Finding Balance in These Uncertain Times: Remote Work and Sharing Our Struggles

Finding Balance in These Uncertain Times: Remote Work and Sharing Our Struggles

There is a popular saying, which has been used in several memes, among my developer and remote-working friend groups. It goes something like the following:

Government and Doctors: Practice physical distancing during this pandemic.

Remote Workers: I’ve been preparing my whole life for this moment. I got this.

The truth is that we don’t “got this,” at least I know I don’t.

While practicing physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is those little moments that you do not think you will miss that suddenly become important.

Every Saturday, I awake around 6 or 6:30 a.m. I go through my normal routine and get dressed for a morning drive into the city. My home is in a quiet area in rural Alabama. I am a Millennial living within a neighborhood of mostly Baby Boomers. For the most part, it is an ideal place for remote work. Few people bother me, and I can tend to my animals and get my work done in peace. However, it is not exactly the most socially invigorating place in the world.

Those Saturday mornings are important. Assuming I have no other social plans for the week, it is my one chance to get out into the world. I stop by the local Co-Op, pick up any feed or seed I need, and chat with the people there about the farming season or the weather — mostly the weather. I drop into Hidden Treasures, a flea market, and talk with a seller who shares an interest in finding old DVDs, VHS tapes, and Laserdiscs. I grab a sandwich at Subway and am greeted by the Indian-American manager who learned my name on my first visit years ago. He asks about my family. I ask how his family is doing.

These fleeting moments are almost forgettable. They are routine. Run-of-the-mill. When they are happening, you do not think about them. However, when they are gone, there is a void remaining that is hard to fill.

Yes, I have been practicing physical distancing for over a decade, at least to some degree. That makes those small moments where I interact with others in person crucial to my mental health.

This Saturday, I will once again head into the city after a hiatus. However, my trip will be different. This time, I will be gathering necessities for myself and some of my elderly neighbors who want to avoid the public for a while. The trip will be quick. Some of the places I normally visit are closed. My Subway meal will be carryout.

Even after a couple of weeks, and feeling like I was prepared for this moment, I am still coming to grips with the world as it is now.

Staying Strong as a Community

The WordPress community, the people, have put up a strong front. Bloggers have written posts on remote work. Developers, designers, and others have willingly shared their knowledge with others. Companies are offering discounts to help ease the burden for those looking to begin a shop or blog online. Yes, our community will get through this, and we will be stronger for it.

However,

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This article was written by Justin Tadlock and originally published on WordPress Tavern.

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