Friday, March 20, 2020

Settling In

Frankie, here. 

Sorry for missing my last two Fridays. Life has been hectic with reorganization in my academic unit and then the order from the governor to go to distance-learning. Now, I'm trying to adjust to the new normal of working at home that most of you are probably experiencing if you have a job that allows it. Not that I don't normally spend a portion of my day and even my year working at home. That's what most university professors do. But as my Type M mates have been blogging, this is different. We are all distracted and anxious. Anxious? I have moments when I'm scared silly. I've watched too many bad movies, and I'm not the hero of the ones that keep running through my head.

At moments like that I look at the replica of a sign from World War II that I keep on my kitchen counter for ordinary frantic days -- "Keep Calm and Carry On." A reminder that I can be an ordinary hero by doing what I can do. That means not panicking and staying home with any virus I might be carrying. My cat, Harry, loves the company.

Even going out once a day for a long walk, I'm feeling disoriented. To combat that, I've come up with a schedule and a list of to-do items.

My priorities:
1. Preparation/delivery of my classes on Monday and Tuesday afternoons
2. Virtual meetings with students
3. Work on my book projects
4. Work with my webmaster on the new website

To accompany my priorities, I need to stay healthy and focused. To accomplish:
1. Daily exercise -- walk and other aerobics (yoga or Pilates)
2. Nutritious meals -- make my own (but don't waste food as I usually do)
3. Stay in touch with family and friends -- phone, text, Skype, write real letters 
4. Do spring cleaning and decluttering -- goal, an environment that feels peaceful and calm
5. Play with Harry
6. Get out and use my bookstore hobby kits -- learning knitting, juggling, fashion design, dog training (kit bought months ago in preparation for puppy want to adopt)
7. Use my Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts to watch some of those movies and TV shows I want or need to catch up on -- some of which relate to classes and book research

All this is obviously enough to keep me busy. My only other decision is when I'm going to check in to hear what I need to know about what is going on. Before my walk seems best. I can walk off my stress, then come home and settle in again.

Watching the news as I type. In New York, we are about to go on mandatory restrictions of mobility. Stay calm . . . and carry on.

That's my plan. I'm also thinking of signing up for an online writing workshop or two. I'm browsing the list at Master Classes.

How are you settling in?


Anna said...

Frankie, I've worked at home for years, so that doesn't change. What changes is the weight of restrictions imposed on us by the virus warnings that fly around like migrating birds. You are so wise to impose this new normal schedule on yourself and stay in control. Harry is going to be devastated when all this is over!

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Hi Anna,

I'm glad to hear I'm on the right track. My summers often fly by, and I don't accomplish as much as I intended. I thought this time -- particularly when I'm trying to tune out some of the chaos -- having a plan might help.

Yes, Harry, loves company. He is going to feel neglected when we're back to our normal schedule.

Take care.