Drop Ins: Lisa Przystup and Jonathon Linaberry

We believe in the power of routines and finding meaning in the ways we sew comfort into our everyday surroundings. Drop Ins is a series that explores just that, taking a dressed-down look at the lives of people who inspire us.

As far as couples in quarantine go, Lisa and Jonathon make it look pretty fun. And we say this before we learned about their impromptu dance parties. Thankfully their house in Delhi, about three hours outside of New York City, gives them a direct line to nature, space, and countless home repair projects. “It’s been a lot of painting,” says Lisa. “We also had a lode-bearing wall knocked out, the dust from which gave me a week-long panic attack.”

But between Lisa’s knack for making everything, well, prettier (she’s a sometimes hobby florist) and Jonathon’s unique and innate musicality (check out The Bones of J.R. Jones) there’s really never a dull moment. Below, a closer look at how they’re passing the time. 

So, how are you both feeling lately?

Jonathon: Vacillating between anxiety of the unknown and the confidence that I know together we can handle anything that comes our way.  

Lisa: Strange? Good? Weird? Unsure? Overwhelmed? Happy? Angry? On edge?  All the feels as they say, which actually is not that different from how I normally am. Per his answer, yes, Jonathon is crazy (maddeningly, thankfully resilient).

How's being cooped up together? Do you ever feel the need for me-time?

Jonathan: Honestly, I've never felt like I needed "me-time"  I’ve never felt like I’ve needed to “get away” from Lisa. But what I know is that I do need physical activity as an outlet to burn off nervous energy. We’re lucky enough to have projects around the house to work on at a time when I can’t work professionally. Many of these projects are outdoors, so I guess you could say that my backyard is my office and “me time” is a happy and inadvertent byproduct of being outdoors. 

Lisa: I’m going to go ahead and echo Jonathon’s sentiment—spending time with him never gets old. Truly. (I realize this is a disgusting gag-worthy answer.) That being said we have had our fair share of stupid fights. Our biggest recurring fight has been about groceries: I always want to make sure we have enough to get through the week, he always wants to buy the bare minimum. I’m still working Mon.-Fri., 9am-5pm remotely so it feels kind of like a regular work week. I go upstairs to a desk I set up in the attic and he goes outside to his “office” then we connect again at the end of the day. 

Lisa, you’ve had various stints as a freelancer before. Any productivity tips you’ve picked up along the way?

Lisa: Working a full-time gig now but yes, working and writing from home is familiar territory. I have a really, really hard time getting started...it’s almost like I need an hour or two to finally decide I’m going to do the thing I’ve been thinking about doing for that hour or two but once I’m in, I’m in. I feel like setting deadlines (even if they’re self-imposed) and having a dedicated space for work makes a huge difference. 

Setting deadlines (even if they’re self-imposed) and having a dedicated space for work makes a huge difference.
How are you keeping tabs on your mental health?

Jonathon: I focus on the things I’ve always wanted to do: keeping my mind busy by learning new music and songs I’ve always wanted to play, which helps keep me centered and hold on to a large slice of my sanity. I picked up the piano again and spent a good two weeks attempting to master a song, “Comptine d'un autre été l'après-midi” by Yann Tiersen. Also: limited news consumption.

Lisa: Having such a direct connection to nature up here—trails to walk, a backyard to meander about, to be able to sit outside and make a fire, hear the birds, see the deer is beyond therapeutic and feels like one big deep breath. There was a bit of a learning curve for me when it came to media consumption. I made the mistake of listening to three hours of NPR one morning, which totally derailed me, it took me all day to come out of that one. Since then I’ve severely limited my intake— I’m down to almost nothing. Jonathon is much better equipped to deal so sometimes he’ll prescreen the news for me or I’ll do a super quick scroll of the New York Times website. I’ve also downloaded Headspace to my phone (I have yet to use it)—does thinking about meditation count? I’m naturally a high-anxiety individual so Feals has been a good sidekick, especially now.

Many of us are spending a lot more time in the kitchen lately. Any go-to recipes you lean on when you’re craving something easy?

Lisa: Our go-to recipe is sardines and toast. Jonathon has really mastered his sourdough, so we’ll take a couple thick cut pieces from a fresh loaf and toast them, then drizzle them with some nice olive oil and rub them with fresh garlic and tomatoes, then pile on the sardines. A nice 6-minute soft-boiled egg slices on top doesn’t hurt either nor does a side of cannellini beans with garlic/thyme/olive oil. Oh. And a squeeze of lemon. Can’t forget that. SUPER easy and cheap and most of the ingredients come from cans. 

We’ve ended up having bi-weekly dance parties. They are by nature, unplanned, and usually followed by a late dinner.
Is there anything totally ridiculous you’ve done (either together or apart) during this quarantine?

Jonathon: As it turns out we’ve ended up having bi-weekly dance parties. They are by nature, unplanned and usually follow a late dinner and a couple drinks or a bottle of wine (depending). 

Lisa: What he said. I think maybe the most ridiculous thing I’ve done is attempt to put on a pair of jeans. That ended quickly. 

Nandita KhannaNandita Khanna LA-based content and brand ringmaster.

Likes: hand-written notes, iced lattes, and the Sunday NYT.
Dislikes: Bad manners, plastic straws.