Stay At Home and Stay Away #personalspace #socialdistancing

I’ve debated whether to post, given the 24/7 cycle of COVID-19 news that makes me want to curl up under a fleecy blanket with Wendy.

Here she is getting ready to nod off, while draped across my legs.

After my entertaining (at times) and insightful (always) experience in the COVID-19 call center (click here and here if you haven’t yet read those stories), I feel rather full up with all things corona. It’s enough that I check my state’s stats twice a day, increasingly alarmed at the rise in positive cases and the obviously ineffective mitigation of community spread. Watching COVID-19 take over Florida is like watching a slow-motion train wreck as it picks up speed.

As an introvert, I’ve come to embrace social distancing. Finally, I can claim my personal space and people cannot judge me for it. It’s been sanctioned by the governor’s Executive Order, no less. I am also working from home now. I was very resistant at first, knowing that the boundary between work and home would become blurred, my and my husband’s privacy invaded by conference calls and Skype meetings.

But aren’t I lucky to be able to work from home? To still have a job? Yes, I am, I am. Will I complain about it? Yes, I will. It’s what I do.

Still, I am grateful for a lot of things right now. I’m deeply grateful for being able to connect with friends and family in multiple ways, to stay in touch and check on each other, to try and shore each other up. I’m also grateful for having a cat who likes to snuggle against my toes while I work.

Still … I plan to do some death-cleaning of my social media accounts. Nothing like a global crisis to make me realize that some of these accounts have gotten a bit out of hand. [Not to worry: If you’re reading this, you’re safe.] Whenever in a crisis, I always want to pare down, live a simpler life, stop trying to be some kind of social (media) butterfly. It’s how I cope. Remember, I’m an introvert.

I’d rather take walks and remind myself that there’s still Nature, although some might say, it is Nature that is doling out this latest public health crisis. Well, Nature has bits of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Fortunately my walks in my neighborhood are graced with plenty of the Good.

On my latest walk around one of our larger stormwater facilities, irises (or Blue Flags as my husbands calls them) were in full display. I considered them a reward since I was picking up trash, and the icing was a lovely white blossom I do not know the name of. A neighbor had the kindness to plant gorgeous Amaryllis next to a sidewalk, making a perfect photo opportunity on my way back to my house. More Amaryllis plants were bordering driveways or houses, too far away for good photos, too close to private property not to be considered trespassing.

As for my writing life, I have the pleasure of announcing a recent publication. You can read about it here, on Merril Smith’s blog, Yesterday and today. Last year Merril sent out a request for essays on sexual harassment so I wrote one and now it’s been published in Sexual Harassment: A Reference Handbook. Dear Reader, I’m even in the Index. Just goes to show that when you are inspired, you must act on it. If I had paused for a second, I wouldn’t be crowing now.

Of course, for any publication to happen again, I need to be writing, and I haven’t really been doing much of that lately. Working at home has only given me an extra hour a day to play with since my commute is now from my bed to my computer in the corner. Still, it’s only been a week and a-half, and I’m just starting to acclimate to my new routine. I will say, though, our cats are getting so spoiled with both me and my husband to pester all day long. And pester they do!

Wendy and I (and Junior and Maxine) hope you all are staying safe and healthy. We will get through this because we must. I send virtual hugs and real love to each and every one of you.

43 thoughts on “Stay At Home and Stay Away #personalspace #socialdistancing

  1. This is a lovely, personal post, Marie. You’re right — this virus stuff isn’t a picnic for anyone, even us introverts. (I of course, take that to an extreme, being agoraphobic.) My first thought was that it would be easy for me, but I quickly found that it brought a whole new set of challenges and anxieties.
    Thanks for a wonderful, mindful post — and for the pictures of the beautiful kitties. Wendy looks very content to have you at home. Hugs on the wing.

  2. Congrats on your story being included in the book, Marie! That’s wonderful. And thanks for sharing the flowers–we all need some extra beauty these days.

  3. Marie, somehow I’ve missed many of your last posts. I’m not getting email updates anymore. I’ll have to figure out why, until then I’ll check back here like today when I thought: I haven’t seen a post from Marie lately. I’m glad I checked:) Love all of the photos. Nature really does buoy hope. Speaking of hope, I hope you and your family are well. Hope your mom is doing ok. I think this self-distancing is hard on all of us, but especially older folks who don’t use social networking as much. Congrats on the publication. I’m not writing too much right now, but have picked up my pen more lately. Take care. PS. The kitties help so much too:)

    • Hi, Cheryl! Yeah, there’s glitches in everything, especially Life itself πŸ˜‰ Thank you for your kind words. I haven’t been writing much either … a side effect of working from home, I think. Counting my blessings, though, and I have quite a few. Hope you and yours are well 😘

  4. I too rather like the social distancing. I told a friend that I hope it continues when all this is settled. Then you can say to a potential pick pocket, Hey, keep your social distancing! πŸ™‚

  5. Great post! What beautiful photos, Marie!!! I love the reminder that life continues. And congrats on the publication of your essay!
    I’ll bet it’s fun to curl up with your kitties.

    • Thank you! Unfortunately I moved my “office” into my bedroom so my husband could have his privacy and so I’m not beset by the kitties so much … although I know they’re happy I’m home all day. I’m more likely to give them wet food for lunch πŸ˜‰

  6. The social distancing hasn’t been too bad for introverts (I’m one too), but the news does make me want to curl up into bed with my cats, too. They’re good stress-busters. Take care and enjoy your Sunday. <3

    • Oh, dear, your comment wound up as Spam and I didn’t see it until today. So sorry! Thank you for coming by and commenting. Yes, cats can be great stress-busters. Mine do their part, especially when they’re asleep on my lap πŸ˜‰ Stay well and stay safe!

  7. Marie – I’m back! HA!
    The nature slide show is always calming for me…thanks! And the name ‘Blue Flags’ for irises is quite unique, I like it!
    Congrats on the publications and like you say – “…when you are inspired, you must act on it. If I had paused for a second, I wouldn’t be crowing now.”
    Now, go forth, cuddle kitties and write on!

  8. I do love iris. I can’t grow the bearded iris here that I adore, but the Japanese iris and Louisiana iris do really well. Congrats on the publication!!

  9. It sounds as if you have some wonderful things in place to help you through this time! May your blessings continue to multiply, even during this strange and ominous time.

      • My folks are on lockdown at their assisted living facility, something which my brother and I much appreciate. No visitors allowed, and they do not leave their rooms. Instead, the staff bring their meals in disposable containers to their rooms with wrapped new plastic utensils, then pick up the items for disposal. Anything dropped off for a resident is wiped down by the staff there. So far, so good!

        • That’s so good to hear. I imagine it’s hard not to have visitors, and I hope they are not feeling too anxious. Still, it’s a relief to know the staff are being very careful.

  10. Good luck with your social media paring down. That’s a good thing to do every so often.

  11. Wendy is the kind of co-worker we all need! I’m glad you’re working from home now, Marie. I’m finishing up my third week telecommuting and I love it! My new mission is to find a work from home job. Not commuting into the city has been wonderful. Congrats on your publication!

    • My son has routinely worked from home one day a week. Even in the office he has been exasperated by the requirement that even trivial comments be sent electronically. He believes this is the beginning of a permanent change. In the mean time, a former student (tenured professor) taught a first online class last term and it went so well is now creating an online degree program.

      • Oh, indeed, I’ve actually been working a bit longer hours because of the additional “documentation” I have to do to “prove” that I’m actually working. And then there’s glitches with Skype meetings and the instant messaging that’s about to drive me up the wall (fortunately only one of my staff has been overusing the IM). An upside is how my yoga studio has been blossoming with offering online live classes. I’m hoping that they’ll keep doing some classes online after we can return to the studio.

    • Thank you, Jill! Wendy is a good distraction. I know that by the time I really settle into working at home, I’ll have to go back. But it won’t be for long (heh heh).

    • Yes, she sleeps with me so when I’m in my room, she often comes in and expects me to drop everything and pay attention to her. And it’s hard not to πŸ˜‰

  12. Good Morning Marie, I think if you don’t mind, I’m going to read and comment on your post in a different (call it a COVID induced shift) manner. Let me explain: I want to enjoy the whole of it, but can’t read it in its entirety all at once…so instead of waiting to comment on ‘the whole’ after reading ‘the whole’ I thought I’d comment as I go along…
    First and foremost this paragraph is simple but freeing to me –

    “But aren’t I lucky to be able to work from home? To still have a job? Yes, I am, I am. Will I complain about it? Yes, I will. It’s what I do.”

    You (as a medical person) of all people understand the details and reality of people dealing with extremely serious issues regarding COVID and yet you ‘allow’ ME to ‘complain’ (via your statement) about things that really aren’t life threatening while in the midst of this life-challenging pandemic!
    Just what the ‘doctor’ ordered.
    Thank you!
    Will return later!

    • Ha ha, I like your approach, Laura! Yes, with all the additional stress people are experiencing, complaining can be therapeutic … in moderation πŸ™‚

  13. I’m glad you are working from home. I’m also glad your governor finally issued a stay at home order. It sorta clears things up a bit. Congratulations on the publication of your essay, “proposition.” Stay safe.

  14. What a lovely post. My husband is sitting up in bed admiring your photos of Wendy. We miss our cat. We cannot grow blue flag iris but the Siberian iris are coming up strong and will begin blooming next month. Daffodils are bright, the salal is already blooming and will give us berries in the summer. We will walk the beach as soon as there is more light. Thank you for this writing.

  15. Hi Marie–thanks for the shout out. Your essay was excellent. Sometimes we need the perspective of time to see such things. I’ve worked from home for so long, I would have a difficult time having to go out to an office. My younger daughter is enjoying teaching from home with her dogs and cat around–and they will miss it when we return to “normal.” Anyway, enjoy the cats and the flowers. I really like those blue irises. Your writing will happen when it happens. 😏

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