Off Topic Thursday: My Life Under COVID

30 Apr

I didn’t talk about this last month in hopes that when I talked about it this month, I could say that it’s over. It doesn’t look like that’s the case or that this will be ‘over’ and things will be ‘normal’ again anytime soon. So I might as well talk about it now.

I want to start off by saying that I’m very fortunate. I haven’t lost a loved one to the disease. I did not lose my job. I was able to find toilet paper at the store. So as far as major impacts, I’ve been OK. I wanted to detail my situation and hear from all of you how you’re coping.

I haven’t been to my office since I left for Greece on February 26th. When I came back, they asked me to stay home for two weeks since I’d traveled to Europe. By the time that was up, everyone was working from home. I’ve set myself up on my kitchen table. It’s not the most comfortable, but I’ve found a way to use blankets to make it work. My husband works from our office room so we don’t disturb each other during meetings or get too distracted from each other. We had an access issue when I first started but that was quickly resolved and I can do 95% of my job from home. I miss meeting candidates when they come in for interviews and it’s harder to track down certain coworkers who aren’t great at answering their phones, but it’s mostly the same. I do miss my coworkers fiercely, though.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading. It helps me relax and escape to a place where we don’t have to be six feet apart from everyone else. When I think, “I’ll just turn on the TV,” I pick up a book instead and tell myself I’m battling my TBR mountain. I’ve taken a sizeable chunk out of it with digital titles and my unread books at home. I’d say this is where I made the most progress during isolation.

I’ve been knitting and cross-stitching a lot, too. Anything to keep my hands busy. If I don’t craft while I watch TV, I tend to eat. That’s not what you want when your movements are restricted. I’ve already made two baby blankets and I’m working on a birth announcement cross stitch for a pending niece/nephew.

Athletics is what has been most notably impacted by this disease. I’ve had five events affected so far and I’m awaiting news on more.

  1. 5K/8K combo race. I picked a St. Patrick’s Day race that had me visit a new county in my state. I have a goal of running a race in every county of Michigan’s Lower Penninsula so this was a bit of a disappointment. I’ve deferred my registration to next year so I should still get to do it.
  2. Meters-pool swim meet. This was a small let down. In the US, there are not a lot of swim meets in meter pools so this is always a chance to get a National Top 10 time. I was having a great year in distance freestyle so I was trying for an 800M free and 400M free record. Oh well. I got a refund.
  3. Swimming Masters State Meet. This was a big disappointment. I’d had a great year and it was my last year in the 25-29 age group. Also, a good friend of mine had a birthday less than a week before me and the meet fell between our birthdays so she would be 30 while I was still 29 so we didn’t compete with each other. We could both win! Unfortunately, we’ll likely never have that chance again so I’ll resign myself to 2nd place. A bunch of friends had rented a house near the pool and I heard there was a joint birthday celebration planned for the three of us with birthdays that week. All canceled. Lucky the house and the meet fees were refunded.
  4. 5 Mile Trail run. I love trail running and I was looking forward to a chance to compete in it. I hadn’t trained too hard for this one so I wasn’t heartbroken to hear it had been rescheduled. I’m planning to run the new date.
  5. Sprint Triathlon. This is the latest announcement. It was scheduled for late May and they decided to move it to early August. It’s now scheduled for the same week as Age Group National Championships which is a huge issue for me. I know myself and I know I’d push to hard in the sprint tri and not be in the best shape for AGNC. I’m going to wait and see if AGNC is affected, but I think I’m going to take a credit for this one and let my husband use it to sign up for a race.

Probably the biggest impact has been on my mental health. I’ve never been diagnosed with a mental health condition, but I think I have some degree of depression or anxiety and this situation has made it trigger. I’ve had days where I cry all day and I’m terrified to go outside, even for a run or to walk to my car. The grocery store scares me. I’m very irritable and I’ve had many days I don’t work out because I don’t see the point. I hate feeling out of control and that’s exactly what this situation is for everyone. Working out helps so I try to make myself get outside and run even when it’s hard to find motivation. It helps to talk to people I love so I’m setting up Zoom meetings with friends to keep up. I’m trying whatever I can to fight melancholy and it works 95% of the time. But my brain will be so happy when this is over and I can make plans again.

I hope everyone reading this is well. I hope you all have been able to see your way through this quagmire and are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel like I’m finally getting a glimpse of. We’ll get through it, I know. I pray for everyone’s safety and that we can find our ‘new normal’ as satisfying as the last one.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

13 Responses to “Off Topic Thursday: My Life Under COVID”

  1. theycallmetater April 30, 2020 at 11:29 AM #

    I’m in the same boat as you. Not officially diagnosed but pretty sure I have some form of anxiety and depression. I’ve had some rough days over the past month. Hang in there.

    Like

    • Sam April 30, 2020 at 11:33 AM #

      You’ve got this, too! Reading has been a big help for me. As well as exercising outside when it’s not pouring rain (our current situation).

      Liked by 1 person

      • theycallmetater April 30, 2020 at 11:36 AM #

        Same here, though I’m having trouble focusing on a book. It might be my books I’m trying to read. It’s pouring here as well but I got out for a walk this morning before it started.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. nickimags @ The Secret Library Book Blog April 30, 2020 at 12:25 PM #

    I felt very anxious at the start of our lockdown which is near the end of it’s 5th week. I really didn’t want to go to the shops and would get quite panicky about it. I hit a huge reading slump but seem to be coming out of it now and the shopping it has to be done and when there’s a long queue I listen to an audiobook.

    Like

    • Sam April 30, 2020 at 5:00 PM #

      That’s a great way to deal with the panic. I’ve done a lot of online shopping to avoid stores. It’s worked out well for me. I’m glad you’re getting past your slump! Happy reading.

      Like

  3. Jean @ Howling Frog April 30, 2020 at 6:24 PM #

    I’m so sorry you’re having such a hard time! It’s tough not knowing how all this is going to play out.
    We are also working from home, and I sure do miss the place, the students, and the co-workers. Most of the fun parts of my job involve people. I’ve learned to make videos, though! Our county has not been badly hit (yet), but that means people are getting pretty cavalier about it. :/ I’ve made a bunch of masks and worked on a quilt or so — lots of time at the sewing machine! I started a really great embroidery project too, but working at home involves more sitting and typing, and now my arms hurt, so no embroidery for me. 😦

    Like

    • Sam April 30, 2020 at 9:59 PM #

      I had a long day in front of the computer today and it was my hips that hurt when it was quitting time! I have a very social job as well and I miss people a lot. It will be great when we can see each other again. Happy reading!

      Like

  4. nanacathy2 May 1, 2020 at 3:52 AM #

    I feel so sorry for you in these tough times. We were caught mid move with a legally binding contract that said we had to leave on 2 April yet Lockdown in place and a removal company that wasn’t moving anyone. Total nightmare! Half my craft things were already packed away, no library books because I thought we were moving etc etc and the responsibilty for caring for husband with compromised health. I used my blog to write about my feelings and experience and readers were so kind. I stopped watching news and opted instead to get direct communication from government on all the measures they were taking, and just exactly what the guidance was- companies could be excused of taking advantage of funds and layng off people when they could have put in safe measures, and I got very annoyed by people who behaved as if they had been given a holiday. My advice to everyone is to find a way to get the thoughts you have out there, maybe to friends and family, maybe to appropriate agencies or as I did through my blog. Seek help, don’t dwell on thoughts. I found in the end that concentrating on what I could do rather than on what I couldn’t because it wasn’t available or I no longer wanted too really helped. I found ways of breaking up the day into small things- start with what has to be done and move onto what I like to do helped.
    I hope you manage to find a way to exercise and that some of your events happen later in the year.
    Stay safe.

    Like

    • nanacathy2 May 1, 2020 at 3:54 AM #

      not excused but accused- sorry, bad typing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sam May 1, 2020 at 6:14 AM #

      Thanks for your advice. I heard from a few people who had moves cut short and your situation sounds particularly aggravating. I’m struggling to stay motivated with exercise when more and more things are canceled or postponed. I’m holding onto hope but it’s wearing thin. My crafting has gone through the roof, though haha. Stay strong!

      Like

  5. silverbuttonbooks May 3, 2020 at 5:40 PM #

    I broke a bit today. It was a sunny day and I was supposed to do a virtual walk for MS but navigating the busy streets was too stressful and I ended up walking in the alleys through my neighborhood. I am going into a few less weeks than you being home and I have tried everything I can think of to keep the emotional tank full but today stunk. And then I saw your post! Nothing makes me feel better than knowing my thoughts are normal and my stress isn’t selfish. I hope you feel better soon and I cannot tell you how much I look forward to your posts.

    Like

    • Sam May 4, 2020 at 11:52 AM #

      I’m so glad you commented. Saturday morning was hard for me. I felt that maybe this post came off as a cry for help instead of a rally for anyone else feeing the same.
      I’m sorry your walk for MS changed. I’m thinking my Bike MS event might change as well. I’m lucky to live in less populated suburbs but I run into crowds when I go to the stores. My anxiety spiked when I went to the grocery so my husband took over that chore. Work stress is piling up, too. I hope you find your coping mechanism. I’m using mine as much as I can. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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