Reflections from Quarantine

Today is day 1,001 of quarantine, I think. Most days I have Zoom meetings with co-workers and we make sure to check-in with each other before talking work. The question “how are you today?” hits a little bit differently these days. Typically in the office the answer is “I’m good, how are you?” no matter what tornado is probably happening in my life. What I’ve found is that on our calls these days we’re actually being honest. With all of the chaos happening in the world I’m truly grateful for these moments of truth.

In my “normal” life I’m constantly going and getting lost in my daily routine. I hardly reflect on things like how am I feeling but rather looking at the next thing to add to my schedule. In Hoboken right across from NYC the Stay in Place order went into effect overnight. Being locked down in a shoebox apartment for the last month has really made me pause and think about how I’m feeling, mainly because there isn’t much more going on.

At the start of lock down I thought about all the plans I’d make to tackle the things I didn’t have time for; finally learning Portuguese, doing more yoga (at home), reading a few books but I’ve done nothing. My birthday was at the end of March and it was encouraging to have something to look forward to. My friends, family, and co-workers went out of their way to have virtual happy hours, it was really sweet and just what I needed. 

Now that the birthday confetti has settled the feelings of sadness and anxiety are settling in. I quickly found myself in sweats, hair in a bun, and getting out of bed just in time to login to work. My routine as I knew it was gone. I didn’t realize how much I depended on my schedule to be the successful go-getter I like to think I am. Last weekend I literally sat on my couch after I woke up at noon and spent the entire time having this internal conflict trying to convince myself to do something. I lost the battle and just sat there like a slug feeling defeated.

I need to treause the moments I normally let pass me by.

At 7PM everyday in Hoboken apartments erupts in cheer, music is blasted and pots are bangged to show our appreciation for the front-line workers (seriously, thank-you!). The routine of cheering with my neighbors each night is strangely comforting. Those few moments bring us together and give me hope. I’m reminded that we’re all in this together and we’re going to get through this together. 

Stay home and stay safe.

Stephanie Bartz

Stephanie is a spirited millennial tackling the advertising world. A Pennsylvania native trying to fit into the concrete jungle, she believes with hard work and dedication anything is possible. When she's not obsessing over every passing dog you can find her strolling through Central Park with her Nikon or cheering on the Dallas Cowboys.

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