I miss everything these days. I mean that in both senses of the word — I miss things like sitting outside at bars, restaurant French Fries, having friends over for dinner, shaking hands, running on a trail and saying, “behind you” without having to apologize for daring to exist within six feet of someone else, conversations with strangers, people’s faces. But also I am missing things like hours of the day, weeks at a time, decimal points in checks.
Yesterday I started to write about things I missed, and I missed the point entirely. I got on a roller coaster! How did that happen?
What is it about being at home, non-stop, that makes it difficult to focus? I have my “home office” set up. I even relented this week and set up a monitor at a real desk, no more dining room tables and “working around.” The fixed workplace hasn’t changed anything for me. I open up a window to type an email, and the next thing I know, I have my hand inside a chicken cavity preparing a roast, email window still blinking, not quite finished, alongside three dozen other open emails and 20-odd browsing tabs.
After I get the chicken in the oven, I go back to it. I sit back at the desk, and, squirrel! Then, all of a sudden the chicken is smoking, I’ve been staring at a spreadsheet plowing through months of invoices and two hours have passed. Creakily I stand up, realize the chicken is going to be very dry, and my bones are too old for Gwen’s desk chair.
I feel incredibly fortunate to have a job where I can work from home. For all the obvious reasons, of course. But also for the reason that I have something to do. I cook, I work, I cook, I work. I get in a workout here and there. I go to deep, dark places. Generally, though, I work and I cook.
I don’t work nearly as efficiently as I do in real life. In real life, I am highly efficient (sometimes to my detriment, I move too fast). I start a task and I finish it. I check items off my to do list. In Stay-At-Home life, I work constantly, but seem to finish nothing. Is it because I have more time? Should I be compartmentalizing better, so that I can work from 9-5, try to write the next Great American Novel from 5-7, be a Stepford Wife with cocktails and dinner? In my real life, I’m efficient because there are things I want to do more than work (we can save that for another discussion). In Coronavirus-avoidance-life, there just isn’t much else to do.
I miss the change of scenery. I miss days that don’t just blur together in a haze of screens and conference calls. I am missing the hours that I’ve spent in downward spirals. I miss those hours. I miss closing up my computer, walking out of the office, and picking up dinner supplies on my walk home. I miss walking in the door and kissing my husband after eight, nine, twelves hours apart. I miss feeling rushed. I miss time, passing normally.
I think a lot of this weird time-loss is because of the haze of screens from sun-up to sun-down, in every room of the house. Perhaps I should shut this screen and pick up my Kindle.
Er, maybe it’s time to raid Gwen’s mystery novel stash?
Recovering journalist who discovered a life outside of news leaves you time for things like getting angry, cooking and traveling. Plus, hopefully, writing. I’m a wife, dog mom and Washingtonian.