It's A Beautiful Day To Be Kind To Yourself.
Sweethearts! As we near the end of February, marching towards the one year anniversary of this pandemic, I hope everyone is doing what they can to take care of themselves. I’ve had numerous conversations with colleagues over the last few days about the oppressive burnout we’re feeling. Now, I know my colleagues and I are lucky to have our health and to have jobs, and lucky to have jobs that allow us to stay home (re: a story below, please give vaccines to everyone else before me. I AM FINE and angry with those skipping the line.) but it’s been tough.
But folks are on edge, nerves are frayed. Whereas we were once all hyper-attuned to one another’s mental health when this all started happening, *this* is now normal, and the fact that we’re all expected to be fine and keep on chugging along is… exhausting. For me, my ability to focus has been severely compromised. I find myself needing to stand up and pace because words on the screen start swimming before my eyes, with no meaning. I re-read IMs three times. I forget emails I received the day before. I find pulling together cohesive thoughts longer than a paragraph daunting. Hell, I even get stressed thinking about how I have nothing witty or entertaining to say in this here Missive.
I don’t know the answer, I just know that I’m feeling it, and I imagine you are as well. I saw a tweet yesterday with someone asking if we could please normalize those who are “thriving” during the pandemic. And if that’s the case for you, I am so happy for you! But it’s not me, and it’s not many of the folks I talk to on a daily basis.
I think about how lonely I was living in New York, ironic because I was felt most isolated when packed in a subway car, crushed together with hundreds of silent strangers. The lack of eye contact got me every time - you could be shoulder-to-shoulder with a crowd, but no one would look you in the eye, acknowledge that you were there and indeed a human. Now, I’m sometimes on six hours of video calls a day, so at least I get to see the smiling faces of my colleagues, take some time to catch up on their weekends, learn that they’ve resurrected their baking habit, etc. But no real eye contact. I’ve been feeling that a lot lately.
So remember that it’s ok to be sad or anxious or worried right now. And even if everyone else is projecting normalcy, it’s impossible to know what’s actually in their hearts. You’ve got this, however you need to be.
And please wish my fabulous father Rob a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Here’s some internet for ya!
I’ve been a member at boutique “concierge” medical chain One Medical since 2009, have been COVID-tested there a few times in the past year, and was quite excited that I might be able to get my vaccine at my location down the street. But guess what, now One Medical Faces Accusations Of Giving COVID-19 Vaccines To Ineligible People and 3 Bay Area counties halt COVID vaccine supply to One Medical, saying it let people cut the line And frankly, now I’m looking for a new primary care office because I’m angry about it. Please send recommendations my way. (NPR / San Francisco Chronicle).
Go home, robot butler, you’re acting “drunk”: iRobot says it’ll be a few weeks until it can clean up its latest Roomba software update mess. (The Verge, h/t Mum)
I hate this debate and ascribe to what the author of this piece Margaret Sullivan said on Twitter when someone accused her of wanting to cancel everyone: “Just don’t use the one word. Can you manage that?” Some journalists are debating when it’s okay to use the n-word. But this one should be easy. (The Washington Post)
Beto O’Rourke is a lovely human and talented politician and I am glad that his good works during the Texas weather crisis are making him once-again politically “viable”: Texas disaster puts Beto O’Rourke back in business (POLITICO)
And finally, this is genuinely heartwarming and I hope becomes a living room comedy in the future: A delivery driver got stuck in a client’s driveway during the Texas storm. The couple took her in for five days. (Washington Post)
You’re lovely. Keep going.