Lesson #1: I’m not built to work from home
As soon as it’s permitted, I will be back at my desk in our beautiful open office space. Before this, I missed the era when offices were just walls and doors. Concentrating when there’s a flurry of activity all around you is sometimes difficult. But, now? I miss having people talking around me (yes, even when they were a bit too loud).
Lesson #2: This is harder than I thought
When confinement began, we were all in the euphoria of the moment. We were excited to discover how technology could help us keep in touch with one another, all the while trying to work almost like normal. We cooked with our leftovers as if like magic. But at the same time, it was as if we all drank our milkshake of emotions too quickly: Our brains froze a little. Being on the computer all day, notifications dinging repeatedly, trying to juggle projects without forgetting anything, and of course, missing everyone. Your mood definitely takes a hit. That’s normal.
Lesson #3: What we need the most during quarantine isn’t toilet paper
Rather, it’s knowing how to let things go. Nothing will be perfect. Right now, nothing is normal, either. Every time I receive my groceries, it’s like a comedy sketch: “Can I open the door to thank the driver?” “Do I disinfect the bags before taking out my groceries?” “Do I need to wash my eggs?!” It’s a bit crazy. So just do the best you can, breathe deeply, and let it go.
Lesson #4: Try to find a balance
Like a balanced diet. I’m learning to expand its definition. The other night, our dinner consisted of pork chops and potatoes. It was our first barbecue of the year, and I seasoned everything with my favourite spices from Joe Beef. It was delicious. Of course, what was missing was a nice salad. But that night, given we were still waiting on our groceries, it was fine as is. Anyway, I chose to count the lime juice in my margarita as a serving of fruit!
My intention to stay active and in shape during quarantine has also taken a hit. After our busy and surreal days, I have just enough energy to sit on the couch and binge on Netflix.
Lesson #5: Look for sources of inspiration
One of my favourites on Instagram right now: Fabrice Luchini. (I adore Fabrice Luchini!) In his short videos, he reads La Fontaine’s Fables. And it got me thinking of one of the most well-known: The Ant and the Grasshopper. With everything that’s going on, we’ve all become ants; we’ve stocked up, we’re staying home and we’re wary of other people. But we also have to try and be like the grasshopper: Live in the moment, don’t look too far ahead, and also, don’t try and prevent the unpreventable. Oh, and take the time to sing and dance!
I hope to be more like the grasshopper. Like last summer, in my colleague Marisol’s backyard, as seen in the above photo. No screens, sitting together at the same table, enjoying a good meal. We’ll have earned it. We’re almost there.