VOICES OF CORONA--Janel's story

May 24, 2020

VOICES OF CORONA--Janel's story

Janel Broderick
owner, wreath + robe
Washington, DC

Stay-at-home status:
We’ve been at home since Mid-March; our stay-at-home order was recently extended.
What are the hardest challenges you’ve experienced during lockdown?
I am fortunate that my husband’s job is stable and no one I know is sick. So, it feels trivial talking about disappointment as a challenge. But ... whatever, it’s my story and there are three general areas in which I have been struggling:

#1. We had been inching our way closer to a move that's been postponed. It’s been extremely discouraging because I had really gotten carried away with expecting life would look different “if only” the move was made. 

#2. My emotions have been all over the map. Some days, I watch the news and grieve all the things I cannot see, but know to be real. Tragedies happening around the globe—that are still heartbreaking, even if they’re not happening to me. While we shouldn't misappropriate someone else’s grief or make someone else's pain about us, we are called to weep alongside the brokenhearted.

#3. This at-home reality has really tested my discipline—some days, I’m all in—keeping an active routine, eating reasonably well, going to bed by 10. Some days, it seems all my calories come from peanut butter and cheap red wine. 

Any blessings, glass-half-full moments?
Two big ones. First, watching my husband thrive in this new environment, he’s disciplined, he’s healthy, he has time to complete his work, and read. He’s even cooking. (!!!) That’s huge. I love seeing him happy.

Second, while I was really ready to move back west, I hadn’t realized how heavy the burden of "making that happen" had become. The dream of moving had stolen joy from other areas of my life. Once I laid it down, it freed me up to be more content with where I’m at. I can’t force my blueprint of life, but I can enjoy every blessing the day brings. Right here, right now. Something as simple as buying an actual desk for my office and picking out a rug for my floor … that’s what joy looks like this week. My new motto: Stop waiting, start living.

What are you watching?
Loving the lightness of 30 Rock, and Fresh off the Boat (both on Hulu). True Crime and certain documentaries (The Dust Bowl via PBS) were getting too heavy.

What are you learning?

I love education sources like Master Class; most recently, I’ve returned to studying Russia. My skills are pretty rusty. Audio learning remains a constant companion—the How I Built This podcast, Business Wars, Caitlin Crosby’s book about her work with the Giving Keys has also been a gift.

As for growing in my faith, I love the podcast from Woodland Hills Church. Greg Boyd is someone I greatly respect and admire.

Any new habits you’ve picked up?
Nothing I’m proud of. My biggest success comes when I’m sticking to my workout schedules and organizing my time well. So, it’s less about picking new things up and instead about hanging steady with things I know to do. I understand grace, but I can’t take up permanent residence in Slothville. I don’t feel good there.

Any random life hacks you’ve discovered?
Listening to sounds of the ocean (either on Spotify or Pandora), keeping my work space clean, putting on a bra (makes me feel like I’m going above + beyond), and burning a candle that reminds me of warm sand. I don’t care about hair or makeup, I just care about being clean and making sure my hair doesn't dread (it did, once).

Favorite quarantine snack?
Triscuits and block cheese. Cottage cheese and salsa. Cheesy breakfast potatoes. Don't judge.

Favorite way to move your body?
Running, barre, yoga, weights, spin. I've turned all railings into a makeshift barre.

Any favorite scripture or quote you’re loving?
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14 And that new motto to start living, stop waiting.
You can find Janel on Instagram at @wreathandrobe

Janel’s Disclaimer: We know that the current global pandemic, COVID-19, has brought devastating and irreparable loss. This blog series in no way attempts to capture the scale and scope of this tragedy, but instead aims to share individual stories of everyday women living under various stages of stay-at-home orders across the country.

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