This year, at times it has been hard to find the good amidst all of the things going on. However, there have been some! I have heard many a parent or grandparent say that without this situation, they would have never been able to spend so much quality time with their kids/grandkids. My friend's mom is teaching her daughter to cook, which my friend never would have done. There are some silver linings here!
Here are a few good things that have come out of the last six months.
A newfound love of riding the bike: At the beginning of the quarantine, due to the fact that it was hard to go running without encountering people who would (a) not give you space (b) not wear a mask, I decided that it was easier to keep my distance from people while cycling. In the first three months, I ended up going on 16 bike rides, totalling about 300 miles. I really enjoyed these rides, and got to know the island of Alameda pretty well over the three month period. I even named my bike, which is probably older than me and weighs about a ton, but she is a good old bird! Bertha is her name and she and I spent some quality time together! As people started following the rules more and I found running routes that were less crowded, I have to admit to ditching Bertha and sticking to my own two feet. However, the times we spent together were priceless!
Hiking in CA: Since we cannot travel internationally, nor would I want to at this point, finding things to do during our vacation has been a bit more challenging. My company has a use it or lose it vacation policy (yes, even this year. No exceptions!) and so I took a week off here and there and had to be a little more creative. This means many hikes and backpacking trips in my "own backyard" which have been fun and of course I love the Sierras, so I am happy to spend time in my favorite mountains.
Trying new recipes: This year since I am not spending money on travel, I bought a dehydrator and Ninja and have been trying out backpacking recipes. When backpacking, especially for longer periods, it is a fine balance between getting enough calories vs. carrying a lot of weight and the calorie/oz ratio should be as high as possible. To do this, I have been experimenting with fats like coconut oil (or powder), nuts, seeds, hemp, flax etc... I made a pretty good dehydrated chicken curry and am still perfecting the perfect protein bar.
Reading: Although I am now back in study mode, which does not bode well for reading regular books (although I do find time to treat myself!) I have been reading a lot during these stay at home days. This is twofold; one is the fact that I am now driving to work, which I never did before. I used to study on the bus or the train but while driving I cannot, so I have been listening to a lot of audiobooks. I also used to generally run with other people but this quarantine has kept me running solo more often, which also translates to, you guessed it, more audiobooks! Lastly, when you are stuck inside due to fires or pandemics, I tend to turn to reading! So all of these factors have bumped up my reading stats for this year significantly!
What good things have come out of the last six months in your world?