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  • Writer's pictureJewel E. Leonard

Things The Pandemic Taught Me

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

1. I'm not actually an introvert. I'm an ambivert. It took the right set of circumstances (read: a great employer, an awesome boss, and some of the best co-workers a girl could ask for) to make me realize I actually need to people in person. Up until this job (and it happened literally day one), I honestly thought I could survive with socializing strictly via chat/text/email.

And much to my chagrin, I'm getting to enjoy talking on the phone more. I've never been much for small-talk (that's the introvert in me) but this pandemic has even given me a topic I can mindlessly gab about when idle chat is necessary.

2. I thought of myself as relatively cold and cynical but in watching so many people react to the danger of this disease by saying "it only affects old people," "it only affects those who are already ill," it's made me realize I'm a much kinder, more empathetic person than a great many others. (It may also have lowered my tolerance for the selfish folks out there.)

3. I'm much more of an optimist than I thought I was (or, IDK, maybe than I used to be). I have no doubt this is going to be bad but I find it easier to get by thinking "this can't last forever" than when faced with past hardships. I also think this is going to cause a great many changes to the world, to the way we educate, to the way we work ... and (optimism talking) some of these changes are long overdue and decidedly for the better.

4. I am not the same employee at the office as I am at home. And no, I don't mean that I'm more lax at home. I mean that:

  • I have to approach my breaks differently. At the office, I can easily cruise through hours before needing a break--and 15 minutes at one time is great. At home, I need to get up and move around (because if I don't, I'll be much more sedentary), get away from my desk far more often so I've been taking more frequent (but far shorter!) breaks.

  • I'm way more stressed out. I'm more aware of productivity expectations and when I can't meet them as easily (or at all), it freaks me out far more than the rogue bad day in the office does.

  • I'm more competent at what I do than I ever want to give myself credit for. And I hate admitting I don't think I would have realized this while working at the office with the ease of having somebody nearby to ask for help. I've been forced to be more independent and as quarantine progresses, I've learned I'm perfectly capable of handling it and maybe even making good judgment calls. (I'm a Libra--don't make me make decisions!)

5. It's good to give your skin an occasional break from hair removal. (Just ... let's not get into more details on this, lol. And no, the image to the right is not me. Like my mustache would be so neatly groomed!)

6. Nobody's gonna see me but my immediate family and I still deserve to take care of myself. I went and bought myself a bunch of face masks because there is no more ideal time for self-care than when you're stuck at home probably feeling lousy about everything.

In the early days of the quarantine, I thought, "Why bother? Nobody's gonna see me." But in the following weeks, I realized now is the perfect time to "glow up," as they say. I may have put some weight back on during this time at home, but I plan to return to the office with prettier skin than I left it with. (If only the damn buggies that have been chewing up my face at night would STOP!)

None of this is to say I haven't suffered in light of the pandemic but I'm trying very hard to remain focused on silver linings. Some days, I'm more successful than others. How about you?

Are you struggling to adapt to this new world order? Here are resources that may help ease your struggles:

And here's an extensive list of suggestions for keeping yourself entertained:

(Suggestion #2 is to start a blog so here's my addition to that: start a blog that details your exploits going down this list of suggestions!)

Stay healthy, stay physically distancing, and I'll see you back here soon.

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