I don’t know about the rest of you but at the moment if anyone asks me how I am feeling bone-weary seems an apt description, or running on empty to use another phrase lined to the banner picture and there has been a fair amount of bottle emptying going on in the house since the whole COVID thing started too many months ago. I think the thing which is really getting to be is the monotony. Realising that it’s Monday again because the routine repeats and I am left wondering where the time went. Stumbling from one zoom call to the next without a break often starting first thing in the morning and going on into the evening.
I used to get time on planes and trains to read and reset, speaking to physical audiences gives you energy while addressing a set of names (please, please turn on your video camera) on a flat screen is draining. The obligation to perform takes it out of you. No post-conference dinners with interesting people, no chatting in the coffee breaks at an event. Not sitting with clients exploring a possible solution, jumping to the whiteboard with pen in hand. No sitting outside a lodge in the evening after a day-long workshop with a gin and tonic and good company.
I had to get the car serviced today and while the garage was willing to collect it I took it in and sat in isolation for the four hours the service and a recall task took just to be in a different place. Otherwise, it’s get up, sit at the screen, have breakfast looking at the screen often on the first call of the day, then calls to lunch and calls again until a collapse in front of undemanding Netflix binge-watching in the evening before the whole thing starts again.
Worse in a way, knowing that I am one of the lucky ones. I can look out of my study window onto the garden and fields behind the house. On the 22nd I will isolate myself in a cottage in the mountains of North Wales for a week before a further week in the Lake District. I have employment, I still don’t plan to retire. I have books to read and rewarding work todo and colleagues to talk to. Others are not so lucky but that of itself induces guilt, one should not complain ….
So for all you out there, we are all affected, I am less productive even though I have more time. There are no superheroes and we all need to be honest about how we feel and try and find spaces for recovery, but all are heroic …
Empty bottles by Ice Tea, hourglass by Photo by Gif Frame both on Unsplash
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