Isolating Truths

Do you ever feel a certain way and then get angry at yourself for feeling that way because you know other people have it worse than you? Like, you should be grateful for what you have, but you still feel really crappy? That’s been me the past few days.

I know isolation and quarantine has started at different moments for everyone, and a lot of people are still working. Disney announced closure about three weeks ago, and I have been lucky enough to be able to work from home. At first it was fine, but then things in the world got worse. Events I had been looking forward to, including one of my best friends’ wedding, got cancelled. We couldn’t drive to Atlanta to visit family. I couldn’t see my favorite hairdresser that I am willing to drive eight hours for. Seemingly small things when there are those who lost their jobs, their milestones, their lives. So, I am mad at myself for feeling so crappy.

This past week has been the hardest. It is one of our busy times at work, and Thursday Disney announced that furloughs are in the future for some cast members. Oh, and we won’t know for sure who is affected until next week. It was hard enough to concentrate on my duties without the uncertainty. I know it’s a necessary evil for the company as everything is shut down, but I just want to know one way or the other. Accounting is usually safe (to my knowledge. I have no source.), but cruises are cancelled, trips are cancelled, parks are closed. What is there to report on? There certainty is not enough going on for whole teams, maybe partial. Either way, nothing official has come out and I have spent the last few days stressed out and not sleeping.

Though, the not sleeping thing has helped my Camp Nano word count. Nothing like insomnia to spur the internal muse.

Working from home has it’s challenges. The cats are distracting. I miss my standing desk, and I am not moving as much. Heck, I haven’t worked out this whole week. I’ve taken a couple walks around the neighborhood, but I just haven’t had the energy to actually exercise. There is also this weird stigma that’s probably all in my head that I cannot be the first to log off. I end up working through lunch (unless I take one of those walks). During busy time, we were on until 10pm or later to get everything reviewed. When Taylor is not working, he’s a distraction because OMG I GET PEOPLE INTERACTION. There are at least three more weeks of this. I really hope this gets easier.

I’m trying really hard to stay upbeat. I try to practice daily gratitude. I try not to get angry because some coworkers have children at home and can’t always work a full day. I try to stay focused. I am one of the lucky ones who have a job and my health. But I am so tired. I am stressed. Every day is unpredictable. Taylor is still going to work as phone repair is considered essential, and I just have to hope that the store’s precautions will be enough. Even though I know that they have worked with customers that have been tested for the virus. Phones are dirty and disgusting. I am scared.

Stay inside. Wash your hands. Social distance. Do your part so things can go back to normal, or at least a new normal that allows us to go to parks and malls again.

Create Gratitude

So, this was not going to be my next post, but with everything going on, I believe it’s more important than what I was planning.

I am an avid listener to a relatively new podcast called The Upside with Callie and Jeff. They are big on the topic of gratitude and finding the upside in the everyday, and they make a point to be a break from the news that clogs our social media and other outlets. I started listening to Jeff almost 20 years ago when he was a radio DJ in Atlanta, and I cannot recommend them enough.

Anyway, a lot of what I am writing here comes from what I have gotten out of that podcast, hence the quick plug. Gratitude is so important in the world we live in. When everything seems dark and negative, a simple “thank you” can change someone’s day. You can show gratitude in other ways as well- an act of service, being there for someone who was there for you, a smile, whatever. You are not restricted in this area.

Start keeping track of what you are grateful for. My planner has a section at the back of each month that I can write what I am thankful for and why. I have included things like my crock-pot, my husband, my cats, working from home, and milkshakes. It doesn’t have to be something life changing. But keeping up with it will change your view on life.

Right now I am thankful that my position allows me to continue to work remotely during this global crisis. As most of the world is stuck at home, please think about those who still have to show up:

  • Doctors, nurses, other medical professionals
  • Our military
  • Our first responders
  • The customer service reps who are trying to help you reschedule your spring break plans (my heart goes out to my fellow cast members who are dealing with thousands of calls)
  • The grocery store clerks that cannot control what is out of stock
  • The other service workers such as trash collection, mail, deliveries, etc.

If you interact with someone in one of these professions, remember that they are human too. They are not the business that told them to come in. They are working for their paycheck. They are tired. Treat them with kindness.

On the other side of the same coin, check in on the local businesses that may not have the resources to survive the shut down. I know of a few bakeries and restaurants that are still open, but only serving carry out and delivery orders. Show them gratitude, even if you don’t order from them- comment on a post on Facebook or something.

But the best way to show gratitude right now? Do not go out unless you have to. Remember that there are other medical emergencies going on, and the hospitals are not only dealing with this virus. Stay away from beaches and crowds. We are trying to slow the spread for the benefit of our community. By working together, we will be able to go back to Disney World sooner rather than later.

Here is the link to The Upside if anyone is interested: https://www.callieandjeff.com/