old and ugly and when I post photos on here, I always get emails telling me that I should have "that mole" checked out! hahaha) But anyway, my skin is crazy dry and my toes turn translucent when they are cold.

I also went to Nathan's to work on removing his popcorn ceiling (although he just told me that he wants me to stay away for a while because a couple of people that he works with have tested positive for COVID-19).

Eli has been practicing his Rubik's Cube skills like crazy--today, he hit a new personal record of 37 seconds. That's doing the 3x3x3 cube... ONE HANDED. The kid is amazing, I swear!

Noah plays a lot of videos games, but that's how he connects with his friends. He's asked me several times to be able to get together with friends and I've said no--I feel bad about it, but I want to make sure we do our part to stop the spread of the virus.

In the evenings, when Jerry is home, we play a board game and then watch a movie, usually. Yesterday, I taught everyone how to play Hearts (the card game) and they really liked it. I was surprised (and happy!) when the kids asked about playing it some more.

After playing Hearts, we watched The Bourne Identity. Today, we played Scattergories and then watched the second Bourne movie.

Jerry was off work today and in the morning, we were just going to watch an episode of something or other while we drank coffee and ate breakfast. Well, we started watching a documentary series on Netflix called Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness.

Holy cow!! We couldn't stop watching it. It was like a train wreck... on Jerry Springer... with lots of true crime thrown in.

It just seemed so unbelievable... but it was true! Even if I wanted to spoil it for you, I couldn't. It's too hard to describe what it's about. But if you like true crime and you like crazy, dramatic entertainment with lots of twists, then you should watch it.

We ended up binge watching the series (seven episodes!) today. We were so enthralled that we just couldn't stop.

Anyway, I totally strayed from the point of what I was going to write about. I guess I just realized that social distancing has a big effect on families (or at least it has on mine). And it's been a positive change! We've spent a lot of time together. We used to do a family game night once or twice a week, but now it's been every day. The same goes for family movie night.

I've asked a few friends how this social distancing has affected their families, and it's been pretty much the same. They've spent more time together.

My brother, Brian, called yesterday just to see how things are going. That never happens anymore! Usually, everyone is in such a busy rush that we send quick texts here and there. But I've spoken to my siblings on the phone more this week than I have in a year! It's so different, in a good way.

I think it's great that families are spending more time together and things are slowing down--it's not a big rush to grab a quick dinner and fly out the door for sports or other activities. Now, it feels like we have the time to do activities that we enjoy.

It's scary that we don't know what's going to happen even a day or two into the future and that we can't make real plans for the months ahead of time. It's VERY scary seeing the economy the way it is, and that people are losing jobs and that we don't know how long this is going to last. But in the meantime, it's a great reason to take a break from reality and to spend time with family, doing things that we ordinarily wouldn't make time for. (Teaching the family to play Hearts was time-consuming... but they really liked it and now they want to play more!)

What have you all been doing during the "social distancing" that is recommended? I admit, I've watched too much TV over the past week, but I honestly don't feel guilty about it. I never do this! I never take the time to be "lazy" without feeling guilty. I always wish that I could just stop time for a little while to catch up on things.

I'm not saying that I'm actually "catching up", but I am definitely feeling less stressed. I don't have tons of appointments to keep, I'm not driving the kids all over the place, and we don't have places to be. It's just such an odd feeling! But nice :)


  1. Have you listened to the podcast on Joe Exotic? It's the second season of Over My Dead Body.

    1. No! When I was watching the documentary, I was SO surprised that I'd never heard of the story before (especially on true crime podcasts). I have a hard time following the podcasts that are in a series, so I wasn't able to get into season one, but I'm going to listen to season two--I found this case so fascinating! Thanks for the heads up :)

    2. I listened to the podcast and it was crazy. I liked Tiger King but it was sort of anticlimactic for me because I'd already heard the story. Still neat to actually see the people involved.

  2. We homeschool, so not much has changed for us, actually. I miss running at the indoor track, but we've been able to run outside at the park, so that's good. I think our youngest is going to have the hardest time with the playgrounds now closed down. I've been working on writing projects and family projects, and baking--no sweets, just bread.

  3. Thanks for reminding me that the documentary is on Netflix! Big Cat Rescue is near my home, I've been there once and appreciate the work Carole has been doing.

  4. I am dying to watch Tiger King! That is a local story in my neck of the woods, northeast Oklahoma. My cousin Amy is actually even in the documentary (just a cameo)! I don't have an abundance of extra time right now. Still working as usual (which I'm happy to be gainfully employed so I'm not complaining). Usually any "free" time I have is spent with house projects. This weekend I painted my new front door and painted the upstairs bathroom.


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