Front Porch, Largo, FL

When I wrote my first  Coffee House Conversation almost 2 months ago, I envisioned visiting a new or favorite coffee shop every week. And then the world stopped.  In all fairness, I was missing the weekly deadline all on my own. I did visit one other place before the Covid-19 lockdown, but I didn’t have my tablet with me so I did some personal journaling. I’m not sure if any coffee places are serving inside yet so I decided to have this conversation on my front porch. This is where the bulk of my writing has been happening anyway, so it seems appropriate.

Today, in my new home state of Florida, we are in ‘Phase 1’ of reopening our state. It’s been about a month and a half since the restrictions and shutdowns began and I have been surprised at what I’ve done and not done during that time.

Since both my husband and I already worked from home, our daily routines didn’t change much. Our college age daughter was sent home to finish her semester online. She’s a pro at that already so that took zero effort on our part. I did slow down with real estate. I’m in the ‘do a bunch of open houses to meet buyers’ phase and since open houses are either virtual or non-existent, that has me back at the planning stage.

I didn’t stop completely because we closed on our own home during April and I was the buying real estate agent for our own transaction. We bought a 30 year old home that has had zero updates so we are in the process of remodeling the kitchen, removing popcorn ceilings, replacing the flooring and painting the entire home. And by ‘we’ I mean our general contractor and his team (#wearenothandy). It’s been going well so far with minimal surprises in the process.

Personally, until we closed on the house, I kept my sanity by making sure I walked almost every day. In the townhouse we currently live in, that meant mainly walking around our parking lots and the condo parking lot next door. A bit boring but being outside for 45 minutes to an hour each day not only helped my sanity but also balanced the comfort eating!

Wild river otters playing in a pond. I only saw them once on my daily walk.

So what I didn’t do during the shutdown. I didn’t write, at least not openly. I did journal a bit but I found my writing is a lot like making artwork. If I’m distracted, it’s very hard to make myself do it. I also didn’t do much social media posting, at least not publicly. I posted a daily prayer request in a group I started a few years ago. That not only helped me feel calmer but also made me feel like I was helping in a small way from home.

I looked at Instagram yesterday and realized that my last post was April 1, no joke! I posted a couple of things on my personal Facebook but for my blogger page I only posted my Motivation Mondays each week. All this makes it sound like I avoided social media during the crisis. Nope, I spent way too long each day browsing and following links and, like a zillion other people, watching Tik Tok videos.

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