I have now been Working from Home for 21 weeks. I love domestic life, but I never imagined I could integrate work and personal life to this degree. I am enjoying it while it lasts.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, the gym closed, so I can sleep an additional 90 minutes every morning. I’ve had a few sleepless nights over Covid, staffing at work, and #BLM. For the most part, my life is so charmed that I rarely experience that level of sleeplessness, so it’s new to me.
Every morning, I read the news on CBC and The Guardian, and do another quick check in the evening. In the context of world events, my cozy life at home is such a juxtaposition.
I had a mental list of all the things I would do if I had time at home – the things I think I should be able to do on weekends, or annually, or “if I ever took a staycation” and caught up on projects. Some are productive and some are frivolous.
So far, I’ve made banana loaf, cinnamon loaf, 2 kinds of muffins and 2 kinds of cookies. Meanwhile, Link made lemon loaves, brownies, and an impressive Black Forest cake – so we had a constant supply of treats!
I bought a new vegan cookbook (from a local independent book shop via curbside pickup) and tried 10 new recipes from it – the first time I have ever worked through a cookbook to that extent.
I’ve read everything from 2 short plays, to an art photo-book, to a re-read of Crime and Punishment. I met my lifetime goal of reading David Copperfield 😊
I am immersing myself in the joy of Black culture. I adjusted my YouTube feed so almost all my recommendations are Black YouTubers. Focusing on my usual viewing topics, I now subscribe to Black-created channels for veganism, bullet journaling, personal finance, reading, minimalism and no-waste, feminism, music, comedy, etc. Loving it!
It is a “thing” to place cute painted stones in public places for people to notice or to take home, especially as a cheer-up during Covid times. I cleaned up the area around our local superbox (neighbourhood shared mailbox). Link and I painted a bunch of cute rocks to leave there. They were all taken within a few days, and I’ve done a new batch to set out.
You know my gardening is basic – my sole aim is to keep all my perennial flowers and shrubs alive. I try a few new ones each year, with mixed success. This year I have been doing some seasonal tasks earlier since I have the time, and I love being outdoors. You might remember one of our trees came down in a hurricane last September. I am still grieving that tree! We had the tree stump and big roots pulled out, and now we’re preparing the spot for a new tree.
7. Identifying plants
I installed the Seek & iNaturalist apps on my phone so I can identify all the local wildflowers, weeds, trees, mushrooms, insects, etc. Now I’m like a one-year-old who can hardly walk 2 metres without stopping to examine something on the ground! At some point I’ll log most of the local species. As an aside, I thought everyone knew the names of roadside and woodland plants and trees, because my parents and grandparents always knew them. I was in my 20s when I found out this was uncommon!
This goes with identifying plants. Two weeks ago, my sister took me on a hike on a trail system we used to visit often when we were kids (in Brownies and Guides). My sister is a geocacher, so she is very familiar with local trails and GPS navigation. It took me a week to recover from that trip (16 km!) but now I’m ready for Hike #2. Meanwhile, Rom and I have been exploring local footpaths every day. Before I met Rom, I didn’t feel comfortable walking these trails alone, or getting my kid lost with me, but it’s better together. The cell signal is good, so we can easily find our way. Our house is on the edge of the suburbs and all around us is vast wilderness (forests, rocky bluffs, streams and lakes). We found a path that will take us to the ocean in just 30 minutes!
9. Using scented products
My workplace is scent-free. Since March, I’ve been using up my Body Shop moisturizers, and burning scented candles at my desk, and the like. It was a great joy for the first month! Still a nice option for home.
I cleaned the house the first week I was off, and I haven’t focused on it since. But I have kept up on little things like wiping cat nose prints from the windows, and cleaning scuff marks from the walls – which I hardly ever think to do.
I have some nice, thick cotton tea towels and handkerchiefs that would always be improved by ironing, which I never do. I enjoyed having them looking perfect one time.
12. File Management
I removed all the unnecessary downloaded files from my home and work computers.
13. Paper decluttering
I sorted excess paper into future scrap paper and shreddables, and I shredded a big stack (i.e. confidential work materials, credit card receipts, etc.)
14. Other decluttering
Wonder of wonders, due to Link’s extended stay, they went through all the books, clothes, sewing and needlework supplies and projects that they’d left at home when they moved out (after many, many nudges). For the last 9 years, I have put off decluttering some categories of household stuff, thinking there wasn’t much point until Link finally did theirs. Now I have no excuse!
15. Online learning
I need to improve my Excel skills from intermediate to advanced for work, and Link wanted to make some progress too, so we took some Excel courses together on LinkedIn Learning (Lynda) which is free through many public library websites.
Since we can’t really go anywhere, I’ve been using up some of my vacation time by taking one day off each week during July and August. I miss travel (and especially miss seeing Rom’s parents), I miss concerts and festivals, and I even miss in-person work meetings. Otherwise, having a home-based life is amazing!
Have you tried any new activities since lockdown, or revived any old hobbies?