Welcome to my new office … a pantry closet! As I write this, I look up and see mini bags of Cheez-It crackers, orange Gatorade Zero, and soft and chewy Granola bars. I am sitting on a dining room table chair working on a white portable table. I have a printer next to me on one side, with books, folders, sticky notes, a dirty plate, business cards, and a wad of cash on the other side.
The plate is Styrofoam, has crumbs from a deli turkey and cheese on toast sandwich that served as my lunch 10 hours ago. Because it is a throw away plate it is not a priority to take it to the kitchen, right? A week ago I took the wad of cash out of my billfold, realizing cash is frowned upon during this pandemic. For eight years our family has practiced the principles of Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey, including using cash rather than credit or debit cards.
I have no outside windows in my new office. When I shut the door, it gets warm in here. I try to be extra quiet on early morning or late evening video calls knowing that on the other side of my office wall is another apartment occupied by a family with two small children. My wife, 12-year-old daughter and I have now been in a 2-bedroom furnished apartment for one week. After five days in the apartment we held a family meeting. One of our new house rules is that from 8 a.m. until noon we do not interrupt each other. We each need four hours where we focus and have some sense of normalcy and productivity, if we chose to.
At noon we have lunch together. We talk about our goals and plans for the afternoon. My daughter and I decide what time we will go on a walk. We decide what time we will have supper and what we will eat.
After supper we often play cards or watch a movie. Every day we individually read the same chapter in the Bible and journal. At some point during the day we talk about what stood out to us.
Reading this, I feel like I am describing the Waltons, the Cleavers, the Andersons from "Father Knows Best," or the Ingalls from "Little House on the Prairie." Ahh, life as it once was … simple, family-oriented, working, playing, eating, and laughing together. No extra-curricular activities. No sending each other email calendar invites or text reminders so we do not miss a practice, tournament, birthday party or activity.
I am an introvert. My wife and daughter are extroverts. Social distancing and isolation is taking a significant toll on us. I miss gathering with my church family and working in the food court at West Acres Mall. My daughter misses everything about school. My wife misses coffee shop chats. I miss running errands without wearing a mask or pivoting my head making sure I am not within six feet of another shopper.
It is chaotic, uncomfortable, and disruptive. But we will make it. We will look up and seek God. We will look out and lift each other.