The world has turned upside down.
It’s been about a week since I started working from home. I don’t mind it; I enjoy the quiet and being around my fish and the view from my ‘office’* window, which is of a forest, where I am able to see many different birds and many squirrels. I open the window to hear the birds sing and feel the fresh air, so different from the office environment. But it can be hard to concentrate. I don’t usually struggle working from home but I feel particularly anxious now and it’s effecting me. My mind feels like it’s been pulled in so many directions right now, so much noise to fight through to focus on the daily to-dos and so easy to get pulled away from the day to day mundane into the panic and shock of the utter strangeness of everything else.
It’s one thing to stay home by choice, and another because there is no other option. I had the radio on the other day and the music was great and even to hear the sound of the presenter was oddly nice, but hearing the news every hour left me feeling riddled with anxiety. But even without the news playing every hour it’s hard to resist the temptation to check for news, it’s hard to switch your brain away from everything that is happening. It finds a way to always be there, on the periphery of your thoughts, tugging for your attention. I feel distracted, I find myself wanting to snack more, I find myself unable to get comfortable, so restless and on edge.
The supermarkets are half empty, I had to go to three supermarkets to find toilet paper, and I am unable to find painkillers, nor flour, yeast or eggs, which makes me particularly sad, as I was looking forward to baking bread and making cake to help me pass the time and well, because it’s delicious. (You gotta find things to make you happy, right?) I am growing increasingly annoyed with my neighbours, having to be around them and their children every moment of every day, compared to the little time we usually spend living our lives in parallel. (I am sure they must be feeling the same way, hearing me walking about above their heads all day and sometimes, if I can’t sleep, in the early hours of the night.) I am failing at following all the work from home advice – I wear a mix of lounge wear and pajamas, I haven’t been going for walks and I haven’t really established as much of a schedule as I should, and I find myself subsequently working much longer to ensure I am getting my hours in (I find myself working in chunks of focussed time split by short breaks which is working with my current short attention span but also does not feel particularly efficient) I have been taking advantage of my lunch break but mainly to lie down, exhausted and worried, and allow my mind to wander before I have to force myself to concentrate on work again.
I have had a concert and a musical cancelled. My sister’s hen do was called off and, more and most devastating, my sister’s wedding is under threat of cancellation. I am feeling very grateful to have a job that allows me to work from home, to have space to work from home in relative comfort, to not have to be juggling work with childcare, to not have a big event looming like a wedding which could be cancelled. I am grateful but also worried for the future, wondering how long this will go on for and worrying for those around me. I worry about the economy and my finances. I worry about the food shortages. I worry so much about my family. I find hope in the small positives, such as reading about reduced carbon emissions and increasing wildlife in cities. Perhaps some good can come from this and certainly we will pull through, somehow, but everything feels so bleak and uncertain right now….
Everything feels so strange and so wrong and so utterly surreal.
*I mean , it’s my spare bedroom and also the fish room and also my home study and also an extra storage space…