Pandemic Epiphanies

We’ve been sheltering in place for 25 days, and I have some thoughts.

Basically everything is canceled.  I recently got a new work computer (a laptop), so I have spent a non-trivial amount of time refining my home office set up.  I had a desk, but it had a smaller shelf on it that I put all kinds of shit on… books, bucket of pens, etc.  Since I planned to still have data projects and teaching and whatnot, I resurected my dual monitor setup, that I had shutdown when we moved into the new place, because I didn’t have room for it.  At the time, I was also thinking a lot about where work should be done…like work should be at work, right?


Anyway, my set up is pretty sweet now.  I finally got all the right cords and connections and dongles and such.  We have settled into a decent routine.  I was able to borrow a rower from my gym, so I have been rowing for 45-60 min almost every day.  It can’t possibly keep up with all the food I am eating.  For some reason, this pandemic has me really craving sweets.  And its pre-easter, so Cadbury eggs are everywhere.  And also, I have somehow become obsessed with Willy Wonka Bottle Caps.  *no explanation*.  Seriously, I bought two boxes earlier this week, and I have already eaten both, with plans to walk to my dealer (Walgreens) later today to get more.

This week has been especially nice, because Nico has been on spring break.  The overwhelming guilt that I am not spending every spare moment getting him to do crafts and art and physical activity (from previous weeks) is also on spring break, because spring break is the time to be a lazy slob on Playstation with his friends.  Of course, maybe a better way to think about it is that the other things that he really loves (soccer, baseball, and judo) are all canceled and he *should* get more time on Playstation.

The days are long though.  Like most parents, I don’t get long stretches of time to work.  I work in 20-30 minute blocks of time, from about 9-3.  During non-spring break weeks, we have a rule that Nico can’t get on Playstation until his work is done or 3pm.  Since he takes a break every 20 minutes, I can work during this breaks.  My best hours of work have been from 3 to 7/8, when he is entertaining himself and his school work is done.  I have been able to get some work done.  It helps that faculty are all leaning into getting their courses online, so I have the research I am contributing to and proposals I am working on.  And I have teaching stuff… always teaching stuff.  So I am staying busy.

But I realized something last night.  While the days are long, they feel productive. My house is rarely cleaner than it is right now.  I have swept and mopped multiple rooms.  The kitchen gets cleaned almost every day.  The fridge is full of food, as is the pantry.  I’ve been on top of the laundry.  I realized that in non-pandemic times, I spend a lot of time transitioning to do stuff.   Getting ready for work.  Getting Nico ready for school.  Unpacking my bag and getting ready to work, packing my back and getting ready to leave.  Giving myself extra time on public transit to get to practice, getting my shit together to go to the gym, packing my bag for soccer, getting to soccer early so I can warm up.  And since everything is canceled- I am not transitioning to do stuff… like this mornigng I rowed through 2.5 episodes of Brooklyn 99, ate some breakfast and came to sit at my desk.  I’ll take a shower at some point today, but literally it doesn’t matter when.

So here is to keeping my ass in one place for a while and cutting out all the time I spend getting my shit together to go to the next thing.