Obviously, big things are happening right now. We’re in the midst of a global health crisis. People are scared.
Lives have changed in big ways, but they’ve also changed in small ways. Sometimes the small things feel weirder than the big things.
I’m now in my third week of working from home full time.
I wash my hands a lot. I disinfect my phone a lot. I always knew phones were gross, but now a gross phone is a scary phone.
I’m going to the grocery store about once a week, but I think I stocked up enough to go two weeks this time. I keep having an urge to bake, and I needed to get ingredients. I continue eating the meal groceries I bought two and a half weeks ago, because that was practical Caitlin shopping. This is stress baking Caitlin, who is also learning to do cool eyeshadow and make cocktails.
It’s my birthday in two weeks. I was planning a party at my favorite local bar. My birthday has been postponed until further notice. I Venmo someone on the staff a $10 tip every time I get drunk in my house.
My sister is a teacher and school is out for the next month. She’s video chatting students to check in.
I’m still estranged from my parents, even though my dad reached out to “see if I was okay.” I had to evaluate if my boundaries still made sense in the face of a global health crisis. I decided they were. The boundary didn’t change, but the guilt feels a little worse.
I finally, after six months on a wait list, got to download Brene Brown’s “Daring Greatly” on the Libby app.
I haven’t had a commute in two weeks and won’t for at least four more. I try to make time to sit at my kitchen table and listen to Brene for about twenty minutes before the need to stand up and do something else consumes me.
I am so used to being in the car to start and end my day.
I woke up on the first Saturday at 10:17am and was sure I was late for work. It’s hard to know what day it is. My coworker called in for our Thursday conference call on Wednesday.
My friend had to order yoga pants and tee shirts from Target because she didn’t own non-work clothes.
I hired an employee at work. I will onboard and train her remotely.
I shaved off the back of my hair because when it gets too long and shaggy that’s my cue to go to the salon.
My eating disorder (I call it Carl) has gotten really weird about worrying that I will run out of food, so sometimes I am hungry for a while before I remember I am allowed to eat and there is plenty of food and I will not go hungry if I eat two servings of something. I am not rationing. Did I mention the pie?
I celebrated one month of dating my boyfriend via text. I write him letters and mail him watercolor paintings (I managed to keep them a surprise!), and we do video calls to see each other’s face. It’s a lesson in realizing I bring value to a relationship even when I am not physically with my partner to do things for them. That is comforting.
I miss sex.
It feels like my roommate and I have spent more time in the same place over the past two weeks than we did in the previous two months.
Dining room chairs are not ergonomic.
I tip generously – at least 25%.
I spend more time with my coworkers hanging out on Skype after work hours than we ever used to spend together when we worked in the office. I feel more like friends with them than I ever have.
I’m not using this time to become the most productive, self-improved version of myself just because there’s nothing else to do.
This is trauma. It’s big trauma, and I think it will affect us for the rest of our lives.
Some days I am productive. Some days I am not. Both of these are okay.
You can just survive right now. You can notice the tiny little ways this has changed your life.
You can be frustrated that you finally got off the Libby wait list and inexplicably have no commute anymore. (I really want to finish this book).
In what little ways has your life changed?
PS. If you’re looking for reading material, my book is available for Kindle and Audible, even if you don’t have a commute.