This isn’t normal… Part 2

I have been working from home for two whole months. As I mentioned in Part 1, there are a lot of things I don’t mind about working from home and staying in a lot more because of the COVID-19 restrictions, although there are things I miss. I am not alone, and I know this from reading articles about the positive habits people are cultivating during this odd time. From drinking more water, getting more sleep and more exercise, baking, and spending more time with family, some people are taking advantage of new opportunities for self-care. When life gives you lemons…
 

I am no different. I get to see my husband and my cats at different times during the day on my work breaks when I am not half awake or exhausted, which makes me smile. I’ve managed to lose a few pounds from eating what is available at home rather supplementing with whatever snacks I stop off for to get me through a stressful day. Most of days are less stressful simply without the commute. There is less of a feeling that we need to go somewhere or do something, only to get there and be disappoint or wishing we had stayed home.

The things that stress me now are what the future will look like. It’s hard to fathom going to a crowded restaurant, getting on a full plane, or grabbing food at a public place that has been touched and breathed on by other people. I realize this is controversial territory, especially in the midst of the everyone must wear a mask/masks are an infringement on my freedom argument that is raging throughout the United States right now. 

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Photo by Pedro Figueras on Pexels.com

I know that this whole situation is experienced differently by each and every person. Some people have lost everything, be it a dream, a home, a business, the safety of being at school or work away from someone who causes them stress or home, opportunities, time with family and friends, and a myriad of things I’m not thinking of. I read more news than the average person, and it is absolutely heartbreaking to read people’s stories of loss, trauma, and devastation. Some people have created opportunities in the midst of chaos, while others have just adapted and are living one day at a time. The scary thing is that no one knows where this goes or how it ends. Will the COVID-19 virus go away, or be around in some form for the foreseeable future? Will we all be vaccinated by force or shunned by society if we don’t get vaccinated? Will the economy continue to collapse or will it recover? Will there be a 2020 Presidential election? Will life ever be so-called “normal” ever again? Your guess is as good as mine.

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Photo by Lynnelle Richardson on Pexels.com

For now, I am happy to see my family from time to time via ZOOM, in short, manageable doses. I enjoy leisurely walks around my neighborhood. I cherish the painstaking work my husband does on our yard while I help collect rocks, gather supplies, and move bags of mulch and soil so we can have a garden. As anxiety-ridden as I get sometimes, I try to focus on now instead of worrying about if I will ever be able to travel again, or if the world will break out in war over tariffs or the origins of the Coronavirus. Will we ever get to see live music again? Will we ever get to watch professional baseball again?

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Photo by Chrellie at Guaranteed Rate Field (formerly U.S. Cellular Field) in Chicago, IL

I can’t spent too much time worrying about these things because the information available causes more confusion than clarity, no matter the sources you read. I try to remain hopeful, and I try to be mindful of the world around me. I’m not without challenges or struggles, but I am much luckier than some. I hope the best for us all.

This isn’t normal…

Part of me loves being at home everyday. I get up to eat, put on some comfy clothes, turn on the internet, fire up the laptop and ta-da, I’m at work.

Prior to the pandemic, I got up at 6AM or before, allowed time to fight the morning rush and, just maybe, make it to work by 8:30AM. I dreaded the obligatory “Good Morning”, but would chat with co-workers after getting settled. Some meetings would drag on, others enjoyable. I had the freedom to take the long route to the ladies’ room, stop at the drop and chat with workers in other units.

Now I have the freedom to pet my cats, meetings are on Skype, or ZOOM, or TEAMS, while I look out my front window. I try to listen to my podcasts while I work on projects or data analysis, but they just don’t sound the same without the sound of cars in the background. I get to eat at my kitchen table, but it doesn’t really feel like Me-time the way my lunch break used to, when I could sit somewhere anonymously or I would have the occasional lunch with a friend.

Part of me loves the distance and perceived independence of working from home. But the other part of me that dislikes the stupidity of other rush hour drivers, misses driving my car while listening to podcasts and playlists. Kind of like doing my work yet laughing at a co-worker’s comment, or the shared dread of yet another meeting in real time. 🤦‍♀️🤣🤬

It’s funny that you can miss so many things with which you have a conflicted relationship.

Creating more gun free zones is not the answer…

I write this as I am listening to part of the listening session with President Trump and the students from Florida who survived the school shooting. I feel for the families. I feel for the parents. I feel for the teachers and other staff  who lived through that school shooting.  I cannot imagine their pain and sadness.

I am not a parent, but I am a Case Manager in Austin, TX who visits schools in Austin regularly. The security at these schools varies and is even inconsistent from visit to visit. Some schools buzz you in after asking the reason for your visit via intercom, others leave the main door open and you sign in at a desk if someone if sitting at the desk.  In the past two years, I have visited 15 different schools, Middle Schools and High Schools, in the greater Austin area and none of them have metal detectors. Some of the schools  have school district police officers on campus full-time,  but  the campuses are large and have several buildings, which might be hard for one or two officers to monitor or intervene in a crisis.

I am fully aware of the number of school shootings that have happened in the U.S. in the past 20 years. The best assessment of what would begin to fix the problems of youth, school violence, and society at large was written by a teacher. If you have not seen this posting, I would encourage you to read it. I would 100% agree with this teacher. Many active shooter situations happen in gun-free zones, obviously restricting guns doesn’t help or keep people safe. Look at the restrictive gun laws that Chicago has had for years, and continues to have, even after the city and the state of Illinois’ restrictive hand gun/concealed carry laws were deemed unconstitutional and were forcibly updated. BAD PEOPLE WILL DO BAD THINGS!!!

If we look at the violent means by which people are murdered throughout the world and in the U.S., should we ban box trucks? Because terrorists killed people with box trucks.  Should we ban knives? Because knives are used to massacre people in places where guns are banned. Should we ban cars because people kill other people by driving recklessly or while intoxicated? YOU CAN”T BAN EVIL. I understand that we all get desperate when something awful beyond all comprehension happens, but somethings are beyond our control. They are beyond law enforcement’s control. They are beyond politicians control.

I pray for the healing of those families in Florida, and I pray that rash decisions are not made by politicians or by President Trump to further restrict the rights and freedoms of good, decent, law abiding people because of sick and evil people who will do harm by any means they can find.

Image courtesy of pexels.com / gratisography

Happy Thanksgiving!

Boyfriend and I will spend Thanksgiving with our cat in our new home. It will be just the three of us and we will eat Salmon rather than turkey.  I am looking forward to a few days of relaxation, hopefully to blog a little as well, as Boyfriend and I have continued to settle in.

For the most part, Thanksgiving will be like many other weekend days, but it also gets me thinking. Times are changing, along with society, its view, and the way of life in America. I am thankful to be an American and thankful that I  live in this country, while I know people who no longer share these feelings. I am thankful that I still have freedom of speech, at least for now, and that I can browse the internet for REAL information. I am thankful that we can express our feelings, and our disagreements, even the opinions with which I disagree.gold-happy-thanksgiving-typography-variation-2

On a personal level, I am thankful for our new home. I am thankful for the wonderful partnership Boyfriend and I have, and I am thankful for our sweet cat. I hope that Thanksgiving can come and go without fanfare, violence, or  other types of chaos. I hope that Americans will think about what Thanksgiving is supposed to be about, and that they will appreciate the freedoms we have.

Divide…

In response to the Daily Prompt, “Divide“:

There are divides everywhere, from the boundaries of your home or apartment, to the lines dividing the roads, the oceans, rivers, and streams that divide land and continents, to the languages, cultures, religions, and other ideaologies that divide people in their minds and hearts. In the U.S., many say that we are a nation divided.

courtesy of clipart/finao123
courtesy of clipart/finao123

Families can be divided, by divorce, opinions, age, and location. My family is divided in many ways, which is why I can relate. I am divided from my family by opinions and knowledge. They don’t agree with me at all politically or in regard to other topics, and even my parents and brother differ. As I have written, I am aware of some of the truths behind what is really going on in the world, which has changed my view on things. I like to learn and know the truth, I like to read and research and, while I once cringed and shied away from my newfound knowledge, it has become a hobby and a passion despite the difficulty that comes with it. It is hard to digest the truth behind history and current events and to realize that the powers that be don’t have our best interests at heart, and my family would rather not know, or think my ideas are crazy. My mother listens and sometimes enjoys a polite exchange of ideas, but often has trouble wrapping her mind around somethings. It sometimes feels like I am being humored. The funny thing is that my parents are very divided as well, and I have to stay out of their arguments/conversations so I don’t add to or become involved in their divide, even after over forty years of marriage.

This causes a divide because my family and I avoid certain topics, and I am reluctant to share things that I have learned that I find interesting. I also feel the divide with many people I encounter, whether at work or in casual settings, because you are on a side and they are on a side… there is no consideration for the other person making sense and providing you an opportunity to grow, even if you don’t agree with them. Boyfriend and I were pleasantly surprised recently when we were eating at one of our frequent breakfast spots and we struck up a conversation with another customer at the breakfast bar. It was wonderful to meet someone who could share his ideas and teach us something while relating to our thoughts and ideas.

Courtesy of clipart/GDJ
Courtesy of clipart/GDJ

There is a constant divide due to the idea that “if you’re not with us, you’re against us,” even if someone has feelings about laws that are not being enforced or they have an opinion based on a religious belief. The person who is deemed wrong is just not entitled to their opinion. Laws, local, statewide, nationally and those in the U.S. Constitution  exist for a reason – to provide order to society. Every society has laws. Ultimately, though I am not in favor of overregulation, micromanaging, censorship, and constant punitive action.

I believe that freedom, acknowledgement of natural rights, and a policy of live and let live allows for less of a divide. We are members of the human race, with thoughts, feelings, needs and wants. I am a member of my family, whom I love as much as a disagree with them, and we are all members of a larger family. We need to stop being so offended and starting listening to each other.

© 2016 blogdaysofchrell