What were the first few weeks of the Pandemic like for you?
I remember when things turned… for me it was when my significant other’s work shut down. It was a Friday the 13th in March. I was actually out with a girlfriend after work enjoying some chicken wings at a restaurant. When he called, he said maybe we need to buy some toilet paper. When he got home from work later that evening we did our first ‘covid-shop’. It was so strange to walk down aisles that were bare. I think from that point and over the next few weeks I just felt all around uncertain. It was a balance of working, trying to keep sanity, and co-exist with my boyfriend while I took up the dining room. I pretty muchdid not know how to function properly with such a disruption in almost everything I do.
What was the summer like?
For me it was very difficult. With my boyfriend being off he was able to go to the cabin several times and I was at home. I felt lonely sometimes but we did make time to take the boat out and I was able to join him a few times at the cabin – far down a dusty dirt road in a valley on a lake. The only place in the world (it felt like) where life was normal.
What’s it like for you now?
It just feels like motions. Only way I can describe it. You miss things you used to do but that is also kind of fading. It’s a strange balance of life now vs. then and trying to figure out where you fit in everything.
What does your new routine look like?
I always make my bed in the morning. I keep to the quick morning chores I have, and the rest is whatever the day throws at me… mixed in with trying to feel ‘life’ productive. My routines have changed because they were quite social ones.
How would you describe how you’re feeling now?
I think I feel fatigue but during this time I have taken to being a little more self-aware and I feel being so socially distanced has made me focus on myself more.
What’s been the hardest for you?
The odd sense of being out in the community. You feel like it needs to be calculated and concise. I used to need something like pants, and I would not overthink it – I would just go. Same with any item I need. I wait until I can do more in one trip and then get it all done in one go. I miss Sunday dinners with family and random lunches with friends.
You are in a leadership position, what qualities do you think have been most important in leading at this time?
I believe that being supportive right now has been really important. Support in well-being and how we are doing. I think reinforcement is probably the best way I can say this. Letting people know that we all react to this time differently and no matter what, we are all doing the best we can.
How have you been taking care of yourself?
It took a while to figure that out. Now I am dedicating more time to myself mentally when I can, and not feeling anxiety about doing so.
We get by with a little help from our friends...who would you credit as helping you through this time?
My boyfriend has been my constant. I also have supports in work, the people I talk to daily, TL’s, check-in’s with coworkers to make sure no one feels like they are on their own lonely island.
Any silver linings? Small graces? New hobbies?
I will just say 2020 has been a gong show on so many levels in my life. I think keeping my head above water would be my small grace here. Rolling with the punches… and I have learned to embroider so that is fun.
What are you looking forward to the most?
Mexico, hugs, weekends away, beverages with friends in a place other than my home, family dinners, big backyard parties, working the way I used to (running around everywhere), shopping for clothes, not staring at a screen of humans, not being hyper aware of what I look like when I speak, visiting, teaching real-life classes, commuting places and even getting stuck in traffic, living through a pandemic and making it out the other side.