I HAVEN'T DONE IT... MAY

See what I did there? It's been a month of coronavirus-enforced nothingness, which on a personal front has been good. On a global front,...

See what I did there? It's been a month of coronavirus-enforced nothingness, which on a personal front has been good. On a global front, the world is an increasingly strange and maddening, even frightening, place.

katiecrackernuts lounge room

While I've been cocooned at home, I've been skimming news. For someone who lives and breathes a news cycle, both professionally and personally, that's been quite the shift, but after an unrelenting few months of notifications from news, emergency and work apps, as well as apps for keeping up with friends and family, I was done with all the inputs and wanted to focus my time on the inputs of a new job.

I started with NSW Government agency Resilience NSW at the end of April, and along with a number of other new staff, started the job remotely. It has consumed my capacity for absorbing anything beyond what's relevant to the task and only this week have I started turning back on notifications for news and other apps: and what, quite frankly, an awful week to do so. The worst of it, it's not just this week, is it, and it's not just in America?

So with a reentry into life beyond my bubble, I'm also ready for a cautious reentry into the office and limits of my suburb. Maybe next month I'll have done a little more.

I WENT TO... the city, just four days this past month. I am a long-haul commuter, travelling by train four hours a day to get to work. COVID-19 has meant I've ditched the train travel and replaced those four hours with yoga in the morning, a leisurely breakfast and cups of tea with my partner before work, a coffee run to the local cafe where other locals and I chatter about our days and muse over the world we'll re-enter at the end of lock-down. I walk for an hour in the afternoon and potter around in the garden or pick up a knitting project in the evenings. It's been lovely.

But, with a new job comes a desire to meet your colleagues and get to know them, and them you. Remote working isn't an easy environment for a new team to 'form, storm, norm and perform', and it's going to take a lot longer than if we were in the office.

The four precious days I spent in the office were, even with a commute, a cautiously navigated treat.

The first week I went in, I was careful to touch nothing other than my own personal effects. I washed my hands every hour and showered as soon as I arrived home. The second week was much the same, but with more commuting and more in the office it's easy to become complacent.

With a long weekend around the corner, we've got to pull ourselves together and remember those early days and weeks of lock down. No one wants to go back there, and no one wants to see those case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths rise.

I ATE... If I am suffering any COVID-19 FOGO (Fear of Going Out), it's related to eating out. I want nothing more than to casually walk into a cafe, order a coffee, and sit down for a moment or two. I keep clear of malls and do the groceries when there are fewer people, so the idea of being seated with cups, cutlery and food that I've had no hygiene control over is my weird FOGO block.

I did make a fabulous rhubarb and buttermilk cake at home though.

I OP SHOPPED... Every time I pass my local Vinnies store, its shopfront window is a time capsule for the start of lock-down. The dummies are dressed in summer clothes, abandoned mid-March before the autumn and now winter stock could be brought out from storage.

Op shops are rolling out staggered openings across the state. My favourite local Salvos store has reopened and I'll be paying a visit over the coming long weekend.

I READ... I downloaded the library app Borrow Box and have been borrowing audio books to listen to while pottering around the house and garden. I've listened to Helen Garner's The Spare Room and tried a couple of other title on for size, returning books through the app if I can't get into them.

I MADE... I have a pretty intense colour knitting project on the go. I'm determined not to pick something else up until it's finished. We'll see how committed I was to that this time next month.

I LISTENED TO... Aside from the audio books, I've been listening to ABC RN's The History Listen, and craft podcast, Close Knit. Along with video conferencing, I'm a tad over podcasts.

I FOUND ONLINE...

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2 comments

  1. Hi Katie, goodness you have a long work commute. I suppose like all things, it becomes part of your routine. I can imagine that working from home is very different for you. FOGO is real, as much as I love cafes I am still nervous too. Most of our local cafes are still takeaway only which is fine, but in this freezing weather sometimes it would be nice to sit down just for 5 minutes. Video conferencing is a strange this isn't it? I just cannot get used to the delay, no matter how hard I try, it makes me awkward. I love this glimpse of your home, it looks calm, warm and comfortable. x

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    1. It is a long commute, but I am one of thousands who do it every day, and who are all rejoicing in being told to work from home. Home has been quite the salve, and we are lucky to have a warm, comfy, calm place to ride this one out.

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