I am coming to terms with the routine of sedate nights and weekends. Looking ahead, I don’t see it changing and that’s not an easy thing to acknowledge. It’s been over 6 months since the first shut down and my brain has been dealing with the change as if it is a temporary inconvenience, a minor blip in a tough year. I feel like a dog turning and turning to find a comfortable spot on an uncomfortable floor.
The “it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon” statements that news personalities have been spitting out for 6 months are only now hitting home for me. I’m sharing my office with Dave, who is messier and louder than I am and, while it’s a minor complaint, it’s hard on my introverted self. My teenage daughter is on continual FaceTimes with multiple kids for what feels like 24 hours a day and their voices are a part of my day to day life now.
I’ve been working from home for almost 10 years now and it’s funny to hear people list the difficulties of it to me. They’re learning that when work is home, you and only you are in charge of the shut-off valve. Work blends in a messy way with life when you work from home. There’s no such thing as a balance, just a continual shift in feelings from hour to hour and from day to day.
Here’s the weird part, and I think it’s pandemic related but I can’t point to why, when I find myself alone in the house now I tend to feel lonely. Pre-pandemic, being alone felt great and it was something I had almost every single day. Now, I’m alone a few times a week (maybe) and it’s not at all rejuvenating. The pandemic seems to be bringing out my hidden extrovert.
I read this the other day and have looked at it a few times since. It resonates with me:
“We cannot change the pandemic. It is here. We have to accept it,” Dr. Hofmann said. Instead, he advised: “Find where you want to go with your life, and go in this direction.”
For me, this is about finding direction and clarity in the midst of chaos. It’s not at all easy to do, but it’s necessary for the year ahead while these days go by so fast.