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Searching for the Silver Lining

I think I can safely say that we all miss our “normal” lives. When the pandemic hit the US, I truly believed we would be returning to life as we knew it by late spring. Here we are in full fall, and there’s no end in sight. In fact, my employer has reimplemented by-appointment-only protocols.

I need to order more masks because the two cloth ones I ordered in March are nearly worn out. My husband gave me three masks of different styles, but they’re uncomfortable and itchy. Because I’m the queen of sensitive skin, and I must wear my mask at work, I need something that won’t rub my face raw and allows me to breathe.

It’s so easy to get discouraged about the current state of affairs that I’ve been trying to find a silver lining, count my blessings if you will. There are a few advantages I’ve found to my new lifestyle of Zoom, Facebook Meetings, online shopping, virtual training, and Netflix date nights. There are many disadvantages, too, but I’m concentrating on the positive.

I’ve saved a lot of money in gas and hotel bills because everything has either been cancelled or moved online this year. I’m talking about hundreds of dollars, which I’ve put toward reducing my debt and making home improvements.

Staying home and attending Zoom meetings for my two Springfield writers groups, both of which meet once a month, has saved me 304 miles and over five hours of drive time per month. Conference cancellations have saved me approximately an additional 600 miles and a little over $1,000 in hotel stays and conference fees this year.

Another plus is that I have not needed to obtain my Real ID yet. My driver’s license is good for the next three years, and it irks me that I will need to get a new one in order to board a plane or enter a government building. Yes, I know a passport works, but I don’t have one of those, either.

I was scheduled to take a variety of business trips that involved air planes and possibly a government building or two this year. Their cancellations have given more time to locate some of the documents I’ll need in order to obtain that ever so special ID card.

I’m also saving money by not going out to have fun. No movies with that amazing hot, buttered popcorn and an over-priced drink since last winter has saved my husband and me some money. We miss going to the movies more than anything else this pandemic has denied us.

While I am saving money, I’m missing the fun, education, and companionship of my normal life. I pay for those above-mentioned things because they enrich my life, improve my skills, and afford me the opportunity to learn something new.

COVID-19 has robbed us of a lot. Personally, I’m staying home more, paying some bills, taking some online classes, writing more than ever before, and biding my time until I can start living my normal life again.

What are you doing to keep yourself busy and entertained?

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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