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Not Just Occupied

March 29, 2020

Read what Liza McLain thinks about the difference between being occupied and living.


Welcome to Day ___ (insert your personal quarantine number here) of a new normal, a home office, a home classroom, and a kitchen with a small Costco in its pantry. For me, it’s technically Day 3 of Nashville’s mandated “Safer at Home” order, but we’ve essentially been shut down for about 10 days.


I’ll spare everyone the extraneous details of what is pretty much everyone’s reality now, and only tell you one relevant detail: I live alone in a one-bedroom apartment. Translation: no roommates, no siblings, no spouse, no parents, no furry friends. I do have an orchid though. (He is very shy and a huge introvert.) Thankfully, every news outlet, every Instagram account, and every Buzzfeed article I come across has “37 things to do when you’re bored at home” to keep me occupied.


But do I want to be occupied?


Definitely not. I want to be living in this current, unprecedented, historical, wild moment! And in order for me to do that, I had to dig deep and figure out something I could do to normalize this situation just a little. So! Combine my need for human and social interaction with 2020 technology and Wi-Fi, and all of the sudden, I’m having virtual Moonups with friends!


So far, I’ve had virtual Moonups over Zoom and FaceTime with my Nashville friends, my college friends (Go Dawgs!), my old roommates, and my family. (Full transparency: I created an agenda on a Google Doc for one Moonup. And, if you know me, this will not shock you.) Let’s get practical. Here’s my advice:


– Set a legit time to Moonup. Don’t do the whole “oh yeah, that’s sounds great” thing and never set a time. Set a time. Stick to it. Invite everyone.

– Be the LOD! Run the Moonup. Have a quote and question ready! Make sure everyone’s voice is heard.

– OPEN THAT NUG JUG! Give nugs out to people present in the Moonup, your teachers, medical professionals, this blog (shameless plug).

– Acknowledge the elephant in the room. There’s no way you won’t discuss the coronavirus or bring it up. And that’s okay. It’s healthy to talk about it and to check in with one another.

– But cap the corona chatter! Give it a limit. Let everyone answer a few questions about it – how they are, what school from home is like, if their sibling keeps eating their lunch, etc. Then, let’s get our minds off this thing!

– Ask those questions! Yes, that’s plural! You don’t have to limit it to sharing your B+ superpower. Let’s hear about your go-to karaoke song, your dream sandwich, or spirit animal.

– Repeat!


I realize many of you might not be in this state of solitude, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek these connections with your loved ones. Keep up with your friends from school, your fellow Moondancers, your cousins, your grandparents, your best friend’s dog. Don’t just be occupied during this time. Connect with people and remember that in these times when we are forced to be apart, we must come together.


– Liza Mclain, Moondance HQ



As a bonus, I’m including the answers from one of my virtual Moonups. The question was: What is your favorite surface to walk on barefoot, and why?

Note: sand was a popular one, so I had everyone describe the type of sand in detail.


Molly: Sand – “ankle deep in the ocean” section, so pretty mushy and wet; basically an ocean walk. Enjoys being at the beach with friends and family; good memories!


Jenn: Crunchy fall leaves; the sound is very satisfying


Kathryn: Grass after rain; squishy and muddy! Feels good!


Carly: Spring gym floor; bouncy and fun; reminds her of childhood


Mary: Sand – “in between the fluffy dry stuff and the mushy wet stuff” section; feels good and the beach is a happy place


(Author’s note: I don’t know where Mary is talking about)


Katherine: Sand – “just been touched by a wave” section; the sound is nice, and the sand is cold and soft; soothing


Morgan: Clean (low pile) carpet; you’ve just come in from a hard day and can take your shoes off and can relax


(Author’s note: I had to look up what low pile carpet was.)


Ellie: Balance beam; good memories watching Gym Dawgs growing up and memories at her gymnastics birthday party!


Liza: Asphalt on a summer’s eve; NOT when it’s burning hot, but when it’s warm and has a little exfoliating going on; reminds me of running around with friends in the summertime.


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