It dawned on me a few months ago that this blog had turned into a travel blog. That was never the intention but, I suppose, travel does seem like a natural/more exciting topic to write about. And now, we suddenly find ourselves completely devoid of any opportunity to travel. So it seems like a good time to document what this pandemic has been like for us so far.
What a strange thing to be living through. Thinking back to March 14, I don’t think anyone really believed everything would come to a screeching halt. Heck, I had a plane ticket to Brazil followed by Sweden and I was leaving in nine days. Kirby was going to meet me in Sweden (thank god we waited to buy that ticket). My mom was in the Philippines for crying out loud! And over the course of a few days, everything was cancelled, Kirby and I transitioned to working from home and suddenly no one was supposed to leave the house. It felt like the beginning of every zombie apocalypse movie.
I have to say, I am extremely grateful for how lucky we’ve been through all of this. Mom and Michael miraculously made it home, we kept our jobs, everyone is in good health. In fact, the sudden transition to working from home and the closure of the economy led to a number of positives in our life. First of all, not having to commute means having so much more time in our day, and it also means more, and better quality, sleep. We’re buying less crap and refocused our efforts on reusing and repurposing stuff we already had. We’re eating better and walking more. I’ll get to the walking later, but first, let’s talk about the food.
In the beginning, pandemic eating involved an unprecedented amount of cabbage.
This brought me more joy than I expected. You see, cabbage makes me fart. And when you spend 5 days a week in an open-concept office, you can’t really eat food that makes you fart. And now suddenly, I’m spending my days alone in the basement, unencumbered by the social stigma of cabbage farts. So we ate a lot of cabbage. You can imagine, Kirby was not quite as excited about the cabbage. The cats don’t seem to mind.
Then we started watching a lot of Great British Bake Off and the Great Canadian Baking Show. And during each episode, Kirby would inevitably turn to me and say “you should make that.” And so with his help, we started trying new recipes. It started with my first layered cake, a black forest cake (it tasted better than it looks).
Next were the Nanaimo Bars (which we made twice because they were so delicious).
And another success was coffee cake.
And to counterbalance all of the desserts and a bit of the boredom, we started walking every day. This has probably been my favourite part of the pandemic. At first, walking every evening was liberating. I realized very quickly how short my days had felt and that squeezing in a walk didn’t always feel like a good use of my time, and I often struggled to find the energy. But now that we go to bed a little later, and have more time in our days in general, it really didn’t matter if we were out walking at 8:30 at night. And this revelation has really underpinned the whole pandemic for me. It’s helped me to realize what I need in my life to have better work-life-balance and better quality of life.
We’ve explored our neighbourhood in ways I didn’t even know was possible. Kirby has poured over different maps to plot our “big walks” on the weekends where we walk almost 10 kilometres on paths that connect the different neighbourhoods. We’ve found secret watering holes, forests within forests and the longest staircase known to man (not really, but that’s how it felt).
I know this time has been challenging for many, and we’ve had a few ourselves. But we’re working hard to hold on to all of the lessons and lifestyle changes that came with being forced to shake up our routine.
It should be noted, the cats are the true winners of the pandemic.