I am still unsettled. I thought I might feel better as this pandemic progressed, but now five weeks into staying at home to flatten the curve, I still feel as if I could always use a few good deep breaths.
This week our governor extended our stay-at-home order to May 26. When I heard it, I felt a mix of emotions. I felt a little down because it meant life as I expected it would not be returning for another five weeks. But I also felt a little relief. At least we had a deadline to look forward to.
We were halfway through. It made me think about what I had done in the first half of being at home. And what I might do in the next.
What Have I Been Doing While Safer at Home?
While it’s been hard to concentrate, I have “accomplished” a few things in the weeks since my husband and I have been spending all of our time at home.
I read the following books:
- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
- The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father by Kao Kalia Yang
- Ready, Set, Write: A Guide to Creative Writing by Melissa Donavan
- Am currently reading Theft by Finding by David Sedaris
I also submitted my writing four times, which looks to be about standard for a normal month’s time for me.
Feeling Bad About a Lack of “Productive” Time
But still, I was feeling a little bad. As if there was something more I should be doing with this time at home. It really hit me this morning when I received my weekly report from Rescue Time.
I use Rescue Time to keep track of my activities while using my laptop. It gives you a record of how long you spend on certain types of sites such as News, Social Media, and also while using other applications like Microsoft Word. You can then determine, which activity is “productive” and it gives you reports of your productive time versus unproductive time based on how you characterize certain sites and activities.
For me, productive time is that spent in Word, writing, or in Excel, tracking my submissions. I also count research as productive. Social media sites, while sometimes helpful, are deemed unproductive, since I tend to waste a lot of time there.
I get a report of my activity each Sunday morning, and today it showed I had only spent half my time being productive. That made me feel bad. But, after looking a little closer, I noticed I had only spent a few hours on my laptop. So maybe that was good. (I don’t use Rescue Time on my tablet or phone).
When I investigated a little deeper, looking at my reports for the past five weeks, I felt a little better. My productivity pulse during “safer at home” has ebbed and flowed. Some weeks I have spent a lot of time on my computer, and been very productive. Others, I’ve spent a lot of time on my computer and been unproductive. Sometimes I’ve spent time on social media and others doing more “productive” tasks.
And I’m going to say that’s okay. I have never lived through a pandemic before, and likely you have never either. So, give yourself a break, and do what you need to. Ride the flow.