Tuesday, May 26, 2020

In This Together

In This Together
Sorry for staying away so long, friends. I've always found it weird when bloggers apologize for not writing, but I do feel a kind of guilt for being away for two months. I wish I had a better excuse other than the fact that I've been busier than I've ever been, either at work or at home. Now I'm experiencing both, so something has to give and that something is writing.

My category space at work is collaboration: the software and related hardware necessary for collaborative apps, video conferencing, whiteboarding, instant messaging, soft phones, virtual conferences, and the like. The increase in work in this space is completely unprecedented. It has me working some nights throughout the week. Even headsets, the supposedly easy commodity in my space, are eating up a lot of time, as we work through a global shortage.

Work has not only reached a frenetic pace I've never seen before, but Mrs. Done by Forty and I, like so many other parents, have taken on second jobs as full-time child care providers. We've thankfully found a time split that we can live with, but it leaves very little after work, childcare, cooking and cleaning are all accounted for. Throw in even a bit of yard work and chores, and there suddenly aren't enough hours or minutes left.

Baby AF wakes up at five, we're out the door for our morning walk by six before the Arizona sun forces us back inside, and then we're off to handle emails, meetings, powerpoints and spreadsheets before switching back to coloring, ABCs and flash cards, dance parties and songs and whatever else we think will keep Baby AF entertained and, maybe with a bit of luck, at least a little enriched.

It's a lot. And it certainly doesn't leave time for writing. 

That's an excuse. I know it. I could find time to write after Baby AF is asleep for the night.

But who knows what to write about at a time like this, anyway? Something that might be helpful, for finances, or loneliness? 

Maybe just a personal account of what things are like for us in our house?

Perhaps I should just write reminders of the best practices we should all be following, since there's so much bad information being spread on places like Medium?

But I'm no expert: I can only point in the general direction of one. Maybe instead of writing about this disease or what to do about it, I could just try to lift a reader up a bit?

I'd heard that you were juggling childcare along with your job, and I just wanted to let you know you're doing a fucking fantastic job at both. 

I saw online that you were cooking and baking up a storm, now that we're all cooped up at home. That's cool that you're learning & gaining skills, and making something yummy to eat at the same time.

Someone told me you were struggling a bit with loneliness during all this isolation. I am, too, friend. I'm down a lot these days. I think that's normal, honestly. We're all just doing the best we can with this. You're not alone.

So you're a part time teacher and tutor these days, too? I can imagine how tough that is. Just know that you're doing good work. Your kids are lucky to have you as a parent: someone actually invested in their education.

If your hours have been cut or you've been laid off, I can imagine how stressful that must be right now. Things can get dark pretty quick when there isn't money coming in. Please reach out if you want to talk or write about it.

So your partner has been getting on your last nerve with all this time together. I get that. We've had some days (...maybe...some weeks) where we've been fighting, too. It's tough being on top of one another all day, every day, for so long. I hope you two get to a good patch sometime soon.

I think we're all going through some things these days. A lot of stressful stuff is getting mixed in with, hopefully, some of the good, too. 

As isolated as we are, I like to think that we're all in this together. That this weird ass time is not normal, and we're all going to struggle a bit because it's so not normal. But the fact that we're all in the same boat gives me a good feeling, too. 

I'm happy to be able to look across from me, and see that you are in the boat with me, too, friend.

We're going to make it. 

Thanks, as always, for reading.

*Photo is from andrechinn at Flickr Creative Commons.

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