One of the unexpected upsides of having to shelter in place is my rediscovery of the joys within my own home—a sentiment that some of my friends and family say they've felt, too.  Here is what I have been doing with my extra time while I am under “stay at home” orders in North Texas.

plate of foodCooking more – and baking more

While I was already a work-from-home REALTOR, and I did cook dinner often, during the Covid19 crisis I have found myself cooking even more frequently.  I certainly live in an area that has plenty of restaurants with to-go food available, I have just been spending more time cooking full meals for my family.  I even made pancakes and also banana-carrot bread from scratch while I have been home.


New ways to exercise

I am not a person who works out every day, but I do spend time working out a few times per week.  With the gym closed and Camp Gladiator on their new normal of no more than 9 campers, I have started going on more walks.  I have taken the dog, my husband, my grand kids, my adult kids – if it’s nice outside, I think we should walk for exercise and as an excuse for leaving the house.  I have also watched several work out videos.  I even hosted a dance party in my living room with my toddler grandson.



I can’t believe it’s all caught up. Enough said.


Learned some new skillshome office

My office is still open and we are working.  While we have been working on our normal activities such as listing homes, processing contracts, negotiating repairs, working with title companies, and more – I have found some time to learn some new skills.  Not only did I learn some new skills, but I also taught a class to about 50 students for 2 full days via Zoom.  Usually, I teach REALTORS in a classroom setting.  However, due to the coronavirus we hosted the class online.


Spent time with family – celebrated birthdays

I am lucky and blessed to have my adult kids living nearby.  Just before the stay at home orders went into effect, my youngest daughter and her 2 sons came over so that I could help her watch the boys while she took some online training classes.  I spent time washing bottles, changing diapers, and playing with toys.  Additionally, March is a really busy birthday month in our family.  We celebrated my husband’s birthday last week with a friends singing happy birthday on the phone and on facetime. We made brownies for his birthday cake.  Next week we celebrate another birthday in our house with our youngest child. I have a chocolate cake mix in the pantry, but if that’s not on the menu then we will just make something else from scratch.


card gamePlayed games

While my hubby doesn't enjoy games as much as I do, that hasn't stopped me.  I have played solitaire (with real cards). I have played Yahtzee with my hubby and daughter. When the grand kids were here I played Mastermind, Candy Land, and Twister.  Usually we spend our holiday time together as a family with all kinds of games....but since virtual Cards Against Humanity isn't an option, I will just make do with what I have. 


Granted, I will be thrilled once this coronavirus stay at home ban has been lifted—but until then, I will try to look at the silver lining and relish all the comforts and opportunities that staying at home has to offer.




About the author:

Melissa Hailey is the Broker-Owner of North Texas Top Team, REALTORS in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  Our Team helps home buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants move across North Texas and we connect clients to other great REALTORS across the country.  She is a real estate instructor and coach who loves to see others succeed.  She is a serial volunteer helping others in her community and in her industry.  Connect with her at