By the end of the second day, I started feeling lonely. The first time I talked to a human being was at 4:30 p.m. when I went out for fresh air. My neighbor was sitting on her back porch doing the same after working inside all day.
Normally, in a past life, I would’ve loved this isolation. I would have fully embraced days and even weeks alone in my apartment. But these days, and because of this new life I’m living in Colorado, I miss people. I miss seeing friends and co-workers. I miss going on big evening and weekend group rides. I’m realizing how difficult it is to spend time alone as a happy person, and trying to take it one day at a time. I’m trying to stay engaged with my co-workers, overcommunicate during the day, and participate in video calls.
Before I signed off last night, I checked in with one of my co-workers and asked how she was doing with not only work but life and this quarantine situation we’re all living in. We went back and forth for awhile, encouraging and reassuring each other that this will pass, planning to meetup at Gold Hill for the summer concert series and sip drinks on the porch. Then she asked if I had a significant other or roommate to ride this thing out with.
“I don’t,” I typed back. And then sighed to myself a little. It’s just me here in this less-than-one-bedroom apartment. It’s just me every morning making a pot of coffee I’ll eventually pour out in the afternoon. And it’s just me every night at dinner and in bed watching new Netflix standup specials. And that got to me. It would be nice if it wasn’t just me; if I could talk to someone in the other room about how I’m feeling, update them on the news, confide in them when I’m anxious.
I didn’t tell her all these things, but I thought them and for the rest of the night I couldn’t stop thinking them. But it could be worse. It might get worse. We’ll see.
Day three started with another 6-mile run.
It was sunny and beautiful; I wanted to stay out there all day on the trails. And while it was so peaceful, it was almost too peaceful. Louisville’s main street is usually bustling with traffic and kids and families grabbing coffee and breakfast at all the cafes and breakfast joints. This morning, I saw maybe five people out and about plus a couple cars here and there. It was a ghost town and it really makes me worried for these little businesses that don’t have the financial security of large chains and truly rely on everyday foot traffic. I’ve already heard talk of layoffs at some small shops and it breaks my heart. All we can do is hope things turn around sooner rather than later.
The run itself, however, was a surprise. I talked about potentially having to give up running in this post, but my average pace was one I hadn’t seen in well over a year and my legs felt better than they have in a very long time. I’ve had Dystonia for eight years, and the trouble with this disorder is it’s pretty unpredictable. But I will take what I can get when I can get it.
When I got home, I tried to jump right into the routine I set up on Tuesday. I’m learning that the key to staying sane is sticking to a routine, so I kept mine up with a shower, a made bed, and then coffee with a side of email. I try to close unnecessary tabs and online distractions to focus on my to-do list and the day’s meetings.
Around 12:30 p.m., I couldn’t stare at my computer any longer, so I took a short walk outside in the sunshine. It was exactly what I needed and something I’m adding to my routine. Although, we’re expecting rain and snow the next two days so we’ll see how feasible that is.
The rest of my day was filled with writing and revising a lot of email, website and digital copy. I work for a shoe company and in light of this virus, a lot of our messaging and imagery needed to change a little so it doesn’t come off as insensitive or irrelevant for online shoppers. I received an Instagram ad the other day from a brand encouraging me to buy clothes for spring travel – that’s the thing we are trying to avoid so we’re combing through all our content to make sure nothing like that slips through the cracks.
Around 5 p.m., I logged off, which is another part of my routine: hard outs. I communicated with my boss and team that I wanted to be unavailable after 5 p.m. (unless something urgent comes up, of course) to make sure I’m protecting my mental and emotional health at this time and they were totally on board. Boundaries, my friends. They’re powerful. I was craving movement after sitting on my butt nearly all day, so I opened up Youtube, set up my mat and weights, and followed Zuzka Light’s 365 Rep Workout. I haven’t done it in YEARS and I forgot how much of an ass-kicker it is. If you are looking for a challenging home HIIT workout, this one DELIVERS.
I ended my evening with a trip to the grocery store for toilet paper and, SURPRISE, they’re still out. I only have a couple more days before this situation starts to become an emergency for me and I need to steal TP from work or something.
Anyway. How are you holding up? Anyone working from home alone and really feeling it?
Stay safe. Wash your hands. Call your grandparents.