I realized, when I clocked out today, that nothing went up on my blog this morning.
What had been a fairly successful workday suddenly turned into a sense of crushing defeat.
Not only did I have no blog, I hadn’t sorted the laundry, I hadn’t sent an important personal email, and I had also missed a social check-in I had been looking forward to for literally months.
This may have been the first time in my life when my work life was the only thing that seemed to be going well.
Something else is on my mind. COVID. A key person in our division traveled for Thanksgiving week, and got the coronavirus, and has been quite ill, and as a consequence nobody has been able to cover their work. Apparently 9 people on our staff tested positive in the last week, even though we have all been strictly working from home.
Do you remember I mentioned someone I know whose parents were planning an “open door” Thanksgiving? The good news is, they called that off. The bad news is, the dad lied about getting tested for COVID and instead had his own elderly father over to visit. In that time, he convinced him that “it’s just the flu” and everything is fine. (Like “the flu” is all right for a man in his seventies...)
Either he has a very high level of confidence, high tolerance for risk, or high hopes for an inheritance...
Like most people, we’re hanging out at home with little else to do. Outdoor dining has finally been closed in our area. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do other than wander around outside, hoping not to get within breath zone of any of the wandering mask refusers who populate our town.
Try to think of them as NPCs (non-player characters)
A year ago, I was all like, Hey, I’m going to write a book! Then the world changed and the premise of my book sort of blew away in a puff of vapor.
...and then my life partner came home and our living room became a conference room.
Currently our posture is mandatory WFH until at least 3/31/21. After that it all hangs on a “widely available vaccine.” I think we aren’t going back in until, as individuals, we can document that we have that precious inoculation.
So that’s it. For now, my most obvious and best option is to keep working at my tiny little desk in my tiny little corner of our smallish living room in our itty-bitty apartment.
While the rest of the world outside spirals into pandemic hell.
I had another idea to distract myself, which was to go back to grad school and get my PhD. I have no idea how I could actually make that happen. When would I study?? Right now I am having enough trouble maintaining a reasonable sleep schedule, much less my personal priorities.
It feels like a choice point. I can either:
Crush it at my job and probably promote upward within the next couple of years
Go back to school and get a PhD
Quit and write a (different) book
Be well-rested and rebuild my physical stamina.
I realize that over a million people around the world lost that option because they died of COVID-19 this year. Seven billion people don’t have the array of choices that I do.
The way I look at that is, it does not serve anyone if someone passes up an opportunity.
If you (or I) get a promotion, there is an opportunity to influence projects and company culture that was not available before. What if we were the good guys, what if not every boss had to drive people to stress and burnout?
If you (or I) get an advanced education or write a book, there are opportunities to influence and teach others, others who may be hungry for that information.
Who does it serve if I ever finally rebuild my physical strength and stamina? Well, me, of course! And thus my ability to contribute at... whatever it is.
Same with you.
This is why it’s such a disaster that so many people seem to be shrugging their way into a case of COVID. They think “if I get it I get it” in the same way that they might think “if my house burns to the ground” or “if I get t-boned in my car and become paralyzed.” Yet for whatever reason there is no real sense of freak-out. Yes, these things could happen, and don’t we not want them to?
I was right when I decided that getting a job would make the time pass quickly during the pandemic. It really has done what I wanted it to, which was to give me a way to keep busy instead of climbing the walls with dread and anxiety.
What I didn’t realize was that it would do more than fill a standard workday. It’s essentially swallowing everything, including my ability to hit pause and eat a sandwich.
What I thought I wanted was a simple, no-brainer job that would give me a bit of a social outlet. It may be that I have passed the point where I can disguise myself as a Petite Lebowski.
Fortunately, it is now December, which is traditionally my month to think about goals and resolutions and ambitions and visions and all that sort of thing. Time to revisit what a typical week looks like and where the heck I think the world will look like over the next 1-5 years.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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