It has been nearly a year since I started working from home – indefinitely. Yes, indefinitely – I have to say it over and over again so that it sinks in. It has been a year of an emotional rollercoaster, a year that had me become a statistic in the global pandemic, and a year of living in the comfort of my home. Now that South Africa has officially moved to level 1 of lockdown, I have to close that chapter. Many people are eagerly picking out their clothes in preparation for returning to the office, but that isn’t me. I am on the other end of the spectrum, struggling to process my feelings. It is just the office… the same place I have been going to work for two years now. And yet I am overwhelmed.
This post is my way of trying to decipher my feelings and process them before Monday. It’s not a lot of time, but it will have to do.
My anxiety is at an all-time high
The easiest emotion to distinguish at this particular moment is anxiety. It’s strange to feel this way because it is not a new job and my team remains the same, and yet I am anxious. I am anxious about how they will look at me and the comments they will make when they see I have gained 8 kg. I am anxious about how the dynamics will be after being away from the daily quarrels. And I am anxious because I will need to pull out the mask again and pretend to enjoy the human interactions. My team is made of great individuals, but I prefer to be at home in the comfort of my family.
I am afraid of missing out
For the first time since I was 4, I spent several months at home. And I love my home. Not just the building, but the people who actually transform this house into a home. My husband and I started our friendship while living in two different countries. Then we decided to give the long-distance thing a go… Shortly after that, we tied the knot, then went on to start a long-distance marriage. In the three years that we have been married, the only time I have been alone with my husband for several hours was during the pandemic. Other times we would either have our daughter with us or be on a short date night.
This is all relevant because I am finally getting to spend time with my person. We have been having lunch together. We take breaks during the day and just talk about life… but all of that will be ending soon. I have also spent a significant amount of time with my toddler, reading, playing and teaching her. Once I go back to the office, all of that will be limited to the weekend. The times I will be using to recharge and get through my errands…
I’m worried about my blog
I have been quite good about not blogging during working hours. And yet I have had more time on hand to blog. Think about it; not having to shower, run a comb through my kinky hair, pick out clothes or commute meant I could catch up on blog-related work. This time was invaluable to me because it was my time. Time that the nasty pandemic gifted me in consolation. It was the time I used to process my feelings and be productive. And yet all of that has been taken away in just a few sentences on a silly email.
“From Monday we will do away with the split between the teams…” …”Essential staff must report to the office…”
Essential staff… It is strange to think that I have spent my whole life longing to be wanted, and yet being classified as ‘essential’ has me distraught. Those dreaded words have been haunting me for days now.
But going back to the office means I can establish a routine
If I’m being completely objective, I know that going to the office would be best for me in the long run. Putting it quite frankly, my job requires me to interact with other people in my team. Not doing that has been great for my productivity but has definitely limited my growth. And when it comes to discipline, I have been working longer hours than usual, but not actually learning anything new.
I do think waking up at a set time each day will allow me to get back into a proper fitness routine… well, I sure hope so! It has been eight months since I tested positive for CoVID-19 and yet I have struggled to build my fitness back to what it used to be. Most of you are probably going to say that I need to cut myself some slack because CoVID-19 is no joke. But the reason I have not been exercising is that I have been sleeping longer, blogging more, and just eating my problems away.
So how do I really feel about going back to the office?
The honest answer is that I don’t know. I knew this day would eventually come, but I had allowed myself to believe that not thinking about it would keep it distant. And what worries me most is that things will be the same, yet different at the same time. It’s weird to say but so much has changed since March 2020… and yet we are to act as though nothing has changed.
As you can tell, I have mixed emotions right now, so I will spare you the agony of reading my muddled thoughts.
How are you feeling about life returning to normal? Do you think that things will ever be the same?
If you would like to chat about your feeling offline, let’s connect on Instagram.