Fall 2021 Update

I cannot believe that we are in October of 2021 right now. It’s been over a year and a half since we were sent home from work because of COVID-19. Right now, the estimated time of them re-opening the office again is April 2022. Even though we are living this reality right now, it seems unreal. Prior to COVID would you have believed anyone if they told you that you’d be forced to work from home for 2 years because of a highly contagious respiratory illness? It sounds like something that you’d see on a movie screen and be glad that it wasn’t real life.

I guess I can say that I am lucky because I can continue to do my job from home. Luck seems to be a big thing for me right now. Looking back at what has happened in the last 2 years, I am somewhat in awe of how i got to where things are at right now.

I managed to sell my condo 2 months before the world shut down. Although for health issues, I had moved into my parents’ home which provided me with a lot of security. I had to adapt to a new lifestyle, without most of my possessions, in a world where it wasn’t safe to be around people in a social aspect.

I was navigating my own health issues, unable to see doctors in person and needing to find my voice to advocate for myself. I had to make do with appointments with my psychologist via facetime from my parents’ basement, the calls constantly dropping. It was far from ideal but I used the resources that I had available to me and made the best of it. I was well aware that talking to a psychologist at all could be seen as a luxury while the mental health of most people were being greatly impacted by this global trauma.

When I originally moved in to my parents’ home I had promised myself that I would do whatever I could to be back on my own within a year. Instead I had to learn patience and wrap my head around the fact that the world was not what it once was. We saw the ebb and flow of the virus. I often went weeks without ever going outside. Generally only leave the house for health related appointments, as able. My anxiety does not mix well with pandemics. I talked to my parents and told them that I felt like I should stay with them until we knew what the “new normal” was going to look like.

Finally this summer things started to look like we were going to get better. Our Premier got on TV and told us about the province relaunching and no longer needing to go through the yoyo-ing of the lockdowns. My job had decided that even when the office reopens I would be considered someone who works from home. If that was going to be part of my new normal, I started to wonder where I wanted to be.

I had grown up in a small town and have never really felt truly at home after moving to this area. In a lot of ways I never really put down roots. I don’t have a friends group, I’ve never really had a long term relationship, My brother and I have never been close. Now that I am thirty I have started to wonder about where I want my life to be. I don’t know if I will ever find someone to share it with, so maybe I should start figuring out what it could look like completely on my own. Where would I want to go if I wasn’t limited to being driving distance to the office?

I began to search for rentals. Both locally and within a 2 hour radius of the city. I knew that I had somewhat of a support system here, and if I went too far away I would be that much more alone. There was a set of condos not too far from my parents’ house that I always had my eye on. They’re not conventional condos, but all face outside and only have 8 units in each building. They have more of a row house type feel to them. Again, luck was on my side and a unit became available for rent within my budget and it was in a private and quiet spot within the complex.

I moved into my new place mid-July. Watching the movers bring my possessions out of their truck was a bit emotional. My anxiety was worried about things that might be missing or broken, but always worried that I wouldn’t remember all that I used to have. It also felt exciting, like my life hopefully wouldn’t feel like it was on hold anymore. This place has a much larger kitchen than my old condo and I could try to get back to my preferred plant based diet. I also knew that I had to take some of my new habits and apply them to my new setting. I am aware that I struggle with my memory so I needed to be mindful of that. I need to finish what I start or set reminders for myself so that things do not go abandoned.

I definitely second guessed this choice a few times, wondering if I rushed into moving out with the pandemic not being over. It has taken some time, but I think that I am acclimatizing quite well. There are a few things that I know I once had but never found while unpacking. Usually i come to the realization when i go to do something and cannot find what i need (i.e. a pan to bake brownies in!). I have only managed to break a few things over the last few months too.

It has been nice being a few minutes away from my parents. My dad has even come for lunch and brought me fresh baked cookies during the work week. I cannot complain about that!

With the fourth pandemic wave, I have found more reason not to leave my home. I work from the second bedroom, order meal kits online, and am trying my hand at a couple of new hobbies. I have my sewing machine out on my coffee table and am trying to make a quilt while streaming random shows or having movie marathons. We’ll see how well it works out, but i am enjoying having a task outside of work where I can physically see the progress.

Considering that this could very well be my new normal, I am weighing some options for myself. The biggest one right now is about getting a dog. I love dogs, am home all day, and have access to some great walking trails around my home. It would be nice to have a companion to adventure with too. I’ve decided to wait until the spring before adopting. I think that will be the easiest for getting it used to it’s new home and setting. Much better than adventuring out in the snow while still getting used to new surroundings and building a routine.

My brother and his girlfriend have 2 dogs, which i adore. They add joy anytime they’re around and fit in well with our family. If I got myself one, I hope it would fit in with them too.

Speaking of my brother and his girlfriend, they added a new generation to our family. My sweet little niece came along mid June. She is such a happy baby and is very loved. Getting to watch my parents be grandparents for the first time has been a treat but is nothing compared to seeing my brother be a dad. It has brought out a side in him that I haven’t seen in a very long time and I am happy to see this new level of joy for them. Watching her sweet little personality develop and her face light up when she sees her mom is priceless. I cannot wait to see who she becomes and what she chooses to do. She is starting to giggle and it makes the rest of the world melt away. I am very thankful for getting to be her aunt.

It is such a strange time right now. The world is going through this crisis and is now being polarized by vaccinations. I find it difficult to participate in discussions about current events outside of the requirements within my workplace. There are so many people affected in different ways, with opinions that do not always align with my own. One thing that I am sure of is that everyone is doing their best to make the right choices for themselves and their families. For some that is prioritizing mental health, and others it’s their physical. Those both also look different for a lot of people. People are feeling a multitude of emotions for the way that things are. I also know that I cannot control anyone’s actions other than my own. This may also be part of why I am the recluse that I am. I figure that if I don’t come into contact with anyone than I am not a contributing factor of anyone getting sick, or the collapse of our over-extended health care system. I also do not want to put my family at any extra risk when i do get to see them.

I hope that folks are staying safe out there. I know that there are a lot of businesses that are struggling, a lot of people who are without work, and a lot of loneliness going on. I hope that we can all make it through this and find ways to heal and come together in positive ways when it’s safe to do so. I also hope that day is soon.

All the best,

K.

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