On Staying In

Sometimes I don’t leave the apartment for a week at a time.

I started to think about why I’m so comfortable not going out, and I thought at first that maybe it was tied to my current sleep routine. Every night I spend time doomscrolling and obsessive news lurking, then reading on my Kindle until my eyes are bleary, then listening to music until I’m actually drowsy. Then and only then do I actually – finally – fall asleep. Most nights, that’s around 2am. When I spatula myself out of bed the next morning for work, I invariably insist to myself that I will go to sleep earlier the next night, but I never do. Hell, I even have a cron running on my computer that makes it speak aloud, “go to bed you idiot” at 10:30 each night. I guess I don’t sleep much.

Part of the problem, for me, is that I am never, ever bored at home. There’s always something to read, a video to watch, small projects to put off. All my stuff is here! There’s always something to do when I should be sleeping like a sane and normal person. (Yes, I know my sleep hygiene is garbage; that’s not what this post is about.)

In the last two weeks, I’ve left the building perhaps three times. Once to the dentist, once to the grocery store, and the other time was a walk with a friend to pick up some dinner. I recently mentioned to that same friend that I hadn’t really been out in a while and she asked why- and I didn’t have a good answer. I mean, yes, part of it was that work had been particularly contentious, including a weekend full of twelve-hour workdays.

I feel a little guilty that I’m being a bad friend by holing up in my apartment instead of trying to socialize more with my friends, but then most of them who are too skittish about Covid to actually do anything social. I don’t blame them – everyone has their own comfort level about being out and about during the pandemic. I don’t know anyone up here who would dine inside a restaurant. And it’s just cold enough to be really uncomfortable dining outside.

Switching to pandemic lock-down was easy for me because my own built-in inertia already makes me predisposed to stay in. Without social plans – a concert, a movie, a musical, pub trivia, or dinner with a friend – I’m perfectly happy to stay at home and do my own thing. Left to my own devices, I can easily stay at home for days at a time. Longer, with food delivery.

There’s really just not that much going on in the outside world lately. Honestly, though, I can’t think of a good reason for not going outside, other than “I just don’t want to.” The only real down side is that the longer I stay in, the harder it is for me to finally get up and go outside.

Do you get stir-crazy when you can’t go out for a long time?


20 thoughts on “On Staying In

  1. Lorrie

    Because I work outside the home, I haven’t had a chance to stay at home indefinitely to see how long I would last. My “stir-crazy” level is more linked to the current inability to travel due to Covid restrictions. For someone who is always trying to escape Florida, being “trapped” down here for 14 months (except for one Virginia weeked over the summer) has been unbearable. Worse, it’s reminiscent of my early 20s when I was too broke to go ANYWHERE!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband and I used to get stir-crazy on the weekends and we would go out and walk around the mall or something just to get out. But then covid happened, and we were both working from home for awhile, and we did a lot of projects around the house, and now even though I’m back in the office we don’t go out as much on the weekends and I’m betting it will stay that way after covid. (If there is an after, haha.) He’s making mead, I’m reading, and we both go out to explore hiking trails with the dog. I miss restaurants and concerts, but other than that I’m good to stay home and do my own thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband and I retired due to COVID, We are liking the stay-at-home thing more and more. We also have noticed how it affects the sleep cycle. We stay up late and get up late, but 4:30 in the morning was the time we rolled out of bed before retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m a stay at home wife, a homemaker, whatever you want to call it. I do not work outside the home. If it wasn’t winter and if there wasn’t a pandemic and if I wasn’t already a bit agoraphobic I might get out of my condo and explore my new neighborhood some, but instead I stay inside my condo. There is so much to do inside of my condo, I could do without the chores to keep the household running though… I also find myself staying up later and later, but since I don’t have a job that I need to get up for, that translates into me sleeping later into the day. Most of the time this isn’t really an issue, I think that my natural sleep pattern is a little bit different than most other people’s, but I do hope that I’ll be able to get myself to bed at an earlier time tonight and actually rise at an earlier time tomorrow so that I am presentable for the condo association meeting that I need to attend since I somehow managed to volunteer myself to be a board member soon after moving here… Thank goodness the meeting is via Zoom and I don’t have to leave the house…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Luckily I’m just a lowly board member… for now…
    My husband, Curtis, and I attended a board meeting (masked and outside) very shortly after moving in and they kept mentioning that there was an opening on the board that needed to be filled (during that meeting and in subsequent emails) because the person who owned our condo before us moved away… and I kind of felt like I had to fill the spot because I had moved into the condo that the former member had owned, kind of like I inherited it. I figured that since I didn’t have a day job, why not volunteer to be a member of the board? So now I get to read email threads of owners complaining about actually having to pay for any improvements that they want made, or about the fact that we need to raise money for major projects like roofing…(apparently they think that the board can just magically make money appear), or complaining about their neighbors (not our problem), or complaining for the 5 billionth time about the fact that there is no assigned parking and going completely off the deep end when it explained once again that we *cannot* have assigned parking because we do not have enough parking spots to be able to assign one to each unit (a lot of people park on the street in front of their building.) (The guy who is *obsessed* with getting his very own assigned parking spot is my next door neighbor…yay…) The meeting tomorrow is with the historical society because we live in historic buildings. The historical society gets to tell us what sort of improvements we can and cannot make and we get absolutely no benefit from it. (the developer who envisioned this group of condos got a one time tax benefit and then sold it to someone else. We get nothing because our association is not for profit, but not *nonprofit*…) So, for example, the windows in my condo desperately need to be updated and replaced, they were installed in the 1980s. The historical society says we cannot change them to new energy efficient ones that look exactly the same because we need to keep the original materials… but these windows are *not* original. They were created and installed around the time I was born. I am not historic and neither are my windows… So, we are trying to get the historical society to let us out of the easement that does nothing but cost us money unnecessarily. This isn’t the first attempt. We are hoping that if they will not let us out of the easement they will at least see reason and let us do the updates that are needed to actually preserve our buildings…

    I’m not saying that I regret volunteering to be a member of the board, I like all the other board members I’ve “met” so far… but maybe I regret volunteering to be a member of the board a little bit.

    Anyway, sorry for ranting in your comments section.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heard and empathized with. You never need to apologize for ranting. 😀

      When I was on the condo board, people would knock on my door to complain about stuff. And dealing with expenses was just a huge pain, like when we needed to spend enough money for upkeep that we had to do an assessment to have everyone chip in. Nobody ever wants to spend money on shared things, even though it was for the good of all. It sounds like you’ve got your hands full.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’re currently trying really hard to do everything we can to avoid an assessment, but people are complaining that their condo fees are already too expensive… they are some of the lowest fees in the area. I know because we just bought the place and I know how much other places were charging in fees. Also, our condo fees currently cover water, sewer, trash and insurance for the outside of the buildings, which most other condos around here don’t cover in fees. We’re trying to raise fees by a very small percentage so that we can raise money for stuff over a period of time instead of having to tack on a large assessment when something needs to be worked on. We’re trying to make it easier for people, but they have no idea how good they’ve got it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m currently only going out for fertility clinic appointments, to pick up prescriptions and for my weekly walk. I absolutely cannot catch anything (even a cold) until after egg retrieval. But I actually like being at home with my books and my cross stitch and not having to worry about saying the wrong thing and making people hate me. Restaurants are closed here anyway so I couldn’t eat at one even if I wanted to.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always been a homebody, and so when officials said we needed to flatten the curve I said CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
    I do force myself to get dressed everyday (mostly depression prevention), and because of my kids we have to get outside to a park most days otherwise they’ll rip the house apart.
    But left to my own devices, I’m perfectly content being a cranky hermit.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I alternate between being perfectly fine with it and absolutely climbing the walls. I think it’s more the fact that we have zero plans to look forward to that makes me nuts though. I don’t miss the commute, I’m still working as normal but I don’t particularly miss going to an office, but I miss running random errands and randomly deciding to meet somewhere for dinner instead of cooking.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I get a bit stircrazy if I can’t go out, but to be fair, I get a bit stircrazy if I have to stay out, so I think it’s more to do with my desire to be in 9 places at the same time than any of the nine places. 🙂 Though “All my stuff is here!” resonated big here, ha!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The first step is to acknowledge the issue. The second is to do something about it, though, that could be making a plan to go out with friends in the future, maybe getting the same errands done at the same place at the same time. As you wrote, everyone has their own comfort level.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I got that feeling from reading the post. They go grocery shopping, right? (They eat, right?) That’s something that both parties can cross off their to-do list and socialize. Yes, we are getting nearer to the pandemic coming to a close. The lack of socialization should be resolved as well.

        Liked by 1 person

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