Day 100 Working From Home

Today is June 20, 2020 and I have been working from home for the past 100 days. For a long time I always wanted to work from home, but never got the courage to set out on my own to run my own company form home and never thought an employer would allow such a thing. When I started my latest job back in July of last year I was given 1 day a month to work from home and I took advantage of it as on snow days I have had to do that, but it was never for more than a day here, a day there. Well now it has turned into 100 days and counting as we anticipate this going on until the end of the year.

The first couple months were a little challenging especially living in an RV that I shared with my husband so the noise level was something to get used to. The end of May he moved out so the past few weeks have been really quiet. I love the days that I can sit here and just marvel in the quietness. I can really do without the TV and actually only have the antennae as I canceled the satellite when it became to costly to continue especially when I don’t watch enough channels to warrant paying that amount of money.

I have gotten into a routine of waking up at 6:00, taking the dogs for a walk, shower, breakfast, scan the internet and at work by 8:00. I take my breaks so the dogs can go out during the day and they keep me company. They love sleeping on their bed or laying at my feet. Oscar loves playing with his ball and Harley just likes being lazy and watching for cats.

I enjoy living tiny in my RV despite all the issues I’ve had in the last few weeks. This has been my way of life since 2015 and I don’t see doing anything different in the near future. I removed the dining room table and put a desk and file cabinet that take up the entire space giving me more than enough room to spread my wings and get my work done. All I need is internet and I’m good to do this forever.

Quarantine- Day 45

It’s hard to believe I’ve been in quarantine and working from home for 45 days now. I never imagined I would go through a pandemic. On Friday, my boss announced that although the state was starting to open up this week and let some businesses go back to work, we would not have that luxury. Instead we should prepare to work for home, not only for the rest of April, but also through the month of May. I’m okay with working from home to a point, but after this many days I’m ready to get back to my routine and see co-workers in person as opposed to seeing them through the Zoom app.

As the state prepares to open back up this week, they are only allowing restaurants and retail stores to open; however, they can only open at half capacity and with lots of guidelines to follow. This first opening will be phase one and if the number of cases doesn’t increase over the next 14 days then they will go on to phase two. There will be a four phase opening and it is not until the last phase that the state wants people to go back to work that have been working from home. I’m eternally grateful that I have been able to work from home and continue to draw my full paycheck. I was paying to park in the parking garage, but I canceled that and will be charged for April even though I was never on campus during the month.

They are asking all residents to wear a mask when out in public. Not sure how that is going to go over with everyone, but just in case some stores will not allow you to enter without one, I have dug through my fabric scraps to find material to make us each at least one. I’ve resisted wearing one until now as I don’t see the purpose as it will not prevent you from getting COVID-19 if you’re exposed. To me it’s just a way for people to hide their identities. My boss also mentioned that when we do return to work we may be required to wear one, so since I know how to sew I can at least make me some cute ones. Always look on the bright side.

The one thing I don’t understand with the government, the ones determining all of this, is that they will not allow hair salons, nail salons or tattoo parlors to open up until phase 3 and then only by appointment. However, they will allow gyms and bars to start opening prior to this same time frame. How can a bar be safer than a nail salon? Some of these people are gonna really need a hair and nail salon in another 6-8 weeks. I’m wishing I had gone to the nail salon myself before they locked it all down, but at the time I didn’t think the government was going to go off the deep end and close everything down. In addition, I’m ready for my next tattoo as I ha e finally decided what I’m putting on my arm. I have an old tattoo that needs to be covered. It has taken many months agonizing over this to decide what I want and now that I have made up my mind I can’t get it done.

I have had a lot of time to sit and ponder and wonder where I see myself in the future and what I would like to pursue and in doing so I decided to make my photography a priority. I’ve been looking over some of my portfolio and I have some wonderful portraits to be proud of. I have received multiple compliments on my work from people who are not family that has helped to inspire me to put myself out there and see what happens. If all I get is a couple photo shoots a month, it will be a great way to fill my time and do something I enjoy.

I hope all of you are making good use of your time in quarantine and not going too stir crazy. Feel free to drop me a line or two and share what you have been doing and your plans for the future.

My Life During Quarantine

My day starts around 6:00 am as I like to get up and have time to myself before the rest of the house gets up. By 7:45 I’m signing into my computer at work so I can get my workday started. Some days are long and boring and seem to go on forever while some go by fast. Other than working from my house, not much in my work life has changed in the last six weeks that I’ve been at home.

By midweek things seem to be running together and I usually forget what day it is. Talking with others let’s me know that I’m not the only one that feels this way. Although I talk to co-workers through email and Skype almost daily, I still miss being in their presence and seeing people. Last week I went to the office twice, which was a mood booster. Just being able to get out of the house and see that there is still life outside these 4 walls was good.

My weight loss is at a standstill, which is all my fault, but it still affects how I feel about myself, but not enough that I’m willing to make the changes that will make a difference. I weigh myself every other day to make sure I’m not gaining any weight. On a positive note, it shows me that I can maintain the weight I have lost and not loose myself in all the stuff that is going on. On the last day of this month I start back on my HCG shots for six weeks and during that time I must be disciplined and only eat what I am allowed. This is my last round on the program, so I need to make the most of it.

My weekends are spent being what I call extra lazy, although this past weekend on Saturday I did get the house cleaned up a little and the laundry done, but on Sunday I spent the entire day in bed. We did get up and have breakfast, but because Greg didn’t feel good, he wanted to lay down and watch tv in bed so off we all went (dogs included). I ended up taking a nap and then spent the rest of my time surfing the internet. Finally, around 6:00 pm we moved back into the living room. I had wanted to start a sewing project this weekend, but never had the get up and go to get started.

Depression is an ugly thing and my life is being taken over by it right now. It’s hard to pull myself up and get back to living. Every time I think I’m making progress something happens that throws me a curveball, but I’ve been through worse.

Just last week, someone said they couldn’t believe I had moved to Nashville back in 2009 with no job, no family and only 1 friend. I told them that move proved that I could survive anything. Besides I had already survived losing the love of my life the prior year, so how bad could it really be.

Since 2008, I have lost my husband, my son graduated bootcamp and spent 10 months of 2010 in Kuwait only to come back and within months become estranged from all the family he has ever known. I’ve gained 3 grandkids, supported a child through a divorce, 1 through a marriage and 2 births and I don’t know how many moves for myself. My life has been through so many ups and downs over the 50 plus years I’ve been here, it’s a wonder I’m still alive. My motto is, “What doesn’t kill you, makes your stronger.” That will be my new tattoo, so I have a permanent reminder of everything I have gone through.

My current state of mind changes each day as this quarantine continues for another day. More and more people become infected and more people die. I’m grateful I get to work and get a paycheck, but I really want this to be over. I don’t want the government telling me when I can leave my house. I want the freedom the constitution gives me to come and go as I please and do what I want. I missed my granddaughter’s third birthday and if things continue at the current state I will miss more birthdays and vacations.

Quarantined Due to Coronavirus

As of March 14th, I started working from home as my employer wanted as many of us as possible to work remotely. I am grateful that my employer provided us this option as so many people are getting laid off and might not have a job to return to once this pandemic is over.

As most people know, back in December, we started hearing about the Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) happening in China. Since them the virus has moved to many countries. So many in fact, it would take several pages to list them all. Time magazine posted the following table with data as of March 19, 8PM EST. I am only showing the Countries with more than 800 cases.

Resource: https://time.com/5800901/coronavirus-map/

Here’s another map showing 160 countries and territories that have now reported at least one case of the novel coronavirus.

Now that testing has amped up, there are more and more positive cases. All 50 states as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have been affected. West Virginia was the last state to have a positive case.

LOCKDOWN

California was the first state to be put their residents on lockdown effective Thursday, March 19th. They have over 40 million residents who were told to stay at home except for essential activities. New York has ordered all workers to stay home. All these measures were done due to the number of U.S. cases doubling in the last two days.

In my state of Tennessee, we have a confirmed 192 cases with 110 of them being in Davidson County, which is the county I work in. I live one county over in Wilson County which only has 1 case. As of this morning, Davidson county had closed all gyms and no dining in at restaurants.

PERSONAL CHANGES

We are pretty much homebodies since we quit traveling full-time in our RV so being quarantined is not much different than the way we were living before all of this started. However, we did enjoy going out to dinner at least once a week, which has now been taken away from us.

Trying to find food at the grocery store has been our biggest challenge. By the time we went shopping last weekend there was no toilet paper to find and food was pretty scarce. It took 3 stores before I could find enough stuff for us to make it through the week. Now we are at the end of another week and our trip this morning didn’t amount to much of anything as the one store we went to only had one package of meat. We were only able to find chicken. This new life does not bode well with my healthy lifestyle I have been living the past four and a half months.

It was hard to believe that things like hand sanitizer, paper towels, cleaning supplies, bleach and so much more were completely gone from the shelves as people scrambled to buy so much at once in fear of what might happen in the next few days. As the week has progressed people are still hoarding items and now stores are having to set limits to allow everyone to get just one of something.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

I’m not sure I agree with all this social distancing, but if it helps to keep this virus from spreading then it will be worth it in the end. I just hope it ends sooner than later. We have seen and heard so many different reports about how long this might go on for that it makes it scary to know what the next day may bring.

My biggest surprise through all of this is the number of big businesses that have closed. Everything from Disney to shopping malls and bars and honky tonks are all closing their doors. So many people are without jobs. Many having no idea if their business will reopen when all of this is over or not.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I pray that this epidemic will end soon and that the economy will be able to recover. I pray for those that are being affected by this much more so than I am, and I pray that everyone will be able to get the food and help that they need to make it through this storm.

Hold the people you love close and have a little extra patience with your children as you maneuver through this as this too shall past.