Are you going stir-crazy already? Maybe your eyes wander across your windows now and then, wondering when you'll be allowed to resume your normal life and leave. Maybe you feel the drag of loneliness and depression tugging at you more and more insistently with every passing day.
It feels like while half of the people are going in overdrive, killing themselves in their jobs as nurses, doctors, salespeople and more (and APPLAUSE to those!!), others have been literally benched from their day-to-day activities. Those hit hardest may have lost their job altogether, while others frantically try to get career, children and household all together at the same time.
I guess it is easy to agree that these times are challenging for everybody and needed adjustment to some extent. As a freelance writer, I feel I am among those who actually had to change very little to my everyday lifestyle, and yet I feel the isolation insistently knocking at my mental door. And maybe BECAUSE I am used to working from home.
"She may have a great job, but that doesn't mean she's happy."
"Maybe he has a great life from the outside, but nothing is ever roses and unicorns from the inside."
"I may have troubles in my life, but at least I don't have it as bad as..."
Do these phrases sound familiar to you? Sadly, they are painstakingly familiar to me and overused in my conversations with family members and friends.
One of my biggest fears in life is failure. Fear of failure can be petrifying and it can paralyse you, which may even keep you from pursuing your dreams. Fear of failure, for me, often means pursuing Plan B without giving Plan A even a chance because I am too scared I couldn't do it.
Amidst the corona virus crisis, how we handle the work space and exploring new methods to get work done have become key questions. While some of us thrive in the new-found freedom of home office without the time-filling cups of coffee in between and lethargic counting of hours every day, others face a genuine financial and existential crisis under the prevailing circumstances.
When pondering about the current crisis, I cannot help thinking that such situations only highlight the flaws and strengths of established systems and are a chance to re-evaluate and improve them for the future. I have long criticised how work systems worldwide function and how inefficiently they usually are - which is why I became a freelancer. In my article "Working for Life or Living for Work...That is the Question?" I wrote about the insufficiency of the 40+ week and how systems involving people are all interrelated and feed of each other. In "The Issue with Work-Life Balance" I discuss how we're apparently "dead" when we work, if life is everything outside work.
Confucius famously said, "Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life." Clearly he wasn't a freelancer. Though a very beautiful thought in theory, it, sadly, doesn't always translate to the reality of pursuing your dreams.
I started writing before I knew it was a thing you could do. I started telling stories before I could write. Writing was my favourite occupation as a child and I would fill papers after papers with bloodcurdling stories of adventurers, wizards, orphans and whatever else crossed my imaginative mind. I finished my first full-length novel at the age of twelve. I didn't know it was a "novel" back then. For me it was simply a story that had gained momentum and grown out of the usual proportions.
It still lies somewhere in my desk drawer.
I didn't write for anybody but myself back then. Though my parents knew I was hauled up in my room writing, they probably know about 1% of my stories, for I didn't write to get their attention or praise. I simply loved escaping into my own worlds and concoct incredible story lines where I could dictate the way. Especially when I lost my ability to play Let's Pretend around the age of thirteen, writing became my key into a world I thought was lost to me. A key into realms where anything the mind can stir up is possible, where the limits are the rims of your own imagination.
This whole lockdown situation actually already started for me in January. I was newly pregnant and terrified of getting the flu - and equally terrified of getting a flu shot while pregnant. Therefore, I chose self-isolation and reduced all human contact to a minimum. My husband had to shower off and wash hands every day when he came back from work and I washed my hands frantically whenever I'd left the house - in short, I prepared splendidly for these times of corona virus.
In order to get informed about the flu shot, I visited my doctor and told her I would hardly get the flu with the limited access I had to people. I work from home, I don't have kids in school or kindergarten, etc. butshe said, "All it takes is one person, though."
Her message concerning the flu is now permeating the toxic air around the corona virus as well. Just one person suffices to spread the disease - you may not have contact with anyone for weeks but then meet one person and you've got yourself a virus. This is what we're being told (and it is true), which is why social distancing is so important.
Considering my doctor's statement regarding the flu, and now the corona virus, it is a rather scary thought and makes everyone around you the potential anti-Christ, but looking at this idea from a different angle might also bear a hopeful note.
Writer. Editor. Blogger. YouTuber. Freelancer. Traveller. English fanatic.