A friend pointed out to me an error in the old saying, “We’re all in the same boat.” She said that in fact we are not all in the same boat, but each of us are in our own boat riding out the same storm (currently the storm is the Covid-19). Everyone’s Covid experience has been very different even though we live next door or across town.
There are those who have lost their jobs. Others who work such long hours and have kids at home without adult supervision. We can’t visit loved ones. Maybe we are stuck in another state, or country. Perhaps our quarantine is on an island while others are hunkered down in a tiny apartment. There are those who found a way to make more money than ever before when many, many folks are living on their last dollar continually watching the mail for their relief check…in round two…or three.
I personally can’t really relate to any of that. Both my husband and myself were able to continue working and earning our regular paychecks. Our oldest son has an “essential” job and never missed a day of work. The kids still at home were able to finish school because we have internet and computers and I was home to make sure they did their work. Our interactions with in-laws were limited due to our work and their health, but we were still able to keep touch or visit them on their front porch.
To be honest, the quarantine was a much needed respite for me. I have a job that requires that I interact with other humans and a lot of those humans were getting increasing irritating. Or perhaps I became increasingly irritable. (Depended on the day!) Life outside of work was ramping up to be super busy with a kid who played two sports and was about to help out with a third. And my husband had been working on a side business that followed along with the sports. (I’m not much for sports and only tagged along because I love my family and our friends all loved sports.) So yeah, quarantine=heaven!
I got to spend six weeks working in my home office. We were encouraged to do all kinds of continuing education, improving our skills, (sharpening our saws to quote Steven R. Covey) and for some of us, continuing to work on some of the same things we did in the office. I would begin work at my regular time in the morning while my kids slept until lunchtime. (Yes, I’m one of those mothers.) I’d have lunch while they breakfasted, my oldest would decided what music we’d listen to in the afternoon, and as long as they did their school work first (which they mostly did) everything went along fine. Hubby usually got home somewhere between 1-3 pm. Snack time. Then I’d finish off my work day and we’d figure out who’s turn it was to make dinner, eat said dinner, and then wander off into our corners for an evening of doing nothing. (Hello online gaming and streaming tv!) Heck, I even started playing games on my phone-something I’d sworn never to do. Although, I’d stockpiled a bunch of books from the library, very few of those got read. (Insert my inner mother shaking her head!)
So, yeah, six weeks of relaxation. I did have a kid who graduated from H.S. via a socially distanced turn taking in the school gymnasium after waiting in line outside and watching a Youtube video of all the kids and their baby pictures. But we couldn’t really celebrate that. No crowds, no parties, not even any nice dinner out. Luckily, that child could have cared less and had no interest in all the other lost events (prom, sports, etc.). Like I said, heaven.
But now that our state is slowly opening up, closing back down, opening up a little more, being back at work is for me a stressor. I don’t really worry about getting the corona virus but all the sanitation protocols, the mask wearing, the gloves and changed procedures, the not being able to go back to normal and not knowing when or if “normal” will ever happen. The work that I really enjoyed doing is not even possible at the moment. I’m back at doing the mind numbing things that I went to college to avoid doing. That’s been the hard thing for me. Going back to work when work isn’t really back the way it is supposed to be.
And to top it all off, this mask wearing has just brought on the hot flashes (now you know about how old I am). Crap, I have to have a little fan stationed with me at whatever assignment I have at work. (And, just to add another set of parenthesis, those assignments are changing constantly.)
Never have I ever felt this way. And I’m sure we’re all riding in our boats weathering this storm the best we know how. Cheers!