When the war is over

I miss things. I miss having a drink at a pub or bar or going out for dinner. I miss the footy. I miss the random conversations and interactions. I miss women. I miss being spontaneous and doing things on a whim. I miss the CBD, though not completely, and the hustle and activity of it. I miss my friends.

There’s a lot of things I don’t miss. I don’t miss the morning train or the feeling of being on a programmed routine. I don’t miss the dull meetings (though I now have frustrating online meetings instead). I don’t miss the general rush. I don’t miss dressing up for work, or the ironing that goes with it. I don’t miss the meaningless expense. I don’t miss the crush.

I like how this whole thing has opened up conversation, even if we do it remotely now. I like how each morning now I wake up and can spend a civilised hour catching up on the news and reading instead of getting ready and travelling to work. I like being close to Rigby, and he likes it too.

Unlike a lot, I’m thriving in this period of isolation. It’s a long way from ideal, and I pointed out what I’m missing, but when it all ends, there’ll be things I’ll be sad to leave behind. If some are struggling now, I think many others have gained a new appreciation of what they can do. As I keep saying, when we go back, it’ll be different, if only for the fact that we’ll know the difference.

I could handle working from home much more regularly once we return. For me, the ideal split would be two days in the office and three at home each week. You need to get to the office sometimes. You need the face to face occasionally, and to do things with others. And it’s good to get out, to mix it with society. You need the hustle, need to go out and get coffee or maybe a drink after work. You need the vibe around you – just not every day.

What I’ve found in this period is that I work very effectively from home. I sort of knew that before when I did consulting, but it was never as full-on as this. I’m much more productive, and it’s a lot easier because I’m already home.

One of the things I’ve loved about this is that I’m eating properly. Real meals, and not the snacks I’d pick up working. I have time to plan and prepare ambitious meals, whereas before it was always a rush at the end of the day to get something ready. I love food, I love cooking, and so this is a real win – even if it means now that I’m eating too much. I love easing into the day as I do, and it feels healthy for a rounded mind. I’m not always on the go – I have time to slow and even pause. I’ve complained of weariness, and with good cause, but it occurred to me earlier today that I feel generally more healthy. Everything seems to be functioning as it should do.

Ideally, the cafes would be open. That’s a great way to break up a day working from home – stepping to get a late breakfast or working on wi-fi from a cafe for an hour or so. And then, at the end of a productive day, popping up the road to a wine bar. That will come, but for now, I make do with a glass of wine or G&T once 5 o’clock ticks over (12 mins away).

I think there’s an acceptance that work will be different after this for the likes of me. This has been an effective POC – we’ve done the hard work, we’ve set-up the systems, we’ve adjusted to the reality. From here, once life returns to some semblance of what used to be called normal, then it will be a doddle. I hope so, anyway.

And I mentioned, I love how so many minds have been opened by this situation. I used to lament the tedious and predictable conversation of days past, but the constraints that kept conversation dull have been busted wide open. We’ve been made to consider many unlikely possibilities, and the future remains unclear – but, here in Oz, at least, I think there’s some positivity about that as much as there is curiosity.

There’s a lot more, of course, and I suspect much will slide back into familiar routines when this is all over. But hopefully, we learn something too, and even grow a little.

 

 

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