Today marks one year of remote work for me. I’ve been taking a selfie from this same basic angle every three months since the first day and this is Number 5 (or Volume 2 Number 1, if you prefer).
- Work-wise, it’s been a really productive period. I rebuilt our digital collections platform from the ground up (link upon request), contributed to several articles, wrote an ill-fated grant application (long story over which I had no control), and co-authored a book that should be published this fall.
- I have traveled a bit (not nearly as much as usual) because I avoid human contact on the road even when there’s not a pandemic, so I felt like I was being cautious.
- I’ve had the first shot. The second comes a week from today. I may start going into the office at least a couple of days a week after that.
- Lots of Groceteria research, some of which has actually made it on to the site.
- I’ve read so many books. And bought even more with all the money I’ve saved not doing other things.
- I haven’t gained nearly as much weight as I expected, but the painful aftermath of a long walk last week reminded me that a little exercise is probably in order.
- I also still haven’t gotten someone to fix the damned bathroom floor.
Time marches on. Or at least I think it does.
When I get overwhelmed or start wondering where the last year went, I remind myself that since March I have:
- Co-authored a book that should be published later this year
- Migrated one of the largest library digital collections in the state to a new content management platform (link later)
- Participated in the salvation of American democracy
- Added a bunch of new cities to Groceteria
- Eighty-sixed Facebook
- Rebuilt a friendship that had been dormant for almost thirty years
- Watched at least a hundred vintage episodes of “What’s My Line?”
- Become disturbingly conversant in the MODS metadata schema as well as several new XML tools
- Supervised three student capstones and independent studies
- Managed to avoid getting a COVID-related illness
- Done a few pretty good media interviews (radio, national magazine, well-trafficked blog)
- Read many good books (and bought way too many more)
- Never hoarded toilet paper and also never run out of same
- Managed three big grant projects simultaneously and remotely
- Only gained about five pounds and actually ended up with better labs than last year
- Stayed reasonably sane
Try it yourself. It helps!
So today marks nine months that I’ve been working from home. It’s probably about the same for some others out there as well. That third week in march is when (some of) the country really started shutting down. I didn’t think I’d still be doing these quarterly “work from home” selfies for so long. Now I’d say there’s a pretty fair chance there will at least be a March 2021 edition as well. It no longer feels odd, and that worries me.
I’ve created something pretty cool over these nine months (hint: it’s not a child)but I can’t share it just yet. Soon…
So for Thanksgiving (U.S., observed), I:
- Tried unsuccessfully to sleep late.
- Texted greetings to several friends.
- Finally ponied up for a full paid subscription to Newspapers.com since there’s a sale and it will have tremendous benefit to my research (and it’s cheaper and more useful than Hulu or Netflix).
- Made disparaging comments about Lutheran sushi egged on by Andrew Turnbull.
- Went for a drive downtown and in the surrounding area and took pictures.
- Spent some quality time with Perry Mason (on DVD rather than on the aforementioned Hulu or Netflix).
- Did a load of laundry.
- Killed off some leftovers.
- Tugged the turkey for a bit (inside joke).
- Did not resent for a single moment the fact that lining up to get into Walmart later tonight would not be an option.
- Considered (and then thought better of) trying to fix my bathroom sink.
It was actually just the day I needed.
Ten years ago this month, it felt like my life was falling apart.