The soonest I will be returning to work in the office is September 9th, just after my 26th birthday. I had a corona coaster of emotions when I read the email about coming back… I’ve adjusted well to working from home. I love not wasting money on gas and Bruce (my cat) is a pretty good colleague, but even after more than 2 months of adjusting to this parallel universe I still miss consistent human interaction and a reason to wear a cute outfit in public. I remember how far away June seemed when I was sent home from work in March, my birthday as a milestone for returning did not even seem like a possibility. I keep thinking, “what will life be like when I want to celebrate over labor day weekend this year?”
It’s become semi-normal to see crowds of people a few feet apart in masks at ice cream stands and in grocery stores. I get nervous and hold my breath when passing others on the sidewalk or the walking path in town. I can’t imagine dancing in a sea of strangers at a concert or going to a nightclub the way I once did. We’ve finally entered phase 1 in Niagara and Erie County which is progress, but it’s weird to think of the last 2+ months as 0. Just survival mode.
My brother, dad and I built a pallet bed garden box that sits in my yard outside my bedroom window at my apartment. I filled the small outside boxes with dahlias and inside there’s the beginning of romaine lettuce, zucchini, cucumber and tomato plants. I never prioritized having a garden previously; my summers were always filled with farmers markets, festivals, barbecues, camping and porch sitting at someone else’s house. Now that I have surplus of downtime in my own place I have been doing things differently and finding joy where I wasn’t previously looking.
I’m going on walks almost every day or meeting up with a few people to line dance in parking lots because I feel better about myself and life in general when I exercise. I tested the limits of my wifi and set up my office on a picnic blanket outside, making me so grateful that I even have that option. I wrote letters on fancy stationary to my sister and my grandparents and sent them via snail mail, just because I wanted to. I still really miss my life PC (pre-corona), but this experience is continuously opening my eyes to nature and the beauty in my backyard. I went on a hike at Whirlpool gorge last Saturday and I have a weekend trip booked for Alexandria Bay next month. I’ve heard wonderful things about the 1000 islands and am trying to focus all of my energy on having something to look forward to.
I’ve lost 30 pounds since new year’s, a side effect of focusing on bettering myself. This intentional lifestyle change has made me happier overall. It’s a funny feeling to celebrate this success without the comments and feedback from other people, since I don’t see very many. At first I was bothered by it because I’ve worked hard to better myself and enjoy compliments/gold stars as much as the next person, but at the end of the day it’s not other peoples’ feedback that will hold me accountable, it really only matters how I feel about these changes and why I made them. So amidst the chaos and confusion, on most days I feel really good. I don’t think you can ask for much more amidst a global pandemic.