Quarantine: Looming Productivity

As far as I’ve seen, there are two dominant lines of thought when it comes to quarantine.

There’s the somewhat aggressive: if you aren’t productive and emerge from this with a side hustle, some new skills, and successfully started those plans/dreams you’ve been putting off then the problem has always been you. And then the more lax: you just have to take it day by day; it’s okay not to put pressure on yourself with everything going on so long as you manage to stay afloat.

Of the two I outwardly agree with the latter. I mean, everyone is going to react to quarantine differently and there are so many factors playing into it. There’s the diminished human contact, anxieties over livelihood/health/mortality of yourself and others, etc. It just seems strange in my opinion to put out a mindset telling others how they should manage their “newly found time”. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand this mindset might work for some and more power to them- I simply feel it creates a subtext of pressure almost.

Having said this, initially I was handling quarantine fine- the same way I’m sure plenty of others were. I was still at home, harassing my mom, hanging with my dogs, and binge watching television. My hours were cut, but I was just happy to still have a job.

As time went on; however, I moved out (great timing, I know) and then it really started to sink in.

Now, this isn’t a complaint of having to be cooped up at home with all my amenities or anything like that. I’ll admit working from home with just your cat all day and no one else around is…lonely to say the least, but at least my partner stays on weekends plus I call people…A LOT. On the contrary, this has more to do with that first mindset I mentioned which could easily be just as annoying.

I apologize in advance.

You see, for a long time I’ve wanted to write and on the surface a quarantine seems like the perfect time, am I right? Well I thought so until I realized I have no real muse for anything- and it sucks. I feel like I’m wasting an opportunity to really power through getting some things rolling. Could this also be rooted in insecurities revolving around my writing? Yes and thank you for calling it out, but we shan’t be going into it today.

On one hand I’ve spent my time setting up my new place and taking over my mom’s plants (I’m up to seventeen, guys…help). On the other hand I’m trying not to think about how I’m going to manage expenses with such a cut in hours. On the third hand I’ve discovered the show Portlandia and it’s doing real wonders for me (highly recommend).

I suppose the real trouble is since I’m working from home the option to write is literally always right in front of me (just staring me in the face asking why I’m not doing anything). Truth be told, the only real step I’ve taken so far is to re-signup for Tumblr.

Anyway, this was definitely a weird rant of a post and if you made it this far then hopefully I made some sort of sense.

I hope everyone manages to stay safe, not go too stir crazy and finds something to brighten their days.

Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

A First: My Own Place

Sitting in my very first place having my first solo meal…I have to admit it’s kind of surreal.

I’ve had solo meals while living away from home in the past, but I was always in student housing which isn’t exactly ‘being on your own’ if you know what I mean. This time is an entirely different animal though. I’m on a lease, the internet is in my name, I have the numbers of both our landlord and handyman, AND I’m registered with the HOA.

It’s full on adulting time. Out of the nest. And it didn’t hit me until I started reheating my dinner.

My lovely partner’d found reasons to stay every night since the move in, but ultimately had to go, thus leaving me to my first night alone.

I keep looking back to my cat sleeping on a recliner I managed to snag and every time he’s still there- snoozing away. He’s not going anywhere because it’s just us. Even after I finish eating and cleaning he only perks up at the sound of dishes being put away. When I head to bed he trots along, hopping up to take my partner’s side. His head is snuggled against my side as I type with his little snores filling our space.

His first few days were a bit stressful, but he finally seems at ease. So at ease in fact, that he’s gone back to sleeping perpendicular (special thank you to the power of foresight for upgrading to a larger bed).

All in all it’s a new chapter and while it may not be starting in the best of global circumstances…it’s starting all the same and it’s mine.

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

Working from Home: Back to the Cave!

What. A. Day.

Where do I even begin on this…? I guess we’ll take it back twenty four hours when I got the amazing news that: my hours were being bumped up by four (I’m truly happy and not being sarcastic); my company is buying out my contract thus making me permanent; AND starting today I was allowed back in the office!

Side Note: I’d been working at home for almost three weeks at this point since returning from Washington State mid March.

Needless to say I was PUMPED this morning. I might have been a little slow to rise, but I once I was up I kicked it into high gear. I put on some work clothes, took my cat to his veterinary appointment, then went off to work with my box of supplies and everything. When I got there my coworkers welcomed me back and caught me up to speed with the organized chaos which had become my desk. I met with one of head bosses to get an update on my employment; made sure my pay wouldn’t be taking a cut, then filled out the I-9 and W-4. I was able to fall right back in the groove while clearing the build up on my desk…the day was just flying by and I was feeling not only super productive, but also had peace of mind at being outside house for a bit.

Then the other shoe dropped.

Without giving out too many details I’ll sum it up by saying other head boss noticed my presence and immediately took issue with it. Within twenty minutes of him spotting me I was dismissed for the day to work from home until…who really knows. I said okay, let the other head boss know, then said my goodbyes before heading back on home.

Do I understand the concern? Of course I do which is why I wasn’t trying to plant my feet and say “I feel fine and should be allowed to stay“. Have I already quarantined for well past the recommended fourteen days? Yes. Has anyone who lives with me shown any symptoms? No. Does any of that really matter? I don’t necessarily think so.

Things are hectic right now and to me it would not only be selfish to argue, but unnecessary since I already have everything I need to work from home. If anything I think I was just kind of bewildered by the situation because of the spike in tension when I thought it had been a communal decision.

Weeelp. Back to working from home and listening to deep dive videos on YouTube!

Photo by Djurdjica Boskovic on Unsplash
P.S. I don’t drink coffee, BUT I couldn’t pass up the cool coaster in this picture!

Dungeons & Dragons: A First

Disclaimer: Technically, this is not my first crack at DnD. A few years back I tried with a couple friends who I’m sure would be very quick to agree when I say I wasn’t that into it. I created the character and everything, but when it came time to sit down I just didn’t have the confidence to really roleplay…BUT fast forward to being on quarantine and when my partner asked if I wanted to join his friends’ campaign- I thought: why the hell not?

And with that out of the way let’s jump right in!


PREPARATION

So the first step was to create a character. We used DnD Beyond to get it sorted which was perfect for a beginner since it really takes you through the steps and explains everything while also offering links, so you can open a bunch of tabs on the lore (i may or may not have done this). For those of you don’t know; there are so many freaking combinations you can do in this game it’s insane, but I eventually decided on an Air Genasi Rogue. If you were to ask why I chose that particular race and class then you’d be waiting a while because I haven’t a clue haha.

For some reason I guess I thought we created out character’s backstory as we went through the campaign (don’t ask me why I thought this) and I was dead wrong. The DM informed us we needed to have the backstory fleshed out before game play which meant I went RIGHT back to DnD Beyond to learn more about the Air Genasi!

Side Note: just because you’ve selected your items does not mean they are equipped! make sure to equip!!!


GAME PLAY

In my experience, things tend to be slow to start when everyone is trying to find their groove and I’d say it was certainly true in this instance on my part. It was really cool to hear how everyone was getting into their characters to the point where I was so enthralled I actually forgot to introduce myself!

We played for roughly three and half hours which is far more than I was expecting, but now I can see how one session can go on for way longer. I mean, you just get so caught up in what’s going on that unless you experience burnout then what’s to stop you? Now I for one DO experience burn out (as I learned this past Saturday), so when the DM felt we reached a good stopping point I was internally grateful. This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy myself though. We killed some orcs; I was able to negotiate for more gold; everyone was hilarious…It was solid.

My only real concern is I’m not as up to par as the others with verbal role playing which I already saw coming and am confident will kind of dissipate the longer we go. The other thing I think held it back a bit was; we’re using a group audio to chat and there are some minor bugs which can make it difficult to catch everything someone says/hear those who talk a bit quietly/the cutting out when more than one person talks at once. None of these things are that big a deal in my opinion since we managed pretty well, but I would say if anyone is doing a remote campaign then those would be the audio bugs to lookout for.

All in all though I’m really curious to see how things progress in the campaign since the DM said we’d already wildly flipped the script of what he expected us to do!

P.S. The way the dice determine everything in the game is honestly my favorite part. I don’t know if it’s because we’re using a virtual dice roller and I’m having to “beseech” the algorithm or what- but I love it.

Photo by Alperen Yazgı on Unsplash