We know, quarantine is hard (currently implemented in the US and many other countries due to COVID-19). But we like to talk about good things here…and take it from some quarantine pros - there can be positives in times like these!
First of all, what earns us the title of pro-quarantiners? Kristine was diagnosed with cancer and spent almost 3 years in treatment. If you don’t know much about cancer treatment, it basically wipes out your whole immune system in order to kill the cancer. So, during that time, your best chance at survival is isolating yourself because catching even a flu could kill you (that actually did happen to our brother).
So there we went, from normal lives one day - work, school, sports, travel, hanging with friends - to being only at home (sound familiar?), or admitted in the hospital. But for a year+. Brianna was her caregiver, so stayed with Kristine every single day for those years too.
Hell yeah, it was hard. But the lessons we learned, and what we came away with in the end we would not trade for anything. During this COVID-19 quarantine, we saw others struggling with being at home for days and found ourselves wondering why we were doing great. Then it dawned on us, we’ve done this before (just add lots of nausea, vomiting, fatigue, hair loss, mouth sores, fear of if you catch that virus - you actually might die, and a year+ to this temporary quarantine, and you have the cancer journey).
Now on to the good things – here’s three ways that being quarantined for a year changed our lives for the best.
During a quarantine, when suddenly all your normal ways of life and options for entertainment are gone, after you’ve binge-watched all the Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ shows you can handle, mentally recovered from watching Tiger King, deleted that annoying TikTok app, and you’ve finished all those projects and redecorating your house, something happens. Nothing. You’re bored OUT OF YOUR MIND! But there’s something cool about nothing at all. That nothingness creates space to let your mind wander, to dream, to learn, to create. When ideas or even problems come up, you find creative ways to solve them, whereas in the past – maybe you’d just go out, visit a friend, watch a show, get a drink, and forget about it.
See all the cool sidewalk art suddenly taking over social media during the quarantine? That creativity is coming out.
It’s how we started our business during our personal cancer quarantine. Kristine drew things that made us happy on our old shirts. It was our way of reminding ourselves to stay positive. We kept going with it, and pretty soon, we found ourselves with a company: Catch Some Air, our clothing brand that funds helping kids with cancer stay happy when they feel crappy. We promise you that would not have happened if we weren’t so bored! We didn’t even know we had a knack for drawing.
New ideas happen when there’s space in our mind, and time on our hands to allow it. So embrace it and create something that makes you happy!
We know it’s weird that during a time of such social distancing and quarantine, when people feel perhaps the most alone they’ve ever felt, connection is a top 3 advantage. The truth is, when you go through hard things with someone, it can bring you closer together and form bonds like no other. Quarantine doesn’t mean you have to stay home alone. If you are, try to find some family or a friend to quarantine with! Tough times also have a way of bringing out who those true friends are – who have your back no matter what, who will share that roll of TP with you when you’re out. (Seriously…why? Haha).
And you’ll make new connections in unexpected ways. Yep…through good ol’ Zoom we met our business mentor…who we basically adopted as our older sis as soon as we were off isolation and met in person. Some of our favorite and deepest connections were made during quarantine. (Including Kristine’s (now) fiancé falling in love with her 😉 )
When you’re in quarantine, you can’t DO most the things you love. And you get a wake up call...am I ACTUALLY happy? We’re used to chasing all these external things to make us happy. The big house, romantic partner, job, money, car, hobby, sport, vacation, fame, etc. But things and situations come and go. Sure, those things can enhance our lives, but if it’s all gone in an instant – or never reached in the first place, how can we be truly happy?
Happiness needs to come from within, and that starts with mindset. It’s what we focus on and where we allow our thoughts to go. Focus on gratitude. Be thankful for the little things – and there are lots of “little” things that we take for granted that are huge. When Kristine was going through cancer treatment, at one point her body started to react badly. She couldn’t walk, couldn’t stand, couldn’t lift an arm, couldn’t eat, her speech was slurred. But you know what she thought about? She chose to be thankful she could see.
It’s not easy during hard times and you have to actively find ways to remind yourself throughout the day. Again that’s why we started “the happiest clothing brand on earth” Catch Some Air. To remind ourselves every time we got dressed, or looked at our shirt, to stay happy, thankful, kind, and every other good quality we wanted to be – it stuck with us all day. Eventually those reminders became normal, automatic, and real. Now we’re generally in a positive state of mind, which leads to a much happier life – no matter our circumstances.
Once we found happiness ourselves, we discovered that helping other kids stay happy during cancer treatment made us even happier. We found our purpose in life, and there is no greater joy than doing what we love, and making someone else’s life better at the same time. But what we DO comes from who we are. Not the other way around. The sooner we can learn these lessons, the more fulfilling life will be.
Yeah, cancer treatment was hard, being in quarantine for years was hard, but we can honestly say we found happiness in the midst of it, and had some of the happiest moments of our lives despite some hard circumstances.
We know this time can be scary and there’s so much uncertainty. We get it and aren’t trying to downplay anything. We just wanted to share some positives that came from our isolation/quarantine a few years ago, to hopefully make this massive COVID-19 quarantine a little bit happier (or at the very least save you from watching one more episode of Tiger King).
Stay home, stay healthy, and stay happy!
Love you all.
- Kristine & Brianna Tesauro
AKA: The Rocket Girls
P.S. No masks were wasted in the taking of this photo. These were old masks from our cancer memory box.
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