Remember those days when we were so busy at work that we often found ourselves saying, “If I only had more time to…” For some of us it was spending more time with our children. (Parents who are now homeschooling may be having second thoughts about that wish.) Others wanted to do more cooking, perhaps finally trying one of those challenging Julia Child recipes. What about learning another language using an app like Babbel? Play that guitar purchased on the last trip to Nashville? Finish that sweater we began knitting ages ago? (Is it still in style?) Finally take out those watercolors gifted on a past birthday? Or maybe pull out Cesar Millan’s book to teach an old dog new tricks?
It’s a stark reminder of where we are now: the New York Times has temporarily suspended its Travel Section and replaced it with another section fittingly called “At Home.” Each Sunday we flip through the pages to consider all the wonderful things we can now focus on with so much time on our hands. Dying for something to tie-dye? Even socks? The Gray Lady has tips. Need to cut your own hair? We can learn what equipment we need, and then watch YouTube videos so not to end up looking like we’re auditioning to be in the next dystopian film.
Read? Of course! Everyone has lists of what we should be reading now. (Yes, we’re running those lists, too.) But why stop there? Why not write a book? Emily Ratajkowski (according to Marie Claire UK, she’s one of the most talked about women in the world?!) we’ve learned is writing a book with essays about body image. Our guess is it will make the rest of us feel bad about all the weight we’ve gained while being quarantined. But it’s always said everyone has at least one book in them. Maybe now is the time to find yours.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming services must be rolling in the dough. With the networks into reruns or silly game shows, we have no choice but to rent a film. Would The Tiger King have been such a hit if we weren’t all sheltering in place? Funny enough, the new streaming service Quibi, from Jeffrey Katzenberg, is off to a rough start because its content is delivered in 10-minute segments called “Quick Bites.” Now with time to spare, we don’t want short, we want long. Lawrence of Arabia, anyone?
We are all baking bread like crazy – French, Italian, sour dough, rye, wheat, rolls, focaccia, pizza, rolls. The shelves in supermarkets have been picked clean of flour, yeast, baking powder, and baking soda. Dried pasta is gone, too, so make your own by ordering semolina flour online. If you can’t find canned tomatoes (those sell out fast, too), then butter and maybe cream will do. Pull out all those cookbooks you haven’t looked at in years. There must be something in there that will use the ingredients you have left in your refrigerator and on your shelves. Ghee? Apple cider vinegar? Confectioner’s sugar? Scrapple? Kippers?
With gyms closed we’ve all had to work harder to get in a workout. Sales of Peloton bikes have increased 66 percent during the pandemic with those who are still employed shelling out more than $2,000 for the pricey machines. Regular gym rats are running or working out to YouTube videos. Walking is good, too, as long as you can find a sidewalk or street not filled with people also out for a stroll.
And speaking of working out, why bother to get dressed when exercise clothing is comfortable and versatile? At one point, Silicon Valley’s style led offices on the East Coast to relax dress codes and allow everyone to go casual, even those working for banks and law firms. Once the country opens up, many will still work at home in their leggings and tank tops, while others will go back to work – in their leggings and tank tops. Well, maybe not, but don’t expect suits and ties to make a big comeback.
We don’t mean to make light of what’s happening now. Staying home is helping us to contain the coronavirus and save lives. And who knows what incredible new businesses now being thought up during this crisis will take off once our country opens again. Chances are someone is writing a book that will become a huge bestseller. Another person is fine tuning a script that will be turned into an Oscar-winning film. Those watercolor sketches may land in a new museum exhibition. A song released on iTunes will allow the singer to bypass all those TV talent shows and emerge the next idol.
And yes, someone right now is perfecting that amazing loaf of bread that will launch a new chain coast to coast, the Bake Shack replacing Shake Shack. Why can’t that someone be you?
Top photo: Bigstock