It’s a short day at work and probably the last of my stress-free workdays to come. Starting tomorrow, the expectations begin to increase and the calendar starts to fill up. I want to say that I am dreading it, but the truth is I’m kind of looking forward to it. Being busy sounds a lot like the old normal and though it wasn’t always a healthy or fair normal, it was at least comfortable.
So, today I’m enjoying the peace. I’m not feeling guilty for doing less and I’m not pushing myself to do more than the bare minimum, more than what makes me feel good, more than what makes me happy.
I went into work but, knowing I would be out tomorrow and knowing that the time when we would all be too busy to talk was fast approaching, spent much of the time simply socializing. In the time of Covid, work has come to contain all the social connections I can experience outside of my own home. Turns out it’s pretty hard to be productive when you feel both desperate to talk, to laugh, to feel a part of a community, and terrified of being forced back into isolation any day.
I’m ready not to feel so terrified. I’m ready not to worry anymore, but I wonder if this desperation to feel normal is leading me to let my guard down. I forget to socially distance. I forget to put my mask on. I forget the hand sanitizer. I forget that we are still very much in a pandemic, that there could be asymptomatic carriers around me, and that, at the very least, I have a chronic condition that would only be made worse by a Covid-19 infection.
I forget to protect myself and others and that isn’t okay. I guess I have to accept a little more loneliness and a little more disconnection. I have to accept a healthy amount of fear and precaution. I have to accept the old norms are still not back and may never be. I have to work on making these habits the new norm, the new comfortable.