A Week in “Given Up” and “Gained”

Spring break wasn’t what we had planned this year.

Anna Burgess Yang
3 min readApr 3, 2020


My kiddos at an empty park.

This week is “spring break” in our school district. We were supposed to be in Arizona, visiting family. We haven’t been there in over 3 years, but were forced to cancel our trip as the COVID-19 pandemic became more threatening.

The schools in Illinois are closed until April 30th, which means that in addition to not traveling for spring break, we are home, with three kids, and no daily assignments coming home from the teachers. While my husband and I attempt to work. Deep breaths.

We are now on Day 22 of our social distancing efforts. The first two weeks were the hardest. This week was hard for different reasons — needing to come up with our own ways to keep the kids occupied. But overall, I have come to accept a few things: 1) We are in this for the long haul, with our “shelter in place” order extended until at least April 30th 2) I cannot do it all and have to make peace with the bare minimum and 3) I will be tired all the time.

We have given up a lot. A normal week for us would have included eating out at least once, choir practice for our 10-year-old, Lego club for both the 10-year-old and 8-year-old, leaving the house to see my therapist, yoga, church, probably eating out at least once, maybe a play date, grocery shopping, and stopping at Starbucks on the way to day care for our toddler.

I have never planned so. many. days of activities at home. But now having survived the week of “spring break” I can say that we did the best that we could, given our confinement.

  • On Monday, the kids did an indoor scavenger hunt, colored pictures of tigers (their school mascot) to hang in the front windows of the house, and wrote letters to the local hospital thanking medical staff for their efforts.
  • On Tuesday, we did a “field trip” in the morning and dropped off some gifts for friends on their doorsteps. The 8-year-old took a class through Outschool called “Fight Germs Harry Potter Style!”
  • On Wednesday, we did “cooking camp” and the kids made blueberry muffins in the morning, and then made dinner: pasta, roasted potatoes, and salad.
  • On Thursday, we did “spring cleaning” and brought all of our…



Anna Burgess Yang

Productivity geek + solopreneur with niche expertise. #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. • https://start.annabyang.com/