One year ago today, we started teleworking full time because of the coronavirus pandemic. I don’t think a lot of us thought that it would last this long. I realized we were in this for the long haul around June. That’s when it felt like all of the short-term planning stopped and the long-term planning began in earnest.
I don’t know how much longer we are going to be working this way. I know that the way I work has permanently changed. In part, that has to do with some upgrades in equipment that were probably long overdue. But it also has to do with changes in my personal life that has forced me to rethink how I manage my days.
Without going into a lot of detail, we started homeschooling my son in January 2020, before everyone else was going to be forced to do the same shortly thereafter. Fourteen months and a couple of portfolio reviews with the county later, it feels like both the right decision and a part of the routine now.
His lesson times are blocked off in my work calendar, even the ones that come after I’m done work. This is both to preserve work-life balance and to make sure I don’t think I’m too busy to make sure he does his school work.
My days are stretched out. I start work earlier, I stop work later. When I am away from my desk, I am filling the time teaching, cooking, cleaning, walking the dog, writing. Finding time to rest, stretch, meditate, exercise, and unwind is more and more important now.
I am on devices literally all day. Even now, writing a draft of this at 10:30 at night, I am aware that I am still staring at screens. Making the time to give my eyes a break seems to be a challenge that I am still not succeeding at.
I don’t have any great insights, one year later. My days were disrupted until the disruption fell into routine. I continue to survive while trying to move myself forward. I am less worried about the future now because the present needs tending to first. There is so much to do and so little time to do it. Even so, I am managing to do it all. Sometimes under duress, on the verge of breaking down and crying. Sometimes with grace and ease.
Someday soon, the pandemic will be over, and everything will change again. For now, spring is here and another summer is coming.