Stranger Days #44: More or Less

A chalkboard with scrabble tiles that read "Stranger Days".
Estimated Reading Time: 4.5 minutes

Welcome to stranger days--my blog series exploring daily life, challenges in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and just sharing insights or thoughts about how to make it through these days.  

It's been somewhere between just under two months and just over 15,000 years since the pandemic began.  During this time, many of us have, for the first time, spent way more time at homes than we probably did since we were children (if even then).  One thing I've noticed how some things have and haven't changed in terms of what I am doing or using.  So I thought I'd look at what some of those more mundane changes are.  

Toilet paper: We're definitely using more and that's a real thing. While many of us were surprised followed by frustration with the toilet paper hoarding in the first days of the pandemic, I found this article about why there was a toilet paper shortage quite interesting.  The two basic elements are: we were using more toilet paper at home, since many of us use a variety of public toilets at work and the like; also, toilet-paper producers had to uniformly shift their production emphasis from commercial to home toilet paper--two different product lines.  Anywho, we're using more toilet paper (and that's normal for all of us).

Laundry: I think I might be going through the same amount of laundry but it might have different emphases.  More gym and lounge wear than work clothes.  I mean, it's been a long time since I put on khakis and I'm am ok with that.  I'm also using more cloth napkins, kitchen towels, and face clothes--trying to reduce the use on paper towels and also, because it's that time of year, seasonal allergies are also a thing.  

Dishes:  Yes, our dishwasher (both the electronic one and me for things that don't go in the dishwasher) has been used significantly over the last 6 weeks. Typically, we do it about once every three days, but we're probably close to every other day now.  

Gas: I haven't filled the gas in my car in just under two months. I'm at half-a-tank. At this time of year, this is only somewhat less for me since by now, I would usually be running or bicycling to work (and with the new job, that's pretty much it--parking isn't really an option).  

Electricity:  Definitely using more electricity than usually with various devices plugged in and turned on and also doing more laundry and dishes to both of us using different parts of the house to get work done and using lights, etc.  

Deodorant:  It's probably a case of TMI, but yes, I've mostly given up deodorant.  I'm showering daily (after workouts) and am generally not odorous.  It's also a habit thing where I would do it before getting dressed for work. But if I'm not getting the work clothes on, I'm missing the cue for the deodorant.  

Snacks:  Unfortunately, this is in the positive category (as in, I am consuming more of them). I'm hoping to be better at switching out the chips and crackers for fruits this week but we'll see.

Coffee: I am also drinking a bit more coffee and I think that has to do with being home and it being available.  Typically, at work, I bring my own coffee for the day and pace it throughout the day.  But instead of that container, I am just refilling the mug regularly and, well, that's just more than I usually would.  

Water:  I'm drinking less water but some of this is traded off with more tea and coffee.  Ideally, I will do better with this.  Part of this post is just an exercise in awareness of what I am and am not doing to figure out if I can better structure things for better and healthier outcomes.

Ordering Out: We're trying o order out twice a week from local restaurants to support the community but are also probably hitting the local bakery at least once a week.  This is probably in line with how much we eat out in general and might be a little bit less.  

Video Games:  More gaming than usual.  I've taken to replaying Final Fantasy VII and trying out other games on my mobile devices.  Not a whole lot but definitely a few extra hours a week.

TV: About the same amount here. I'm watching it while doing other things that don't need as much focused attention or watching something with my partner, but I definitely have not made any progress on my ceaseless queue.

Reading:  More reading and definitely leaning into reading (not just listening to) books.

Social Media:  Probably a bit more. I'm catching myself lost in the never-ending scroll and I assume that's some level of trying to find something exciting beyond the droll of the day-to-day.  

Working Out: Since we started doing yoga, I'm probably spending the same amount of time working out but not necessarily the same intensity. The yoga does do strengthening but it just doesn't burn the calories that running would for me (at least while we're still doing gentle flow).  

Steps:  Much fewer steps. I hit my personal goal (12K) about every other day if I'm lucky as opposed to rarely missing it in regular times.

What about you?  What are you doing or using more or less of?

Take care. Be careful. Be care-filled.  Welcome to stranger days.

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