WFH and cabin fever.

It has been almost nine months since I last attempted to make something on this site. Three seasons have gone. A lot has happened, but also feels like nothing has happened.

The obvious changes because of the pandemic has been ever present in my life. Since March, I have been working within the four walls of my home. I’ve been into the office maybe two or three times in the past six months just to pick up stuff that I needed for working in my little home workspace.

Going back, I felt nostalgic of a life that felt long ago. The building was quiet and almost empty apart from security quietly patrolling the lobby. There were signs of wearing masks and keeping away from others at a safe distance. I didn’t have to wait for an elevator. My office was empty.

When we were told we’re moving to WFH, we were told to bring home items we need from the office. Some desks were missing one monitor, others had both gone. Few keyboards, someone also took their mouse home. It was like the office was robbed.

Last March, I was thinking I’d only work from home for a few weeks, maybe a month tops. I left some things I know I will need when I get back – like my favourite mug. Coffee just hits different when it’s in my work mug.

After two months of WFH, I began to realize that all the craze about WFH before 2020 was not all we thought it was. Yes, I only have to wear “work clothes” that are visible on camera and I have been rotating through my sweatpants and yoga pants. Yes, I haven’t spent money on lunches since I eat leftovers for lunch and it’s conveniently a few steps away from my desk. Although I get an extra hour of sleep and still make it to work on time, there’s one big thing I forgot to take into account:

The stress followed me home and it hasn’t left since.

The days of leaving work and decompressing on the trip home were gone. Or even de-stressing over a drink with a coworker after a rough day isn’t really the same. Same thing with hitting the gym after a hard day’s work. Gone.

I couldn’t really do any of those anymore. I just quietly turn my laptop off when work is “done”. Sometimes it’s at 5, sometimes at 5:30, sometimes 6:30. Then I would need an extra hour or so to just get out of that “work mindset” or rub off that “busy with work” feeling.

Some days, this is how I feel:

Or this:

This has been really weird and I honestly don’t know how to deal with it apart from just doing it day by day. The fact that we couldn’t do much this summer without running the risk of crowds or other people in general does not help.

There is no work/life balance in my life now since that line has slowly disappeared months ago. I try not to think about it because I am very grateful to have a job. It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t know how to deal with it… I’ve tried bubble baths, scented candles, long walk… I’m still stressed.

No one warned us that working from home blurs the line between work life and home life. Work has followed us home after we’ve invited it in. It’s now chillin’ on my couch and sleeping on my bed. Like a ghost haunting my home. It’s now a house guest and we don’t want them to leave yet because the convenience of having them around is better than having to go back to the old life.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t fully accepted the fact that this is my life now. Maybe after six months, this set up is not temporary anymore. Perhaps that’s the mindset I need to change. We shall see…

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