We are going back to the office. Thankfully it is only for two days a week, which I hope becomes the new norm.
Today was my first full day since March 13, 2020 of being in an office outside of my home. When everything shut down, we were instructed to come in to clean our cubicles, and pack it up as we were moving to a new location. It only took a little while to do so, then it was time to head home. Early this Spring was another instruction to come in and unpack our boxes, make sure to wear a mask, and to social distance. We were also given a specific week to help ensure everyone’s safety. This too only took a little while, then it was time to head home.
Next we found out we were going to go back, but only for the two days, at the end of May. Recently it was changed to we must be back by the end of May and we could start doing so anytime. I decided to jump feet first back into the fray rather than prolong the inevitable. Today was the big splash back.
First of all, 5:15 AM comes way too early. It is amazing how just 30-minutes of additional sleep helps; I may have to begin going to bed earlier as I’m not sure it is healthy to shift my sleeping time three times each week (office days, remote work days, and weekends). I was able to get back into a bit of the old routine, and had remembered to get the decaf timer set last night. It was nice to sip on my coffee upon arriving at the office.
The drive was as remembered. My car just naturally went to the lanes it was supposed to be in for the route. Traffic was about the same. The one difference, which is nice, was a section of road that was horrendous has been repaved, and the railroad crossing smoothed out. Much less bumpy now.
What was the most anxious about the day was just how to be around people again. There really weren’t that many folks in today, but it was still far more than I usually interact with in an eight hour period. It was nice to see and chat briefly with staff I’d not seen in over a year. Having my two large displays was also nice. Keeping the mask on the entire time, finding my way around the new route to the office tower, and then around the office itself was the most challenging. Both of these I’m sure I will get used to, just as I’ve gotten used to other pandemic-caused shifts. The first time is always the hardest.
I am thankful though it is only for two days a week right now. If it were four days as before, I’m pretty certain it would be a much larger shock to the system. Four days a week are almost certainly inevitable. I just hope shift is still a long ways down the road.
Working from home has been more productive due to fewer interruptions (felt that today). Being home has also been good for my mental health since my husband and my dog are close by. Good for my mental health also because of all the quality time spent with my husband. We jokingly have said one of Covid’s few blessings is we’ve, in some ways, been able to make up for our year apart, by having a year together we wouldn’t have experienced without Covid, at least not until after retirement.
As with most things in life, change happens, and we either roll with it, or we fight it. Fighting it is always a losing proposition as change doesn’t stop because we don’t want or like it. May as well roll with it and see what new adventure awaits us.
That said, I’m still in a little bit of fighting leaving the safety of my home emotionally, and that’s okay.
One day at a time, one day at a time.