I started working from home a month ago, on March, 17. I can’t believe it’s been 5 weeks. Time stood still and flew by at the same time, didn’t it? I also feel like there were a lot of rolling hills. Not one day felt like the other.
One thing I can say is that I am getting the hang of this work from home thing. I do have a nice setup (with a total of three screens – if you count my laptop screen – and yes, I need all that real estate to work efficiently, as I work with a lot of graphic and spreadsheet content).
My office is set up in the corner of our living room and it’s not ideal (oh, how I wish I had a separate office with more space and a door that I could close), but we’re making it work.
What’s that? How exactly?
I put in my earphones and get into my work zone and Jon tries to stay out of my hair. How do you make it work in your space? Do you have the luxury of a separate office?
Something I really enjoy is that my mornings are slower. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my cycling class and my gym buddies, but as of right now, I am not rushing out the door between 5 and 6:30 am (depending if it’s gym day or home workout day), but get a more leisure start to my day. (I am already thinking how I can keep this perception in place when things get back to normal.)
I am happy to say that I felt a little bit more energy since my last update. I am not feeling as drained and tired by the end of each day. Of course, every day feels different somehow, but I felt a lot more productive lately (which is by no means a requirement during this crisis, but even during regular times, I feel better when I feel productive. I am still trying to give myself grace in times when I am just not.)
I’ve seen a few bloggers do a blog post “check-in” style and I merged a few ideas into my own update after a month of
social physical distancing, so here we go:
Since when have you been home?
My first official work from home day was March, 17.
How are we doing?
We’re hanging in there. I mean, what else can we do? We’re not super-anxious all of the time, we don’t listen to the news every minute of every single day, and I think that keeps us sane.
How often do we get outside?
Most days, I try to go for a run or a walk with Jon. We figured out some new routes that are not too heavily frequented at certain times.
We reduced our grocery shopping trips to twice a month (I do the grocery shopping for 2 weeks at a time) and I must say that our established meal planning routine has made this a pretty seamless transition. Our biggest challenge has been not being able to get everything on our list when we go shopping (although it’s been gotten better the last couple of times) and having to improvise on the spot.
What else has changed?
Not really that much. Fun fact, I am sure you desperately needed to know: we were homebodies before Corona. We like to spend time together and we’re not yet getting onto each other’s nerves. But I do miss my gym routine, we miss being able to go out for coffee or dinner, a get-together with friends, or a day trip when we feel like it.
How do you spend your time?
I don’t feel like I have a whole lot of “extra” free time, but of course, as we are spending some more time at home, I can focus a bit more on the things that I usually feel I don’t have enough time for.
I’ve been trying to keep up my regular workout routine because dear god do I need it to keep me sane.
This is nothing new, I bake pretty regularly, but I definitely have increased production quite a bit since we’ve started staying home.
I hadn’t touched my sewing machine since we moved from our house (1,5 years ago) and I finally got it out of the garage in an effort to create something sensible: face masks. I had some leftover fabric that I was able to use and here we are:
I picked up my knitting again and just a few rows every night have proven to be my form of meditation.
Sending cards and letters is also not a novel thing that I picked up just now, but I definitely have picked up the frequency. And it’s awfully nice to get some real mail in my mailbox these days,. (Also, friends, let’s keep the Postal Service alive!).
I never thought I would say that because I’ve never particularly enjoyed VideoCalls (I’ve lived away from family and friends for so long and we mostly always just talked on the phone, except for special occasions like birthdays or holidays), but ALL I want to do right now it “see” my family when I talk to them.
Things I’ve seen other people do, which *we* apparently haven’t made time for (yet): streaming all the shows + series, puzzling, home projects, gardening, decluttering, and learning a (completely) new skill. But hey, things can always change, if this stay at home order continues.
What we’ve been eating:
We’ve been really good about meal planning and working with our pantry. We stocked up a bit over the last few shopping trips and now shop for our meal plan and then always have a few back up meals on hand.
We tried a couple of new recipes, like this Mongolian Beef (with lots of onions!), which was one of the best recipes for Mongolian beef I’ve tried.
We also made these Gorgonzola Gnocchi. They were absolutely delicious, but gorgonzola is not everybody’s cup of tea. Maybe you could substitute with other cheese if gorgonzola has too strong of a taste for you.
And of course, my beautiful Sweet Yeast Bread for Easter.
The biggest challenge:
Not letting *all of this* get to my head too much. Of course, I am worried about one of our family members or us contracting the virus, I am heartbroken by sad news, and I keep wondering where this is all going, how long we have to keep up the physical distancing, and if things will ever get back to normal.
A friend sent me some of her sourdough starter and I know that is quarantine cliché af, but I could be more excited. For the record, baking is not a quarantine adventure for me, I have baked bread for years, but I have never – for whatever stupid reason – managed to keep my sourdough starters alive (oh, and I had many). So, we’re trying again. His name is Linus. Currently, he looks well and happy.
Having to cancel plans and fun events. We were supposed to see Pearl Jam live this weekend in Oakland (the tour has been postponed) and my friend Tanja was supposed to come visit next weekend to run a race with me (which has also been canceled) and just enjoy some girl time. I am bummed about not being able to do that.
Something I did for myself:
I’ve limited my news consumption. If you know me, you know that I am usually a news junkie and try to stay on top of the news at all times (and yes, occasionally will listen to Trump propaganda for 3 minutes *eyeroll*), long after Jon has left the room to do something else. But, it has become blatantly clear that I couldn’t keep this up without being in a constant state of sadness, worry, fear, and anger. So I stopped.
The briefings of our California governor Newsom and New York’s governor Cuomo have been breaths of fresh air, tbh. Coherent sentences, valuable information and updates, and zero bullsh*t.
Something I did for others:
I sent out some snail mail. I sewed a couple of masks. I am donating some (of that stimulus) money. And I am staying home. Some days that feels like a big burden, but it’s actually a small price to pay compared to what other people are asked to do right now.
A couple of links I found worthwhile:
Stop Trying to be Productive.(New York Times)
It’s okay to not be okay (says I, who usually always is a glass-half-full-kinda person): When Positivity Becomes Toxic.
How are your parents/older family members handling the physical distancing? Convincing boomer parents to take the coronavirus seriously.
I am thankful for:
Living in a state that handles this crisis fairly well (all things considered). I trust that our local leaders are doing the best for their people. I am not so sure about that in other states (and I am sorry, if you live in one of those. Come stay with me.)
Having a backyard. I am so thankful that we have an outdoor space and that we don’t have to be holed up in our apartment all the time. The weather has been nice and we are able to spend time outside, which definitely helps with the cabin fever.
Last, but not least: The Internet. No seriously, what would we do in times of Corona without the Internet. Honest question. This is my lifeline!
My plans for the next month:
Since we don’t really know what the next few weeks hold, it’s hard to make any “plans”, but I still have aspirations for as long as this situation continues.
I want to keep connecting with friends and family. It’s been nice to re-connect with some old friends (and exchange some texts) and also to just hear how everybody else is coping.
I want to find more ways to help or do things for others.
I want to try and keep finding joy in the process of creating (baking, cooking, all the handcrafts) and just focus on the “here and now”.
I want to listen, every day, to how I feel and act accordingly. I am sure you’ve experienced the same; some days are just better than others. Be kind to yourself, especially on those bad days.