"Self-distancing slows life down more than I expected" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, since I’ve been self-distancing myself for nearly two weeks, I’ve been working on a playlist between news updates.
   Currently, it’s full of a variety of songs ranging from new wave and rock to county and alternative.
   I mean, if it truly is the end of the world, how can I express that best in music?
   At least, that’s what I ask myself when browsing my extensive music catalog.
   I also don’t stop at songs just in English and pursue a number of other languages like German, Japanese and Spanish.
   At the same time, we’re spending more time together at home than usual.
   And by “we” I mean mom, Mike and my brother David.
   It’s definitely been an adjustment having him back home, that’s for sure.
   But, we’re fairly lucky his job in IT allows him to work remotely form home.
   For what that’s worth, its kept mom’s anxiety lower because she doesn’t have to worry about him in Dallas.
   My sister Ashlee is still in Bryan with her boyfriend, working from home at their apartment.
   Though Brazos County has issued a shelter-in-place order late Monday afternoon; mom did get a chance to talk to her over the phone.
   I don’t know if that’s completely alleviated her fears and worries, but, she’s back to mowing the lawn like a crazy lady.
   Though, I say if it helps her with her anxiety, then I’m all for it!
   My anxiety prefers music, a good book or a movie as a distraction.
   The saddest part is that with theaters closed, I’m struggling to find something to review.
   I suppose I’ll line up some newly released Netflix and Amazon Prime offerings to binge watch then review in place of the usual “Reel Reviews.”
   Regardless, we’re all pretty fortunate not to have any children of our own to handle during this time.
   I’ve seen plenty of friends on Facebook come up with a variety of “homeschooled” plans until local school districts iron out their online learning offerings.
   It’s a little daunting from this end, but, I’m also proud of how creative everyone is and how they share online resources with each other.
   Several of my “mom” friends also post little games on social media for adults to participate in and help keep us distracted.
   Last week there was a “finish the drawing” prompt about drawing one’s own bird.
   But, the prompt only featured a beak, an eye, and feet.
   I have to say that it’s very hard to draw using your phone’s photo editing options.
   I think I managed well enough, but, a lot of the other ones that were shared were much better.
   Only after a few minutes did I realize they had cheated and printed the prompt off the web and drew their birds that way.
   Well, I say they cheated and they disagree because the directions for the prompt didn’t expressly mean they had to do it on their phones or digitally.
   I think I’m going to find a prompt and share it later this week for them and join in the fun in my own way.
   After all, there isn’t much else to do while these days seem to slow down and drag on – even from a newspaper perspective. 

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