Back to campus for my third time in the office. Still adjusting, though it’s kind of a nice change despite the slight increase in risk (I say slight, because I see 4-5 people at most).
Day 360, Tuesday
One VERY long two hour drive through rush-hour traffic/early evening to pick up the boy after work. I haven’t driven such a long stretch since May-ish, when I dropped him off and had a panic attack on the way home. I drove right by the gas station where I pulled in that time to slow my racing heart.
Day 361, Wednesday
A short return to campus. My body was not cooperating and I headed home after getting some work done. No one really missed me. Finished working from home.
Day 362, Thursday
A year ago today, I started WFH.
Today, I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Needed a two hour nap and my arm is sore as heck.
Should I call these diaries Year 2 or continue the numbering? I’m leaning towards the latter. (The numbers are a little off because I didn’t start the diaries on day 1)
Day 363, Friday
Arm still crazy sore and a little swollen, but I haven’t had any other side effects so YAY!
Day 364, Saturday – Day 365, Sunday
Migraine and a parental health situation (not quite scare, but not quite routine). Not a very productive weekend, but my body told me to take a break. I planned to write for 6 hours, managed 1.5. I’ll take it.
Didn’t realize it was time to spring forward until I woke up in the middle of the night and my phone told me it was 3 but the clock on the stove said it was 2. Spent most of the morning in a migraine post-drome hangover. Hoping it will be gone by Monday.
Early start to my morning to get some revision done before work. The campus was quiet and being in my office felt more comforting than I imagined. Not many people around, and the building is generally quiet, so I didn’t feel as anxious as I feared. Lots of expired snacks needed to be tossed (actually, I’m taking them to my mom so she can feed her possum visitor). I set up my filter and love my new office kettle. Did some tidying—lots of old notes on my desk, old calendars, etc. I need to clear out books for donation, but that can wait until I bring the stack that I have at home. Not sure if I’ll be returning this week. If all goes as planned, my mom and gran should be getting their second doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, so my schedule will need to be adjusted either way. Currently attending an online, month-long conference/event and starting to outline a presentation that is due in April. At least my office is good for focus.
Day 353, Tuesday
WFH today and super busy too! Meetings and an impromptu grocery trip to pick up meds and stock up on snacks now that I’ll be going into the office on a semi-weekly basis. Luckily, no encounters with maskless fools, but the news coming out of the Florida legislation is worrisome re: our covid landscape. We’re already seeing the effect of irresponsible decision-making with this who return to the office because we can’t live in fear of the virus nonsense. I can very much live in fear of the virus. It has killed hundreds of thousands of people in this country alone, and almost as many people in Florida as we have students enrolled at my institution. So take your anti-science platitudes and shove ’em.
Day 354, Wednesday
Apparently, the Dr. Seuss thing happened. I mean, his past is pretty sketchy (google his history of propaganda), good to know his estate is doing something about it, but it also means there’s a push to make sure the copies we have at our library get placed in the archives and NOT someone’s ebay listing.
I never liked his books, not even as a kid. They’re obnoxious to the nth degree. Fight me (bite me?).
Day 355, Thursday
Back to the office for an online event. I took a little walk around the campus this time. It was quiet, but no more quiet than it is during our regular summer sessions—a few students, some staff. It’s never that crowded on our campus, which is a blessing at this time.
Day 356, Friday
Mom and gran are fully vaccinated! Success! It was a challenge to get gran to the place, but they were able to vaccinate her in the car and the boy helped to get her back into the house. We’ve reached the point where she’s forgetting how to walk and it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to get her to stand or find the balance to lower down into a chair, even with assistance. It’s a sad situation for everyone involved.
Day 357, Saturday – Day 358, Sunday
Double-down writing day on Saturday for a solid round of revisions. PMS is rearing it’s head though, so I was forced to slow down a bit on Sunday and take care of house work before I’m completely drained.
It’s been a few weeks, but my neighbors are smoking A LOT today and even my filters are having a hard time clearing the air. I hate it.
Back to the DMV! Success this time! It took longer to get to the office than it did to get my license renewed, but I’m so glad the wait was short and the place wasn’t scary packed like the last one I tried. ICYMI – I spent three hours shuffling around a mall food court packed with dozens of people while waiting to get into the DMV office, only to find that the state system went offline and was unlikely to come back up before closing. After a tense wait, I was forced to reschedule. Today’s visit was painless and quick.
Took the rest of the day off to write and work through some stuff at home, though I couldn’t resist checking email for updates on the latest drama.
Day 346, Tuesday
Back at it. Another day with more questions than answers, but we’re starting to get a clearer picture of the situation. It’s not great, but there is some flexibility. I’m taking what I can get and making it work for my department with as little risk as possible.
Day 347, Wednesday
Trying to catch up on the conference sessions I missed when WriteOnCon was live by making time in the evenings after dinner. Even though I’m not a kidlit writer, I LOVE the practical aspects of this conference. I don’t invest as much as I should into my development as a writer because of the cost, but I’m trying to do better this year and work through my money hang-ups (poverty PTSD?).
Day 348, Thursday
What even happened on Thursday? It fell into the void.
Day 349, Friday
Woke up at 4am, but was it the wild dream or the cats that woke me? Maybe both. The living room was in a STATE when I got up to feed them.
Despite the lack of sleep, managed to get through the four hours of writing I set as my goal for the day.
Day 350, Saturday – Day 351, Sunday
Spent the weekend working on revisions and making the most of my time. My current method is working better than any I’ve tried before, resulting a lot of efficiency and less anxiety re: slow progress. Started feeling a migraine coming on Saturday afternoon. Anyone else experience full-body fatigue and joint pain before a migraine? I’ve identified it as a sign of prodrome, but I’m curious how common it is.
On Monday, I head back to the office for the first time in nearly a year. Yes, I’m anxious. It feels poorly planned and poorly reasoned. Let’s not get me started on the UK variant predicted to take over the majority of Florida’s covid cases in the coming weeks. I’m not happy about it. I’m trying to make the best of it, but I don’t feel ready to be in an office setting and will start posting passive aggressive signage if people wander to my door to have a pointless conversation.
Covid test and breakfast with the boy. First time I’ve sat outside a restaurant, but it was empty and no one was walking by so I felt ok about it.
Day 339, Tuesday
Got our results! Both of us were negative. And, this is sappy, but because we were both negative, I felt safe kissing my boyfriend for the first time in almost a year. It’s been a difficult time for us both. Meetings… workout, started tidying in between meetings and lunch.
Day 340, Wednesday
Went on a jog for the first time in FOREVER! Since the day I sprained my ankle. Filed mom’s taxes! Wohoo! One thing scratched from my to-do list! Tidied around my desk because it was a disaster of random documents.
Day 341, Thursday
We’re getting more mixed messages about returning to campus. I’m trying to remain proactive and establish a plan before things advance, but it’s hard to wrap my head around the demoralizing reason behind this sudden push and the uncertainty surrounding an increase in the number of students in the future. Why bother protecting faculty for nearly a year only to create a super spreader event in the Fall (maybe Summer)? I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Day 342-344 Friday – Saturday – Sunday
WriteOnCon and Virtual Writing Retreat with the Heart Breathings sprint group. I debated not revising until Monday, but then I started and found the sprints incredibly motivating. I did some decluttering to clear my space and my head, and some laundry to get it out of the way. I have a lot of mixed feelings about returning to the office, but I’m not going to worry about that for a few days. Back to the DMV on Monday. That’s my most pressing concern. I’ll start transitioning back to the office and hope for the best in a couple of weeks. It’s a very complicated situation. I can’t be compelled to return until May, but I have my own reasons for wanting to slowly transition back rather than deal with an abrupt return. So many anxieties surround the possibility of contagion and the awful circulation in my office. I’m grateful for the relative safety I’ve had while WFH-ing, but this is a rush job and no one is happy about the reasoning behind it or the message we’ve been given.
What should I call these updates when I go back to work? Stuck in an office diaries? 🤷♀️
Week started with meetings, and it only went downhill from there…
Day 332, Tuesday
Signed in to my email to find a message from our president asking that we double down on the return to campus. No real plan, no real details, completely unsound reasoning IMHO. Spent the time between meetings creating a plan, schedules, and rationales for each should I need to be ready to state my case.
Had an emotionally draining meeting that requires a follow up later this week to figure out whether or not we’re facing a potential HR situation with a coworker whose behavior is starting to feel like harassment. Then, found out the boy spent his day at work on Monday with someone who now tested positive for covid.
Day 333, Wednesday
More meetings to discuss this repopulation situation and my department chair is missing? Our last exchange suggested we continue as we have been, but I’m not sure how the HR meeting today might affect that plan. Met with my department today to discuss contingency plans. At least, I’m prepared and they’re on board with my rationale to keep everyone safe.
The boy had a preliminary test (we know it won’t work for Monday’s exposure, but there were other reasons for the test). I’m testing tomorrow as a follow-up to the DMV fiasco. He’s retesting next week as well.
[I’ve been vlogging this week’s emotions in real-time, so you get to see them live on Monday]
Day 334, Thursday
Went to campus to get a covid test as a follow-up to last week’s DMV fiasco. Receiving contradictory updates and my unit head is still missing, so I have no real answers yet. Proceeding as we have been (based on the last exchange we had) until I hear otherwise.
Had an upsetting phone call from a colleague. Not their fault, it’s an old situation that resurfaces on the regular, but still upsetting (and particularly disheartening as it involves people who should know better).
Late in the day, my mom and gran received a call from the city to schedule their covid vaccines…
Day 335, Friday
Test results arrived around 10 am, they were negative (big sigh of relief). I was able to drive my mom and gran to get their vaccines, and spent the night without having the dread of potential asymptomatic spread. I kept my mask on while I was in the room with them, and my distance any time removed it to eat or drink, but I didn’t have the constant sense of anxiety I had last time I spent the night (last hurricane season… knock on all the woods that we don’t get another insanely active season).
I recount my mom’s symptoms in Monday’s vlog but, briefly, mom had a short-lived headache, tiredness, and body aches, but nothing beyond what she feels when she gets a flu vaccine. Gran displayed no discomfort. They received the Pfizer shot.
Day 336, Saturday
Back home after spending the night on my mom’s couch. They’re were doing well when I left and my mom is feeling herself. I, however, was exhausted after a draining week and a terribly stiff couch (if only I could convince my mom to get a new one… still working on trying to talk her into getting a new mattress).
I took the day off from writing, though I’m way behind on my goals for the week. Either way, it was a necessary and deserved rest. I relaxed, put together a new storage unit for my closet, re-homed all my sweaters, and enjoyed uninterrupted reading time before recording tomorrow’s minisode for the podcast.
Day 337, Sunday
Happy Valentine’s if you’re reading this on the 14th! I don’t care what anyone says, Valentine’s has always been my favorite and I am here for all the kitschy heart swag. Enjoyed takeout sushi from the fancy Japanese place that I always pass up as too pricey for anything less than a date night. We sat outside and had a nice chat on my covered roof/deck area. The boy’s initial covid test was negative, but it feel outside the desired window of testing for a PCR test, so I couldn’t risk anything closer than that. We’re getting another test tomorrow and hoping for the best. I’m fairly confident I’m in the clear, I’m on day 10 since potential exposure, but just in case.
I know Mondays are generally reviled, but they always feel so new and hopeful to me. Started a new morning yoga practice to build back up to a regular routine. Between the sprain and the biopsy, my body needs a reset and my balance needs work. Committed to completing last year’s Morning Movement plan by Yoga with Kassandra.
Back to reviewing the draft. I don’t hate it and it’s not just the high of writing. I genuinely don’t feel trash about it. Let’s ride this wave of optimism.
Have to make dinner tonight. Is it weird that I prep on Mondays? Grocery run tomorrow…
Day 325, Tuesday
Did groceries this morning and felt exhausted in a way I haven’t felt since early in the pandemic. It was draining. Delivered what I picked up for my mom and had a sad encounter with a duck that had been hit by a car. We moved her to a quiet spot until she passed. I sat through meetings for the rest of the day.
Day 326, Wednesday
A busy day. I’m trying to catch up on reading and work before Friday.
Day 327, Thursday
Another busy day. It’s been a busy week overall. Lots to do and it’s starting to feel a bit overwhelming. This happened every few weeks when projects seem to multiply out of nowhere.
Day 328, Friday
Today was A LOT. Emotionally and physically drained at the end of it. Came home after a useless visit to the DMV, showered, and laid out in bed. I had no will left to do anything after what happened. [I go into it in Monday’s vlog]
Day 329, Saturday
For some reason, I thought I had 21 chapters to review. Turns out, I have 28. Logically, I know there are 28. I wrote them, but my mind fixed on the number 21. Despite my steady pace, I’m not going to finish this weekend.
Indulged in takeout breakfast with the boy. It was a nice start to the day and set me up for a few uninterrupted hours of revision.
Day 330, Sunday
Still feeling indulgent. I blame it on hormones and the emotional hangover from Friday. I shared a pizza for lunch. Real pizza with real cheese. Will my body hate me for it? Probably. Maybe. I took my enzymes to help with the side effects, but my body is a mystery and reacts in unpredictable ways.
One of my mom’s outdoor cats (she’s not allowed to have more than one cat, but she keeps him inside most of the day) has been missing since Friday and we’re both sad and worried. It’s not like him to wander for more than a couple of hours. After losing my sweet boy last year, I’m not ready to lose another. I want to stay hopeful, but it’s harder by the minute.