Meet the Writer (Quarantine Edition): Diane Morrow-Kondos

Diane writes our Grand Life blog as well as other articles for TulsaKids Magazine

We interviewed some of our writers about their work with TulsaKids Magazine as well as their experience with social distancing. In this article, learn more about our wonderful blogger Diane Morrow-Kondos.

Meet The Writier Dmk

Our new version of eating out is having dinner on the patio. We’ve spent a lot of time here during the quarantine!

How long have you been writing for TulsaKids?

This week marks four years of writing a weekly blog for TulsaKids!

What is one of the most memorable articles you’ve written for TulsaKids, and why?

Although I’ve enjoyed writing about single parents, step-families, and grandparenting, the blogs that have meant the most to me are the ones I’ve written about my brother who is intellectually disabled. I’m my brother’s guardian, and I am thankful to have the opportunity to share our story and advocate for him!

What do you do outside of writing for us?

Last year, I was fortunate also to have five stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul books and an article in Oklahoma Sports and Fitness. My hobbies are triathlons and open water swim competitions. I’m currently training for Ironman Florida, which is scheduled for November 7th. (An Ironman is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run and must be completed in 17 hours)

Who are you social distancing with right now?

I’m social distancing with my wonderful, fun husband, Steve Webb.

How has social distancing affected your daily/weekly routine?

I’ve had to create a new routine. My mornings still involve exercise and coffee, but now my rituals are done at home and alone. My husband and I had always wanted a home gym, and this was the motivation we needed to create one. Since I am training for an Ironman and all the gyms are closed, having a treadmill, spin bike, and weights at home has been a welcome addition to our home!

In three words, how would you explain your #socialdistancing experience?

Cooking, baking, eating!

What is one thing you’ve learned through quarantine—either about yourself, as a parent, about our community, etc.?

You would think at the age of 61, I would already know myself well, but the quarantine has taught me a lot about myself, some good things, some not so great. I’ve realized I am a person that needs structure, routine, and goals. I need to have control more than I realized. The lack of control has created some issues with anxiety. I’m learning to let go of things I can’t control. I’m realizing we have often become too busy and not prioritized our marriage. I hope we remember to make time for each other in the new normal. I’ve learned I am more of a homebody than I realized. I usually spend a lot of time meeting friends for lunch and coffee, and although I do miss my friends, I am fairly content spending time alone at home.

What has been the hardest aspect of social distancing for you?

The hardest part is not seeing my adult kids, and the absolute worst part is not seeing my two-year-old grandson! However, I realize these are small prices to pay in the grand scheme of a pandemic.

Have you identified any “silver linings” through the quarantine experience, or do you have a positive story to share?

I’ve already shared this in a blog, but I have loved having extra time to spend with my husband. We’ve had a lot of fun playing board games, sitting on the back patio talking, and taking evening walks in our neighborhood. I’ve also enjoyed having a lot of time to organize my house and complete some projects on my list.

What has been most helpful to you at this time?

I have worked hard to establish a new routine. I have learned I need to stay away from watching too much news, and I need to set strict limits on the time I spend on social media so I can maintain positivity. Exercise is an important element in my routine and is essential for my mental health care.

What aspect of your pre-social distancing life do you miss most?

It’s the simple things like stopping at Quik Trip to get ice tea or drinking coffee at Old School Bagels with friends.

What are some things you are doing to stay connected with friends and family?

We have an ongoing family Facebook group where we check in on each other. We tried a family Zoom meeting but quickly learned two-year-old wild boys don’t make for a successful Zoom meeting. I Facetime with each of my daughters and also my grandson. I’ve recorded videos of myself reading books to my grandson and also my brother. My book club recently had a Zoom book club gathering, which was fun. Several of my friend groups have ongoing group texts , which has been helpful to stay connected.

What are your grateful for?

This list is long, but it begins with the obvious- I am so thankful my family and friends are safe and healthy. I am thankful my husband has a job where he can work from home. We have a home, we have enough food, and we can pay our bills. I hope I never take those things for granted. I’m grateful my brother is in a wonderful care facility where he is safe and well cared for. I am grateful I can stay safe at home while others are fighting to save lives.

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