A Year in Texas during a Pandemic

Outdoors during Covid

It’s been one year since Mike and I moved to Texas. We had no idea when we would be moving once Covid-19 was announced a pandemic. I remember sitting in our hotel room in The Woodlands after finding an awesome house to rent and thinking “should we just stay here?” Instead, we flew back to Illinois and like everyone else stayed home for weeks. We moved out on a cold and snowy day in April and took 2 days to get to Texas. The first day we made it to Arkansas and the second day we drove through Texas for almost 9 hours. The Woodlands greeted us with heavy rainfall in the last 30 minutes of the drive. To this day I am impressed with thunderstorms here! 

Covid and life during the pandemic have taught us a lot.

There have been a lot of positive things to remember as I reflect on the past year. When you have nowhere to go one of the best places to be is outdoors. Once we moved in I began walking in the mornings. April is hot and humid, which means walking is best done early morning. Side note- it’s still hot and humid at 7 am! These walks gave me endurance. They helped us acclimate to the weather. Even a year later I’m still acclimating! The walks gave me something to look forward to. Our lives may have felt on hold but nature wasn’t. You can watch the growth and prosperity outside. 

Walking outside during Covid

We began to embrace technology for the better.

As soon as we arrived back in Illinois, I messaged my clients and offered them zoom Pilates. Remember when we said 3 weeks and this would be gone? There’s light at the end of the tunnel and we’ll be there soon. Just like nature continuing to grow, so have my clients. I hear over and over again how they look forward to Pilates, they are more connected to their body and mind, and they feel young again! Working from home isn’t ideal and often it’s hard to find time for yourself. Each moment you make time for yourself gives you the gift of relaxing and feeling younger. 

Pilates online during Covid

My Pilates lessons are non-negotiable pandemic or not.

I myself was doing zoom Pilates before the pandemic. They are as important to me as my client’s own sessions. I’d be lying if I said life during the pandemic wasn’t stressful. I remember going to the grocery store and wearing my mask feeling like I needed to get out of there ASAP. This feeling was due to the world closing down for two weeks when the Chicago mayor said to leave the house for essentials only. To this day I limit my trips but I remind myself it’s safe to be at the store. Every time I do Pilates I feel stronger. It’s both mental and physical which is what guides me when I have those moments of unease at the store. Without it, anxiety and stress would be through the roof!

Pilates lessons release stress & anxiety

It’s been tough to be away from family.

Whether your family is across the country, in a nursing home, an essential worker, or passed away from Covid, you’ve felt the pain. We as humans crave connection. Not being able to hug family or see them as often as we used to is tough. I know facetime is not the same as in real life and yet it might be all you have right now. When my sister-in-law mentioned she has tea with my nephews around the same time I enjoy a cup of tea we decided to do it virtually! Together we can drink tea, talk about school for my nephews and see first hand what they are like at 3 pm in the afternoon. It gave them something to look forward to after school! Without Covid, I don’t know if I would have had this experience. It makes each experience much more special.

I cherish those small talk moments.

Remember waiting in line to check out at the grocery store and having small talk with the people around you or the cashier? What about chatting with your local barista at the coffee shop? I miss those moments, how about you? I used to hate small talk. As a barista, I often worked the cash register, and making small talk was hard for me. The more I tried, the easier it became. Such as asking someone where they are from, what coffee they like, how is their day, and sharing what we have in common. When you’re home all day, week, and weekend the days become long and lonely. Covid has helped me remember the small things that truly matter. These are moments you can’t put a price on. 

Small talk at coffee shops

I love being creative and doing creative things especially during the pandemic.

In the last year, we’ve had to get a little creative. Things like knitting, crochet, painting, coloring, and much more! So what do we do when those things don’t excite us? Mike and I went for a drive! We noticed how little we drove at night in the dark. If I was bored I told Mike and he said let’s go a drive. I said, really? Why? And he said because it’s fun! We didn’t have a place in mind, we drove around the area and it helped us explore our new city. Usually, our trips ended at Dairy Queen or Freddy’s for ice cream or frozen custard with cheese curds. Hey, it’s the little things that turn into large things! These are memories that I’ll take with me into the future and remember the joy I felt. 

What’s something you’ve enjoyed in the last year? There are a lot of positives throughout the pandemic and the more we focus on them, the better our mind and body feels. 

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