Brenda’s Journey: A Timeline of Physical Distancing

Day of Healthy Living Sunday, May 10, 2020 Written by

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2009, Brenda decided it was time to take charge and get healthy. As she exercised and gained a new level of fitness, she realized that she was in charge of her body and started enjoying the activity. She had another setback with a recent broken leg. Brenda periodically shares her insights on getting back to healthy.


Day 68 … now what?

On the Friday of our last day in the office, there was a surreal feeling as people packed up their plants, keyboards, and other items into boxes and walked out the door. In some ways it felt like the last day of school, and in other ways it felt like a seismic shift in how we work. I don’t have kids at home but do have a husband. Working at home full time has brought some challenges and some benefits.

Day 1 – Let’s set up at the dining room table. Damn. The monitor doesn’t connect to my docking station.

Day 2 – Need to shift where I sit because the sun streams in and I can’t see my screen.

Day 3 – These chairs aren’t comfortable.

Day 4 – Spouse asks me to mute my conference calls.

Day 5 – Is it Friday? Oh. It’s Friday.

Day 6 and 7 – Yay. It’s the weekend. What should we do? Right. Stay home.

Week 2: Amazon binge-shopping replaces mall wandering. I’m not late for any meetings because my commute is literally stand up and sit down. I need to get some exercise!

After week 3, I decided to change my desk set-up and finally got my monitor connected. Got a headset. It gives me a headache after wearing it for 4 straight hours of meetings.

Week 4: Me: Should we get a pet? Spouse: I don’t know. Me: Let’s get a pet. Spouse: No, we aren’t getting a pet. Daughter (who doesn’t live with us): Here’s a bunch of pets you can adopt. My husband makes friends with the crows in our neighborhood.

Week 5: Find disposable masks stashed from earlier painting project. Go to Target and realize I’m wearing the mask upside down. Who knew there was a little wire in there that went over your nose? My parents are quarantined at their retirement center. Mom: can you bring us some toilet paper? Me: drives to 3 stores before I can find toilet paper and deliver it over the balcony.

Week 6: Found the beer brewing kit I was given two years ago as a gift. We tried it. Put it in our shower in the dark to bubble. Bottled it and just tried it. It’s okay. I think I’ll try it again. My hair is driving me nuts. So I think I’ll dye it blue.

Week 7: The stairs in my house are a good makeshift stair master. I can put on my wireless headset, set it on mute, and go up and down the stairs to get a bit of cardio. I’ve taken to wearing a crown or other hat for happy hour events, just to liven things up.

Week 8: I’ve resorted to watching really bad TV at night. Like really bad. On the other hand, The Masked Singer Watch Parties with friends are the bomb! Spouse: we’ve been eating really well these last few weeks. Me: Yeah, but I’m running out of recipe ideas. What sounds good? Spouse: everything we’ve had.

Week 9: My friend hosted a virtual beach party, complete with swimsuits. We danced, each in our own living rooms or backyards. It was great fun!

I’ve hosted a few virtual online bingo nights to benefit my favorite local brewery. It’s been fun and I’ve met some great new people.

All in all, there have been highs and lows. Days where I’ve cried because I realize we’re going to be doing this for a lot longer and tears for friends dealing with no work and difficult situations. And friends that have made it a point to find new ways to get together – virtual happy hours, dance parties, bingo and just catching up – and keeping us together.

My suggestion: wash your hands, wear a mask whenever you go out, learn to smile at people with your eyes (Tyra Banks calls it ‘smizing’), try something new, reach out to friends, and wear a crown to work if you want to. We’ll get through this and come out okay. Maybe not better, but definitely different.

Here’s to different!