Some Thoughts After Solitary Confinement

I wrote this post some time ago, directly after the infamous Snowpocalypse 2011.

Anybody else feel like God put you in a big ole time out all week? It was so strange to suddenly be without work, without engagements, without friends, without family, and sometimes without electricity. Most of my daily activities hinge on those things. How am I supposed to survive without them? How do I keep my sanity when my world turns upside down? Without a doubt, there were lessons to be learned from this strange and significant occurrence.

Lesson One: How to poach an egg.
One morning I woke up and realized that I actually had the time to make myself whatever breakfast I wanted. There had been several references to poached eggs in the week prior, but I had never made or even eaten a poached egg before. I decided that this day was the day. I got out my trusty The Best Recipe cookbook and studied up. Despite all my best efforts, my egg still “feathered” ala Julie Powell, but when I finally dropped a glistening, quivering egg on my buttered toast, it was all worth it.

Lesson Two: How to be a hermit.
This lesson came all too easily for Logan and I. Seriously, we were giddy with the possibility of DAYS alone in the house with just the two of us. I once read that Joan Didion and her husband John Gregory Dunne spent an entire summer in which they wrote all morning, ate a light lunch, spent an hour outside while she gardened and he read Sophie’s Choice over and over in the pool, wrote some more, then dined out in the evening. I told Logan the story and we both did this sort of sigh of longing. But this week, we got to live out the Didion/Dunne fantasy! I worked at my desk, he worked at his and whenever we’d find something cool or think a great thought, we’d burst into the other study and share. Sometimes we’d just peek in on each other and Logan would say something like, “I like this.” We were ridiculously happy.

Lesson Three: How being a hermit is bad for you.
We have a tradition with our friends of seeing the late show every Thursday night. Usually there are just a few of us, but this week a whole crowd showed up. Everyone was completely tired of being hermits. The movie we chose to see was 127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle and starring James Franco. (Just for the record, this is not an official endorsement and if anyone asks you, I never told you to see this movie. I never recommend movies…people have too varying opinions of what is good.) You should totally see this movie. It is a truly triumphant story about the need for other human beings in your life. Although the message is perfectly relevant to our generation, it was particularly poignant this week. After the movie, one of our friends decided to stay the night with us just so he did not have to be alone for the fourth day in a row. We had so much fun together, talking, watching movies, eating chili. Even the glory of Logaanna’s hermitage did not compare to “doing life” with a friend. It was awesome.

Lesson Four: How to be productive.
The short answer is to make a list and then do it. The truth is that being productive is a tricky mind game, an organizational nightmare, and the holy grail of stress-free living. As a lot of you know, I’ve been reading through Getting Things Done by David Allen and the timing could not have been more perfect. I was able to spend hours upon hours practicing the tips and developing the habits that he calls for. I have never been as productive as I have been the past four days. Not just with the work and the house stuff, either. I was productive in my fun, as well. I watched a movie that I had borrowed over a year ago and still hadn’t taken the time to sit down and watch. I made blueberry muffins. I found out that yoga is a lot weirder than I had previously thought. I researched what kind of highlights I want for my upcoming salon appointment. I wrote A LOT. I prayed and read the Bible more than I have in years. Being productive makes you feel like you’ve been sprinkled with fairy dust.

Lesson Five: How to get in shape.
Actually, my true lesson was that I am not in shape. But I think I figured out why. You see, Logan and I exercise on a pretty (said in a high-pitched, unsure voice) regular basis and we eat pretty (said in same high-pitched, unsure voice) healthily. However, our exercise routine is just that: a routine. We walk a half mile, run a mile and a quarter, walk another half mile, and then stretch if we feel like it. This week I decided to do something else (since going outside made me want to cry) and I pulled up a 30-minute cardio/tone routine on Netflix. My hamstrings have been yelling at me ever since. Even my abs do this whining thing whenever I sit up in the morning. As far as the nutrition, this week I’ve had a lot more time to think about what I serve up on our plates, and I’m realizing how easy it is to make the changes I need to our diet in order to eat things that are truly good for our bodies.

Welp, I’m sure there were many more lessons to be learned, but this is what I’ve got.

What about you? Any lessons learned during Blizzard 2011?


About Aanna

I'm a writer and blogger who lives in southwest Missouri with my husband and daughter. I love to write about fashion, design, health, food, sex, relationships, and Jesus. You can e-mail me at aannagreer(at)gmail(dot)com.

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