Staying In, Week One

I started teleworking last Friday, and like many of you I’ll be home for the foreseeable future.  I’m bouncing back and forth between serious anxiety about the virus and reminding myself how much I have to be grateful for.  I’m fortunate that my work can be done from home – and in fact work is busier than usual.  I’m fortunate that we have enough space at home for two of us to work in, without making each other crazy.

I’m a homebody anyway; I always feel like I should be going out and doing more, so social distancing means I don’t need to feel guilty about staying in. But I realize I have friends and co-workers who will have a much harder time teleworking every day than I will, especially those with young children.

I’m reading a lot less than I expected.  You would think all this down time would give me way more reading time, but it’s actually harder for me to sit down at home and read.  Maybe it’s the stress and worry, or maybe it’s just that when I’m home there’s always other things for me to be doing.

After one week, here are some nice things about working from home: no makeup, I can wear what I want, no waiting for the bus, listening to music while I work.  The downside is sitting in one place all day.  I’ve been going for long walks every day, so I don’t feel too shut in — I’m grateful it’s spring and the flowers are blooming.

If you’re new to teleworking, there’s plenty of advice out there, like carving out a distinct space in your home, setting specific hours, and getting up out of your chair frequently.  I’ve been setting my alarm at the usual time each morning, so I can get up, shower, and either go for a walk or clean up around the house.  It feels better than rolling out of bed and going right to work. The two big challenges for me in teleworking are distractions —  internet, stupid phone games, and blogging — and keeping myself out of the kitchen so I don’t overeat. 

The uncertainty of what’s happening scares me.  How long will we need to avoid people?  Will our parents, friends, and relatives get sick?  Obviously there are huge global issues though I’m trying not to focus on those too much since I can’t do much about them.  I think many people are struggling with what they can do right now, other than sitting at home alone.  I gave blood.  I donated to a school fundraiser to send art supplies home to families that need them.  I’m checking in with family.  It isn’t much. 

In the long-term, there may be some positives that come out of this time, like a stronger sense of community, and the benefits of slowing down and taking more time for ourselves.  And for Americans, realizing we aren’t always going to be able to buy whatever we want, whether it’s toilet paper or Tylenol.  I hope as a country we go back to listening to experts, giving science the weight it deserves, and expecting more from our government.

What are your comfort go-to’s in this uneasy time?  This weekend I sat down with a few hours of BBC’s Pride and Prejudice.  I’m not trying to read anything too heavy, and we’ve tried to keep our TV watching light as well (looking forward to new Brockmire and Top Chef).  And there’s always wine and dark chocolate.  

I hope you’re all staying in and staying healthy.  Take care of yourself.

  9 comments for “Staying In, Week One

  1. March 19, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Just this morning I thought to myself how good it was that I didn’t have to put makeup on! It’s the little things…
    keep well and safe x

    • March 19, 2020 at 10:11 pm

      Yes, I agree about the small things! I’m trying to be mindful about small things that make me happy. Keeps the anxiety down. Take care and stay well.

  2. March 19, 2020 at 10:02 am

    All of my law school classes are online for the rest of the semester, which means I’m very much in a similar position–just at home, trying not to worry about all the unknowns. Sending good thoughts your way! ❤

    • March 19, 2020 at 10:08 pm

      Good luck with the rest of your term! I hope it goes well; it can’t be an easy time to be a student right now!

  3. March 20, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    Hang in there. You summed up my feelings exactly when you said “I’m bouncing back and forth between serious anxiety about the virus and reminding myself how much I have to be grateful for.”

    For diversion/distraction, I’m enjoying reading Emma Donoghue’s “The Sealed Letter.” I don’t usually go for historical fiction but I’m really liking the fact that it deals with a society and events (divorce in the 19th century) so far removed from what is happening around us now.

    • March 21, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      I love Emma Donoghue and I haven’t read that one. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. March 22, 2020 at 6:52 am

    Feeling with you. The good thing out of this will be that firms and employees will have learned about accepting home office.
    I‘ve been working from home for months and never had a problem with it. Once, I even worked from beside a hotel pool during a long extended vacation for my family. It needs discipline but being able to jump into the pool during lunch break compensates much 🙂

  5. March 24, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    Home working is a skill to be learned just like anything else. I found I had to be very watchful about the hours I was working – it was just too easy to keep going, and going and going… Taking regular breaks is important. I’d give myself treats – like if I finish this report, I can go and get a coffee

  6. March 29, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Best wishes as you grapple with the new norm of staying at home. P&P is good medicine, as is wine and dark chocolate, as you know. Stay safe and sane.

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