What an odd time in our lives.
We’re creeping in on the 2-month mark since the US first started taking the Coronavirus pandemic somewhat seriously. For nearly two weeks, I’ve been working from home. My laptop, desktop monitor, design gear and whiteboard have all been reconfigured across the desk in our basement. Each day, I call into a handful of video meetings with coworkers. Then, use the time in between to rapid-fire through a laundry list of projects that need attention.
Having spent about 3 years as a freelancer and self-employed consultant, I am used to this life. The lack of socialization doesn’t bother me much. My productivity skyrockets and, generally, I really love the flexibility in work-life balance that comes with remote work. But – holy cow – I know that’s not the norm for a lot of people.
My social feeds have been loaded with stress, complaints and panic alongside pictures of homeschooling, playing outside and snuggling kids. It continues to emphasize to me that, even in the midst of chaos, Americans are wired for work.
We’re wired to put the projects first. We’re wired to feel guilty if we can’t balance the priorities or give our best effort. We’re wired to ignore the distractions. Illness? Noise? International crisis? No worries – we can still get the work done.
The problem with this is that working from home is messy. It demands flexibility. It requires you to give yourself grace and forgiveness. The day will not go as planned. Distractions will be faced. Noise will be made. The world will still be collapsing around us.
How do you face this daily chaos routine? How do you get up every single morning and do it again?
The Crossley’s moved from the heart of Kansas City to rural Northeast Kansas just a few short months ago. The timing was weirdly perfect given that we’re now “trapped” in the most beautiful timber. Every morning, I hear the geese honk before sending the dogs out for their morning jaunt. Our baby cow Chuck bellows from the pole barn – crying for his bottled meals. The chicks greet us in the garage on the way to the greenhouse to water the garden starts.
Fresh air blows across the hills all day long. I can escape to the trails Aaron built in the woods. Or, I can rock my baby on the deck overlooking the backyard. I can fish in the pond. I can work in the wood shop. I can inch closer to a finished greenhouse remodel. I can paint the doors. I can demolish the first floor. I can clean our make-shift den.
We have an abundance of life and activity at a time when most of the world we know is complaining that they are bored.
Plus, in this time, I am closer than ever with my son.
I’m not afraid to admit that I had the hardest time leaving him to return to work in the dead of Winter. Think post-partum depression meets Winter blues. I was miserable leaving my baby each morning. I was even more miserable going to bed each night knowing I would have to do it again the next day.
Quarantine – in the weirdest of ways – has given me more time with Aaron and Isai both. Since I don’t need to rush out of the house for a drive into the city each morning – we’re now able to rock in our chair, watch the morning newscast and enjoy coffee and breakfast bottles at our leisure. Through the day, I get to pick my baby up from his nap, steal his sleepy snuggles and show him the magic of his toy collection. Aaron and I get to joke about the ridiculousness of our lives right now, plan our farm projects and see each other tackle incredible ideas we’ve discussed. We’ve gotten to introduce Isai to baby food. We’ve watched as he has attempted – day after day – to crawl. He hasn’t done it yet, but I’m certain we won’t miss it when he does.
We video chat with our families. We text and video chat with our friends. Two full years at the heart of the city, surrounded by friends in every direction and we never communicated as clearly with our families, friends or each other as we do now.
This is insane. There is no doubt about that.
But, I’m grateful.
I’m grateful for the farm. I’m grateful for all of the friends, family and amazing people it has brought back into our lives. I’m grateful for random pop-ins…and while they’re not happening so much right now, I’m grateful many more will definitely return when the time is right.
I’m grateful for this time with my husband and my son. I’m grateful we are finding a groove – not with the weirdness of quarantine, but with life on our farm. I’m grateful for a billion activities to scratch our adventure itch. I’m grateful for the sunshine and gorgeous weather to welcome us outside. I’m grateful for hands-on projects that give us a creative outlet. I’m grateful for the fortune of plantlife, shrubs, fruit trees and more that are proving the beauty of this land just days into Spring.
I’m grateful working from home is an option for Aaron and I. I’m grateful our company is overwhelmingly understanding of the demands of children and family. I’m grateful hard work is appreciated and working moms are understood.
I’m so, so grateful the Universe saw fit to put us right here, right now.