So, like most people, I’ve lost track of time since I started working from home. I rarely know what day it is, and I can count the amount of times I’ve left my apartment since this all started on one hand (and I promise they were for essentials).
As news develops around coronavirus and things feel more and more serious and less and less certain, I’ve found myself anxious. But at the end of the day, I can’t control anything but myself. And there’s nothing to be gained by freaking out about things I can’t change. So I’m doing my part and trying to make the best of all this time to myself.
And I’ve realized a lot so far that I wanted to share in the hopes that it might get someone else thinking positively when so much of the news is so, overwhelmingly discouraging.
1. The people that actually get me and I can really be myself with aren’t in D.C. or Arlington for the most part, and since my schedule has been so dramatically simplified I’ve had so many opportunities to connect with people that I miss. I’ve had so many wonderful conversations this week catching up with people, and I think it’s been one of the biggest blessings to come out of all of this. I’ve realized just how many great friends and acquaintances I have, and how much the hustle and bustle of daily life gets in the way of connecting with people.
2. I’m an introvert to my core. Sure, I want to drink and hang out with people and go to events as much as the next 20 something in a major city — and ironically enough, I had been more motivated to be active and go to events nonstop right before we were quarantined.
I’d felt like when I first moved here I was so good about putting myself out there and socializing and networking, and at some point I just became complacent. So I’d been making a conscious effort to do better, and then BOOM — coronavirus! I hope you read that in Cardi B’s voice. But even if I want to do all of these things, the truth is I’m energized by alone time. Going multiple days without seeing another living being is healthcare for me. And I always knew that, but having all this time to myself has been so refreshing and really put things in perspective.
3. Every apartment has its pros and cons, and I’ve loved and hated different things about every apartment I’ve lived in, but with all this time inside I’ve realized that I love my current apartment a lot. I love my walk to and from the metro. It’s at the perfect point so that I can have a social life in D.C. and get to my job in the suburbs of Virginia. I love our rooftop deck and pool. And I think I’ll be staying here until I move in with a significant other.
4. I work for an amazing company that actually cares about its employees. I’ve known this since I started working there, but I think that situations like this have revealed the truth about a lot of employers for better or for worse. In the face of this crisis, the partners’ instincts were to voluntarily slash their own salaries. And it speaks volumes to me about the kind of people I work for.
5. As much as I complain about my office in the middle of nowhere, so far removed from civilization and the architecture and tempo and hot men in suits of D.C., I’ve realized that I actually miss my commute a little. I like the time in the morning to just listen to my music and completely reboot and prepare for whatever the day has in store.
6. This is something that not everyone will be able to understand, but it’s been great to be able to give my hair a break. My go to high puff puts a lot of stress on my hair, and being able to let my hair rest and rejuvenate in ugly braids has been great.
7. I’ve done so. much. laundry. Laundry is my least favorite chore by a long shot. I don’t know why but I hate it with a passion. But I had my apartment to myself for a few days and had to take advantage of an empty washer and dryer, and got so much done. When I finally have a reason to get dressed again, the outfits are gonna SLAP.
8. I’ve vacuumed, swept, got my new TV set up, did a ton of laundry, organized the products in my bathroom and so on and so forth. But I haven’t been productive in the way I was really hoping to. I haven’t written anything for my blog in weeks. I haven’t gotten around to taking any of the free Brit + Co classes that are being offered through the end of March (use the discount code: SELFCARE). And honestly, that’s ok. Of course I want to optimize this opportunity to be creative and learn and develop and produce. But sometimes you need to take the time to just BE before you can start going through your bigger picture to-do lists.
9. When we first got the work from home memo, I figured it was within the realm of possibility that a lot of restaurants would close so I got some frozen food that could last me a few weeks to air on the side of caution. I got 5 bags of pizza rolls. When I first moved here when I was 23, I could eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And sure, they’re a good party snack or drunchy, but I don’t enjoy them like I used to. I actually like real food, and miss it. And I like that I’ve matured in that respect.
10. I’m not making six figures and I can’t afford to live alone. Work stresses me out. Boys stress me out too. But I live a really full life, and I’m so, excessively lucky. And so many of us are.