Dear Friend,

I have mixed feelings about working from home.

On one hand, I am whole-heartedly grateful to have a job that can be done from home. Being able to work, maintain the majority of my income, and pay the bills in the midst of this pandemic is a blessing. To be able to do this from home, without the risks associated with being an essential worker? That is even more of a blessing and one that I don’t want to dismiss or take lightly. I am also grateful for the small gift of simply having something to do, something to try and structure my days around.

On the other hand, working from home is hard for me on the best of days, nevermind when I feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and anxious. I am a lover of routine, a celebrator of controlled work-spaces, and an enthusiastic separator of work time/space from personal time/space. This week has been a struggle with all of these things. My routine is a non-existent mess, my work-space is the opposite of controlled, and separation between work and personal time and space? Forget it.

I saw this tweet earlier in the week and it has been a soothing reminder as I struggle to focus, realize that I missed yet another email, hunt for where I wrote down that note in the stack of notes I’ve accumulated, etc. A reminder that I am human, this is difficult, and it’s ok for me to feel frustrated sometimes.

I took yesterday off from work in need of rest, peace, and space to not spend all of my energy trying to be “productive.”  As each day passes, I am learning more and more just how important it will be for me to listen to myself and ask for what I need in order to survive this period of physical separation from the world.

This week I’ve felt… sluggish. I’ve had moments where I realized that I’ve done nothing but scrounge my way through snacks all afternoon, and others where I realized that I hadn’t eaten all day. I can feel that I haven’t moved as much as normal over the last few weeks and there is a very real sense of inertia and a struggle to even want to move after being in one place for so long. I am hoping that I can convince myself to get up and moving in the coming week.

This week my mind has been all over the place. I’ve had days where I felt that I was able to do what was needed work-wise, and others where I felt that I couldn’t focus on anything. Moments where I was able to stop and sit with some of the thoughts that have been ruminating in my brain since this period of staying home began, and moments where my brain was moving so quickly that I couldn’t keep up. This swing back and forth between relative calm and inexplicable anxiety has been constant, and I assume that it will continue as the days and weeks pass but become less extreme over time.

My spirit has felt less peaceful this week. Being separated from CJ has been really hard and it is difficult to come to terms with not knowing when this will end. To go from seeing each other basically every day to only having technology and conversations from across a distance to connect us is emotionally exhausting. Not every day is hard, but some days have left me feeling emotionally beat-up and bruised, wishing for something as simple as being able to hold his hand while we watch the news together every night. Of all the things I miss right now, I miss him the most.


Lots of Love, Mandi Jo