New Hobbies and a New Normal

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New Hobbies and a New Normal

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Like many other people who suddenly found themselves at home for an extended period due to the COVID-19 quarantines I picked up many new hobbies which have now become a part of my normal life. In March of 2020 I suddenly found myself unable to go into nail salons that had been closed as nonessential businesses. I found online advertisements for at-home dip powder nail kits and ordered to materials to turn my living room into a makeshift nail salon to do my own nails. The smell of a nail salon is distinctive, and I found that smell filling my living room every time I did my nails.
Also in March 2020, my office shut down and the entire staff was sent to work from home. At the same time my kids’ school was also closed and they were sent home for virtual classes. My quiet private office at work was traded for my noisy house with dogs barking, teachers teaching over Zoom, and kids in group videos talking with their friends. With all our usual reasons to leave the house gone I found little escape from the chaos that was now a typical day at work in my house. Looking for a reason to get out of the house I took up running. A few days a week I would head outside for a quiet neighborhood run trading in the sounds of Zoom calls with teachers and kids for the occasional neighborhood bird.
Over two years later and life has returned to a version of what we used to call normal. Nail salons are open, I am back to working in my office, and my kids are back to learning in their classrooms. However, some of these hobbies I picked up out of necessity have found their way into my life permanently. I still do my own nails at the house, turning my living room into a nail salon every other weekend. I still go for neighborhood runs a few times a week either before or after a day at the office. While these have become fixtures in my life now, the smell of a nail salon in my living room still reminds me of the earliest quarantine days and when I head out for a quiet neighborhood run, I still recall the peaceful feeling that brought me when life at home was becoming too stressful in 2020.

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This item was submitted on May 24, 2022 by Jordyn Cyrus using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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