One year ago today was my first day working from home due to the pandemic.
I remember my final day in the office like it happened yesterday. There were hushed conversations in conference rooms, cubicles, and the office kitchen in which we all wondered how serious things were – and how serious they might become.
We had no idea what we were in store for.
One by one, as individuals who tended to work earlier in the day left for home, I said hopeful, “see you in a month” farewells, as we were all under the impression that we could come back to the office in a month. I remarked to one colleague, who is a close friend outside of work, that I had a feeling we’d all be grateful to come back and that we’d marvel in being able to be in close proximity to one another again.
I knew then that this was the start of something unlike anything most of the world had faced before, and I even documented the strangeness of it all by taking one last selfie at my cubicle (to be fair, I’d spent my lunch break at the hairdresser’s, so my hair was on point and IMHO warranted a selfie).
That would be my final selfie, for certain, in that office. Because just five months later we’d all return to it one last time in small groups to pack up our desks, as our company decided to break the lease and save money on office space.
So I’ve worked from home for a year, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. I’ve got so many emotions tied to that: gratitude, sadness, loneliness, anger, resentment, wistfulness…
Let me go over the positives of working from home: I’m so grateful for my job and for how deftly my colleagues and I got used to full-time remote work. Several aspects of life are made easier by working from home, such as managing my diabetes (for example, if I ever experience a pod failure, I have every and any back-up supplies I could need at home as opposed to my desk drawers, which weren’t always stocked up all the way). I save time on a commute which allows me to fit in more tasks at the start and end of my day, and honestly, working from home full-time gave me the ability to get a puppy and feel confident knowing that I would be around to take care of her.
But there are some negatives; mainly, I miss the office camaraderie like crazy. I’m lucky enough to work with a group of people that I truly enjoy being around, so it’s been tough to maintain my connections with them virtually. And truthfully, I get lonely in my condo. Going into the office five days a week not only ensured I had contact with other humans, but it also guaranteed that I’d actually leave my home during the week. I’ve never felt so sheltered in my life, and it’s a weird feeling.
I guess that if I’ve learned anything in the last 365 days, it’s how to be adaptable. Honestly, not to connect it back to diabetes – okay but this is what my blog’s about so that’s to be expected – but it’s a lot like figuring out how to deal with change as it inevitably happens. Over the years, I’ve taught myself what to do when lows and highs happen, and how to manage certain situations if and when they occur in my diabetes life. And that’s what’s happened in this last year: a whole lot of learning how to handle life’s curveballs, in general, along with the ones that diabetes tosses my way.