Coronacation Chronicles – April 5, 2020


An Empty Planner: Blessing or Curse?

We are entering our fourth week of social isolation.

And for the record, it is Sunday.

You’d think because there’s nothing much to keep track of on my planner, it would be easier to know what day it is.


It’s not.

Each day passes by inexplicably fast as it magically melts into its tomorrow while it simultaneously metamorphoses into its yesterday.

Before this drastic shift in life-as-I-know-it, my to-do list held me hostage and simply exhausted me. Run around, do this, check that off, don’t forget this, you’re late, you missed this, you failed because you forgot that

The frenzy of demands that, for the most part, served someone else’s or society’s checklist I religiously wrote in my planner and entered into my phone’s calendar took an enormous toll on my health and my emotional wellbeing, but if I ever admitted that, I’d be judged as a failure or labeled as “needing improvement.”

Turns out, most of those tasks were ultimately unnecessary in the big picture despite running me ragged.

This period of isolation, while foggy at times, has been crystal clear in presenting within itself a renewed illumination.

I absolutely miss seeing my family in person and would kill to hug my nieces and nephews right now. I miss my friends, my colleagues, my students…I miss the human connection.

But I don’t miss the frenzy, especially when said frenzy negatively affected my wellbeing.

Our current situation and the uncertainty that literally surrounds everything concerns me big time.

But the silver lining is this: my time is mine.

I’m spending a good chunk of time each week revisiting and updating my lessons to make them more meaningful for my students as we teach and learn from a distance for the foreseeable future. I’m helping my students make better connections and improve skills across the board, and I enjoy spending my time in such a manner because it benefits the greater good.

However, I am rather enjoying the limited structure of my days and having the freedom to walk on my treadmill, write for myself, and meditating whenever I please within the mandates of my pre-determined “time online” while keeping up with my professional responsibilities.

Life has given all of us permission to slow down.

And you know what?

I’m no longer suffering from the “fear of missing out” because of my fatigue, since there’s nothing to miss out on, and I’m no longer paralyzed with guilt for saying NO.

I’ve replaced the news with music, scrolling with gardening, and rushing around aimlessly with creating with words and crayons. I’m quickly becoming a talented “inker.” Kevin Smith fans will know what I mean.

If anything good comes of this extraordinarily strange time, perhaps it’s the opportunity to re-prioritize and adopt a renewed and enlightened attitude as we move forward.

Perhaps we will value time spent with loved ones, and creating meaningful memories will replace the go-here, go-there keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality.

Perhaps gratitude for everything we’ve previously taken for granted will outweigh entitlement and materialism.

Perhaps we will live more authentically and notice the little things with an increased sense of wonder and appreciation.

Perhaps respect, compassion, creativity, and kindness will flourish and “Look at you!” will replace “Look at me!”

Perhaps we will adopt a mindset of bettering ourselves and serving others not for external rewards or “likes” but to honor our intrinsic sense of purpose while promoting that lost concept of humanity.

Perhaps you will be able to finally live your life on your terms, and I mine.


Just maybe.

cropped-img_0764 Thanks for joining me on my journey. I’m glad you’re here.

With gratitude,


“Coronacation Chronicles – April 5, 2020” was posted on and on on April 5, 2020. Views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the writer, who was not compensated in any way by any entity. Copyright 2020, Jill Ocone. All rights reserved. Contact with reposting, licensing, and publishing inquiries.

5 thoughts on “Coronacation Chronicles – April 5, 2020

  1. Rachel Kelly says:

    Amen!! Thank you for a great read! I miss you and the human connection too, but you’re right….our lives were so busy and now we can truly be grateful for the things that matter. I can’t wait to read more!


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