Relationships

What’s Your Life Like Right Now?

seagulls by lena corwin

My darlings, I’d love to take a pause to ask: What’s your life like right now? The other day, when we posted about quarantining with a partner, readers left really beautiful comments about other situations — juggling work with little kids running around, struggling with infertility and wishing little kids were running around, living solo and craving a hug, working outside the home, actually enjoying quarantine because introverts, etc. And it made me curious about what your days are like right now.

Here are some questions, if you’d like to answer:
* Where are you in the world?
* Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
* Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
* What’s hard right now?
* What’s bringing you joy (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?

My answers are:
* New York
* Hunkering down with my husband and two rowdy little boys
* Working a few hours a day on Cup of Jo and wishing I had more time!
* What’s hard: Feeling fine right now, but during these chaotic times, I’m worried about my depression returning. I’ve been thinking of all the other people with mental health issues; this is not easy.
* What’s bringing joy: Any and all signs of nature (I’ve never loved nature so much! that first gust of fresh air when you open a window, leaves growing on tree branches, daffodils poking out of the soil), watching Curb Your Enthusiasm, reading magazines and blogs (I’m especially loving Jenny’s new series), devouring comments from Cup of Jo readers, and baking Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. Alex also made chicken parm the other night and then we watched The Hangover because we wanted to turn our brains off. Both really hit the spot.

I’d love to hear from you! Sending so much love. Please weigh in below…

P.S. My boyfriend weighs less than I do, and wholeness vs. happiness.

(Photo by Lena Corwin/Instagram.)

  1. * Where are you in the world? – Boston! Roslindale, specifically.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? – I live with my lovely roommate who I teach with and I am also spending time at my boyfriend’s (who is also quarantining).
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? – I am teaching my sixth graders online which is a funny thing. They are so little and we are moving so slowly, but it good to have a purpose and be a touch point for them.
    * What’s hard right now? – I am a huge introvert so staying at home and entertaining myself hasn’t been an issue. Mostly I miss being so far away from my family (they are in Florida) and not knowing when I will see them next.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? – I am in grad school in addition to teaching full time, so before this all started it was very hard to find a moment to myself. The reduced workload of online teaching and forced time at home has actually given me so many hours in the day back to do my grad school work, prepare my online lessons, do the work for my second job, AND somehow still have time to read and sleep. I am very lucky.

  2. miss agnes says...

    – Brittany, France
    – Living with my husband and two teenagers, a girl and a boy
    – I’m actually working from home, so my day to day has not changed much. I had to add the homeschooling activity for my son who is autistic, so daily planning of homework sent via the official educational platform is a must and takes time. Plus everything around the house, and shopping for food. So my life feels even more busy than usual.
    – What I find hard: not seeing my friends, not being able to hug and kiss those that don’t live far and that I can see every now and then (6 feet apart). The uncertainty, not knowing when this confinement will end. The constant fear mongering from the French media. I’ve stopped watching news.
    – What brings me joy : the incredibly blue sky (no more contrails and chemtrails for weeks now), the birds that nest in front of our house, seeing the young birds learning to fly, the blooming of trees and flowers everywhere. So glad I can still hug and kiss my family. My spiritual life and prayer, knowing that everything will be all right. Jesus said: ‘do not worry about anything’. This is my go-to reminder when I start to stress.

    Keep hope, we’ll get through this.

  3. * Cincinnati, OH
    * I live with my husband (our 3rd wedding anniversary is next month, and we’ve been together for nearly 11 years, and it has never been more apparent that we chose well with picking each other; I am very lucky)
    * I am a professor and working what feels like a million hours a week. So many emails. I am grateful to have a job I can do relatively easily from home, but I cannot wait for the end of the semester in 3 weeks.
    I have been doing a lot of photography – spring is great. And I sit on my porch a lot and am thankful we have a porch (my number 1 request for our living space). We are watching a lot of TV which I have mixed feelings about (I hate watching TV) and I want to convince myself to be productive around the house but know that won’t really happen until school lets out.
    * Lots of things, from the trivial to the life altering. My dad’s a doctor and I’m constantly worried about him and the rest of my family. It’s hard not to be able to pet dogs on my walks. It’s hard not to be able to go see my parents in person. Having to cook a billion meals a day. Letting go of all the things we were supposed to be doing in this season (we’ve cancelled 6 trips already).
    * Springtime, seeing friends and family on video chats, playing online board games with friends, sunshine, learning some new photography techniques, getting emails from students saying they miss our class. I’m going to learn some other new things online as well. I would like to plant a garden.

  4. Melissa says...

    * Where are you in the world? Columbus, Ohio
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? My husband and our two children.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m working from hom and going into the office, while homeschooling. My husband was recently laid off due to the COVID19 pandemic. Even though he is not working, I feel like I am taking on the lion’s share of schoolwork as I have more patience and experience with the e-learning technology. I feel like I have much less time right now, but we are still riding bikes, going on long walks, watching old movies, and trying new recipes, in the in-between time.
    * What’s hard right now? The not knowing. We moved into a tiny apartment while selling our first home. We lost two contracts due to COVID cold feet. We were supposed to sell and start construction of our new house this month, but everything is paused. We don’t know when we will be able to move on since my husband lost his job.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? My 5 year old daughter’s reading is coming along! My almost 8 year old son is so sweet to his sister during these long days at home. My husband is surprisingly more optmistic than I am about our future.

  5. Julie S says...

    *Seattle
    *At home with my husband with our two cats
    *I’m working from home but my husband still goes in for at least part of the day because he does IT work for a public safety department. Doing a lot of cooking, walks around our neighborhood, and reading. A bit of work in the yard
    *I miss my family so much. Video calls just can’t replace the hugs. I also miss the little things like being able to go to dinner with my husband and friends, being able to go to our local nursery and bookstore.
    *Snuggling with my cats and husband. Walking around our neighborhood in the sunny spring weather. Seeing the seeds I planted a few weeks ago finally sprout and the plants starting to bud. The time to cook more elaborate meals than I usually would on week days.

  6. Mercy says...

    * New York City
    * I live at home, just me and my mom. My cousin who’d lived with us for years moved to NH with his new wife like a week before lockdowns started happening, and I’m grateful the apartment doesn’t feel so crowded these days.
    * Thankfully able to work from home, and finishing my last semester of grad school remotely. My work-workload has been light, so I’ve been trying (and often failing) to catch up on school-workload that I’ve been behind on. Can’t wait to be caught up on that so I can truly enjoy this extra time, guilt-free!
    * On the short term, my mom is supposed to go back to work next week (she’s a home health aide) and I’m worried for her being out and about. Long term, the uncertainty of what the world/economy will be like looking forward. I’d been hoping to change jobs by now if not after graduation, but who knows what’ll happen now.
    * Having time to experiment with bolder makeup beyond my usual mascara/powder. Also a weekly video chat-movie & wine night with friends, and mid-day FaceTime calls from my 7 year old niece :)

  7. Brooke says...

    *Portland, Oregon (I love it so here-People here helping each other so much!)
    -*Have lived by myself since 22 years old – I’m 38 yo now
    *I am a clinical psychologist—now doing tele-therapy 4 days a week on my computer in my den (!)
    *I’m staying pretty peaceful and grateful and glad for meaningful work but it’s takes so much strength to be present to peoples’ pain and tiring to be on the computer so much. I really miss being with and hugging my nieces and my sister, my parents. Touch hunger, whew.
    *Anything nature oriented is so settling – garden, walks, magnolia trees, birdsong, water, blue sky. Also delicious online yoga with my favorite teacher, Mary Oliver poetry, all kinds of comedy and laughter, music, dancing, cooking, books, quietness, reverence, feeling the the earth calming down.

    • Brooke says...

      Joanna, thank you, this feels dear and calming to all be connected in this way.

      And sending love and kindness to everybody here! ?

    • caitlin says...

      mary oliver is the best. she brings me joy too.

  8. Sue Harris says...

    *Cleveland Ohio
    *Living with my husband of 38 years
    *Working remotely, I’m a graphic designer. Work is heavy some days, not so much on others
    *My daughter and her fiance just decided that they should change their wedding date from June 20 to Sept. 19. We are all holding our breath that things will be better enough for people to travel in September. They have been together 9 years, and engaged since 2018. Heartbreaking decision but necessary.
    *I find joy in watching spring slowly come to Cleveland, in our walks when we can get outside, my husband’s cooking, the surprise box of chocolates her ordered for Easter, FaceTiming my friends and family. Knowing my daughter is safe with someone she loves.

    • em says...

      <3 Another Cleveland COJ Fan <3

  9. Emily says...

    * Where are you in the world? Upper West Side, Manhattan
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I’m with my partner in our 1 bedroom apartment, with our two cats
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Yes, still working. I’m in a museum education department and we are working at 300% capacity right now to try to get out resources to help people teaching and learning at a distance.
    * What’s hard right now? I’m 3000 miles from my family and permanent home in CA. I’m moving back home in a few months for grad school, which begins in the fall, and am so sad I can’t be saying a proper goodbye to NYC and my friends here. Also, scared I won’t be able to get home safely.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? I’ve been doing an insane amount of cooking, which is a big stress reliever for me. I’ve picked back up the flute which I played very seriously while growing up. Watching several shows but looking for new ones. Having trouble reading right now which is tough because that’s normally a favorite thing.

    Sending love to everyone, Jo, thank you for facilitating this warm, open space for us all.

  10. Kelsey says...

    *In a small town just outside of Paris, France.
    *Here with my husband, 6 year old and 3 year old
    *My husband is WFH but my job is closed (in tourism), so I’m technically still employed and getting a paycheck but don’t have work to do now.
    *I’m pretty worried about whether our company will survive this and if I’ll have a job in a few weeks or months? Being so far away from my family in the US is difficult as well. We haven’t left our house or yard in a month now, only my husband goes out for food, so the lack of real human contact is getting to me. I miss having a break from the 3 year old too. Haha
    *I’m so grateful we have a good size house and yard to move around, get fresh air, and separate from each other once in a while. Spring is making me smile. And time to bake and get to play with my kids. We’re rewatching comedies at night, just restarted Brooklyn 99 as we can’t take anything serious right now.

    It’s been so interesting reading through everyone’s situation and seeing how much we’re all in the same place all over the world!

  11. Kiera says...

    * Newfoundland, Canada

    * Living with my husband and week-old baby son!

    * Working a little from home in preparation for a new position beginning in July, but mostly soaking up newborn cuddles and family time.

    * It’s very hard being unable to introduce the baby to our families and friends – both our parents live within a 5 minute drive and they can’t meet or snuggle the baby in person. Until the lockdown is lifted, we have to make do with FaceTime and through-the-window visits.

    * The baby and new motherhood is bringing me much joy – short walks with the babe and husband, snuggling, listening to music, reading etc.

    • Mercy says...

      Congratulations on your baby boy! :) I hope the grandparents can cuddle with him soon.

  12. Maria says...

    WV, USA

    Living with three males: husband, six-year-old son, and our old dog

    I’m working remotely and am as busy as ever. On the weekends, I’m trying to work on house projects (painting a filing cabinet, cleaning up the basement), and I’m also attempting to sew face masks.

    I’ve got a lot of anxiety with work. I work in poverty law, and although I love my organization, coworkers, and the important work we do, I have finally admitted to myself that I can’t handle the adversarial process. The thought of returning to work and court after these social distancing restrictions are lifted has me all panicky.

    I baked my first baguette the other day. The process and the results were super satisfying. It’s nice to see my son’s face and hear his little voice during the day, too.

  13. Ashley says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Charlestown, MA (a neighborhood in Boston)
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    With my husband of almost 3 years (kinda feels like our honeymoon all over again!)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Working (actually starting a brand new job on April 20)
    * What’s hard right now?
    We’re originally from WI, so being this far away from family is really hard.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Baking, taking walks around the neighborhood and seeing spring emerge, playing board games and video calls with all of our friends from across the country

  14. Anonymous in Maryland says...

    I have to be honest. Our life is not bad right now Thank You God. We LOVE having our little boys, 7 and 4.5, home all day and nothing to do but be home with them. My husband works all day out of his home office but he’s tucked away in a corner of our big house and can’t hear them. That means the bulk of housecleaning, chores, cooking and home school falls on me. Then again many moms bear this burden while working full time, either at home or as essential workers in perilous situations. My job is not so much to home school my kids but protect their emotional health and ability to learn, we read books, write book reports, play games, go outside into our back yard, and order groceries to be delivered. I am deeply aware of our position of privilege and safety in a world fraught with anxiety, instability, hunger, poverty, and disease. My heart is with those suffering and I say a prayer for them and I hope this passes quickly.

  15. Lauren says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Austin, Texas.

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I am living with my family. My two parents and now my brother has moved home. I had to move home once our sorority house at University of Texas closed. I feel very grateful to be living with family.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I am taking all of my UT classes online. My internship this summer was moved to 100% virtual (I am grateful to still have the job). Passing the time by reading lots, recipe testing, and trying to knock out my to do list! Is this surge of productivity an avoidance tactic? Probably.

    * What’s hard right now?
    The uncertainty. Grieving everything that changed so fast, all my expectations/hopes/dreams for 2020 seemed to disappear so quickly. Also understanding that so many people have it so much harder than me right now. Acknowledging the level of pain our country is in right now brings me to tears.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Getting outside and truly being present in nature. Leaving my phone at home while I do this. Truly noticing what is around me. The juxtaposition of green tree leaves against the blue skies. Noticing all the butterflies that are out! and the smell of dirt. Acknowledging that right now, in this moment, I am alive on this intricate Earth.

  16. claire says...

    I am not sleeping well at all and that makes everything harder

    • Mercy says...

      I feel you! I thought I’d be able to get a ton more sleep while quarantining, but that hasn’t been the case.

    • Trish O says...

      I am so sorry. My 18 year old son is having this issue as well. It is such a challenge for him

  17. Virginia says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    New Bern, NC

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    With my boyfriend Will, and our two shepherds Buddy & Lula. Dogs are definitely keeping us sane right now!

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Working! Work has actually been insanely busy because I manage our nonprofit partner relationships for fundraising tools, and nonprofits are all working around the clock right now to figure out development in this climate.

    * What’s hard right now?
    The uncertainty – I’m incredibly lucky in my day-to-day circumstances, but I also have severe anxiety, and the helpless feeling is getting to me.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Using our pasta machine to make endless rounds of fresh pasta, biking around the neighborhood (a new quarantine hobby!), just started watching Homeland from the beginning!

  18. Caitlin says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    The Bulkley Valley, British Columbia, Canada
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    With my roommate, who is also my cousin, and our two cats
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I am a health care provider in the community, I work with seniors and immune compromised adults living in their homes.
    When I’m not working I’ve been binge watching Friends on Netflix.
    * What’s hard right now?
    What scares me the most is keeping my clients and co-workers safe from Covid-19.
    As of yet we have no hospital admissions for Covid, but it’s like waiting for the shoe to drop any time.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now?
    My cats, and my roommate, bring me a lot of joy. Also Marco Polo messages from my nephew, nieces and best friend.
    Participating in music workshops on zoom hosted by my music group, it’s lovely to see the faces from my music community as we learn new tunes together.

  19. Hi!
    1. New York City.
    2. Living solo.
    3. I am working since I work for a city agency.
    4. It is hard not to have a love partner.
    5. Joy comes from cooking and eating freshly-cooked food, not commuting and having extra time for myself at home and creative projects. How simple life is now.

  20. Cait says...

    Where are you in the world? Pittsburgh
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband and 19 month baby girl.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Both my husband and I are fortunate to be able to work from home through this.
    * What’s hard right now? Both getting our work done and keeping an energetic toddler occupied. Both of our workloads have not slow down at all (something I’m both grateful for but has been tough). I feel bad that she doesn’t have any playmates right now so my husband and I are trying our best to take turns working and making her days fun and active (versus just sitting in front of the TV; trust though that’s definitely happening throughout the week too). It’s exhausting but trying real hard to focus on how lucky we are.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Having this time just the 3 of us (plus our beloved kitty-cat). As exhausting as the days are, I keep thinking that we’ll hopefully look back at this time and think it was also special to spend so much time all together.

  21. CC says...

    I live in Saskatchewan, Canada. My common-law husband and I are physicians, and we are so thankful to have the support of our amazing live-in Filipino nanny for our 20 month old daughter while we continue to work. I am finding it challenging to juggle turning off my feelings to be able to get the job done and go to work every day, with the emotional side of everything (fear about bringing the virus home, guilt for spending less time with our little girl as she clings to me while I’m getting ready for work, hope and sadness for my patients, immense gratitude for all my colleagues). Also, my grandpa died 2 weeks ago in another province and it was hard not to be there to support him and my Grandma.
    It brings me joy to give to others. I know I will be ok as long as I still feel this way. I mailed birthday cards to family members and ordered Easter bouquets for an elderly friend and our nanny. I am so happy to have this weekend off to do nothing except spend time with my family. We are going to make hot cross buns, play in our yard, read lots of stories, and phone our friends and family. I am also re-reading the Harry Potter books before bed to stay sane, while getting back rubs from my hubby. Heaven!

  22. Lizzy says...

    * Where are you in the world? Milwaukee, WI
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living alone, but with my dog
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Currently laid off from my job, cannot work remotely. I’m on week 4 with hopefully only 3ish more to go. Trying to pass the time by getting outside, scrubbing my whole house top to bottom, not watching too much TV or consuming too much news/instagram/social media
    * What’s hard right now? It’s been hard coming to terms with the fact that I can’t work, but desperately want to work right now to be able to pay my student loans and mortgage. It’s been hard having my state’s unemployment office fail me. It’s been hard having to ask my Mom to help my 30 year old self pay the bills. It’s hard being alone and not having a significant other to rely on or a job that I can work from home.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.) I’m joyful that I’m healthy and that the sun is shining and that I have a dog that forces me to get out of bed every morning. Other than that, all bets are off and I just feel lost and abandoned.

    • J M says...

      Lizzy, I’m sending you good thoughts…

  23. Chelsea says...

    Albuquerque, NM

    My husband and 3 kids (ages 3, 6, & 9)

    I’m a stay at home mom and my husband is still going into work so I am helping my kids with school and feeding them a million snacks a day.

    I miss my friends. My kids and I use to go to the park with a big group of friends multiple times a week after school. The kids would run and play for hours and us moms would hang out and enjoy wonderful adult conversation. These moms and I still text and the kids have been sending one another Marco Polo videos but it’s not the same. I miss my friends and I know my kids miss there friends as well.

    I am finding so much joy in soaking in sunshine! I am so grateful to live in a warm, sunny place. I decided this week to read less news and social media and more books. So far it is really changing my mood. I help my kids with school then we go in the backyard, they run around and play and I sit there reading. We also love going for walks and bike rides and seeing the sunset on our beautiful mountains. The other day we went for a walk and there were some flowers starting to bloom on the side of the road. The desert is not known for an abundance of colorful flowering plants, but to me that just makes it all the more beautiful. When I notice signs of life, survival, and beauty in such a harsh environment I appreciate it even more.

  24. Vava says...

    Living in Eugene, Oregon.
    With my husband of 32 years and our two white Maine Coon cats.
    I’m a retired geologist and am spending my time doing my hobbies that I love. Currently sewing a lot of cotton face masks for my husband to take to his coworkers. I ran out of elastic though and so hopefully an order I placed will arrive soon.
    Not feeling much personal stress really. We’ve adjusted to fewer grocery store runs. More mindful about sanitizing doorknobs, washing hands, etc. I’m trying to limit watching the news, the sad stories coming out plus the bungling at the federal government level.
    I’m grateful for each day, so thankful we are healthy and my compassion goes to those who right now are struggling.

    • I saw something somewhere saying you could use tights to make elastic for masks. Just chop a thin-ish slice off the leg and it makes a stretchy circle… could be worth a google if the elastic takes a while to arrive?

  25. Sally says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Northamptonshire, UK

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Living solo in my little (but cozy!) mid-floor flat.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I’m a supply teacher and run my own private tutoring business. I haven’t seen a penny of earnings since 23rd March, or done any work. I did briefly consider moving my tutoring business online, but none of my clients inquired about going online with it, and I quickly released I didn’t have the spoons/mental energy to even try and work out how it might work, and iron out the logistics. Fortunately, the company I supply teach through confirmed last night that they are putting me on furlough, so I will receive some money, but they couldn’t tell me how much.

    * What’s hard right now?
    The sense of the unknown. Not knowing when I’ll be able to start putting my business back together in any meaningful way.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Having a fairly firm routine is helping a lot. It makes the days very samey, but it reduces the mental burden of “the world is broken AND I don’t know what to do with myself.” I KNOW that every day I’ll have my walk, read some of my book, do online choir with my mum via facetime and watch some Netflix.

  26. Emily says...

    *Dallas, Texas

    *My husband, who is basically a pioneer and has made this all so much easier and more joyful, and our sweet velvety eared pup.

    *Working from home and feeling so grateful that we both can and that our work has variety. Also, if I’m being honest, doing a lot of refreshing of the news.

    *cAbIN FeVEr. but mostly, anxiety on behalf of others- single friends, friends who are parents, my parents, all our loves from the healthcare and hospitality industries, the WORLD in general. Trying to recognize that my anxiety isn’t actively helpful so searching and learning about tangible ways to do something. Not being home in Georgia for Easter (our problems are so small, but it’s still a twinge). Putting in the work to feel gratitude and patience and balancing as much as possible not being in a bad mood at the same time as my spouse.

    *We’re renovating a new house, so visiting that and planning for the future has really been an incredible distraction. Being in our garden in spring and watching the incredible Monty Don in “Gardener’s World” when it’s cold or raining, and, of course, the aforementioned velvet ears of my dog.

    • Brooke says...

      Oh my gosh, Emily, I love so what you’ve shared — “velvety ears dog” is like a whole poem of joy.

      And yes to MONTY DON FOREVER. He is the most calming, warm presence and those gardens are delicious. I’m so happy there’s new episodes.

      I love that ideas of moving from worry into action. My current one is coordinating resources for free/reduced cost mental health therapy for medical providers and other front line people in our community. Its been really calming to do something connected like this.

  27. Eve says...

    I’m in Fife, Scotland.

    I’m living with my husband and golden retriever.

    I’m not working – my husband is in the military and we were only posted to the area a couple of weeks before the lockdown, so I didn’t have time to find a job!

    Hard – the fact that we are new to the area but it will be a long time before I can make friends, settle in, explore or find work. Obviously money is tight due to my lack of income. Also we have been trying for a baby for a long time now and it’s hard to know if we should continue during all this, and we were planning to start getting fertility tests this spring but that’s on hold too which is upsetting and feels like it could really impact our chances of ever having a family.

    Good – zoom yoga classes every morning and working out in the garden with my husband, dog walks in the countryside around our home, FaceTime dates with family and friends, daily journaling, lots of reading and board games. I do think I’ll miss elements of this simple life when things get back to normal.

  28. Kate says...

    *Toronto, Ontario
    *Living solo – some days I am thankful for this and other days, I just want to hug someone
    *Working full time as a pediatric neuro/trauma nurse. Dreaming of mask-free days.
    *The thing that I keep thinking about lately is being single in my mid thirties and running out of time to meet someone and have a kid. The fertility clock is ticking away in my head
    *Flowers buds starting to peak out of the soil on my daily walks, podcasts that make me feel like I have company (Here for you, Staying in, Armchair expert- Monica and Jess love boys, Girls gotta eat), wine and cooking elaborate meals for myself.

    • Maeve says...

      Relatable… everyone single point!
      – Toronto
      – Solo; likewise, sometimes I love it and sometimes I crave human connection without the intermediary of a screen.
      – What’s hard? Not having a person who is my person. I’ve been single for a while but I’ve never felt lonely… until now. It comes and goes and I’m trying to sit with it and remind myself, I’m not even remotely alone.
      – NATURE, podcasts (literally the same list as yours… I’ll add Forever35 and Brene Brown’s new podcast).

      Can we be friends? :)

  29. joy says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Brooklyn, NY
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    My husband and our 4 1/2 year old and 22-month-old
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    We are very fortunate to still be working, albeit with the challenges of remote work with kids.
    * What’s hard right now?
    I have never wanted a house and a yard and a car so much in my life. Everything that I usually love about living in the city–tons of interaction with diverse people, taking the train, the beach, Prospect Park, the botanic garden, cramped little one-of-a-kind shops–is now not possible or feels fraught with danger. Every time we leave the apartment building seems horribly fraught–the doorknobs! the elevator buttons! the people you might pass in the lobby or on the sidewalk! Yet we have two very small children and we simply cannot stay inside all the time. I’ve started thinking horrible thoughts about what if this extends into the summer and we’re still stuck here, in our little apartment with no green space nearby, and I just want to cry. The way it seems like our whole lives have just migrated to screens.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Our younger child’s language development is just exploding and it’s so fun to hear new words and phrases every day. I am paying so much more attention to noticing birds, squirrels, buds on trees, the expansion of the leaves. My older child and I do a “project” every day, and while he misses preschool so much, he loves this new tradition of ours and eagerly asks every day what our next project is going to be. Marshmallow catapult, baking soda volcano, and anything baking have all been big hits.

    • Katy says...

      I’ve been thinking so much lately about NYC parents and families. I have 2 small kids as well, and we moved from Brooklyn to Atlanta almost 2 years ago. I keep thinking “how would we deal with all of this if we were still in Brooklyn?!” The shared elevators, the hallways, a shared laundry room and the anxiety with just getting outside. My heart goes out to you. Hang in there and know that there’s a fellow mom in Atlanta thinking of you!

  30. * Where are you in the world? My home in Raleigh, NC
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband and our two dogs
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working from home 9-5, and spending the afternoons/evenings outside
    * What’s hard right now? Not being able to visit with friends. Going out to get groceries and there is just a weird vibe in these essential businesses. You can tell everyone is struggling.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? We did this pre-coronavirus, but it lasts a bit longer now that we are home: Throwing on a record, pouring a glass of wine, and cooking a scrumptious dinner with my husband. Oh, and my dogs :)

  31. Sandra Kaye-Kjarum Seidel says...

    I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota with my husband, cat & dog.

    I’m not working but keep busy with cleaning, knitting, sewing & quilting… I would love to sew myself some dresses & wish I were a better quilter! Maybe I’ll come out of this challenge with some improved sewing skills.

    The hardest thing is the loneliness.

    My biggest joys are zooming/facetiming with my kids & my dog : )

  32. Rachael says...

    * NYC area
    * Living with my boyfriend of 4 years & our little pup!
    * I worked from home prior to quarantine, so in that way, things have stayed the same, and I think it’s significantly contributed to my sanity.
    * Not going out after work to socialize and not being able to grocery shop as I normally would (frequently & buying what I want on a whim). Also… the news & my despair for others.
    * My dog! & baking, coloring in coloring books, reading, puzzles… & finally Zoom chats with loved ones all over the world.

  33. Caro says...

    I live in Sweden, in a little house by a lake just outside Stockholm with my 2 cats.
    For the past three weeks I have been working from home. I work for company that makes ventilators, therefore there is a lot to do now incl. supporting COVID-19 affected hospitals across the world.
    What is hard right now is that my relatives as well as my boyfriend live abroad so I can’t meet them right now (and I am sad that I missed my parents’ 60-year wedding anniversary). It is also frustrating that I do not know either when I will be able to meet them again…
    I really enjoy though that I skip almost 2 hrs of commuting per day. I have so much more energy now in the evenings which I channel into cooking nice meals, renovating the house, working in the garden and skyping with loved ones. I also feel creative energy starting to bubble inside me again (after many years of lacking this) so I have many ideas like to embroider t-shirts, paint and I am planning future renovations and garden projects…

  34. EJ says...

    I’m in my 800ish sq ft apt just outside of Manhattan.

    Thankfully I’m hunkered down with my sweet husband of nearly 2 years.

    I am working, working so very much. I’m a writer for a big company and everyone else on my team has been furloughed, so it is just me (me!) for the entire corporate headquarters. I’ve only been there 7 months! Every new project, every editing job big or small, every single social post we publish, every single research report we send into the world, must go through me. Eek! Impostors syndrome is at an all time high, but there is something thrilling knowing that even if I mess up royally, they can’t exactly fire me because I’m all they’ve got!

    It’s hard to relax right now. My brain is so, so tired at the end of the day but my body is not (serves me right for sitting at my desk from 8 am until 7 pm), so I lie there worrying and sweating, trying not to cry or wake up my husband.

    Working in the city, the seasons changing is really only noticeable on my bus ride home (oh look it’s still light out!). Now I feel like a god damn meteorologist, recording every teensy bit of the changing weather. It feels exciting to actually SEE spring arrive! The birds! The daffodils I can see in my neighbor’s garden! It’s all very exhilarating.

  35. Jess says...

    Thank you so much for doing this, team CoJ. I am feeling so much better after reading all the comments!

    Where are you in the world? Cape Town, South Africa

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I live my boyfriend in a top floor flat with epic views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head, which we are both very grateful for during this time

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I’m one of the seemingly few people who found a new job during this crazy time! I resigned two weeks ago, took last week off (I needed it) and start my new job on Tuesday. The new job is a big pivot for me into tech – luckily they are geared up to work remotely. And I got a big pay raise. I’m very grateful

    * What’s hard right now? South Africa is in week two of a very restrictive, five week national lockdown. We are not allowed to exercise outside or walk our dogs. We can only buy essential goods (the sale of alcohol & cigarettes is banned) and use essential services. It’s full on but so important for our country’s trajectory. Our economy was fragile before virus, so it’s very scary to see how we are going to manage the fallout from the lockdown. I’m finding it hard to find the balance between being critical of our government (in many ways, the ruling party is an organised crime syndicate) but also have faith in our president and other ministers, who has been hugely impressive and made all the right decisions. Can you trust a government that has been so untrustworthy in the past? Things that stress me out….

    *What’s bringing you joy right now. I relish working from my home “office” – it’s a calm, happy space. Lots of cooking (my nan’s quiche, homemade ravioli), reading, series (Fargo…wow!), daily journalling, daily yoga, early morning coffee at the window (fresh air on my face and feet!), puzzles, wine, Instagram, Zoom parties with friends, Zoom catch ups with friends living around the world.

    Love to you all!

  36. Maria says...

    I live in Minneapolis, MN. I live alone after going through a rough breakup this summer. Thanks, CoJ for all the breakup posts! Those truly helped!

    I was 6 months from graduating as a Physician Assistant and now it’s unclear when that will happen. I’m working out, studying, zooming with friends and family, and cooking. An abundance of free time stressed me out in the past. I’m someone who always had to be doing and accomplishing and this has given me a new perspective and I don’t hate it as much as I anticipated.

    It’s difficult to be on the sidelines as the medical community battles this virus. Had this been 2021, I would have been fully part of it caring for patients as a provider but instead, I have to accept this something I cannot change.

    I’ve been making gratitude lists and my relationships with others are always at the top. Feeling connected virtually is a tremendous gift.

  37. Jas says...

    I am from Serbia.

    I live with my husband and two kids (8 and 4).

    I am still working full-time. Thankfully, I can work from home.

    What is hard right now? The hardest thing for me, besides worries about the health of my loved ones, is that it seems there is no escape. Although we are happy living here, I always loved to think about the possibility of going and living somewhere else, even for a short while. I always loved that freedom, even if those were just dreams in my head, that you can go somewhere and that there might be an even better place around the world that you could call home. And now you can’t go anywhere, everywhere is the same at the moment. This is so hard to accept.

    What is bringing me joy? There was a meme that said that we are not stuck at home, we are safe at home and I love that I truly feel safe at home, that our home is full of love and understanding and that I really enjoy spending more time with my husband and our kids.

  38. Sana Nilsson says...

    * On a farm next to a massive forest in Uppsala, Sweden.
    * I’m living with my husband and two lively children.
    * I went back to school a few years back to become a doctor (at 35, I’m not the oldest in my class). Now I’m studying everything online which is ok.
    * This spring, I was suppose to have my emergency course. I was supposed to be working shifts at the emergency, ride ambulances and be on call. I was hoping to learn so much through practice. Instead, I now instead have to study cases and course online. My loved ones and I are healthy so it’s really alright.
    * My big farm house, the fact that we made a choice to leave city and live in country and I’ve this massive forest close by. I’ve moved from exercise phase to cake baking phase with my kids. We’re healthy and it’s spring. I know this sounds cheesy but Cup of Jo makes me happy. I come here several times a day to see if there is something new. It’s familiar, cosy and really, my happy place on the internet.

  39. Natalia says...

    * Where are you in the world? – Nairobi, Kenya
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? My husband, dog, cat, and the four owls in the backyard.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working and relaxing.
    * What’s hard right now? Not worrying that civil unrest may break out in Kenya over COVID movement restrictions and people not being able to earn to feed their families…
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Melissa Wood Health workouts, which I do daily; walks with my dog; a glass of Pinot Noir; Zoom sessions with friends; starting an herb garden; bird watching the owls; reading (just finished Maybe You Should Talk to Someone! Excited to discuss).

  40. Kendra says...

    -American living in Penang, Malaysia
    -Living with a partner
    -Working too much, but trying to take fun Netflix and reading breaks
    -The hardest thing right now is that it’s illegal to go for a run!
    -Things that are bringing me joy are thinking about what I will do when the movement restrictions are lifted, cooking through my cabinet, facetiming my nieces, and the show Schitt’s Creek (it’s really getting me through!)

  41. I’m in a tiny town in rural Australia called Tallarook. We’re on a 17 acre olive farm and we moved here from the city last September. The luck of that timing is not lost on us!

    I live with my husband and our son who is 4.5 and daughter who is 2. We’re both working from home. Although that’s not new for me as a freelance writer. When we’re not working we’re chopping wood, fixing irrigation, cleaning the dam, clearing eucalyptus, harvesting olives, changing water filters, fixing pumps or doing 100 other things that maintaining the property requires. Again, the privilege of jobs to work, having things to do and space to roam around is not lost on us.

    I’m finding it hard to take in the enormity of the situation. And although I like my own space I miss people, especially family.

    What’s bringing me joy is my work and exercising 6 x days a week. I’ve taken up running along the river here and it’s incredibly peaceful to be in my body for those 3o minutes I run for.

    I’m sending love to you all. I’ve been reading Cup of Jo every day right from the start and I don’t often comment but it gives me life. Thank you Joanna and Caroline and team. I love you.

    • Rusty says...

      Love to you all the ay from Perth!
      Stay safe and relish in your remoteness. x

  42. Carolina says...

    – I live near Paris, France.

    – With my husband, 2 kids (12 and 8) and a grumpy cat.

    – I’m a freelance editor in children books. I’m happy to continue working, even if it’s hard to supervise the kids’ homework !

    – a lot of the books I was supposed to work on have been cancelled this year, I worry I will stay without work till the end of the year. I worry for the future : everything will not likely be the same… but i’m sure the light is somewhere !

    – having a garden full of flowers, seeing my kids camping in it 2 nights in a row in a dusty old tent ! Drinking some good wine on Friday night with my husband. Hoping that we will have family gatherings soon.

  43. Martha says...

    *Virginia.
    *Sheltering with my husband of almost 45 years.
    *Making masks for family. I am a sewer and have a great batik
    collection perfect for masks. Working puzzles. Cooking.
    *I have stage 4 breast cancer and a lousy immune system. I had started staying home a few weeks before it became the norm for everyone. Not seeing my daughter and other family is really hard.
    *Good things: feeling good, a great place to walk (I live across the street from an almost deserted college campus), Long phone calls with people I love. Reading this blog and learning about members of the community.
    Stay safe. Stay strong. Try to laugh every day.

  44. RJ says...

    * Sydney, Australia
    * Home with hubby
    * Working from home, feeling very lucky to still have a job and be able to work from home when so many around me are losing theirs.
    * Working from home, lacking structure and never escaping from work
    * Connecting with friends that I had lost touch

  45. Sara says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    I’m in a far outer suburb of DC, about 60 miles to the West (Hamilton, VA if there’s any other readers around here!)
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my husband and our 2 cats
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? My job is mostly remote, before this I went into a local office about once every week or two. My team is nationally and internationally dispersed. So no real change from a work perspective. My husband being home every day working with me is a bit of a change though!
    * What’s hard right now? Missing my outside of work and home activities like playing tennis and just getting out of the house more – i’m a big wanderer/explorer and I can’t really do that except on foot or from behind car windows.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Playing outside. I’ve decided to do at least one cartwheel and one handstand per day. Taking walks. Reading! I’ve read sooo many books.

  46. * Birmingham, UK
    * Living with my husband
    * At work on a paediatric ward and neonatal unit
    * Fear of bringing home coronavirus despite my hand washing a million times a day, always wearing PPE when reviewing patients, and stripping at the door when I get home and throwing everything into the wash at 60C
    * Cooking and watching cooking shows when I’m at home ?

  47. CP says...

    Boston, MA
    -Living solo-but with my pug who is the best company :)
    -Working at a hospital Monday-Friday
    -Not seeing my family is very hard. Facetime only helps a bit after while. I haven’t seen my family in person since March 5. And they live 2 min away!
    -I do enjoy being able to take it easy on the weekends. I usually try to use my weekends as time to make up for working all week, and I am usually go go go. Now, knowing I CAN’T go anywhere forces me to take it easy. Watch tv and not feel guilty, sit in my yard, cook :)

  48. Margot says...

    I live in Bucharest, Romania.

    I live alone in my 2 bedroom apartment, which is situated in between 2 very beautiful parks we are no longer allowed to go to (social distancing etc). Im currently single, I have no kids and no pets.

    Im not working. End of 2018 I quit my high management job and moved to LA to live with my then American bf. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out, so I came back a few months ago. Its been a challenge to find a job and now, with covid-19 it’s going to be even harder. Im keeping busy with reading, cleaning the place, checking in with friends (my parents passed a long time ago), trying to do my own mani and pedi, cooking, watching movies and documentaries, Cant seem to workout in the house. I lack that self discipline.

    Finding a job is damn hard right now. Staying sane is even harder. I could really use a bear hug and lots of lilac and peonies.

    Every day, I go out for a walk around the park’s fence with my best friend, Cris, who luckily moved into my building last year. We re doing our best to keep each other sane through these rough times… Plus, she has the friendliest cat in the world, which I get to pet and hug whenever… :)

    I know everyone is having a rough time, so, do what ever helps you get through the day!

  49. Maryann says...

    * Where are you in the world? Portland, Maine
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I am with my husband, two kids (13 and 10) and a 16 year old recent immigrant from Angola who’s been living with us since October.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I am working full time as is my husband.
    * What’s hard right now? General anxiety about the larger situation, being separated from family, worrying about family who work in health care, worrying about my kids and especially our 16 year old who is separated from the African immigrant community in which he was so active before. Will we all be agoraphobic after this?
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Just being with family. We could all use a break but I know this time is fleeting and I’m soaking it up. Watching the Good Place, knitting a sweater, cooking a lot. Our 16 year old is trying to teach me African dance. Our 13 year old is watching all the old SNL clips on YouTube with me. Our 10 year old is deep-diving into art projects. Its intense and scary and awesome all at once. xoxo

  50. Kim says...

    * I live in the Netherlands! With my fiancee. We would have had our wedding in June (after 13 years together – we’re high school sweethearts :-) ) but that’s been postponed (to November). I still have to get used to the idea that we have to wait a little longer before we can get married… but mostly I am really glad to have my boyfriend by my side during these bizarre times.

    * I work (from home) for a university as policy advisor. It’s been super busy the last few weeks, as we are practically transferring to online education (and exams!) overnight! But I’ve always wanted to work in higher education, so I am happy where I am right now, even if that is at my kitchen table, Zooming for hours, and trying to manage the endless stream of emails from teachers, students, etc. :)

    * Personally I constantly switch between a sense of normalcy and of urgency. One moment I am sad that we don’t get to have the (summer) wedding we dreamed of for years, other times I just really really hope we all get through this safely. I find it really hard to have no idea what the future will bring us…

    * My boyfriend told me it was funny to see me working, in meetings, talking to myself when reading emails etc.. I like the idea that he gets to know this side of me, too! I also love the fact that we have (surprisingly) sunny weather right now in the Netherlands, so we are able to take long walks. And we are hopefully moving into a new house (we know have a one-bedroom appartment) in June/July and I am really looking forward to having a yard, a real home office and so on.

  51. Gabriele says...

    I live in Oakton, Virginia which is in Northern Virginia, outside of Washington DC.
    I live with my husband and 19 year old son, Alexander, and our Shih Tsu, Kimball, in a house with garden, trees and a deck.
    We are both fortunate enough to work from home. My son is taking his college classes online at home. Kimball is taking turns napping near all 3 of us and can’t figure out why we are all home, and he’s getting to go “Gassi” (German word for dog walk) so many times. I teach elementary school, and we have gone all digital and online. The learning curve is huge, but I’m happy I am acquiring new skills. And seeing my students’ faces in Zoom meetings or in Seesaw videos brings a smile to my face. I miss my students soooo much.
    I try not to watch any news, or my anxiety spirals out of control. I read only some news articles, and my friends know to text me anything major. I am worried and my sadness and anxiety comes in waves. I try to have a good cry and then try to move on. What’s super hard right now is that my daughter Tatjana is still overseas. She had done her semester abroad in Prague and loved it. Then she got the virus. She was hospitalized and is still recovering. She is out of the hospital, self quarantined until she no longer tests positive. Every few days the doctors come and give her the WHO test. When she has tested negative 3 times, she is considered no longer contagious. It’s been hard for her in a foreign country, alone, not speaking Czech fluently, to deal with all this. We have assisted as best we could from here, but it’s just hard. We’ve had amazing support from friends, other people, the embassy, the doctors in that hospital, and we know that has been our blessing. But….I miss her so much and just hope she comes home soon.
    I go on walks, do yoga, and bird watch in my yard with the Merlin Bird ID App. We live next to parkland and have nice bird habitats all around us, so “birding” is doable from our own deck. I read a ton and watch some shows on Amazon or Netflix. I don’t have any faith in our current administration and know we are on our own. I do have faith in our governor, in science, in our medical community, researchers, scientists, nurses, doctors. They are all working around the clock. And I pray. Harder than ever.

    • Haleigh says...

      I can’t imagine how hard it must be to have your daughter be alone, overseas! Sending love and light to you during this challenging time!

  52. Shelly Peleg says...

    * I’m in London
    * Living with my boyfriend and our cat
    * I’m still working, and was very fortunate to be able to keep my job for now, but in the past week there has been changes and much less work, so not sure where this situation is heading towards. For the meanwhile I’m appreciating any minute I have still having a job.
    * Hard bits: Assessing each day as I wake up my anxiety levels. Trying not to think too hard about the future and how it will look like, the physicality of being human: will that change forever? it makes me so sad. Thinking about my family in another country, especially my brother for whom this pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time as he was just separating from his wife.
    * Joy makers: So grateful to have a garden, I feel so lucky. tending to it brings me joy. Yoga classes on zoom with my teachers and mat-mates from before. Doing all the bits-and-bobs around the house I never got around to before (washing sofa cushion covers!). Not having to rush anywhere.

    Sending love to everyone reading this <3

  53. Sally Warner says...

    *Perth, Western Australia. Perth is not locked down at this stage, but are restricted to 2 people in gatherings unless family members.
    *Family – Husband, two sons 24 and 21
    *Husband and myself working in office, sons working from home.
    *Connecting with other family, including older parents who need support shopping etc.
    *We live in a small cul de sac (dead end street) with 12 houses. We have always been somewhat social. We’ve now got a Whats App group to keep connected and a couple times a week, connect by sitting on our verges and yelling across the street. We’ve also set up a badminton/finnska/bocce court for neighbours to face off on weekends.

    • Rusty says...

      Hey Sally!!! I’m in Perth too, South Perth!
      Love what you and your cul de sac people are doing to stay connected. Our neighbourhood is walking around and having verge chats. Stay safe ?

  54. Urs says...

    * Where are you in the world? Melbourne, Australia

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my darling housemate. A wine-importer who has just lost her job, but on the bright side now has 900 bottles of wine in our house.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working harder than I ever have, at least 60 hours a week, as a Community Mental Health Worker while studying social work full time.

    * What’s hard right now? Not knowing when I’ll get to see my family again. Feeling I can’t do enough to help this mental health crisis. Wanting to console all the hurting souls in the world but not have the skill, strength or stretch to be able to do that.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? My sweet cat. A lovely boy that calls me for hours long chats about life nearly every day. Having a job, and a reason to leave the house daily. A surprise care package that a colleague and his wife put together and dropped round yesterday, containing chocolate, biscuits, homemade soup, tissues, toilet paper, bath bombs and plenty of tea. Good wine. Good people.

    • Rusty says...

      There are a LOT of Aussies in here!!!

  55. NG says...

    Thank you for creating this post. It felt like one warm, giant, cozy hug and like we are all in this together- virtual group therapy.

    Here is me:
    – Northern New Jersey
    – Living with my husband and two children (ages 7 and 4)
    – Working a little bit from home, thankfully I still have my job but the work demands have significantly slowed. What I do for my job brings alot of joy to children and new parents so I feel even more appreciative when I am able to do some of that now.
    – What’s hard right now is the unknown…. how long will this last, will we stay well, will there be school and camp… My kids are holding up very well with this but they always want to know when they will see their friends again and when they will be able to do regular things again. My parents are older and live a few hours away. I am very concerned about them…. their understanding of this virus and how they can keep themselves as safe and healthy as possible. My mom went through a very very difficult period for the past few years and had finally come through that and I worry greatly about her going back to that dark place.
    – What is bringing joy is actually so much… in a weird way I would say that is more than the above worries. This time has made me realize how we resilient we are and how much resources we already have, both within ourselves and also in a concrete way. We have to problem solve, improvise and be creative on a daily basis and I am always amazed with what we come up with. I feel appreciative for the simple joys: having endless time to actually play with my kids (I would have never played a 3 day long game of Monopoly with my son ever…. nor would have we have had time to create elaborate forts and clubhouses), jogs by myself in the am, goining on nightly family strolls, baking more, trying to learn how to bake bread and having the time to do so…., seeing so so much goodness that exists in the world and in our communities, having more than ever to connect with friends and family

  56. NH says...

    Thanks so much for asking these questions. It makes me feel less alone to read the other answers. <3

    * Where are you in the world?: Philadelphia
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my fiance. We're getting along wonderfully — he's been such a wonderful, solid source of support. We don't have a date for our wedding yet since we don't want to book an event that might causing our elderly loved ones to get exposed to COVID19, so we've been talking about getting married in a tiny ceremony at home. We'll see!
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working as a doctor, teaching medical students online.
    * What’s hard right now? Watching my patients get very, very sick with COVID19 and trying to help the ones who aren't sick with their fear and stress. Not being able to visit my parents because I'm worried I might expose them.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Making a dance video for part of a mashup for a friend's postponed wedding! Walking my dog outside in the spring weather. Cooking ambitious new recipes, including lots of bread!

  57. Kelsey says...

    I’m in Pennsylvania, living with my husband, four kids (8,5,3, and infant), and our au pair. Every day I am grateful that she’s part of our family, especially now! I’m working full time from home, and my husband works outside the home. My kids are so sad that school is out, because to them, August feels like a lifetime from now.

    Things I’m so grateful for in this season: our yard and our retired neighbors who donated their playset to us, giving us hours of fun; virtual Codenames with extended family and weekly prayer with our small group from church; and all the things we didn’t have margin for before, like family workouts and long walks. Oh, and not waking up my eldest two for school (or having to pack lunches or empty folders)! There is so much grief and loss in this season, and yet there are also so many unexpected gifts.

  58. Laura says...

    *Dublin for a year (then move back to Montreal, Canada)
    Living with my partner in a tiny flat (going well but I find myself commenting way more on his constant snacking and farting).
    *Temporarily lost my job working as an archaeologist on a construction site here in Dublin. Now I’m back working on my PhD dissertation (there is no way around it now…)
    *People please don’t judge me, I am aware of my privilege…but I can’t help myself to feel disappointed and frustrated with all the cancelled plans. I moved to Dublin last August and this year was supposed to be an adventure to soak up Irish culture and landscape and connect with family members (from my partner’s side). Many friends and family members (like my twin sister) were supposed to come and see me this Spring, so I could share my new life with them. I enjoyed so much discovering old tiny pubs, hiking in the mountains, getting to know my new colleagues and their funny Irish expression… Now I feel stuck physically, socially, professionally. Alright, complaining is over, I am so grateful for my good health and for my silly and attentive boyfriend with whom I sharing these weird confined times.
    *I am passing the time playing Irish tunes on my fiddle, making jigsaw puzzles, baking scones, running, watching 90s movies etc.

  59. S says...

    Small town in Ct
    Home with husband, 3 kids – 2 are teen boys, on is college age daughter.
    Working 8 plus hours from home (normally WFH so no change besides everyone being home with me) – office door and mute button on phone are my bffs.
    Walking every day, 2x a day, cooking/baking, puzzles, sleep, less reading than normal which surprises me, starting to get garden going.

  60. * Lisbon, Portugal
    * I live alone, but my sister is my next door neighbour. We kept really apart for two weeks, as she had some symptons in the first days of the quarantine, but now we lunch and hang out together.
    * Working really hard. Like an average 5h/day on calls + actual doing work
    * To be honest what has been harder is the evidence that what I miss the most are things I wasn’t actually doing too much of before the quarantine. Like having people over for dinner and go out for long walks in Lisbon, making photo trips. The first weeks were like a brick wall, but now is like I found my path, somehow, and I am mostly waiting for this to end and I can have a new start. Sort of.
    * Talking with friends and family, watercolours, journaling (we are living unique days) and watching re-runs of Murder She Wrote, because Jessica could probably solve this.

    • Dina says...

      Joana, I totally relate to missing the things that you didn’t use to do a lot. I remember so many weekends spent indoors when I could be going for walks or hanging out with friends. It always seemed like there would be so many opportunities to do that in the future. It hurts a bit now, and like you, I promise myself to do better when the quarantine is over:)
      Also, how cosy and nice it is to have your sister as your neighbour!

  61. Dina says...

    * Saint Petersburg, Russia
    * I’m living with my husband and my dog.
    * Both my husband and I work remotely so we continue with our normal working routine (if anything can be called normal these days). We watch TV shows, read and play computer games in our free time.
    * It’s hard because I worry about my family back in my hometown, my old grandmas and my aunt who is a doctor. It’s also hard not to get angry seeing how careless some people are just chilling outside not thinking about consequences.
    * These days, it feels amazing just to get outside for ten minutes with my dog and feel that it’s getting warmer and it smells like spring. Also, every evening my husband and I read aloud to each other, which makes me feel safe and cosy. Playing Just Dance and feeling how nice it is to move. Listening to audiobooks which make you forget about things for a moment.

  62. Julia says...

    I’m living in Switzerland with my husband and our two boys age 8 and 11.
    We are both working for our own small company, so right now, I am the one taking full time care of our kids while my husband tries to keep our company alive. I worry about our health, the health of my parents, of how society will have changed after the crisis. It brings me joy to live from day to day and I have started to become more attentive and dedicated to the present moment, since the future seems so uncertain.

  63. Mouse says...

    * Rural Maine
    *Living with my husband, and sadly without a pet as our cat died in Feb.
    * I’ve been learning to teach voice lessons online as my conservatory finishes out the spring term. It’s been really frustrating and oddly rewarding and I’m finding out new things about my students, myself, and teaching. Still doesn’t work for actual real voice lessons though. :)
    * Worrying about my elderly parents, friends, and the state of our democracy.
    * I have literally never done my job and been able to go home for dinner and sleep in my own bed. I was a traveling singer for so long and almost never worked in the town where I lived. To be able to do this is a revelation.
    Also, there’s no one I’d rather be with in lockdown than my husband. I know, lucky me, but he came late in my life and I don’t take it for granted.

    • Rusty says...

      Shelters are desperate for people to adopt … adopt a kitty!

  64. Amy says...

    * Where are you in the world? Melbourne, Australia
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? My husband, two boys age 4 & 8 and our dog
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’ve been on annual leave for a couple of weeks which was planned, but spent differently than we intended. I’ll be going back to work after Easter, from home, three days a week
    * What’s hard right now? Seeing so many businesses around us struggling and having to change suddenly. Not throwing out all those daily hellos on the school run. Not going to parks with play equipment. Having everyone in the house, all the time.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Baking! Lots of baking. Getting overdue tasks done – tomorrow I’m steam cleaning the couch myself, woohoo! Oh and long walks with the ‘How I Built This’ podcast.

    • Rusty says...

      Another Aussie!!! Seriously, there are LOADS of us “in here”.

  65. I live in Auckland, New Zealand.
    I’m with my husband and our almost 3 year old son (his 3rd birthday’s tomorrow!)
    I’m not working and my husband, who works in tourism, has been asked to use up his annual leave this month.
    What’s hard right now is not knowing what the future brings, if we will have a stable income. We have a large mortgage. Also our son wonders every day why he can’t visit friends, go to a cafe, the library or a park. He’s very active and spirited, it’s hard to keep him entertained!
    Our son brings us so much joy every day and this time spent altogether at home means we are really bonding and working through the challenges that being three can bring (mainly stubbornness, defiance). Since we don’t need to hurry him up to get him out the door on time, we can use the time to parent with more patience. Also the things he says crack us up constantly, he keeps us on our toes. This morning he asked if birds have penises.

  66. Jody Winter says...

    I live in Auckland, New Zealand. I live in my own home with Paul, my partner of 20 years and our cat, Lily. We are both very lucky to work in tech, so we just wrapped up our second week of working fulltime from home. What’s hard right now is wondering which of our favourite services will still be around after the government lockdown eases. We are both introverts so we are loving the time at home and not having to deal with traffic and commuting to work. I am especially loving the sense of community that the majority of Kiwis are showing to one another, and our desire to help those not able to work through various online donation websites and crowdfunding. I am giving as much as I can, and that feels good.

  67. Allie says...

    *London, United Kingdom
    *With my husband of four years. We were long distance before we got married this is the longest we’ve ever spent together. Luckily, we’re doing okay. We’ve also been isolating a week longer than the rest of the UK.
    *We’re both working from home longer hours then we’d work in the office. (HR, Immigration)
    * I’m from Chicago, IL and mentally its hard knowing the borders are closed between the USA and UK. If family were to get sick I can’t get get to them.
    *Joy: My home and balcony, trying new recipes, at home work outs with the Peloton app, Video calls with family, Tea, Books, Volunteering and my neighbours and Sauvignon Blanc.

  68. Marta says...

    * Where are you in the world? Warsaw, Poland
    * Are you living solo or with other people ? I’m living with my husband and toddler twins.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m on a paid leave (80 % of salary) which is paid by goverment to parents of children under 8 yo (because kindergardens are closed). I also do some smaller tasks for my job (mostly in the evenings).
    * What’s hard right now? It’s been over 4 weeks since stay at home order and I’m exhausted, feel guilty of not doing enough creative stuff with my kids(thankfuly our kindergarden sends us some tasks but no more than 2 per week plus 10 minutes English lessons) and letting them watch too much tv. I feel guilty that we live in 55 sqm. apartment and can’t provide them a garden. I’m worry about my job, my SIL who is cafe-owner, my brother who was laid off. I am also worried about democracy in my country. Also start having panic attacks for the first time in my live. I also worry about my diet (I am IR) and not doing enough sport.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now ? Spring flowers, my kids doing silly things, my Spanish online classes, ‘Normal people’ by Sally Rooney, rewatching older movies (recently Lake House), funny tv series (What we do in the shadows, HBO’s Breeders – highly recommened, Workin moms). Because we will spend Easter by ourselves I plan to bake my favourite Easter cake for the first time – mazurek kajmakowy (can be described as shortbread with fudge).

  69. Leigh says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    I’m in Barcelona, Spain.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Just me and my husband. We’re regretting not adopting a dog before the lockdown… dog owners are the only ones allowed to go for a stroll here.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    We’re both working now more than ever. I work in online learning and he in video games… so it’s been quite demanding and almost impossible to disconnect.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Zooming with friends who have babies and dogs and not being able to hold or pet them. My husband’s parents are quite old as well. They live in a small town in Spain and aren’t good with technology so we haven’t been able to see them over video.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Actually having time to connect with some of my favourite people from back home (Canada). We have a standing call every week and almost never cancel!

  70. Burcus says...

    * Where are you in the world?Istanbul Turkey
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband and two kids-10 and 4 years old.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Let’s say trying to Work
    * What’s hard right now? I am actually enjoying overall. I am grateful that we are healthy and have a house and food.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Baking, being with my kids,

  71. Daphna says...

    * Tel Aviv, Israel ☀️
    * Staying with my grandparents – apartment sublet fell through. It has been a blessing in disguise – not living on my own in isolation (would have been horrible for my mental health) and not hemorrhaging money for rent in a central place I can’t even enjoy because of the full lockdown.
    * I am working part-time while also job searching…
    * It’s hard checking off calendar days and seeing all the plans that would have been happening. Especially around these spring family-oriented holidays. It is hard to not know when I’ll be able to go home again and see my parents or my friends. As a single person it’s hard not know when I’ll be able to go out and date again. Its hard watching my grandparents still go out and shop for themselves (not because they have to, because they choose to). It’s hard to decide whether it’s ok because their mental health is holding strong this way, or if the risk of disease is worth continuously chastising them for it (which I did the first two weeks of lockdown, but we‘re into week 5 now…). It has been hard fearing of becoming depressed like I have in the past when I was out of a job or working remotely (though this does feel different – it’s a collective experience rather than my own individual one)
    * I have been catching up with old friends from high school and college and it has been wonderful!! I have been consistently doing Pilates over zoom with friends and feel stronger than ever! I have been watching lots of good tv (Eg Broadchurch, GIRLS). I have been freed up to focus on my health – I can sleep 8-10 hours a night, I have time to remember to take supplements and prepare healthy food and sit outside in my yard in the sun and do my full skin care routine….and my stress and anxiety have been MUCH lower….I feel like my hair and skin look healthier than they have been in over a year!! And that goes for my overall sense of well being also.

  72. A says...

    * Where are you in the world? Ireland
    * Are you living solo or with other people? Husband and two kids
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Currently on Easter break from ‘school’
    * What’s hard right now? Generally I’m a bit of an introvert so I don’t mind being home but I do miss my close circle
    * What’s bringing you joy right now? Playing with my kids and feeling grateful to be part of a happy family where it’s a joy just to be together. I feel many people are stuck at home in less than ideal circumstances right now. Some people are in dangerous situations at home. Nature also. It’s been nice to have time. Time to look around and see what’s happening in my garden. Time to listen. I sat outside in quiet yesterday morning early and just listened to the birds. Can’t remember when I last did that. It was beautiful.

  73. Agata says...

    # Warsaw, Poland
    # Living solo in a small studio, no pets (unfortunately)
    # as a screenwriter I am lucky to work from home but I miss meeting my team from time to time, even my boss!
    # it’s hard not to fall into depression, not having boyfriend, not visiting family for Easter, not walking in the park (they’re closed), not having energy and motivation to work on my own projects, and also realizing I don’t have close friends who would contact me and ask how i am doing (but i am trying to step outside my comfort zone and reach them)
    # morning coffee, sunny days, birds and trees outside my window, short walks, listening to Ek Ong Kar mantra, having a job and healthy family, talking with my grandma, having time to reflect on my life and how I want it to look like.

    Thank you Joanna (and Caroline!) for your posts! Your writing brings me a lot of comfort in these days, sending you lots of love!

  74. K says...

    *Los Angeles
    * Living with husband and 5 year old
    * Working part time teaching online, and full time SAHM
    * Being pregnant and due in couple weeks, not knowing whether to deliver alone or have my son stay with someone else (who we can trust and who can trust us during this time of staying home) so my husband can be with me during labor and delivery (family member who would’ve flown here to watch him can’t come anymore). Worrying about friends who are doctors and nurses who are helping people with Covid-19.
    * Spending extra time with 5 year old and husband at home before kid #2 (and newborn life) comes into the world, being forced to physically rest at home, and not feeling pressured to go out (or that I’m missing out on anything!) during this time when I should be resting (something I am usually not good at), watching Catastrophe and loving Sharon’s bright cheery outfits.

  75. Zoe says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Melbourne, Australia

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I live with two housemates and my dog and cat.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I’m fortunate to be able to work from home.

    * What’s hard right now?
    My dad had a stroke in early March and is thankfully recovering well but it’s hard not being able to visit. I am struggling with being single during this crisis, seeing everyone’s cute families when I’m living a life I didn’t expect is difficult.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    I love being home with my dog and cat, having time to spend with them has been lovely. Catching up with friends and family via Zoom has been surprisingly fun! Making fresh pasta and other things I’d normally not have time for is great. Getting into gardening has been more fun than expected.

    • Rusty says...

      A.Noth.Er.Aussie!

  76. * Where are you in the world?
    Kigali, Rwanda (American expat)

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I live with my husband and 10-month-old daughter

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Yes, my husband and I are both teachers at an international school, which has moved to online. This week is our spring break, though (technically Genocide Memorial week here in Rwanda) and it has been nice to have a break, even if things still largely look the same.

    * What’s hard right now?
    It’s a difficult time for expats, deciding to stay or go. (I wrote an article about it here for any other expats, or anyone who’s interested: https://www.takingroute.net/taking-route/covid-19-and-the-loss-of-goodbyes) Even though our airport has been shut down for almost three weeks, a few embassies worked together to make a final ‘repatriation flight’ happen, and some of our best friends are leaving on it today (due to pregnancy complications). They were planning on moving at the end of the school year, but just had to finalize and pack everything in just this week. We’ve been helping them sort and pack, and I am feeling very sad about it today.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    The baby being silly, (unsanctioned) visits with our friends as we say goodbye, good books, baking muffins, looking forward to moving into a new house with a great porch and good view

  77. Shelley says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Geneva, Switzerland
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Solo in my 500 square foot apartment
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Working remotely — more than expected.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Thinking ahead to 8 (or more) weeks to go without any physical touch or closeness to another person; helping team members with mental health; finding that toxic or annoying colleagues are just as toxic or annoying at a distance; giving up so many long-anticipated plans for work and personal travel and realizing that it may be a year before I go home for a visit
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Finally starting videoconferences with family (amazing Zoom call with 14 people last week); getting back in contact with friends when there was no time before; walking for miles each day and appreciating that this is allowed under our lockdown rules which are not as strict as neighboring Italy and France; discovering new parks and green spaces near my apartment; finding fresh flowers at small shops when grocers were banned from selling them

  78. * WHERE: Dublin, Ireland!
    * WHO: With my partner – I moved here 5 weeks ago after being in a long-distance relationship for 6 months – so it’s been quite the transition!
    * WORK: I lost my job last month, so now I’m focusing on reading and writing and unpacking/organizing our apartment.
    * HARD: Being so far away from my sister and friends who are all in the states. Not having a firm grasp of what my “normal” Ireland life looks like since I just moved here.
    * JOY: Video chat dates with friends, Reading, Writing, Baking.

    • R says...

      Hi Nicole, I live in Dublin too. Just wanted to welcome you to the city and I hope you get to explore it properly soon :)

  79. Verena says...

    * Brixton, London
    * my husband and two boys (6&8)
    * I’m working at a university and we have holidays at the moment. Calm before the storm.
    * Knowing this is the best of the lockdown: the sun is shining, my husband can work from home, I can give my attention to the boys. But I miss seeing my friends and going out. And so does my 8 year old, he can’t articulate it and so is quite moody. I’m also missing my family in Germany and there’s a big question mark if we can visit them this summer. The biggest worry is that I know some friends are struggling and we can’t help.
    * I’ve always been into cooking and baking. Yesterday I made Hot Cross Buns. We have an amazing garden and we can enjoy it to the full: every day there are more bees, more bugs, more flowers, more leaves. It’s so reassuring that nature continues. Although children can’t socialise I think it gives them a great opportunity to explore their interests and take a break from school. It makes me realise how demanding school is for them.

  80. Nathalie says...

    * Where are you in the world? I live in a small town near Munich, in Bavaria, Germany.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I live with my husband, my two-year-old and a cat.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? During the day I spend the time almost exclusively with my son. At night I have to correct papers and essays from my students (I’m a High School teacher and my students will have final exams in July – as far as we know for now).
    * What’s hard right now? It is hard to be away from family and friends. My husband has to go to work and when he gets home I have to work. I miss talking to people and being able to go places, just normal places like the library or a café but also holiday. We had to cancel our trip to Italy which we wanted to take in June. I’m really emotional a lot of the time, I’m a “planner” and it’s just so hard not to be able to really plan work and my life in general.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Spending so much time with my son is really great, we play a lot and spend a lot of time in his sand box in our garden. I also get to read a little during the day (which is great! Just finished “Where the crawdads sing” and really liked it). Also after work I watch one or two episodes of “Grace and Frankie” which is really great. I started doing “The class” workouts to make me feel better and so far it worked.

    This idea is so great! I feel so much better reading that everybody has similar experiences! Somehow we’re all united in this. I hope everybody gets through this just fine! Stay healthy! Sending all the love from Germany.

  81. Martini says...

    I’m in Wash. DC Metro area. Dealing with breast cancer, surgery and pain. Future up in the air. 70 yrs. old. Hunkered down w/ husband. He slips out to the store to purchase foods & meds as needed. Plenty enough to keep us occupied and entertained. Trying not to get down in the Rabbit Hole with the reality of the virus and this very dangerous mad man who pretends to know what he’s doing while being our POTUS.
    A vaccine for the virus and votes enough to get him out of office is what I’m praying for.

    • Rusty says...

      I think most people in the world are praying for those two things, even those of us on the other side of the world. It’s THAT obvious … the madman! ?

  82. A says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Paris, where I’ve lived for 3 years although I’m originally from the US.

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    My brand-new husband; we got married last summer. Both sides of our family keep reminding us how lucky we are to have gotten married last year – we had our civil ceremony in the US for the French family to meet the American side and our big Church ceremony in France with tons of friends and family from around the world.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    We’re both working full-time and (unpaid) overtime.

    * What’s hard right now?
    Our apartment is a one bedroom in the center of Paris so we have about 37sqm (just short of 400sqft). Luckily we have big beautiful windows (with an Eiffel Tower view!) but I miss being able to go outside. Even though I love living in cities (I lived in NYC for almost a decade before moving to Paris), the confinement is pushing up my timeline for moving to the burbs. I used to swear it wouldn’t be before we have kids but I’d really like to have a garden right now.

    We haven’t left our apartment in four weeks now. The furthest we’ve gone is to the building’s inner courtyard to take the trash out once a week. We’re having groceries delivered once a week as well. It’s tough to stay inside all the time, especially because the weather in Paris has been incredible the last few days, but there was a really hard week towards the beginning of the confinement where every day someone new we knew was getting diagnosed with coronavirus. My grandparents live in another European country and I’m trying to take the precautions I’d like the people in their area to take – which means no outdoor movement even if we’re technically allowed outside once a day.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    I’m fortunate to have 3 out of 4 grandparents still alive and in their 90s. I call my grandparents every morning and just chat for a few minutes. The confinement has been tough on them – they live independently so it’s been a hard transition to life indoors all the time. The morning calls let me check in on them and then share the news of the day with our family in the US so my parents wake up and know their parents are doing well.

    Aside from that, baking is tough since there seems to be a bit of a flour shortage in the Paris area so I’m rationing it out. One of my treats is a weekly pizza – something I never made from scratch before the confinement but I’ve since grown more confident in my skills.

    I’m also spending way more time online searching for dream houses in the French countryside and trying to convince my husband that he can convince his bosses to let him go remote full-time (like me!) when the confinement ends.

  83. Vanessa says...

    I live in Vienna, Austria, and share the apartment with my husband and our three lively (oh so lively) daughters (9, 7, 7).
    I am lucky to be able to work from home during this phase. At the moment the girls enjoy Easter holidays, but in the weeks before we all sat down at the dining table and worked on our projects and assignments in companionable, creative chaos.
    What’s hard right now? Well, I’m a true introvert. There seems to be not a single second of the day just for myself. Somedays that’s no issue, other days I just hide out in the bathroom for a few minutes to breathe and hear my own thoughts again. Still, I am grateful we are all healthy and together and how incredibly lucky we are in comparison to so many others.
    I found a lot of joy in the reduced tempo and the simplicity of this moment. We do things unhurried, we would have squeezed in otherwise: baking cakes and bread, long walks, weeknight bbqs on the terrace, daily yoga (oh, how i adore Adriene), long Skype talks with the grandmothers and the cousins, reducing the to-read pile, knitting a baby blanket for a friend,…

  84. Scarletb says...

    * New Zealand, Wellington
    * Effectively solo – my lockdown “bubble” is two households, which fits the rules where someone lives alone. So my flatmate spends most days at his girlfriend’s place (she has space where he can work, and also a cat so couldn’t come here), but pops back on Sundays and overnights to Monday morning. So we can catch up and chat but aren’t stepping on each other’s toes all week in our small flat with no outside area.
    * I’m working. I’m in an essential industry, but fortunate enough to be able to work from home. This Easter weekend a few of us from my team (among others) are helping out another team with a very high Covid-related workload so we’re also taking turns jumping online and pitching-in in the hopes they might not have to work the whole way through again like they did last weekend. For most people this is a 4-day weekend. But again, fortunate – we’ll get to take time-in-lieu for the work we do over this period.
    * I’m a gym-junkie, and my gym will be closed for I don’t know how long! I’ve managed to cobble together some strange objects (e.g. jerry cans full of water!) to work out from home somewhat, but it’s really not the same. We’re in the max level of our 4 levels of Covid-19 response, but things like gyms are closed at L4 AND L3. But if we ease off to L3, I’ll at least be able to work out at someone else’s home gym with proper barbells and racks, thank goodness :). I’m also used to popping into the supermarket a few times a week on the way home from work, and I’m trying to limit that as much as possible, so have gone twice since the 15th of March. My family live in another city so it’s not weird to not see them – if anything, we’re communicating more.
    * Weirdly, perhaps – the solitude is the nicest part. I’m an “extreme lark”, and so it’s nice to be able to just get *up* if I wake up before 4, and not worry about bothering anyone. I appreciate how quiet everything is – the long-term roadworks that would normally make working from home a bit horrible are shut down right now. I like going for a run in the pre-dawn and there’s almost no traffic. I feel like in some ways I’m recovering from an over-intense February-March at work, and am still not quite rested enough yet, but the quiet is helping. It feels like peace, not isolation.

  85. Hazar says...

    * I live in Istanbul
    * We live together with my sister, she is 20 and I’m 27. Even if we born on the same day we have two very different personalities. We light candles around the house in the evenings, pick a different subject everyday like our childhood, relationship with our parents, sex, love, friendship etc. and have long chats on them. We’ve always been so close but these hard days made us discover more about each other, which I’m very thankful for. It also made us realize we should always take time for this nourishing shares hence turn it into a sister ritual.
    * Even though most of the companies have been working from home for the last 3 weeks, as an assistant of an executive at a big company here, I’m still working from the office. We are normally 350 people in the headquarters but now 12 of us left working from the office and my home is walking distance so it is not stressing me out for now. But other than that I’m always at home.
    * Last year I went to the Oxford University to take an elective class within my MBA program and fell in love with an English guy there who lives in Tuscany (long story). I spent the most wonderful time with him in both here and Italy. He has been quarantined there for a long time now, I’m worried about him and that beautiful country. I wasn’t a romantic person at all but songs and movies on love has a whole another meaning to me now. I miss him so much.
    * Facetiming with my grandma! She is 74 and still has a boutique which she opens daily at a cute small town in the beautiful Turkish south sea coast. She has been working non-stop since she was a teenager so this stay home situation is giving her a hard time. She lost her husband 27 years ago and lives alone. So as her grandchildren and children, we took a mission of amusing her on the phone so she won’t get bored and want to go out. Our conversation contains a lot of spoilers on daytime soap operas, her famous recipes, how to make white laundry even whiter (struggle is real) and how she still can’t figure out how she raised 4 kids but can’t handle her 2 houseplants. “it just doesn’t make sense!” :)

    I hope you all are hanging there, sending love and virtual hugs to you all from Istanbul <3

  86. Deidre Matthee says...

    Because I still find solace in poetry and I’m moved by all the stories shared here, a poem I wrote for us in these times :
    How They Became Birds
    it would be some time
    before they could really walk again
    their steps grew smaller
    their legs sluggish, waterlogged
    it was easier to fold them up,
    tuck them away under their bodies
    it was better for nesting anyway
    for it was needed
    to tend to their nests
    to shield what was fragile
    sometimes they wondered
    at how light their lives had become
    for a while
    they could only see things
    far away
    for a while the sky
    was all they had
    of freedom
    and they had no choice
    but to trust the wind
    they realized that singing
    carried further than talking
    it was only a matter of time
    before more than their voices took flight
    but by then they had learned fiercely
    to let go

    • Deidre Matthee says...

      I’m a South African turned Portuguese citizen living in Bucharest, Romania, with my partner and our four-year-old daughter.

      It’s hard to express what is hard right now, because it is overwhelming. There is the constant hard: concern for the well-being of my family, sadness for those in already awful situations, now made worse, the presence of loss. And the everyday changing hard (finding time and space for myself, and other intimate struggles, remembering to live one day at a time).
      My daughter brings me the most joy, and then the act of creating, and always the sky.

  87. Deidre says...

    Thank you for sharing this. I am not in that situation, but it is familiar to me. In South Africa, where I’m from, liquor stores are closed… But I am not sure if it is working.

  88. Maria says...

    – Valencia, Spain
    – Locked down with my husband
    – Both of us work from home, he normally does so now I have chrashed into his routine, haha
    – As we are only allowed to go out for groceries I am finding really hard not to be able to see my family, who live close by, not being able to go for a run, etc. But mostly, I worry about all those who have lost their jobs, businesses closed down, big huge recession coming this way, lonely old people in their homes, and I am going to stop here
    – I put up a bird feeder in our tiny yard. My desk faces a window so I can see it when I am working. Every time a sparrow or a robin comes and eat I smile. Also, I bake cookies every week and drop them off at my parents door.

  89. Gayle says...

    * Singapore

    * Living with my parents and brother.

    * Working from home most days of the week. Singapore is kind of on lockdown in all but name, so everyone’s been confined to staying at home. We can only go out for essentials, and the occasional walk.

    * I studied overseas for a good while and got used to living alone (or with a flatmate, at least). Rent here is too expensive for a recent graduate – moving out of the family home is not really an option here till you’re married, or in your late 30s. It’s been rather intense living with my parents again. I’ve grown, and not having my own space (in the many senses of the word) feels uncomfortably close to regression.

    * Speaking to my friends makes me feel like myself again! Reconnecting with art, my body and the recesses of my mind I’ve pushed away is tough but necessary, and I may not wholly enjoy it now but I know it’ll be beneficial in the long run.

  90. Maggie says...

    Where are you in the world? Honolulu HI

    Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? My husband and our 10 month old daughter

    Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m a stay at home mama

    What’s hard right now? I’m very used to not seeing my family who all live on the mainland. But the past few weeks have been difficult without seeing my friends, who have very much become my family here! I am also around my daughter 24/7 which can be downright exhausting. Worrying about so many of my friends who are frontline nurses and doctors.

    What’s bringing you joy right now? Facetiming with my family almost everyday, my siblings and I slowly reconnecting, seeing so many families outside all the time walking and riding bikes, Headspace, working out during morning nap time, baking lots of bread

  91. Miranda says...

    —Portland, Oregon
    —Living with my husband and our two year old son.
    —I work part-time from home as a writer, and in normal life have a nanny that comes for about 10 hours a week. She’s not coming right now (obviously) so I’m doing all of the 9-5 childcare. I get a little work done during nap and after my husband is done with work at 5. A bit of a juggle, but it’s fine with me. I’m his primary caregiver as it is so this isn’t too different, and I know it’s not forever.
    —Our son, Griffin! He makes me laugh all day. More than ever I revel in toddlers unique capacity to bring joy to the most everyday things. Today he was just ecstatic to open the fridge (after dinner) and see “tawbewwy yogurt!” Like, his whole body just vibrated with excitement! And when I said he could eat it it was just like that happiest I have maybe ever seen him and that’s not an exaggeration. He was over the moon. It brings me joy that I live with a creature of joy and wonder. We are healthy, employed, safe, supported. Ridiculous luck. It makes no sense and I wish I could share it. But nonetheless it is.

    I am grateful & relieved to find that all feelings are present and accounted for—disbelief, malaise, anxiety, but also joy, wonder, calm—here at the beginning or in the middle or who knows where we are in this pandemic. In the midst of a pandemic, feelings—all of them—go on and on. The same things are funny. There’s dark humor, love, camaraderie. Survival instinct and a desire to help.

  92. Fran says...

    *Currently living in Auckland, New Zealand.
    *I am ridin’ solo as Jason DeRulo once sang.
    *I got made redundant by my workplace in the UK in February before Corona became a pandemic. Came over to New Zealand for an adventure and to work for a year. Currently passing my time by reading lots, going for walks, trying online courses (trying – being the operative word) and dabbling in creative activities like drawing and writing etc.
    *Finding the sense of uncertainty hard and not knowing my next steps and whereabouts and whether to go home where it seems to be worse or stay put. Knowing that in the grand scheme of things that it doesn’t really matter what I decide.
    *Loving the connectedness I feel with people at home that frames my mornings and evenings. I’ve chatted with relatives I would never pick up the phone to at home and old work colleagues I see maybe once a year. I think I am the only person I know that hasn’t had a zoom meeting call yet and I am totally ok with that.

  93. Elena says...

    *NYC
    * Living with my husband and five month old son
    * I am still at work full time; I’m a nurse anesthetist but since elective surgeries are cancelled we are helping manage ventilators on the covid ICU floors
    * It’s hard see what’s happening every day at work when I want to bury my head in the sand. It’s hard to not get to stay at home and enjoy time off like so many people. But mostly, I’m so worried I will bring this home to my husband and son.
    * My days off, listening to music, all the amazing things my son does (because he’s adorable and perfect, haha), my husband’s incredible support. The people of NYC who cheer every night at 7 for healthcare workers, which sounded so cheesy until I heard it and cried into my precious N95 mask!

  94. Linda says...

    I live in Paris, France.
    I live with my French husband. We are both retired. We did a whole lot of traveling before the quarantine and so are missing that. We have had to cancel several planned trips and I’m guessing it will be at least a year before we travel again. My mother is in a retirement home in Arizona and I don’t know when I will see her again. She always sort of self isolated herself anyway so doesn’t seem too upset at what’s going on.
    I’m one of those people who likes being alone and do a lot of reading and watching movies and series on Netflix. I started Ozark but don’t know if I can finish the second year. The Mexican cartel isn’t as scary as those Ozark natives-at least in this series. My husband has been going through very high anxiety and panic attacks being confined even though he can get out and walk some but I think he finally has gotten some meds that are helping him. It’s not fun for him or me. I find myself very impatient with him which isn’t nice for him or me.
    Joy is reading, cooking, talking with children and grandchildren via Zoom. Here in Paris, at 8 PM every night, everyone opens their windows and applauds those on the front lines working for us. There are church bells and sirens, people playing music like I Will Survive, and lots of cheering. It is such a link with others in our area and it fills my heart which seems rather empty at the end of another day of enforced isolation. We humans always seem very resilient when we need to.

  95. Ivana says...

    * I live in Zagreb, Croatia
    * Living with my husband and 4 kids age 14, 11, 7 and 21 month in a small apartment (2 bedrooms, 70 m2)
    * Working from home few hours a day
    *I can’t see my sister (she is seriously ill, fighting cancer in her pelvis for 8 years), I have a fear of earthquakes (Zagreb had two earthquakes 3 weeks ago, it did a lot of damages to the old buildings (churches, buildings))
    * spending quality time with my family – love it (as an introvert, I don’t mind being at home; our apartment is small, but at the moment it’s perfect size), it’s a blessing for me to spend so much time with them

  96. Emma says...

    San Francisco

    Husband and 3 year old son

    I teach kindergarten (now online, what even is that??)

    We lost our daughter at 23 weeks on February 7th. I recovered for 3 weeks at home, went back to work (hardest thing I’ve ever done) for 2 weeks and then we were quarantined. The grief of losing our baby has blended into the grief of the situation. And we haven’t seen any friends since I lost her, so 2 months now. It’s like I really can’t remember if anyone but us exist.

    My husband and son have really become my everything. We were grieving together already and now I feel so close to them both. My son is recently into kidding literally everything- which isn’t very timely of him (lots of no kissing trees, park benches, parking meters etc. in public) but I just love for his kisses on my cheek.

  97. Monique says...

    * Where are you in the world? Melbourne, Australia
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I’m in my apartment with my husband and our cat.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I work for a bank, so I’m still busy. My husband is immune compromised and isn’t working.
    * What’s hard right now? Being away from family. My sister is pregnant and it seems unlikely I’ll get to see the baby when she’s born. We were also meant to start fertility treatment last month, but it’s been put on hold as it’s considered ‘non-essential medical treatment’. Trying very hard not to think about what the delay may cost us.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now? Video calls with my nieces, I love to use the silliest filters I can find to make them laugh. Also, it’s starting to get colder here in Melbourne and a long, early morning walk in the chill feels very cleansing.

  98. becky says...

    * Oakland, CA right across the street from beautiful Lake Merritt
    * Living with my husband and 2 kiddos, plus my housemates (another family of 2 parents and 2 kids), and our dog — 9 of us total in 1 apartment!
    * Always juggling working full time and hanging out with the kids
    * Feeling like I’m drowning all the time and never being able to catch a breath. Sitting in the heaviness and anxiety at what’s happening and our day to day reality
    * Small watercolor sketches, impulse online shopping, reconnecting with friends, the oblivious drooly bliss of my 7 month old, gorgeous skies, fun takeout from local restaurants, allllll the coffee, bread, and alcohol

  99. Leah says...

    * Where are you in the world? Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband and plants.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Mainly, volunteering from home, reading, learning to play the piano, trying new recipes, and hoping that this confining time will end soon.

    * What’s hard right now? The confinement has been psychologically hard to me. I also had few episodes of depression in the past, so I”m doing what I can to prevent it from coming back now.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching). Go for a daily walk around my neighborhood and taking pictures of the cherry trees, magnolias and flowers that are blooming now, listening to music, making home made pizza with a glass of good wine. Read the Cup of Jo is part of my daily routine and it brings me joy. Thank you Joanna and the all time!
    PS: Sorry if this post was duplicate. It was my first post and I not sure how things work.

  100. Ash says...

    LA — My partner with whom I also run my education business.
    Thankfully, we’re running the business remotely and haven’t had to layoff any employees. When we’re not working, we’re taking long walks, cooking with each other, tackling house projects, and delivering groceries to my parents and 92 year old grandma.

    Last summer, I almost committed suicide due to suffering with complex PTSD from trauma I suffered as a child and teen (foster care kid, long story). I went away for treatment for a few months, and then came back in the fall to slowly acclimate back into my life. It’s been a huge challenge for me to maintain treatment while not letting the current circumstances trigger my PTSD, not to mention while managing my company and changing my business model to move all of my employees to remote learning and teaching. But like many others, I do — we do it — because we must, because we will and we do.

    My gratitude and joy list grows longer everyday. To know I can still provide health insurance to my full time employees. To know I can still provide jobs to all my employees, including those part-time. We’re a small company, but I am still so incredibly grateful. To have a partner who holds me and makes me laugh, and is often the first one to make up after a stupid fight because we’re trapped inside our relatively small place and need fresh air. For the cookies I am about to stuff in my face after I finish this post — my moments of joy and gratitude are so sweet and so tender and so small and so ubiquitous because I find if I don’t actively choose to find it, despair sets in and that’s bridge to nowhere.

    We gotta hold onto the hope.

  101. Emmy says...

    These responses are all so amazing. Such a good reminder that we are all not alone!

    -Berkeley, California
    -With my husband and our dog
    -What’s hard: I work in the arts and make very little money already, and it’s looking like my husband might be laid off next week from his nonprofit job where he earns even less than I do. I’m not sure how we will make ends meet if that comes to pass – the Bay Area is so expensive :( We got married last year and have to delay our honeymoon. Also just found out a friend is recovering from COVID and had a very scary and lonely time at the hospital, and a family member of another friend died from the virus in New Orleans. Really puts my non-health-related worries into perspective.
    -What is giving me joy: our lush neighborhood with all its blooming flowers, sunshine, David Lebovitz’s salted chocolate chip tahini cookies, Zoom happy hours with friends, Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, endless hang time with my dog.

  102. rachel simmons says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Fresno, CA (Central valley)

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    I live with my husband, our 4 yr old daughter, and 2 pups… I also have a very tiny wombmate, will debut in October ;)

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    My husband and I are both still working full time, outside of the home, and my daughters very small private preschool is OPEN! (praise hands)

    * What’s hard right now?
    The unknown… I just want normal (social) life back. … not seeing friends/going to church/family dinner with my in laws….that all has been rough. We have very close friends of ours that live directly next door and they’re really our closest quarantine friends…we still spend time with them…. not often, and not too closely but its 100% important for our sanity.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? The beautiful California weather, sun, big puffy clouds, wet rainy days and nights, long walks with my fam, picking wild flowers, baking and spending extra time at home, with my daughter, life will change very soon with another baby on the way and I’m really realizing how valuable this time with her is. I am so looking forward to summer too, bbqs at the lake, camping, beach trips, lots of pool time… thats made me excited for the future which lets be honest, the BEST thing ever (anticipation) the journey to the destination, both so sweet.

  103. Charlie says...

    * Singapore (this month would be my 6th year living in this city/country)

    * My funny husband (married for 5+ years and been together for 9 years)

    * Working full-time and remotely as program manager. Thankful to still have a job, and just survived week 1 fully working-from-home… yayyy! *patting myself on the back* Good job, you.

    * My choir fella passed away 2 days ago after being in a coma for 2 weeks. We’ve only been singing together for 1.5 years but almost every week he gave me a ride home after practice on Thursdays. It pains me that the last time I saw him would be really the last time EVER. Due to Covid, there is no wake and his funeral is via Zoom.

    * Getting to do video calls more often with my overseas friends (and finding ways to interact virtually, like playing games online. The app Plato is awesome!), watching my husband trying to learn Lindy Hop (that dance is no joke and only meant for people with spaghetti legs), Downton Abbey *gasp the drama*

  104. Julie K says...

    Love reading these so much.

    * IN: Mpls
    * LIVE WITH: 3 geriatric pets, one 5 year old boy and his dad, who is going to the office every day (empty but for him right now)

    * WORK: My biz CRASHED. I’m doing pro bono with with startups I admire, creating the self-promoting content I always shoulda done + work on the few paid client gigs I still have! Grateful! Forcing myself to DIY + be cheap and it’s weirdly fulfilling.

    HARD: Focus = midnight oil! I get little done by day so I’m working until about 2 AM most nights then up by 7:30 to email, meditate, caffeinate before son’s up at 8. He and I do get a little sick of each other and have words but we’re working through it. I’m finding out who I really am as a mom – great, good and bad!

    JOY: I love my son SO MUCH. He’s at an adorable age. This time together would NEVER have happened. We mess around outside 2-3 hours a day whatever the weather with our ancient dog, who I also love whole heartedly. I’m strangely zen about all of this. More chill than usual. Radical acceptance. Mostly, I’m impressing myself and drinking in the present moment and my brood.

  105. I’m in London. I’m in lockdown with my husband and our seventeen year old daughter. Our twenty year old son is living with friends over the other side of the City. Even though I’m used to him not living with us, I miss him in these strange times.

    I’m still working. I’m a nurse at a big London hospital, and because I used to work in Intensive Care (4 years ago) I have been redeployed back there for the duration of the pandemic. Its so hard. I’ve worked in trauma and anaesthetics and seen all kinds of horrors but I’ve never seen anything like this before. I’m so tired and depleted.

    What’s giving me joy though…plenty. My bike rides to work through quiet streets. My daughter who is so kind and makes me laugh. My husband learning how to bake cakes so that I can have cake when I get home from work. Online yoga classes with friends. Time to read as many books as I want.

    • Rusty says...

    • k says...

      thank you for the work that you do! <3

  106. Leah says...

    * Where are you in the world? In Coquitlam that is a city in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? With my husband and my plants.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I’m mainly spending my time volunteering from home, reading, learning to play piano, trying new recipes, and hoping that this confining time ends soon.

    * What’s hard right now? Even though I am not out and about normally, the confinement has been psychological hard to me. I also had few episodes of depression in the past, so I am doing what I can for this not come back now.

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching). Go for a daily walk around my neighbourhood, taking pictures of the cherry trees, magnolias and dafoldills that I find in my way, and home made pizza with a glass of good wine. Read Cup of Jo is part of my daily routine and it brings me joy. Thank you Joanna and all the team!

  107. NH says...

    * Where are you in the world? living in California in the Bay Area, (Cupertino specifically)
    * Are you living solo or with other people? Living with my husband and 4 kiddos ages 2-10
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I am homeschooling and full time caring for my children.
    * What’s hard right now? how each person displays anxiety in different ways and it catches me off guard. Not getting to connect face to face with friends which is so life-giving. Uncertainty.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Having more time to watercolor, read out loud, enjoy walks, having zoom happy hour with friends once a week. Pilates with Robin Long that I recently discovered!!! Cup of Jo!

  108. Anonymous says...

    *Wellington, New Zealand

    *My kids are here four days a week and I’m on my own for the rest

    *I’m working for the government from home full time, partly on the response to Covid-19

    *Its hard not to able to physically help my friends who are struggling

    *I love seeing the societal swell in compassion for others and the positive effects on the environment that everyone staying at home is having. I’m focusing on the silver lining.

    *I also feel really lucky as our Prime Minister is an astounding leader. Strong and compassionate. She’s also potty training her daughter during lockdown if you can believe it!

  109. Marissa Paulson says...

    Northern Wisconsin

    I decided to spend this time with my mom in my childhood home. My mom will be selling this house in a few months so it feels really special to be able to spend extra time in this house with her.

    I am in my third year of medical school, but we switched to online learning for the time being. I am one year away from being an MD and it has been tough to accept that right now I can’t go help with this crisis in that capacity, no matter how much I want to. Luckily, there are a lot of ways to support healthcare workers. I am trying to be especially supportive of my sister who is a nurse on the front lines in Detroit! We are so proud and nervous for her everyday.

    I am sewing a quilt for my best friend’s wedding present. It has been hard keeping it a secret from her with all of our Facetimes lately, but I know she’ll be so happy I kept it a surprise!

  110. Megan says...

    * Taylor, TX about 40 min NE of Austin
    * Living w my husband
    * We own a brewery and I’ve been doing a little work every day – it’s nice to have the flexibility to work more when I feel up to it and less when I don’t. We had to lay off some of our employees which was really hard.
    * We had just started a first round of Femara (like Clomid) to stimulate ovulation after years of trying naturally, and it did make me ovulate! but we didn’t get pregnant. I was so excited for progress on our journey, but now my doctor isn’t prescribing fertility medication which was a recommendation from a national board (or something). I get it, but it’s frustrating. I’m also super worried for my friends who are pregnant though, so who knows.
    * We built two new garden beds out of cedar fence post and it’s been fun to watch the daily progress with seedlings popping up, picking off snails, etc.

  111. ALISSA says...

    Hi there
    * In a suburb near the capital city KL of Malaysia
    * currently confined in the house with a 6wk old newborn, 6yo rowdy boy, 69yo mum, and husband who works 6 days a week in a COVID hospital
    * The only free time I have now is to eat and bathe honestly
    * see above. Sleep is really hard to come by with the constant feeding for the baby and the demand for attention from the cooped up and bored 6yo kid, not to mention the worry about the risk of my husband contracting COVID in the workplace
    * Really can’t think of anything. Even the baby first social smile did not manage to lift my spirits much. It’s just a very tough time and it’s really hard to imagine life going back to normal anytime soon.

  112. Elizabeth Spence says...

    Here are some questions, if you’d like to answer:
    * Where are you in the world?
    Sydney, Australia
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Living with a WFH husband and 3 bouncy kids (8,5,1)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I was studying but had to defer when my Kindi and Y3 kids needed to be homeschooled. We are doing bush walks and crafting a lot.
    * What’s hard right now?
    Monotony, deferring study, separation from loved ones, staying positive for everyone else
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    Less stress because of no study, feeling closer to husband and kids, watching kids take it all in their stride, slowing down, nature

  113. Hannah says...

    Thanks for checking in!
    * Montana
    * Living with my partner
    * Working from home
    * The uncertainty is hard, and not knowing when I can see my parents again.
    * I’m enjoying the podcasts Here for You and A Thing or Two with Claire and Erica. Also enjoying leggings and virtual work-outs and homemade cinnamon ice cream!

  114. Parker says...

    * Virginia
    * After 6 days of not going outside and just sitting, scared in my room, in my apartment with 2 roommates, I moved back in with my dad, 250 miles away from the life I’ve spent 8+ years building.
    * It turns out, I am terrible at working from home. But I’m trying. And grateful for my job and this flexibility.
    * It’s one thing to choose to move away, to leave a city you love and call home, to start over somewhere new. It’s another to have that choice forced on you by your surroundings and a microscopic virus, leaving behind 90% of your stuff and 100% of your friends. I know I’m really fortunate to have had this option, but I miss my old life. I am grieving the experiences I was eager for this spring. Easter on a sofa will just not be the same. Walks around the neighborhood with my dad (it only took us 10 days to cover every single street!) are nice but aren’t the same as running along the Potomac. I miss my commute. I miss my babysitting kids. I miss traveling.
    * I made my grandmother’s biscuits last weekend for the first time since before she died in 1999. They certainly don’t rival Bojangles but they tasted like hers. And my dad and I are watching every single episode of Cheers :D

  115. Ashley says...

    * I live in Dallas, Texas
    * I’ve been living with my boyfriend for about seven months, and very thankful to have him here during this time (and bonus, we haven’t killed each other yet!)
    * I work for Southwest Airlines in their communications department. So very, very much working.
    * The biggest struggle is not not being able to see family right now–we’re typically together once a week. And, on top of that, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we lost my grandmother. It is a tough time to lose a loved one–to navigate seeing her in a care facility closed for visitors (but thankfully making exceptions, with temperature check screenings), and to not be able to travel or to be at her funeral.
    * But… joy abounds, nonetheless! In the small moments, like baking blueberry muffins or getting a walk in, and in the larger moments–my boyfriend proposed this week! The ring he ordered is still in production (and on hold, since jewelry stores aren’t essential businesses), but he told me he didn’t want to wait any longer and asked me anyway. I think it’s perfect–isn’t a marriage really all about the two people involved? And as we’ve navigated through sheltering in place (and everything else these past few months have brought), I feel even more confident he is the person I want to be with. So, I am quite happy to have a piece of kitchen twine on my finger for now, and can’t wait to celebrate with friends and family soon.

  116. mary w says...

    * Where are you in the world? Alpharetta, GA
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? left Colorodao where I’ve lived for the past 7 years to come and shelter in place at my parents house in GA with 4 of my siblings from ages 32 to 17, plus one sister in law, my 8 month old niece and my youngest brother’s fiancé. so ya that makes 10 of us all here since March 15…It’s a lot but thankful for all the unexpected family time, and lots of space to spread out on the family farm.

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? working from home, wish I had more task than I’ve gotten. It’s slowed way down

    * What’s hard right now? being away from all my friends and my home back in Colorado. Not knowing when I can go back and doubt things will ever be the same

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? sleep, I’ve overworked myself for most of my working life and always have felt sleep deprived. for once in my life for an extended amount of time I’ve gone to bed when I’ve wanted to and woken up without an alarm clock!! Trying to learn piano, Tiger King, & unexpected extra time with my 8 month old niece

  117. * Victoria, British Columbia
    * With 2 siamese cats. My ex- and future husband is trapped on the other side of The Wall, in Arizona. He had to cancel his trip to Canada one day before because of the virus.
    * I was already working remotely, and still am. So grateful!
    * Not knowing when I’ll see my Love again, but we’ve survived divorce already so…
    * I love alone time, so am great with that. Also my work…my minimalist home….yoga practice twice daily…morning walks down to the sea…books and more books…long nightly phone calls with my ex- + future.

  118. * Bay Area

    * With my partner and 8m old daughter

    * I am a stay at home parent, so always working :)

    * The unknown and loneliness. Being a new mom is so isolating already and we were just getting to know some other families and start having a routine. I miss dumb things like just wandering target for a hour, or our baby swim class. I miss my family terribly, my parents have stayed with us for a few days every two weeks since their granddaughter was born so thats an additional loss. I am happy they are safe but I miss them. I worry about the state of the world when all of this eventually runs it’s course. I worry about how my child will grow up, will she ever get to play with other children again? I worry….

    * The huge grin I get from my daughter every time I get her after a nap, baby babbling, crawling, standing, baby hands, baby curiosity and wonder.
    Also, ALL THE CRAFTS. I’ve busted out all of my supplies from thesis (degree in design but my focus was on celebrations so lots of funs stuff leftover) and am constantly making new things for the house, for myself, and for my daughter. I started making felt food for her and now I have a whole handmade farm box and I just keep going. Decided since we will be home indefinitely that I should totally make her a play kitchen for her first birthday so I ordered one from Ikea and I’m going to paint and tile and make more accessories and food this is bringing me untold amounts of joy, with each little strawberry, each can of sardines. So much delight. That and stress baking, which is delicious but not helping me with my efforts to lose the last of my pregnancy weight. Hard to say no to peanut butter chocolate chip cookies though (the smitten kitchen 5 ingredient are my fav, just add chocolate chips!)

  119. Isabella says...

    * Northern CA
    * I live with my tender-hearted 4-year-old and his dad, who is my ex. Yes, that was challenging before the quarantine, and yes, it’s more so now.
    * Working full time from home, plus preschool craft projects…
    * See #2. Also, the person I’m romantically involved with is quarantined 200 miles away and I have no idea when we’ll see each other again. Also, I haven’t been able to find flour in the stores for over a month, and baking is usually one of my happiness-making activities. Also, all of the parks, trails, and beaches are strictly closed right now and my soul is withering without access to nature. Also, I’m immunocompromised and very frightened underneath it all. Also, I’ve struggled with depression and was just emerging back into the light right before COVID-19 hit; all of my usual go-to self-care activities have been taken away and I’m grasping for new ones.
    * There is no joy, but there are moments of comfort in my son’s snuggles and the few days recently when we’ve seen the sun.

  120. Megs says...

    *Where are you in the world? Chicagoland, IL
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I live with my husband, toddler son, & dog
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? Working! Teaching through e-learning has been a real experience. Especially with a toddler.
    * What’s hard right now? Trying to balance everything.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Zoe Kravitz in High Fidelity has been a delight. Classical music before bed has been so soothing. Just going on daily family walks has been really lovely.

  121. Alice says...

    Taiwan

    I live alone and this semi-quarantine policy actually fits me really well. I’m a big introvert and crave quietness. When I don’t have to go to the office, I enjoy working from home, playing my music loud, and taking care of my plants.

    The hardest part right now, is that I miss my boyfriend even more so than usual and wish we could quarantine together. We are in a long-distance relationship and fly to meet each other every 2 or 3 months. And it’s unclear how long we have to wait till we could travel again to see each other.

    Though uncertain of the future, what’s keeping me joyful, or hopeful, is knowing that we will be fine, and we will meet again. Soon.

  122. Robin says...

    * Currently in Missouri (live in Wisconsin but came home for spring break…almost a month ago)
    * I’m with family! Mom, dad, younger brother.
    * I have an internship as a communications specialist for a non-profit org. Our doors are shut so we’ve moved online. I’m also (most importantly) a full-time student finishing my undergrad so that’s also online right now. In my spare time, I’m writing or revamping furniture.
    * Umm…re-adjusting is definitely hard. My graduation has been pushed to October, no longer in May. Applying for jobs post-grad has reached a new level of difficult. Being in a state that I was just visiting and now having to build a life out of the blue here is definitely not what I had in mind for my spring break. But I constantly remind myself that I am not the only one who is having a tough time right now. Everyone is being affected by this so I’ve been trying to give myself space and time to absorb what life is now and keep pushing forward. Definitely feel and see depression creeping in, however. Without the hustle and bustle of school and work, being self-aware has come a lot easier so that’s a plus!
    * I get joy out of being around my family. This is the longest I’ve been home since I went to college 4 years ago. I also love communicating with my friends everywhere, taking “socially distanced” walks/hikes with friends here (still feels weird to say!), seeing the different ways we’re all helping each other out. Everyone’s just a lot more gentle with each other.

  123. Sara says...

    * Philadelphia, PA
    * Living in quarantine with my husband and our two girls- 3yo and 3 WEEKS(!) old tomorrow
    * I’m on maternity leave from my full-time job. Such a surreal moment in history to have birthed a baby and to now be hunkered down at home. Sometimes I think that quarantine and the first month of parenting an infant aren’t so different. I also hear the experiences of pretty much everyone who is juggling work and parenthood in this tumultuous time and I am utterly grateful that my only focus needs to be making sure both girls have food and love.
    * It’s so tough not being able to share this joyous time with our community of family and friends in real, -in-the-flesh life. No one has gotten to meet our baby girl; our parents haven’t even met their newest granddaughter and there is no tell when they will. Breaks my heart!
    It’s such a diverse experience from our first daughter where we had frequent visitors, family coming to help, and so much physical support. At the same time, it’s forged our family of four and forced my husband and I into quickly figuring out our teamwork dynamic with two littles.
    * and amidst it all…SO.MUCH.JOY! Seeing my 3yo smother the baby with kisses and hugs and all the big sister feels. Daily showers, meditation, and journaling during naptimes. Meals left on our porch with love. Calls and Facetime with family and friends. Family adventures (picnics in the backyard, lots of tricycle rides, hikes). Puzzles with my husband. Books (just DEVOURED Rupi Kaur’s the sun and her flowers during night-time nursings). Though unprecedented, this is is such a special season in so many ways and I am overflowing with gratitude.

  124. Lauren says...

    * Located in Perth, Australia
    * Living in a house with my boyfriend and sister (we just moved out of an apartment a couple of months ago… so grateful for the timing).
    * Working full-time shift work at a hospital.
    * I’m finding it hard not being able to see my Dad- he was away for a couple of weeks before lockdown happened so its been a while since I’ve been able to see him.
    * Finding so much joy in just walking around my new neighbourhood.

    • Rusty says...

      Hey Lauren, I’m in Perth too (South Perth).
      We Aussies are numbered in here, punching above our weight and now I’ve counted 4 of us in Perth in just 2 days!
      Whoooo!

  125. Meghan Clements De Silva says...

    * Winnipeg, Canada
    * I’m cozied up with my husband and our Chinese rescue corgi pup Nala. They are lovely company. :)
    * I’m working from home. I’m a school guidance counsellor. I just went back to work this Monday after six weeks of bereavement leave.
    * 2020 has been so hard. We lost my younger brother to suicide six weeks ago. He was my best pal and I adored him. The world lost a bright light and beautiful soul when he left this world. It’s been gut wrenchingly heartbreaking for our family to grieve during this time. In January my husband I found out that I’m unable to have children and…..I’m in early menopause. Counting the mintues to 2021!
    * I’m working hard to find joy! Fresh flowers for the house when I do my bi-weekly grocery run, tending to my plants, sunlight shining into my house – each day a little longer, my morning coffee ritual and nightly happy hour with my husband, cleaning and organizing everything in sight, books, puzzles, books, podcasts, peppermint and eucalyptus oil in my diffuser during the day and all the candles at night, daily barre classes that are SAVING me being offered online by my local studio, being able to wear sweats all the time and being able to grieve in the comfort of my own home. My husband and I are home bodies so we are doing well with being cozy.
    Joanna – I must thank you. These last six weeks in particular have been some of the hardest days of my life. You must know that the Cup of Jo community and what you have built here has been such a source of joy! I have looked so forward to checking in each day with my morning coffee. This daily ritual brings me such a source of comfort and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have created here. Sending love to you and your family and all of the Cup of Jo community. Big love! xo

  126. Ariane says...

    * Perth, Western Australia
    * living alone in my apartment.
    * I’m a nurse, so i’m working but on my days off i’m doing puzzles, yoga and reading, and re watching old favourite tv shows like one tree hill.
    * it’s hard not falling back into depression, and hard to not become an alcoholic
    * how clean my apartment is

    • Jody D says...

      Hi Ariane! I’m in Perth too. Still working non stop to (Dept of Communities, Child Protection). Thank you so much for the work you do. Also trying not to become too down and anxious but it’s so hard right?
      I’m living with me husband and two daughters who are 13 and 20. What’s bringing joy? The internet :)

    • Rusty says...

      5!!!! Five people from Perth!!! Wowza!

  127. * Where are you in the world? Aptos, CA. (Just outside of Santa Cruz.) Town Motto: Where the Redwoods Meet the Sea.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? Living with my husband, and our Italian Greyhound, Oliver. Feel like I am virtually living with my husband’s co-workers, through their endless Zoom meetings.
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways? I am working. I am a freelance grant writer, working for non-profit organizations, all of whom are being hit hard right now.
    * What’s hard right now? The day the shelter-in-place order was issued for our county, I found out the results of a recent MRI. I’ve ruptured two ligaments in my foot. Some of my symptoms indicate that the instability in the joint is causing some nerve damage. I am in a huge orthopedic boot, plus a brace to sleep. Surgery to be scheduled when things return to normal. My shelter-in-place has turned into immobility-in-place.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? Taking online classes. (Especially Jamie Varon’s Live with Intention.) Reading. (Especially Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and Martin Walker’s Bruno mysteries.) Cooking anything. Just being with my husband and our dog.

  128. Lisa says...

    * My apartment/home in (very rainy today) LA, California

    * I’m solo and have been diligently self quarantining since March 16 – because of a non-COVID related cough!

    * I am still – incredibly gratefully – working my full-time internet-based job, just from home. And it has been very hectic as our (fairly large) company if figuring out how to pivot.

    * The hardest has been stepping back from the mental existential cliff of how, no really hoooooow, is society going to survive this??

    The isolation and loneliness have also been hard, but not too mentally or emotionally crippling. Mainly because I moved to LA about 2 years ago and only knew 1 person – so much of my last year was very isolated: working too much, coming home alone and entertaining myself, getting overwhelmed with the real work it takes to make friends, setting up a household, and feeling more and less levels of motivation. Without the emotional support network I’m used to, moving to a new place, starting a new job, living alone for the first time and everything was A LOT. And it was then that I really needed to figure out how to get support – I made a weekly routine for myself. I scheduled working out. I got a therapist. I made sure to call my network far away. I recently started therapy in late February and this government enforced isolation has really made me reflect upon, address, and grapple with my reaction to circumstantial isolation last year in a very interesting way.

    I desperately miss physical touch.

    Also, if anyone is onboarding a new hire virtually – the struggle is REAL!!

    *
    – I’m getting to a lot of home projects which have been on The List for a while (tiling the top of a cabinet, upholstering my headboard, reorganizing my pantry).
    – I have had so many virtual happy hours with friends far away.
    – And, again, (virtual) sessions with my therapist for the first time in my life has been an enormous comfort and support.
    – Opening my blinds at the beginning of the day and closing them at the end.
    – Reading more poetry.

  129. Anna says...

    I live in Portland, OR

    I live with my brother, who I moved in with in September post divorce, and half of the time I have my 4 year old daughter here too.

    Before my divorce I was a stay at home mom. When the split happened I took a job as a preschool teacher and enrolled my daughter. Since my school closed I have not been working. It feels like the first time I took a full breath since the divorce, shared custody, and new job/new school began.

    What’s hard is that I was just starting to find ways to get my “adult life” back and all of that has been put on hold. In my marriage I found myself surrounded by HIS friends and I was just starting to build connections with my own people in the months before quarantine.

    What’s been great is getting time back to paint, being resourceful and using what’s actually in the fridge instead of just shopping again, dancing with Ryan Heffington on IG Live, and online therapy sessions.

  130. Brenna Wong says...

    We are in Hamilton, New Zealand. At home with my husband and our three kids (8,6 and 3).
    My husband is a film contractor and usually away overseas many months of the year so we are kind of relishing the time all spent together in our bubble.
    It’s hard thinking about what is happening around the world right now and what the future holds for everyone, grieving families and the economy.
    Bringing us joy is watching the kids and playing with them, slowing down with long walks or bike rides. Watching (again) Parks and Rec and eating hot cross buns! I’m really proud of our Prime Minister and our Country’s response to this and how everyone is just trying to play their part in keeping everyone safe.
    Stay safe everyone out there, you’re doing so well and there is an amazing community of people out there who care for you.

  131. * Where are you in the world?
    Catskills, NY (Sullivan County at a small lake house)
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Husband (who I divorced, lived blocks away from in Brooklyn, reconciled, bought this house, and our son Rio, age 8)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    I work, yes. I also workout doing portions of shit virtual classes i find online while waiting for the dance classes i LOVE like dance church. I also spent most of my “COVID” savings on a chicken coop and 10 chicks for us to raise while we are here.
    * What’s hard right now?
    trying not to have cocktail hour every day. missing my girlfriends.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    cocktail hour, dance hour, walks, sunshine, Rio

    • courtney says...

      just wanted to say that this comment really charmed me <3

  132. * I’m from Davao City, Philippines

    * I’m living with my mom who’s a widow and my 29 year old sister; our other sibling – a brother – lives in another city

    * I’m an Executive Secretary and trying to work from home and on-call.

    * What’s hard right now is dealing with deaths. Yesterday, my cousin’s 12 year old daughter died due to cancer and now we just got news that my Uncle in New York succumbed to death – he’s CoVid19 positive and has an underlying kidney illness. It’s so hard to grieve when you can’t be with family or even give hugs. :(

    * What’s bringing me joy right now is my faith in Jesus. We are celebrating Good Friday and there’s so much to ponder on. With all the chaos around us, it’s good to have an anchor – which is JESUS <3

    I'm wishing everyone in this CoJ community well! Thank you for sharing your stories. Times are tough but we will get through this together. <3

    • Evel says...

      Hi Anna. I’m also from the Philippines. Good to see a kababayan here. Be safe always.

    • Maria says...

      Thank you for this, Anna… I needed to be reminded of the anchor, of hope :) Have a wonderful Easter!

    • Geraldine says...

      I’m so sorry for your family losses.

    • AG says...

      * What’s bringing me joy right now is my faith – me too! Faith in God, faith in humanity, faith that we will not only survive but thrive after this pandemic.

      I see some light at the end of the tunnel. Greetings from a fellow Filipino!

  133. Lu says...

    – Buenos Aires, Argentina

    – with my cat

    – lucky to be working full time from home.

    – it s really hard to see all my plans for the future on stand by, I am planning to move to Canada within the next 1-2 years and now it feels impossible. feeling like a failure for not taking advantage of this time to work on my personal projects but I just can´t find the energy and motivation. also, loneliness is real, I worry about getting infected and having no one to help me. It weighs on me to not have a boyfriend at this point in my life.

    – feeling healthy, being annoying to my cat, sleeping a lot, cooking every meal from scratch, catching up on movies, the internet, and I won´t lie: WINE.

  134. Sarah says...

    Living in a college town in Iowa with my husband and 3 kids (4,6,9).
    I am a SAHM so I guess I’m still working?! Added responsibility, no pay increase. :) I am home schooling the kids. I rather like it. We may decide to continue to home school after this is over, though I do really like our elementary school, the teachers and the friends. We’ll see. My husband works IT for a large hospital. He is working from our basement guest room and he’s crazy busy.
    The kids miss their friends. I have hardly any time away from the kids. The weather in the midwest during this time of the year is all over the place so we had beautiful, sunny mid-70s on Tuesday and it was blowing snowflakes in front of my kitchen window as I washed lunch dishes today.
    We have everything we need. We have found lots of ways to learn and have fun and be active. We’re really lucky.

  135. Loz says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Currently in brooklyn but must flee back to Australia imminently.
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    1yr old, 4 year old and husband
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    My husband lost his job. I had just been interviewing for jobs. We are unemployed and functioning as a daycare. Off the back of a lengthy maternity leave due to difficulties and my f-i-l passed away pre xmas.
    * What’s hard right now?
    We have to flee to our home country as we have no income and our side business crashed and burned spectacularly so. We have no support system in brooklyn. And no idea when things will pick up.
    We have immense sadness that our journey in nyc ends so prematurely.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?
    That someday when im back working and run off my feet I can look back and feel that this time w my littlies was well spent. Cuomo is also doing a great job!

    • Kyla says...

      I’m so sorry the adventure you planned for was thrown completely off course by something so out of your control :(

    • Rusty says...

      You will be financially supported if/when you get back. Jobseeker and Jobkeeper supports via Centrelink. Check them out.
      Hope you can find a way…then get ready for enforced quarantine in a hotel with guards for 14 days. xx

  136. Lauren says...

    *San Francisco, CA (Specifically, Western Addition)
    * Live with wife/partner of 21 years, our three year old, and our two 13 year old puggles
    * I am a full-time SAH Parent, which right now is FULL_TIME_FULL-TIME
    * Not feeling like we can go out, even to wide open spaces, because I’m just so anxious when we even go around the block with our kid. I’m fine when I’m out walking the dogs and wearing a mask, but I get so worried about our kid not understanding the importance of not touching their face, I just can’t chill about it.
    * We’re getting joy through sitting in sunbeams in our backyard (we are so effing fortunate we moved here a year ago. our kid would be climbing the walls in our old place), baking delicious treats, and doing a lot of drawing and book reading.

    • Elle says...

      -oh my goodness, a SF neighbor in the CoJ comments! Fellow western addition/Nopa person here :)
      -31, live with 2 housemates (who are a couple) and their cat
      – I am lucky to be still employed and working from home (since March 4… my company was earlier than the city and my boss was earlier than the company!)
      -what is hard right now is feeling alone, even though I don’t live alone- I am so envious of folks who have partners and are sheltering with them (after most of my 20s single and loving it, the past few years I have been really ready to find my person). I miss my friends, my family, my gym, my office!!
      – bringing me joy: our sunny living room every morning, the little housecat who is my bff in all this (and comes to cuddle with me every morning), the fact that I still have a job, killing eve season 3 is starting on sunday!

  137. Mari says...

    * Where are you in the world?
    Toronto

    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    All by myself. No pets, and many of my neighbours have left town to stay with family in the burbs. It’s eerie!

    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Still working, though not sure how long our organization will be able to last until we end up laid off.

    * What’s hard right now?
    I feel constant anxiety and grief – for myself, knowing I don’t have a safety net if I lose my job, grieving the sense of almost-security I feel like I had just reached. Also for others – everyone losing family and friends to the virus. All the workers risking their lives to do their jobs – both in healthcare and in unsung industries like grocery. All the kids who are struggling transitioning to learning online, all the people who’ve had to cancel weddings or funerals, proms, conferences they’ve spent all year planning, or other important events. The millions of people who’ve already lost work and are struggling to find their way. It feels like every few minutes some new, heart-wrenching thought winds it’s way through my mind – “will I ever get to lay on the grass at an outdoor music festival again?” or “my friend is trapped in India, when will she get to come home?” or “Will my boss’ cancer surgery still go ahead as planned?” There’s no end to things my heart is breaking over. I’m in love with an American man I only know over the phone (we met online, and speak for hours every night) and he’s an essential worker. We’d had plans to meet in April while I was traveling for work, but my trip is (obviously) cancelled, and I can’t help but worry that we might never get to find out if “this is it.”

    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)?

    I’ve been rewatching every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, cooking in my instant pot, and reading trashy romance novels by the bucketload.

    • Sar says...

      Hello from a fellow Toronto friend!

      I really hope you get to meet this man one day soon :)

      Would love trashy romance recommendations! I feel like I can only read (and watch) trash right now. My brain won’t allow anything else!

  138. jill d. says...

    * Where are you in the world? Central Jersey – in a small city near the river
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)?
    Single mom with two kids (10 and 8) and two dogs (2 years old)
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?
    Working full time from home (thankfully i’m working)
    * what’s hard right now – Working full time and trying to keep my kids somewhat on track with school and teaching them as well (i’m beyond overwhelmed most days since work is busy too and there is such little downtime)
    * What’s bringing you joy right now – Getting outside with the kids when we can – scootering, walking dogs and also watching all of the Harry Potter movies together. **also – joining Ryan Heffington’s online instagram class when i can fit it in…i highly recommend it for some lightness and movement…it’s free but you can donate as well to support his dance studio.

  139. Emily says...

    * Calgary, AB, Canada
    * I live w/my husband
    * I work as a community social worker in health care, and split my time between working from home and out of my office.
    * Seeing friends/family members’ weddings and pre-wedding celebrations post-poned :(. Hearing from friends/family/clients who are feeling very depressed due to the isolation.
    * British panel shows + british stand up, perfecting new recipes, Bon Appetit videos from their homes, and……wine.

  140. Quinn says...

    * Vancouver, BC, Canada
    * Living in an apartment with my husband and our kids (8 and 4). I feel very fortunate to be stuck home with people I love so much, who make me laugh and are generally pleasant to be with. We also have a view of a small park where the cherry blossoms are starting to appear — it feels like Nature’s optimism each morning.

    * Working, now from home: I am a consulting engineer working in the area of municipal drinking water. I am learning how to manage my staff remotely and keep morale up as we do our best to keep our clients’ projects moving forward. My husband (who’s in tech) is also working from home so we take over the dining room table in our apartment each morning until dinner and try to stagger our conference calls so the kids don’t revolt!

    * I worry about my kids’ mental and emotional health as we navigate each day — I know they miss their friends and playgrounds and so much that is on hold right now. And then I worry about other kids who were already in tough situations that probably have gotten even harder and I wish I could find more ways to help.

    * I’m finding joy in hearing my kids laugh, family dance parties, virtual hangouts with friends and family, baking, watching movies, having lunch on our small balcony in the sun, going for evening walks, starting my morning with a streaming workout, and finishing my day with a book in bed. I’ve also starting a gratitude journal again for the first time in years.

    Stay well — we’re in this together. xo

  141. Carolyn McGann says...

    * Philly!
    * Living solo… well, the only human in the house, but my dog Bones is with me so I can’t say that I’m living solo
    * I am working at the Children’s Hospital and am so grateful to have a job and be able to take care of little humans right now
    * It is really hard not knowing when I’ll get to hug someone again. I am a hugger and this thought makes me so sad.
    * The flowering trees are bringing me SO much joy! And everyone’s new puppies. And learning new recipes from Bon Appetit; they feel like friends at this point!

  142. Laura says...

    Hi! I love this place. I’m so glad you are posting this. This has been my community for a long time, and I’m glad to still be a part of it. :)

    * A small town in Tennessee
    * I’m with my husband and our two girls, ages 12 months and 3.5 years old.
    * I’m working from home. My husband is a stay-at-home dad, so I feel lucky to have this setup right now,
    * It’s stressful because I never have time to turn my “mom” off. Before when I was working outside our home, I had 10 hours every weekday to be fully outside the home. Now, every little break from work, I am soothing tantrums, nursing a baby, fixing lunches, picking up toys, etc. I know it’s not unique to me — at lot of us are doing it. It’s hard. I also worry about my general mental health–how I’m handling stress and irritability — and how that affects my marriage and, most of all, my relationship with my kids.
    * My kids. We’re with each other all the time, but they still make me laugh. This morning my 3-yr-old yelled, “Mom! M [her little sister] has a nipple on her back!” Turns out it was a freckle, she just got her words mixed up, haha. Also doing crafts with friends over zoom. This gorgeous weather. Planting a garden. Seeing wild bees in our yard.

  143. S says...

    * Midwest
    * Husband and my two little girls 4 & 6
    * I’m currently in my second year of dental school… second career. So I’m basically keeping busy from 6:30am to 1:00am… We’re lucky because my husband is still working, but who knows with the economy.
    * everything is so hard honestly. I’m running on fumes most of the day and can’t concentrate on anything. I’m in my hardest year of school, and take video-taped quizzes and exams constantly on top of all the lectures I need to pay attention to. My girls are sweet but at such different ages educationally, so remote learning has been hard and I am trying hard not to lose my patience. And I’ve never cooked so much in my life! I try to study early in the morning and late at night because during the day I get maybe ten mins in a row of uninterrupted time. Also, haven’t seen my parents since September… it breaks my heart that they finally come back to states and we couldn’t see them before the shelter in place started.
    * Although I’m stressed beyond belief and have had very little me time, I’ve found joy in connecting with my old friends (kindred spirits), seeing my hubby and girls all day, and getting some uninterrupted sleep. (My girls are horrible sleepers so I sometimes sleep in the guest bedroom! Lol!)

  144. Dienesa says...

    Cherry Hill, NJ
    Living with my boyfriend for the first time… and his dad! My boyfriend and I left NYC to live in his childhood home in the suburbs.
    Working a full 40 hour week remotely
    It’s hard not being with my own family in California, not being around my own things oddly, and not knowing when this will end or how to articulate what I feel.
    I’ve found joy in trying and succeeding in baking macarons, painting Jersey food portraits, and seeing my dog pooped at the end of the day from all the walks. Oh and today, cherry blossoms.

  145. Lillian Chang says...

    * I’m at home in Seal Beach, CA (a little beach town between Long Beach & Huntington Beach)
    * Living with my handsome husband & two little boys (ages 3 & 1 – whew!)
    * Not working; these days, fully focused on my kids!
    * Worrying about my parents, not seeing them or friends. Here in CA, our beaches & parks are all closed too; we’re an outdoorsy family, so that’s been hard. On top of all the fear & uncertainty regarding the virus, I’m also worried about the racism. We are Asian-American & the stories we’ve been hearing are terrifying. I heard about a 2-year-old & 6-year-old with their mother who were all stabbed, the man who did it shouting that this was all their fault. It honestly terrifies me.
    * Aside from all that, the beautiful thing about this time is that it’s giving us a chance as a family to slow down & decide how we want our family/home life to be. We’re doing things we never felt we had time for (art projects, welcoming the seasons, creating a rhythm in our home). We even created our version of the rainbows in the windows (see here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-nFZPMppFU/) & are talking about keeping art installations in our windows all the time (even after this is over).

  146. betty l. says...

    San Diego
    Living with my brother in his home along with my sister who resides in Kentucky. I live in Chicago but right now ee are both here taking care of our brother. He has Stage 4 bladder cancer and doesn’t have much time left .
    What’s bringing me joy is spending these precious days together. Aside from being siblings, we have always been each other’s best friend. We have been looking at old photos, laughing about shared experiences growing up, and crying that we won’t be taking any trips together or be able to catch up on our lives over the phone.
    What’s hard right now is actually the same things that are bringing me joy, as strange as that may seen.

  147. Sara says...

    I’m in FL!

    I’m living solo in my little above-garage apartment, and I’m loving being home so far.

    I’ve been working from home, but just found out this week that next Friday is my last day before a temporary (hopefully!) but indefinite furlough.

    Up until now, work has been what’s hard – it’s been much busier and more stressful due to our world’s circumstances. But now the thought of not working is really hard! Not feeling valuable enough for the company to keep is hard.

    My mom told me yesterday, “this is a tunnel, it’s not a cave.” That brought me joy!

  148. bb says...

    * San Francisco
    * Living with my husband and 13 year old daughter

    * Working from home and so, so grateful to have work. Husband is self employed and has no work right now so he is doing a lot of projects around the house. Daughter is in middle school and is a good student so she does not need much direction from us. We sit at the dining table and do our work together.

    * Hard – My daughter will miss middle school graduation. Constant low level (and sometimes not so low level) anxiety running in the background is exhausting. I used to enjoy grocery shopping and now I find it scary and so draining- the empty shelves, fear of germs, long lines, etc.

    * Bringing me joy – Daily walks are everything right now, the fresh air, the birds, the sky. Movies! My daughter and I are working our way through the films of the French New Wave and the BFI’s 50 films to see by age 14. We are also working through a wish list of movies to see as a family. But most of all, I am treasuring all this time with my daughter. She is starting high school soon and this time together really feels like a gift.

  149. Amy says...

    Where are you in the world? Iowa
    * Are you living solo or with other people (and if so, whom)? I live with my husband and two sons. 8&5
    * Are you working, or passing the time in other ways?I work from home for now and sell plants so Spring is INSANE! Any husband is a mail carrier and works 6 days a week. Our kids are used to being home while I work and have been HEROS!
    * What’s hard right now? The amount of school work and my work expectations that make me feel like I’m having to choose which one is more important daily.
    * What’s bringing you joy right now (making, baking, playing, watching, etc.)? How simple life feels for now. We cook, walk, ride bikes, sit on our porch, make cocktails, zoom visits with friends and somehow making a movie night out of it.

  150. Julie says...

    I live in Sydney, Australia

    I live on mostly on my own, except for a little, wild lorikeet I have befriended who drops by my balcony most mornings, chirps to wake me and I give it a small bowl of grated red apple and some water. Super cute.

    Just before we went into quarantine I was extremely bullied by my boss. It’s been going on for a while. I walked out of the building and haven’t been back. I don’t miss working for a bully and this period of quietness is giving me a perfect opportunity to consider my next thing. It may even involve a move to the country and a simpler life. I’ll figure it out. I consider this a blessing. Do not work for a bully – just walk out – don’t look back. Someone else will appreciate your skills.

    As we all are, I am uncertain for the future and what the world will look like at the end of this. I hope the clean air and blue skies will remain and that we will be more conscious of our impact on the earth and of other people. I’m grateful to health workers. Stay home!!

    • Joan says...

      Julie, I have been thinking so much about what it’s like to work for a bully in a time of crisis because that’s my current experience.

      I’ve been feeling deep shame about hating my current work situation. I feel really lucky to have a job but this crisis has made me realize I’m not a fit for my position and my boss has heightened his criticism of me with each day…even as I pour more and more of myself into my work. I’m trying to do my best and I feel grateful for a paycheck! But this job and my boss have been grinding me down. He instills layoff fear in me almost daily now to get me to focus on what’s the highest ROI for my role. I’m looking for my self-confidence and self-care because it’s currently missing from my life. On the flipside I have started daydreaming about a career change (becoming a teacher).

      I hope you find peace within the uncertainty of the future and that the lorikeet keeps singing to you. Sending you my best from the U.S.

    • Rusty says...

      Oooh, we have a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets in our front yard tree. Sooo sweet. (I’m in Perth)