I haven’t put gas in my car since March 13 and until yesterday when a guy bought my old bedframe off Craigslist, I hadn’t touched actual banknotes (aka cash) either. It’s been a relief to live and work in the same apartment although I realize I’m in the minority about that. I feel that quiet time is quickly coming to a close because the university is planning full speed ahead for fall, against any health expert’s recommendations and then my anxiety will ramp up again as I try to stay safe among people who don’t care about COVID-19.
I do have to leave several times a day to walk a dog, so it’s not like I’m a hermit. I’m getting plenty of sunshine and exercise. I just don’t have to come in close contact with people besides my husband. I have fears about how that may change in August. I don’t have to share an office (or maybe I can continue to work at home, which is still on campus). Either way, I don’t plan to have face to face conversations with people unless we are outside and an appropriate distance apart – preferably with one or both of us in masks. Email, phone calls, and Zoom/Teams/Messenger are working fine for me right now and I don’t see why they shouldn’t continue into the future. How my employer sees that is an unknown but for now, the only people working on campus are those who cannot do their work remotely.
Working remotely has plusses and minuses, as anyone who does this regularly already knows. It’s been interesting to see when I am most productive and how much MORE I actually work when I’m here instead of keeping standard office hours. I used to be a real stickler about leaving the office on time because it’s hard to manage time when you live where you work. Now the office is always RIGHT HERE and I’m checking email or working on projects more often. It doesn’t help that my “office” is also my bedroom since it was the only place I could find room for the work computer I was allowed to check out. No, I don’t own a laptop or desktop – I have an old Samsung tablet, even older iPad mini, a kindle, and a phone – all of which seem to be at their limits for storage or updates. I’m also trying to manage work and personal projects together which is easier to do when everything is all in one place. But harder to get any one of them done! Currently, I’m working through a khan academy course on banking basics, virtually house shopping, decluttering by putting things on Craigslist and Poshmark (and then forgetting to check my email for inquiries or sales), and finally writing my book. I’ll tell you I have the forward and first 2 chapters done, which sounds impressive until I also tell you that the chapters are each @5 Word document pages long. I think that’s about 17 book pages total so…
But at least I’m writing again, even though it is slowly and probably not very well. I’m spending less money too since I’m only ordering what I need and not just wandering aimlessly through stores as a pastime. I wish I had gotten out of this habit years ago so I could have saved more and been in a better position now for house hunting. I’ve backed up my CDs, learned some random things from incident command centers to hospitality basics, to how employers treat their essential employees. I wouldn’t mind things remaining as they are for some time, to give me time to do more home projects. I would love to really clean out some major crap but I live with someone who feels accomplished by possessions. I’m guilty of that to a certain point (marbles, boots, hooded cashmere sweaters) but I also can let go of things that are no longer useful. To that end, I’ve felt really good when I use up an item and decide it doesn’t need to be replaced. Or something that had been largely decorative that I manage to find a good use for at last because it’s either that or chuck it. I’ve had a lot of honest conversations about what purpose some things serve and if they are really ever going to serve MY life. That kitchen tool that helps you scrape citrus to get lemon zest? Don’t know why I have that. I can’t remember a time I’ve ever used it and I’m sure I could accomplish the task with a plain old paring knife if I ever really had to, which I won’t. And books. I know this is a sin to many book lovers, but I read books and move them on. I hate that most of the Little Libraries around here are currently closed or broken and open to the elements because that’s where I move most of them to. I keep very few. And health and beauty products, holy shit, so MANY bottles and jars of things that I just don’t really like that much, but there they all sit, taking up space from the few things that are actually good products. One project right now is to use up the junk and stick with my simple favorites. All those scented lotions can go. The Bio-Oil that smells weird and is made from petroleum can go on my legs until it is gone. Use up those little trials size things, except the good stuff for travel. That facial sunscreen that makes me break out can go on my arms to stop my rapidly developing farmer’s tan until it’s gone. All I need is some cold process unscented soap (my favorite is Sisters Soaps out of Washington state) deodorant crystal, witch hazel, jojoba oil, Aquaphor, and cheap vitamin E sticks from Wal-Mart. Turns out that’s pretty much it. If I want to be fancy I also like a nice calming mask and some Alaffia black soap with peppermint. Tea tree and a 5% BP cream for the occasional breakout. Notice I didn’t mention any hair stuff. I didn’t forget.
I think I’ve gotten off topic but it’s time to walk the dog and then heat up dinner, so I can watch Netflix and neglect my book this evening. A girl could get used to this.