I have readily admitted to anyone who asks how I’m doing that I am feeling incredibly blessed. I’m blessed to still have a full-time job, even at a temporarily reduced salary, so my family can pay the bills. I’m blessed that my daughter, who has a compromised immune system, made the decision to come home from North Carolina, and that I’m able to gather my family close and keep them safe. I’m blessed that my loved ones in other cities are currently safe, healthy and taking this seriously. I’m blessed that I live in Florida in a place that (at least so far) has not been heavily impacted by coronavirus. Where the weather is warm, the sunshine is bright and I can unwind by the pool with my husband after work.
I’m blessed, and I thank the Lord in my prayers every night.
I’ve been working from home for four weeks now, since my office closed and we all packed up our laptops, essential paperwork and office plants. We, like millions of others, headed home in search of a quiet corner, where we could try to focus and carry on like nothing had changed.
But really, everything has changed, hasn’t it?
While it was an adjustment at first, I’ve come to appreciate working from my kitchen table. I do miss my coworkers, but the once-annoying Teams video conversations have become such a part of our daily routine, it feels almost normal. And despite the stress of everything we’re dealing with and that I’m dealing with in my job, the experience of working at home is, in some ways, less stressful.
There’s no commute. My great dane dozes on her bed at my feet. Whenever I walk the 10 steps over to my kitchen, she happily jumps up and keeps me company. On most days, I leave the sliding glass door and windows open, so I type away to the many tunes of the mockingbird who visits me every morning. My view has changed from cubicles full of busy coworkers into Spanish moss floating in the breeze off the live oaks in my backyard. And the daily stress of having to rush home, get dinner ready, help the kids with homework and know that I still have to logon and respond to emails is something I do not miss. I’m able to balance my work life and my family life for the first time in probably a decade.
My gas tank has not needed filling in four weeks. This, coupled with shopping as infrequently has possible (three times in four weeks!), has been great for the pocketbook. And my weekends – once a blur of running errands and playing chauffeur for my two high schoolers – are now incredibly relaxing.
So yes, I’d say I’m feeling pretty blessed right now. Of course, that could change in an instant if a loved one becomes infected, the virus hits my town in a big way, or I lose my job like the millions of others. But for now, I’m going to try not to stress about what could happen and just be thankful for what is.