With all that has happened in the last month I’d say, we’ve all been faced with a major curve. No, I’m not talking about the COVID-19 slow the curve, I’m referring to the learning curve. We may have lived in a tech savy world but I think now more than ever are we utilizing all of our technology resources to the max and gaining new skills daily.
Before the virus I was managing a call center with a staff of 20 on top of assisting my Director and other team members in the department with their fundraising needs. I was adjusting, monitoring our goals, preparing activities and ensuring that my team was able to obtain their goal by June.
A month ago I had to make the tough call and close my call center until further notice. However, I did give the option to my staff if they wished to work remotely.
Now, I find myself with a staff of 10 and scrambling to figure out exactly how I can provide remote work for them. With every new task, I feel as if I will never see the light at the end of this dark and narrow tunnel. I find myself struggling with being a good leader for my staff because I don’t have answers nor am I able to be there to support them as I feel I should. I must remind myself that we are all in the same boat looking to our leaders for guidance.
I think its amusing that as an adult when I’m stuck, lost or down right confused I look for another adult who appears to have their ducks in a row for advice. I’m 100% certain they too were just like me which reassures me that I’m doing the best that I can with the tools that I have.
During these crisis moments, no matter how much you second guess yourself just remember you are not alone. I can guarantee you that someone else in this not-so-big world is going or has gone through what you are. We all will get through this.
‘Til Next Time,
Here I am, day 16 and I believe cabin fever is setting in and there is no sign of when this house arrest will be over. My local officials extended the stay-at-home policy for another two weeks as they try to flatten the curve.
Meanwhile, those that do work from home (like myself), I’m sure care going stir crazy. An influx of emails, assisting coworkers on their needs meanwhile trying to find that balance of work life. Staring at the same walls its getting boring.
I’ve tried to see family when I can but I miss being in my actual work office vs. my make shift office, although I do enjoy my morning coffee and work outside on my back porch — quite peaceful to start my days.
Now below is my advice for combating Cabin Fever:
– Go for a run. Exercise is always good. Getting fresh air is even better. Just be sure to keep your distance. I went for a run this morning — it was great!
–Read a book. Nothing like diving into an alternate reality to escape the somber news we face each day. I’ve signed up for Kindle unlimited so I have a large selection of new reads.
–Relax, take a bath. If you have a bathtub now is the time to use it! Just soak in the tub for a while trust me you’ll feel rejuvenated. Be sure to use Epson salt as it will help with your muscle aches.
–Cook a new recipe. This will definitely give you a change in your routine of week night meals. Plus, if you have kids you can get them involved too!
–Explore the world via Google maps/Earth. We might not physically be able/want to get out of the house right now due to COVID-19; however, we can explore the world using Google map/earth. It isn’t quite the same but hey at least its something!
‘Til Next Time
Before this virus disrupted our daily norms, we were planning. Planning birthday parties, wedding’s, baby shower’s, work events, concerts, summer vacations — you get the picture. We were planning our lives. Quickly filing our calendars with important dates to remember, without hesitation, without concerns of sickness.
Now many of those plans have been canceled, postponed or moved to a virtual event. Let’s be honest here, a virtual event is not the same as in person. We all are doing what we can, with the tools we have, to slow the spread of the virus.
*ding ding* I’m alerted of an annual event that I helped plan for months was scheduled to happen today. A bit of a somber moment over came my thoughts. For anyone who coordinates a major event let alone a week of events, knows how challenging that could be. All the back and forth of communication, advertising, budgeting, approvals, messaging, — a massive hassle for anyone to tackle. All those stressful hours wasted.
Usually an all hands on deck for a week of long hours yet instant gratification of a successful week of events — gone. Instead, I sit with my cat under house arrest, working while keeping a safe distance away from people pondering when the virus will pass.
‘Til Next Time
‘I’m not going to drink coffee when I’m older’ a young naive child once thought as she got her mother the millionth cup of coffee (or so it seemed that many). Pitch black coffee in a cup along with two scoops of sugar and some creamer. Stir round and round until a light caramel color over takes the dark and french vanilla fills the air. Just like the way the young girl’s mother enjoyed her coffee.
Every morning, the young child’s mother would scurry across the street to the neighbors house to sit with the neighbor and sip their cup of joe while letting off steam in the brisk dessert air.
This was my childhood. My mom and my best friend’s mom became best friends (more like family, now that its been about 19 years). I hated getting my mom coffee (sorry mom if you’re reading this). I didn’t like coffee and I didn’t understand why she likes coffee, until recently.
Now I find myself, sitting on the porch with my cup of coffee enjoying the brisk country air while the world slowly awakes. Birds chirping, worms slithering away and here I sit observing the pure innocent nature around me. Its the little reminders I find throughout my time during house arrest that life is still beautiful.
Look up from your phone every once in a while. Break away from the social norms and find a blissful moment. Who knows you may even remember a childhood memory like I did.
‘Til next time
This week my local health department posted a zip code break down of where the people who have tested positive live. Well folks, turns out my zip code is one of the higher rates of COVID-19 people. Now, there is a mandatory stay-at-home policy until April 14th. So, good news to you all, I get to continue the house arrest chronicles.
Yesterday, I went out for some essential supplies (a chair for my back porch is essential right?) Any who, when I arrived at my local Walmart it was like a scene from a movie or video game. Shopping carts and yellow caution tape were used as a barricade, like those used to steer animals in a one way direction. Once I got in the store, it was practically vacant which is not the normal. I saw people walking around with clear and blue gloves on and masks covering their nose and mouth.
I can no longer avoid the fact that I might not be safe anymore. With trees and flowers beginning to sprout (or is it spring), my allergies have made me question if I’ve got the virus or if its just pollen. I check my temperature when I feel unwell or show any symptoms related to the virus.
So far, I don’t think I have the virus. As more research is published, some people don’t even have symptoms and they test positive which I think is my biggest concern. I like many others don’t want to be the one to infect my loved ones.
Stay in, stay well. Wash your hands when you do go out and come back in. Most of all, listen to your local, state officials and not the viral mixed messages that could be spread on social media news feeds. Always check your facts before sharing.
‘Til next time.
Since I began working from home, I like many others have now blurred the lines of the work, home life balance. Many are wearing new hats from parents, school teachers and more I’m sure that the lines will be blurred.
I’ve made myself a schedule of when I’m at work vs. at home without actually leaving my space. I set up my desk and when I sit at it — I’m at work and when I’m not well typically I’m not working. I have set up a schedule as to when I should be “off” and when I should be “at work,” but even those lines are blurred. Sure I’ll still answer emails from my phone if it’s something that I can answer and its before/after my working hours.
Example: yesterday I worked later than normal because I had this project I was determined to finish but come to find out it needed further tweaking today, which is fine because it was a minor edit.
My new normal like everyone else’s right now is I’m sure, a bit chaotic in trying to juggle everything while being cooped up. Let’s be honest though, there’s only so much binge watching one can do before they go stir crazy.
We might be closed off from society but I think we should open the windows and let some fresh air in every sunny day. Heck, step outside for a break and take a nice breathe of fresh air. (Currently, I’m sitting on my “back porch” sitting on a stool, listening to an acoustic playlist on Spotify while I type this post. Pretty sure I need to get a regular sized chair soon).
To recap my long tanget, develop a schedule and try to stick to it the best you can. Don’t forget to give yourself some time to break away from work to step outside and get some fresh air.
‘Til next time.