By Jess Utz 

How is your time spent during distancing?

Jess, shut up!


Last updated 5/20/2020 at 8:56am

I was pondering this today. How are we spending our time during our self-isolation and social distancing? The way I see it we must look at the bright side of a dark situation. So in case you can’t think of anything to do and you are starting to have cabin fever and are ready to erupt I decided to try and help you all out a little bit and give you some ideas that just might remove our eyes from the television screen and phone long enough to engage in something more positive.

Play a board game. I know if you were born after 1990 you may very well not have any idea what I am talking about. It is kind of like a video game but with out the video. I can remember some pretty fun evenings as a kid playing a family board game. Monopoly, Sorry, Candyland and Hangman were some of the favorites then. When we were raising our own kids, we had some heated battles around games named Catan, Clue, Risk and Pokémon Monopoly (yes, I know, of all the versions we played this one). And then there is today, where my lovely bride and I get in a game of cribbage at least once daily. So break out the dice and prepare to yell “Yahtzee!”

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Remember that stack of books that you never have had time to read. You do. Well, now is a good time. Sit back with a large glass of iced tea with a slice of lemon in it or a steaming cup of herbal tea and dive into the pages. Let the writer take you to places that you could never imagine. One of my favorite writers is Frank Peretti, and I recommend any of his books as a good read. I also like John Stanford, if you like crime novels. If fiction is not your thing and you want something to learn from or to be stretched, I can recommend “Lioness Arising” By Lisa Bevere or “Changed Into His Likeness” by Watchman Nee. Good reads that will change your life.

You can also break out the vinyl records. Yep, we still have some and a player to play them. Once again, the younger folks will have no idea what I am referring to, but this was when you actually went to a store to buy music. There is just something nostalgic about the slight crackling sound heard during the turning of the record. So whether you are into Myles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Elvis or Journey, spin them tunes and let the memories flow on in as the classic sound comes forth.

OK, you have plenty of time now. Plant something. It is getting a little late in the season but still some time left. Maybe it is the time to try your hand at growing all the ingredients for making homemade salsa. Or maybe a melon garden is more your style with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydews and pumpkins. Maybe fruits and vegetables are not your thing. So try your hand at tulips, marigolds and roses. Challenge yourself to make a little retreat area for yourself outside. If nothing else happens, at least the deer will enjoy the snack.

Create memories. That is what we value the most right now. Making memories with family that are close enough to be around. We will cherish this time with our granddaughter as we watch birds, build with blocks and read about colors. We are learning from her as she watches us intently and copies us. We cherish the time with our daughter and son, as well. We talk and listen to each other. We give advice, help and teach each other as we have conversations about what we read about, saw and learned. It is amazing to hear other people’s perspectives. It is called conversation.

So no matter what you fill your time with during this time, make sure you are filling yourself with positive things. Try and surround yourself with things you love, people that make you feel good and avoid the things that stress you out to the extreme. We are all in this together, even if we are on different pages in the same book. I’m Jess saying.


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