Sarita Cheaves

The Shutdown

Sarita Cheaves
The Shutdown

Happy New Year!

I had every intention on writing about Santorini, a beautiful Chardonnay that was sent to me from California and some other great wines I found for under $10. Time seemed to escape as the holidays approached and then there was the shutdown. I’m writing this on shutdown day 25. Now this isnt my 1st rodeo. I survived the 2013 shutdown for 16 days. Back then I had a part time job at the time. So i was able to move about and still make a little extra cash. I busied myself with puzzles & reading. This time feels different.

As I lean back & sip tea, i’m astonished that I feel and actually am, unemployed. I’m very thankful that my husband is not furloughed and we are smart with money so the bills are paid. But this the 25th day of no work. No paycheck. And whats scary is, nobody seems to know when this will end.

AND THEN we got almost 10 inches of snow. Snow during a furlough can make someone feel trapped. The energy in this city is very cold and distant. I have a few strategies to keep myself together.

Here is my to-do I created in the Evernote app. I try to create these every night.

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I may achieve some things out of order or sometimes the following day, but it will get done. I do have a few rules to keep me in line.

  1. No naps. This isnt a vacation & I need to stay up ALL DAY as if I were at work. The transition back to work wont be so bad if I keep this up.

  2. No spending. There is no money coming in so none can go out. I will take advantage of some free or super cheap furlough deals to get out the house. But I have to stay away from wine shops, Marshals/TJMaxx, and Target. Even grocery stores are my weakness so I stay out of those too.

  3. Scheduled TV time. If I can, I will lay & watch TV all day. Again, this isnt a vacation. So I keep the TV off until my scheduled time. Usually when i’m cooking.

  4. No overeating. Whew chile. I thought this would be an issue but i’m handling it better than I thought. I’m a boredom eater so I thought i’d be eating non-stop. I tend to overeat at my full time job because the work isnt exciting and most of the time I dont wanna do it. As you can see by my to-do list, i keep myself busy and I add things i like. So I only eat when i’m hungry.

  5. No over-drinking. I am a little lenient in this area. Dont judge me! I’m FURLOUGHED and its research. LOL. My rule here is, I can have wine or cocktail with lunch and get back to my to-do list. Then I can pour it up after 3pm. I will also pick some days where I dont drink at all.

As I’m writing this, I give all the respect to entrepreneurs because working for yourself takes real discipline. This experience is showing me a lot about myself and how to handle adversity.

If you are furloughed and reading this, i’m praying for your perseverance. I cant imagine what it must be like if I had children or and elder to take care of.

Here are some resources that may help if you hit a wall.


DC Public Schools are hiring furloughed employees to substitute teach

Shutdown Deals & Freebies:

Tips to Stay Busy:


Tonight, i’m recording an episode of The Swirl Suite about how this shut down is affecting us in the wine industry. I’ll write a recap of that episode and post later this week .


Vine Me Up