Emerging From Isolation

Friday, March 13 I was at work. My wife was picking our daughter up from school for an extended spring break. My wife was already teleworking. I found out that day that we were closing and everyone would telework for the next two weeks. At the time, it felt like a pause. A pause seemed nice. We would all be home together. We would get family time after being an empty nest for a while. I was too hopeful. The virus spread and the stay at home was extended. School was online the rest of the semester. Work was telework indefinitely.

I struggled with this more than I expected. I was sad for my kids and the loss of their normal lives and time with friends. I was already unhappy in my career and telework oddly made it worse. Reading was always my escape and I found I now struggled to focus on a book. I watched the numbers daily and every day was sad to see they kept going up. Work stressed me out more and more each day. I dreamed of the possibility of finally quitting and taking a sabbatical until the new year when I would figure out what to do for the rest of my life. That dream came to an end when I finally talked to my wife about it and she was not on board. Now all I had to look forward to was a return to a more stressful return to a modified workplace.

I returned to work for 4 hours Thursday and Friday last week. This week the entire staff starts to report back in shifts. None of us will be there for more than four hours a day. We still won’t have customers in the building. We will only have curbside service for a while. Hopefully, being at work part of the day will make my workdays go by faster and I will adjust and will eventually stop feeling sick at the thought of clocking into work each day. I will keep my eye out for the possibility of a change.

I emerge from isolation today.  I wish it was to a better situation.

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