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Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.

Opinion

Counting the days

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

It would be an understatement to say 2020 has been a strange year. Many of us have spent months in isolation, and some still are. Gideon and I worked from home together for about three months this year, a stark contrast from past years when I worked days and he worked nights.

For the first time in our entire relationship, we were together pretty much all the time. Weíd wake up together, eat breakfast together, take our lunch breaks together, exercise together ó it was a whole lot of togetherness. Suffice it to say, that two-bedroom apartment started to feel awfully small after a while. Itís not that we didnít enjoy spending time together. It was wonderful to get to know each otherís little habits and try new recipes and binge-watch sitcoms we hadnít seen before.

But that apartment wasnít big enough for both of us to work in peace. When Gideon would have a virtual class meeting, he could either go to the living room or our spare room. In either case, I could hear every moment of the meeting ó even with headphones on! Iím sure he wasnít terribly fond of being forced to listen in to all my phone interviews in the midst of lesson planning and all the other things teachers do.

We solved that problem just in time for both of us to start working on-site again. In August, we bought our first home on Beaver Lake. We each have an office of our own (on separate floors, no less!) so working from home is much more pleasant these days. Even though we had spent so much time together during the early days of the pandemic, it wasnít exactly stress-free quality time.

I didnít quite realize that until the week of Thanksgiving, when we had nearly a full week together without any work whatsoever. It felt so good to have no plans or calls to make. We slept in, or tried to sleep in, almost every day. Even household chores had a little bit of charm. We loved doing the dishes together ó I washed and he dried. That kind of thing would have felt like work any other week, but it didnít when we had all the time in the world.

Thatís why Iím so excited about the upcoming holiday break. Gideon will be off for at least two weeks over the Christmas holiday, and Iím taking off the majority of that time to be with him. We donít know what weíre going to do, besides mailing out Christmas gifts to my family in Texas and making a big Christmas dinner. Thatís pretty unusual for us. In the past. our time off together was planned weeks ahead of time. Weíd normally rent a house on Airbnb and go see a movie or hit up the bowling alley.

Seeing as weíre in the middle of a pandemic, we canít do any of that now. It might sound weird, but Iím pretty excited about that. The world has slowed down over the past year and we have, too.

If thereís any lesson we can take from the pandemic, itís the value of human life and how important it is to appreciate the time we have with our loved ones. Thatís exactly what I plan to do over Christmas and New Yearís. Until then, Iíll be counting the days.