Week one of me working from home is over + I am feeling all the feels. It’s like I’m spinning + settled all at the same time. So, once again, I turn to this space to sort out my thoughts + feelings, and to document what life looks like now that the Coronavirus is impacting daily life around the world even more.
Unfortunately, it seems that there are people out there who just can’t seem to grasp what’s going on + refuse to change their everyday routines, habits, and ways of living. And, honestly, it pisses me off. But, in an effort to not judge, I am trying to hold open a space where everyone’s reactions (or non-reactions) matter. We’re all on edge. All of us are pissed about something. So, there’s no need to go down the dark path of turning each other into the enemy.
Still… just because you can’t see the virus + you’re not sick (yet) yourself… what makes it so hard for you to sacrifice a little of your comfort, regular routines, for the sake of others? Why can’t you simply stay home + enjoy the amazing spring weather? Why can’t you order online in an effort to support small businesses that have stayed open so far?
Monday + Tuesday
Mostly, though, I want this post to serve as documentation for my self. I find that writing in the midst of it all helps me not only process, but also gain perspective + tap into my own wisdom. It slows me down a bit + gives me a chance to sort out my feelings + catch up with myself so I don’t just keep on going on autopilot. Plus, it serves as a way to record the happenings of this historic time for posterity. For myself, but also even for others, who may stumble upon this space on the internet either now or in another time.
So this past week. It’s been wild. Much to my dismay, I reported to work on Monday + on Tuesday. I still couldn’t believe that no changes had been made to anything in society expect the constant reminders to wash our hands, stay home if we are sick, and avoid crowds of more than 500 people. I even found an article in The Guardian that showed that England, Sweden, and another country (I forget which) were the only 3 European countries with schools still open.
Then, on Tuesday, as we all were unable to focus or be productive at work, during the prime minister’s press conference, it was recommended that all secondary schools, colleges, and universities move to online education. Fina-fucking-lly. Of course, middle schools + elementary schools + preschools were to stay open. As of today, Sunday the 22nd, those schools remain open for business as usual.
Not much else has changed in society here throughout the week. A few more recommendations to work from home (especially if you live in Stockholm), but no further official restrictions as far as I know. Well, there have been changes to the ski resorts in Sweden. And larger companies have sadly had to lay off people. Otherwise, it’s up to businesses + companies to decide what actions they will take. All the while, the cases climb + deaths mount up. Though, we are not really sure of the numbers because there is not that much testing being done, as I understand it.
Anyway… on Tuesday, after the press conference, we flung into action to begin to move our entire high school everything online for the foreseeable future. There is no timeframe for how long we will be working from home. We cleaned, organized, waited for further instructions, created routines, and began contacting all of the students. I worked late, packed up, said goodbye to everyone (which felt surreal!), and headed home about 6pm.
Working from home: Wednesday
Wednesday I woke + tried to begin my day with my regular routines, but everything felt so unknown that I had a hard time settling down. My heart is pounding right now as I write this + recall how it felt on Wednesday morning.
Luckily, it was decided that it would be a workday so we could all get our shit together. At 9am, the entire staff met online for a staff meeting. It was crazy, but it felt amazing. Like… let’s do this! So, all day, I sat in various planning meetings with various colleagues, discussing how + what we would be doing. I personally contacted all 65 of my students to give them the scoop on how things would go down on Thursday morning. And I think I stopped work at about 8pm – mentally + emotionally exhausted.
Working from home: Thursday
Thursday morning came + we all were on edge as to how things would go as students logged into their online classrooms. I am still overwhelmed at how freaking amazing it all went! I am so proud of the students + the teachers + the rest of us. What a freaking team! I had 2 class meetings throughout the day + it was so crazy cool to chat with the students + follow my same plans… just online. I think I finally stopped working about 6pm again. Totally wiped out, but feeling good.
Working from home: Friday
Then, Friday came + it wasn’t until the morning that I remembered that I only work until noon. I totally could have worked all day, but for my sanity + my health, I stopped just after noon. Before that, though, I met with more students online and did a bit of administrative work.
Working at home is not at all easy as a mentor/counselor in a high school. In fact, I’ve worked harder + longer. I really hope that this coming week we all settle into the groove a bit more. There are a ton of things that I have learned already, though. Like, I have to put my work computer + notebooks + phone + everything away and out of sight when I stop for the day. I need my home to be my home in the evenings/weekends. Not my workspace. I also need to get outside every single day – if only for 5 minutes. But hopefully more. I need to get dressed + ready, like I usually do. But, a tiny bit cozier, of course. I need routines. One for the entire day – from waking to bedtime. And, one for work. Hopefully the work routine will come soon. These first 3 days were literally just responding to things as they happened.
When Friday afternoon came, I turned everything off, put it away, and took a nap. Working from home has worn me out. It has, in no way, been a cozy, lazy, and/or boring time.
So, I’ve done nothing but cared for myself all weekend. And rested the whole time. Thankfully, I don’t really feel stuck or bored yet, as things have been so wild + crazy for me. But, I know that I also haven’t processed my own feelings about not being able to travel home or live life in the same ways. And, I can feel those emotions welling up inside of me. I have to let them come + sit with them.
Spring Equinox: Signs of a rebirth to come
In the meantime, Spring arrived on the Equinox on Friday. I spent some time outside in nature, getting anchored + grounded into the energy of rebirth + new beginnings.
Something is occurring within + through this global pandemic which will create a new world for us. A new way of living + seeing + experiencing + prioritizing. I felt comfort in the calm, continuous rhythm of nature + the turning of the seasons… and my intuitive wisdom gave me a seem sense of peace in the knowledge that, as long as we stay aligned + in flow with nature, we will be transformed – bringing in a new era, a new consciousness, a new rising of how to live on this planet in harmony with each other + with nature.
With all of that said, I think I need to close out this post + send it out to the universe. It feels like a good place to stop. My working from home documentation will continue as long as working from home continues. Please know that I am sending you all of the love I can. Wishing you well. Hoping that you find balance + calm as we all try to embody this new way of life.
Blessed spring or autumn, sweet soul. Hope is still alive. xoxo. liz