WFH was an easy transition for me in that I already had an office set-up, I didn’t have to become an educator, and I’ve done it before, so I knew what to expect. However, COVID-19 made it feel different especially at the onset. Initially, it was difficult to focus on anything except the climbing death toll in New York. It finally dawned on me that other than practicing social distancing and wearing a mask, there was not much I could do and that being anxious every moment of the day served no purpose. Work became a welcome distraction.
I’m a schedule-driven person so returning to my normal routine seemed the best course of action. I rise at 5:30am and begin my day by taking breakfast to my furry friends, even the unwelcome ones. After breakfast and a walk, my small staff and I plan my workday. I find that I can crank out work, think clearly, and do high-functioning work between 8am – 1pm. The hours between 2pm – 4pm are best left for the mundane tasks or a nap!
The upside (and downside) of WFH is that work is always nearby. If I’ve been unable to complete or solve an issue especially with my new and dear friend Advantage (FUEL’s project management platform), during the normal workday, I can return to it when there’s less mental clutter or the solution pops into my head.
On the non-work side, I find that WFH allows me to see the many things that need fixing, improving, or cleaning on the home or yard front. Suddenly, small nicks on the front door and peeling paint on the arbor look like the entire house is falling down: windows need washing, bathroom needs remodeling, she-shed needs pressure washing, maple leaf viburnum need to be thinned, and, lastly but still importantly, I should be doing TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return). The list continues to grow, but I’ve called in reinforcements to help accomplish some of the tasks. If nothing else, COVID-19 has brought into clear focus that life is unpredictable and should be enjoyed. So, if you are able to, farm out the tasks you don’t enjoy and work on those you do.
I describe myself as an introvert and am usually quite content to have “me time.” Quarantine has altered my point-of-view somewhat. I find myself missing meeting, talking, and enjoying friends face-to-face or mask-to-mask so I’ve developed a “coronavirus bubble” of friends to socialize with. We meet on our back deck for breakfast on Sundays and enjoy vegetarian or vegan fare and lots of conversation. This may not be a rational act, but it has done wonders for my mental health.
I would like to end by recommending the many books I’ve read and describing the fun projects I’ve accomplished, but apart from planting a vegetable garden which has now produced two Mexican gray zucchinis, learning to make biscuits has been my major accomplishment. It’s harder than you think to make a nice fluffy biscuit.
Quarantine has proven how resilient the FUEL team is. Under complicated circumstances, each person has stepped up to the WFH challenge to keep us moving forward. From my conversations with some of them, I know that it’s not always easy, which makes all that they’ve accomplished during a very trying period even more commendable. And, that in a nutshell, is why I admire and miss each of them. And to my FUEL family, if I could figure out how, I would give each of you 100 bonusly points.