losing track

It feels so strange to think that I’ve been working from home for almost a year now. And it’s even more strange for me to think that I’m fast approaching a second birthday celebrated in a very subdued fashion due to a global pandemic. Not like that’s huge, but it’s huge.

Want to know what else is huge?

I got to move the big slider one spot to the left this morning and I’m pretty sure I screamed with pure delight

I am officially 249.75lbs and that has been an unofficial goal for a while now. The next actual official goal will be 225lbs. I’m hoping that getting back to the treadmill and starting to use the pilates bar on a more regular basis, along with going back to drinking more water every day, will help get me there a bit more quickly.

Part of this is needing routines. I’ve said it before, I live and die by routines. I’m starting to get back into some of the routines/habits that I used to have that really seemed to help, if nothing else they would help with my mental health.

  • I get a week’s worth of outfits out on the weekend, including any necessary under garments and jewelry; they hang together in the back of my closet.
  • I use pill trays to organize and set out my morning and bed time pills, two weeks’ worth at a time.
  • I have a reminder set on my phone for Monday evenings – that’s when I take my Humira shot.
  • I have other reminders set on my phone for things like monthly cleaning chores, watering plants (weekly), and giving the dog her meds (monthly) – my philosophy on this is “set it and forget it.”
  • I always put my car keys in the exact same place when I get home, on a key rack in our entryway. If I don’t put them there I lose them, without fail.
  • I keep multiple baskets in the laundry room so that I can take the dirty stuff down and sort it every few days. When there’s enough of something to run a load I do it. This keeps me from spending an entire day on the weekend doing laundry.
  • I try to create a menu for the coming week – just dinners – mostly to make sure I have all of the ingredients on hand.
  • I go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every single day. Part of it is my brain not letting me sleep in much and part of it is just that I’m so used to this schedule.

I realize that probably already seems like kind of a lot, but I need a few more. I’m not feeling like I’m doing a very good job with…

  • Making time to do creative things every day
  • Exercising regularly
  • Unplugging before bedtime
  • Planning lunches
This is my little Garth buddy, just because

sharing the love, or maybe these are sand fleas, who knows

One of my all time favorite ways to “curse” someone is to say

may your crotch be infested by the fleas of a thousand camels and your arms be too short to scratch

but this year that just doesn’t seem like enough, ya know?

Lancelot did get to have Christmas Eve off, but then went in to work on Christmas Day (because of overtime) and then Saturday was his day off, but he had slept a good portion of the day and was awake most of last night, and so then today was like a regular Sunday. And if you’re kind of exhausted trying to keep up with that just imagine how I feel.

At any rate, we were able to spend a little time together and it wasn’t too bad. Any time I get to spend with my guy isn’t bad. But ya know what is bad? The new Wonder Woman movie. Seriously, not worth it.

So I’ve been doing some cooking, I’ve cleaned out some cupboards, straightened the pantry, made a run to Target (it’s going to snow this week and I didn’t plan for that, or get enough milk when we went last weekend), blocked two shawls and a scarf and wove in the ends on those, setup another shawl to block, and have done what feels like a metric ton of laundry.

I have also spent a LOT of time being a puppy’s pillow

L and I have been really quite careful about our plague protocols. I wear a mask any time I’m going to come in contact with anyone who is not L, including my mother. I firmly believe that wearing a mask is good for me and it’s good for anyone I’m around. It’s a respect thing if absolutely nothing else. I have been cleared by the doc to get the COVID vaccine as soon as they’re available to the general public and I have every intention of getting it, but that won’t happen for awhile and the mask and keeping my hands washed should stack the deck in my favor for living long enough to get that precious vaccine.

My grandmother is in her late 80s and lives in a nursing home because she’s got issues with dementia.

She was scheduled to get her vaccine next week.

She tested positive. On Christmas Eve.

So please, don’t do it for me, but do it for your grandma. Or someone’s grandma. Anyone’s grandma.

Whoever you do it for, will you please just wear a fucking mask?

the things this life has taught me

I’m not a fan of this plague bullshit, not at all. We’ve now reached the point where Lancelot and I agree that the less interaction I have with humans who are not him, the better. The community isn’t getting any safer here and our governor isn’t doing fuck-all about it. So it’s time to step up my own personal vigilance even further.

So I guess that’s a big part of what brings me to today’s post. Interestingly enough, there’s a tie within a tie here. I’ll get to that. I want to start with a list of things I’ve learned as a result of living through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

***Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health practitioner, though I play one in my imaginary world. Like everything on this blog these are just my observations. Your mileage may vary.

  • There is immense joy to be found in the small moments, such as an unexpected hug from a loved one or a favorite cup of tea.
  • There is no shame in working in your PJs, provided you work at home.
  • If it takes a village to raise a child, why do we think it doesn’t take a village to keep an adult human healthy and happy?
  • You don’t have to buy new stuff. Move your old stuff around. Get rid of some of it. Put the stuff you really love back in new places. It’s called Shit Shifting and it’s amazing.
  • You might not like Pumpkin Spice. You might think that Christmas shouldn’t appear before Thanksgiving. But it’s been a shit year, and those things make some people very happy, so just STFU and let them be happy.
  • I never would have tried ordering my groceries online for pick-up had it not been for this fucking plague. Now it’s the only way I shop and I love how much time it saves me.
  • I wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget any of my ideas for this post and I knew I didn’t have much time this morning when I went to get Lancelot so I finally learned how to make a voice recording on my phone.
  • Don’t save the good china / your good jewelry / that cute dress / insert appropriate thing here / for a special occasion. Any day you suck oxygen is a special occasion.
  • We’re going to come out of this stronger than we were before, I promise you that.
The hooligans are making me very leery of putting up a tree, but I feel amazing about having some of my snowflake ornaments hanging in the front windows

So far I’ve finished three gifts. I still have two left to make; hopefully I’ll start another one tonight. Today has been super rough so I might just go pass out somewhere. It has snowed off and on all day and it’s just cold. Of course Garth has been sleeping right next to the heat vent in my office all day so that doesn’t really help.

This is what I woke up to this morning. It should have told me everything I needed to know about today.

trip to nowhere

I find myself wondering these days, a lot, how I used to do all of the running around I used to do. Granted, at that time my mom lived here and she took care of a lot of the house stuff, but still. I used to actually drive to see my therapist every other week, and to the grocery store on the way home from work sometimes, and out shopping just for the FUN of it. What the hell people? Just thinking about those things exhausts me now.

I do have to say, I’m really glad that I’m still driving to pick Lancelot up every morning. I’m starting to hear stories about people who aren’t starting their vehicles often enough or letting them run long enough when they do having trouble with their batteries dying. It’s not good. But I have my short little trip every morning to go fetch my honey and bring him home. At least once a week we do a grocery run. It’s not much, but it helps.

I talked to one of my faculty friends yesterday and she mentioned how she feels like now that we’re working “remote” (which is fancy talk for working at home) she’s working way more hours than she used to. She said that she’s been working at her dining room table and it’s just too easy to neglect breaks and she finds herself working until much later in the evening.

Where are we going and why am I in this damn basket?

I am not doing that, not at all. I’m taking breaks regularly, I have to, my butt gets numb. I’m also trying to take an actual Lunch Hour every day. That’s usually my last opportunity of the day to visit with L before he goes to bed so that time is precious to me. But I also know how important it is for my mental health to step away from this desk and not stare at a screen.

So for anyone else out there working “remote” right now, here are my tips for surviving having the office follow you home:

  • Find a way to stay connected to your coworkers, particularly the ones you enjoy. Say hello to them just because you can; it’s good for everyone.
  • Keep as many of your regular routines as possible. For example, I get up at the same time and take a shower every morning. I also typically dress very similar to how I would have for the office. I’m not wearing makeup much these days but I do wear jewelry. It makes me feel like I’m working.
  • Another item from the “keeping routines” category – if you used to stop for fancy coffee on your way to work, figure out how to make it at home and then do that. I’m having iced lattes every morning and the only place I stop is my fridge.
  • Set yourself a regular schedule in terms of hours. Stick within the guidelines your employer sets but then make sure you aren’t working a 12 hour day unless that’s what you’ve been told to do. Seriously, unless you’re an hourly employee and they’re paying you overtime, do not do that shit to yourself.
  • Take time every day to enjoy your hobbies or at least something that makes you feel good. I haven’t been knitting much because the skin on my hands is is way too dry, but I’ve discovered that cooking for L makes me feel good and is just another kind of creative outlet.
  • I realize that not everyone has the luxury of having a space that can be dedicated for an office, but I find it helps me a ton. It allows me to quite literally “leave” work at the end of the day or when I need a break. There’s something about that physical separation from the rest of the house that helps. Plus, I have my office decorated in a way that I find very calming while still encouraging productivity. It’s actually one of my favorite rooms in the house.

We’ve been told that our campus will remain officially closed through June 1st at least. My guess is that we’ll be closed the entire summer though it really is just a guess. Fall semester will allegedly be back to at least partially on-campus but I’m not sure how they’re going to make that work. In a way I’m hoping to be given the option to continue working at home, at least for the majority of the time. As much as I found myself fighting this system when we first started I find now that I really do enjoy it the majority of the time.

What are you all struggling with most right now? Let’s see if the power of crowd-sourcing can help find solutions for all of us.