Quarantine

Just several months ago, the world as we know it, changed drastically. COVID-19 struck, ransacking our elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The disease was tricky though, unpredictable, fickle….not like the other pandemics anyone had seen before and there isn’t a vaccine. People were dying quickly, the disease was spreading like wild fire. So they shut the world down. Parks, restaurants, bars, conferences, concerts, festivals, stores, all canceled or shut down. We were asked to ‘Shelter in Place’ meaning to not leave our homes unless necessary. Social Distancing became a household phrase and we were asked to not see those who don’t already live in our home. 

This has been the single-most life-altering thing that’s happened in my lifetime (next to 9/11) and the drastic changes we’ve implemented in our lifestyle have been huge. Skiing every weekend halted, back-country hut trip canceled, no hiking with friends on the weekends as spring weather crept into the front range, no breweries, BBQ’s, concerts, no family gatherings, memorial for grandma canceled, family members furloughed, nieces and nephews home-schooled and home while our siblings adjusted to the new normal.

Mike and I talk often about the gratitude we feel for our day-to-day life – I’ve worked from home for the past 6+ years, Mike works for himself on huge projects, which in their very nature means they’ll be stretches of down projects. Our company, Happy Homes llc, had just finished an investment property, gone under contract, had a closing set for April 6th…..and it fell through. We’ve had to shift our mindset/business plan for the next year and have adjusted our strategy to a buy and hold. Pivoting quickly, we listed our investment on furnished finders (a traveling nurse sight with a super clunky UI) as well as Zillow/Trulia rental space. The first few days nothing….which was a really scary reality that we may have a huge investment sitting empty for quite awhile. Well, turned out that there was a setting I hadn’t adjusted from when we had the listing as ‘For Sale by Owner’. DOH! Flip the switch and we got an uber qualified tenant couple to secure the house for a full year starting in July. Thank goodness!

Some of the good things to come out of this (because there comes a point where you have to move past the ‘what ifs’ and move towards the ‘well there’s that’): Zoom workouts, Virtual Happy Hours, Live-Streaming concerts including friend’s bands and our favorite entertainers, putting major time and effort into our backyard, including our garden, which Mike has been planning since February! On the spending front, I’m down month over month, putting more into my brokerage Vanguard account, and have beefed up my emergency fund savings. Because nothing in this life is promised.

Things have gotten a bit more back to normal in the last few weeks, although we’ve still not been traveling out of state. It’s October (I started this draft in May) and the world continues to turn, although it’s forever changed. This time has brought much calm, chaos, connection, anxiety, cancelations, mindset shifts and overall awakening to the gratitude I have for my health. I hope you have stayed health, stayed calm, found some good in this and haven’t been too lonely. Find some happy in your day and spend as much time there as possible.

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