I’m wearing my sleep shirt and sitting on my couch. It is 4 pm and I am technically “working”. After spending all of spring break adjusting to the concept of remote teaching, I’m in day 3 of working remotely and I have to say, I don’t like it at all.
I know that in so many ways, I’m being a whiny baby. I have a job and I’m continuing to get a paycheck, which is a lot more than other folks can say. I’m healthy, my house is overflowing with food. I can, as of now, still leave my house to go for walks or supplies. I’m lucky, and I’m grateful for all of those things. But I’m also stressed out, and anxious and need to vent. So strap in for my whine fest!
Working remotely is hard
I’ve recently gotten tenure, and it’s pretty much lined up with my experience. I have over 10 years of experience teaching and working in my discipline in person. I have 3 days + 7 days of prep time of experience of doing the same thing remotely. I am incredibly unprepared, and my classwork does not lend itself well to this transition. I’m doing the best I can, but it is taking me 3 times as much time as doing this same thing under normal circumstances. I also have midterm grades due.
To top it off, I love my office. I also have very clear boundaries of not bringing work home. Suddenly, that is out the window, because I’m working on my couch… which is in my home. My dog got promoted to administrative assistant, but he’s useless. I’m trying to regain control, but I catch myself checking email late at night. Again, this is not behavior I typically exhibit… I guess I have to find the new typical.
I miss the gym so much!
I knew that this would be a big one for me, but I didn’t realize quite how big. Not only do I love going to the gym, I am a big fan of group fitness. This is completely missing from my life, and more than the equipment and space, I miss working out with my friends. I have been taking myself through workouts at home, I have been taking my dog on a walk everyday and I started a 30 day challenge on Yoga with Adriene. Every time I work out, I instantly feel a lot better. It’s just much harder to stay motivated. This I know I can do on my own, but it doesn’t make me miss the gym any less.
I haven’t hung out with anyone other than my husband for a week.
I could be worse off and stuck by myself, with no human contact. My husband is awesome, and I’m quite partial to him. But we both need other humans in our life, so this is getting tough. I also feel horrible, because his birthday is on Saturday. We are having a remote dance party, but of course it’s not the same as a real live one (although there is the perk of inviting anyone you’d like, no matter where they are). I got to play board games over zoom with a friend, which was kind of cool. We’re trying to schedule and attend more zoom hangouts. It’s not the same as face to face contact. But, as Chelsea wisely points out on The Financial Diet: “We shouldn’t compare it to face-to-face contact. We should compare it to no contact.” With that in mind, the current internet capacities are amazing, and we will get to “see” our friends in some way.
I want answers, and I know I can’t have them. Specifically, I want an end date, so that I can start a countdown until things return to “normal”. However, who even knows what “normal” will be after this? Rules and recommendations are changing every day and I certainly don’t know what to anticipate. I have to take things one day at a time, accepting that I won’t know where/when my answers will come. Perhaps this more than anything else is really hard to handle. There are already rumors circulating that we (college campuses) might not even be back in the fall, and I have to remind myself to breathe, and say: One day at a time.
While last week I wrote about the way to embrace these times, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t struggling. I absolutely know and believe that things will stabilize, but right now, everything is and feels weird. I think I’ll come out of this stronger, but at the moment I just need a hug, be it a virtual one.
Have you found any great ways to power through this weird time? Do you have any advice for me related to the issues above? I’d love to hear any thoughts and suggestions. I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy!