There have been moments in the past week that I have wished I didn’t work from home. It isn’t that I wish I had a regular 9-to-5 job, or that I suddenly find cube life attractive. It actually has very little to do with how I work or what I do.
During the past few weeks there has been this slightly surreal feeling of the Covid19 pandemic taking place around me. I spend my days at home working from my home office. My transition at the end of the day involves shutting down my computer and moving to the kitchen to make dinner. I already keep mostly to myself on weeknights. My weekends were spent with my sweetie who would either come up to see me, or I’d go down to his place for the weekend (I miss you).
Social distancing has, in most practical ways, had very little impact on my work life. Other than some meetings moving from in person to online, and one of my roommates also starting to work from home, my workdays have changed very little. I know that I should be counting myself as lucky – I’m employed, I’m not dealing with the hassle of having to learn a new way to do my job, and I’ve been less at risk for being exposed to the virus because I do work from home – and I am grateful for these things, but I also wish that I had something else to focus on.
During most of March I was at home hoping that someone else wouldn’t bring the virus to me. I was told by my doctor’s office over a week ago that no one other than me and my roommates should be in our apartment because, as a person with asthma, I am at high risk for complications. I had to trust that my roommates would take the necessary actions to prevent the virus from coming into our home (and I’ll note that they have been great). My sweetie has to stay away as well as we do not live together.
The common theme in all of this is how passive this has all felt to me. I chatted with a friend at home who told me that she feels like she’s just waiting around at home to die. I realized I’d had very similar thoughts this past week or so. This feeling that this is all happening around me, and there is nothing I can do.
And so, I find myself wondering if I was making the transition from working in an office to working at home that I’d feel a little more like I was participating in something; I’d feel a little more in control because I’d be taking action in some way.
I know there is a lesson of surrender in this. In fact, I recently took a workshop where one of our activities was to come up with a definition of success for ourselves that we could measure our days by. The definition I came up with is…
“I am successful when I surrender control, when I allow the flow the happen, and when I trust myself as my own guide.”
My personal definition of success begins with surrendering control. Learning to release the things I have no control over is an ongoing lesson for me. I know this.
But I do at times wish for the illusion of it.
Take care of yourself.
Take care of one another.
Stay home as much as possible.
Let those you love know how you feel.
And of course, please wash your hands