Pandemic Reflections 18 Months In

I had the thought this morning that, if the pandemic got bad again and I was forced to work from home continuously or was partially furloughed again (with a corresponding return to actually life-sustaining unemployment benefits in the US), I am now in a position to really take advantage of the opportunity it would present. Which is a weird thought to have, given how royally fucked up my life has been as a result of the pandemic and the fact that I had similar thoughts during the initial furlough and work-from-home period.

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The Best Laid Plans And All That

The problem with having some grand, magical plans for reflection and processing difficult memories, is that life so rarely aligns with these kind of intentions. I’d initially planned to have my week off set aside as a time to reflect, to journal a bit, and to prepare myself for the months ahead, but pretty much none of that has happened and it seems like very little of it will happen. Life got in the way.

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My Voice, My Mode of Speaking, and My Meaning

One of the things I’ve perhaps studied the most as a writer, and I mean as a craftsperson perfecting their art, is what I want to call the mode of speaking. It’s a bit of what most people mean when they talk about “voice,” a bit of word choice, and a bit of style. In long form, it is the way of writing in order to speak directly to your audience. I would call it “accessibility” or “general appeal” except I know I’m not trying to figure out a more broad way of writing things out. What I’m trying to do is find a more narrow one.

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Writing Out My Problems

As I’ve been adjusting to the added labor of composing (and frequently rewriting) a blog post for every day of the week, I’ve felt tired and worn out more frequently than usual. Which makes sense. I’ve added two daily tasks to my day-to-day workload: writing a new blog post and editing the one that will go up the next morning. It’s not an insignificant amount of labor, even if sometimes it takes me only half an hour. Usually, it takes more than that.

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This Time, I’m Going to Enjoy Myself

I’ve been reflecting lately on the role of discipline in achieving goals.

As most people in moderate income blocks whose work was impacted by the pandemic can attest, life’s been difficult lately. Despite my entire past (or maybe because of it, now that I’m confronting it in therapy), the past year and a bit has been one of the most difficult periods in my life. Constant stress, anxiety, loneliness, and the pandemic itself has left me with little energy or even desire to create. Even my old constant of working on projects to fill my time until I don’t have the energy to even think about what is bothering me failed eventually.

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An Important Announcement

It’s been nearly a month since I posted and I’ve got no idea how long it’ll be before I post again. Trying to create during these days is a tricky subject for me. I’m trying to manage my stress and health in a productive manner, but that’s a moving target as this past week has clearly illustrated to me. I mean, I visited a friend (we’re both self-isolating alone and have no risky contact with the outside, so we didn’t put each other or anyone else in danger of spreading COVID-19) in Sturgeon Bay, had a nice relaxing week away from all my stress and troubles, but then the protests started over the murder of a black man at the hands of a cop and not only could I not escape it, I don’t want to look away from this.

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Learning to Live with Yourself

I’ve spent a lot of time with myself, lately. Despite working pretty hard to make sure I talk to people outside my household every day, messaging people constantly, and spending more time bothering my coworkers during my work-weeks than is strictly necessary, there are more hours in the day than I can fill with other people. I don’t know if you’ve ever picked up on the theme in my many blog posts, but I don’t really like spending time with myself most days. I’ve got a lot of baggage, spend a lot of time dwelling on negativity, have a tendency to get caught up in my own feelings, and am really not very nice to myself. I’m not exactly the best person to keep myself company.

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Growing Up Home Schooled

I’ve been watching a lot of my older friends (and a few of my peers) on social media post about homeschooling and trying to figure out how to get their child to engage with at-home lessons during this pandemic. There are so many tools out there for them to use: websites to crowdsource lesson plans, video tools for teaching lessons to multiple people (crowdsourcing education or stuff schools have set up so teachers can have lessons with their students without anyone needing to leave home), websites with all kinds of neat learning tools, and so much more. Some people are even choosing to forego standard education and instead focus on life lessons like cooking, home maintenance, simple car repair, baking, and the sort of things that schools no longer teach children that are still essential life skills. It’s amazing watching the world shift before my eyes.

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