Living Through COVID-19 Pandemic – Week 17 – Saturday 4th – Friday 10th July

Day One Hundred and Eleven – Saturday 4th July

Today has been super difficult. I had a phone call yesterday that I didn’t realise had affected me so negatively. It really brought my whole mood down and I was struggling to stay swimming above the surface. The day kind of became a blur because my mood was so heavily effected, I wasn’t as observant, and my brain wasn’t working at full capacity.

It’s difficult to talk about because the subject matter is delicate, and I never imagined myself in that situation. I can feel a lot of the old anxiety and stress bubbling back to the surface and it is negatively affecting my mental health. I feel a little like I’m at a crossroads, but I wasn’t given a map.

As I spent most of the day trapped in my thoughts, I tried to distract myself with watching NCIS season 15 and Criminal Minds season 3. I tried to push my brain to focus on something by doing crosswords. It kind of worked but also kind of didn’t.

To top it off, the antibiotics I’ve been on this week haven’t worked at all and I’m still in quite a bit of pain, so I’ll have to phone my doctor again on Monday and hope that there is another solution to my problem.

Day One Hundred and Twelve – Sunday 5th July

Mood was worse today, but I could recognise and acknowledge that I was suffering. (Sometimes when mood or mental health are low, you cannot distinguish why, or you remain in denial about it).

I was alone in the house, which benefited me but also allowed my thoughts to circle. I ended up calling one of my dear friends and talking things through with her really helped and make me re-evaluate the situation from a different perspective. I definitely felt better from the call and it reminded me that first and foremost, I need to take care of myself, even if that means letting go of someone else who needs help.

Today was the perfect day to spring clean, and I managed to sort out my duvet box, and chuck a fair few out (I haven’t sorted it in YEARS!). I also got all my washing done – 3 loads – and washed my new bedding so I could put it on my bed. So, despite not feeling good in myself, I still managed to have a very productive day.

It would have been easy to shut myself off from the world and walk in my own little bubble, but I know how detrimental that can be and I’ve learnt from past mistakes. I know not to do that now.

From 3pm to 7pm I played Dead Island on my Xbox with a buddy. I’m a jumpy person, and I don’t usually play horror-ish games anyway, so I definitely jump a lot and squeak while playing this game. I couldn’t play it alone as I’d be too scared!! Half of me had really wanted to sleep and forget the world but I’m glad I pushed myself to play Xbox with my friend because it did help to perk me up again and push me further out of the hole I was threatening to fall into.

It was my turn to cook tonight and I made another Italian pasta recipe. This one was made with onion, mushrooms and peas, with heavy cream and rigatoni pasta. It was VERY yummy and super easy to make, so that’s another one for the books!!

After dinner I was going to play more Xbox, but I actually ended up sitting on the sofa with my parents, looking at flats to buy around where we live. Though I still want to save a little more money, it’s been decided that I should start looking for flats now, especially as the prices have fallen a little in COVID.

The news reports of all the drunken British people not social distancing is disgusting. I feel a little sick knowing how many selfish people there are around me. You would have thought that lockdown was a punishment. I don’t understand why people aren’t taking COVID seriously. Do they not care about all the deaths? All the grieving people and the mass effect it’s had on the world?

Day One Hundred and Thirteen – Monday 6th July

Picked up my new antibiotics today. They’re supposed to be able to treat a wider variety of infections and hopefully will be able to rid me of mine. Unfortunately, as they’re a high dose, they come with the side effects of: dizziness and nausea which I have had in spades today! It’s been so bad I’ve struggled to eat food. I have 25 tablets to take – 3 a day – and hopefully this will work. Otherwise, I’ll have to allow a needle to be injected into me and I have a hysterical phobia of needles.

Most of today’s working day was spent on hold to TNT, trying to chase why a collection was not picked up as it should have been over a week ago. I use TNT a lot at work and I’m constantly amazed by how bad their customer service can be and how long I sometimes have to wait to get through to someone. I tried phoning them twice, but it just rang indefinitely. I ended up starting an ‘online chat’. It took 40minutes to connect me to someone and then a further 15minutes to connect me to someone in the UK.

The good news is that the parcel was eventually connected but, I shouldn’t have had to deal with this. They should have picked it up in time or emailed to say that wasn’t possible. It’s very irritating when a service is promised and isn’t delivered.

I ended up having to move my work computer and myself into my bedroom around 3:30pm because the nausea and dizziness got so bad. I slept from 5-6:30pm, and when I woke, the nausea was still really bad. There was salmon for dinner, but I ended up just eating the potatoes and asparagus because every time I tried to eat the salmon, the nausea got worse.

Hopefully, the side effects will subside the longer I take them and will instead actually help the issue I’ve got. I don’t think I’ll function well if I have to deal with these side effects ALL week.

I did manage to finish a book today though – Find Her Alive by Lisa Regan – it’s the 8th book in the Josie Quinn series and it was very good!

Day One Hundred and Fourteen – Tuesday 7th July

So, the side effects are still with me! I didn’t get to sleep till gone midnight last night because the nausea was so bad! So, I’m a little grumpy and very tired today! It’s quite muggy where I am today, on Wednesday and Thursday it’s supposed to be raining constantly, so I guess today is the pre-weather to that.

I feel like I’m in a ‘MEH’ mood today. Like there are so many things I need to do and other things I should do but I don’t feel any way inclined to do them! I have managed to cross two important things off today’s work list, so I don’t feel so unaccomplished. I’ll be going into the office this afternoon and I’ll utilise my larger computer screen to do quite a bit of work I find difficult to do on my mac.

I can no longer open Outlook on my Mac, it just closes every time I try to complete an action. So, I now have to open my work emails on a webpage. Hopefully, that won’t suddenly stop working! Microsoft Teams goes in and out of working on my MacBook, at the moment it’s behaving properly but it could change at a moment’s notice. Microsoft Word and Excel work perfectly well with no issues, so I do find it strange what does and doesn’t work on my MacBook.

I’ve found this really great playlist on Spotify of ‘boogie woogie piano music’. It’s really great to listen to and totally a vibe. I’m loving all the new music I’m discovering.

I’ve also started reading ‘The Peculiars’ by Kieran Larwood, so we’ll see how that goes. It’s a children’s book that I thought I should read before I dive into another book that involved murder and asylums.

I know a lot of other companies have started to phase back to work now, but my bosses still seem inclined to keep everyone office based safe at home. It is not safe for us to all return to the office at present because we only have one kitchen, one male toilet, one female toilet and one long corridor that is less that 1 metre wide. So, it wouldn’t be safe for all 30ish of us to come back immediately. I’m kept up to date with developments via my boss, but I don’t see the company I work for phasing back into the office till mid-August or beginning of September.

I’ve decided that I prefer working from home. I can get a lot more work done, and I find it less stressful. There are way less distractions and I’m away from the drama that you always find in offices. My workload has changed from week to week in lockdown and it’s not as consistent as it was before, but I still feel I’m benefiting more from wfh than I did in the office.

I always view offices a little like secondary school. You constantly have to keep up a persona to avoid running into trouble. Heaven forbid I don’t smile for an hour, the amount of grief I get about that alone is super irritating.

Anyway, I won’t get into a rant about that or we’ll be here forever!

Day One Hundred and Fifteen – Wednesday 8th July

Today is obviously the day for complicated work problems and driver complaints. I’ve had my automated response on my email now for 3 weeks and still, someone emailed me today with an office job and got really shirty when I said it couldn’t be done till tomorrow. Like hello?? Lockdown? Working from home? Not at your beck and call!! I swear some of the people I work with are living under rocks.

Every so often I get calls from people complaining about one of our drivers. Usually these are straightforward calls and I can give them the number for the complaints desk. What I don’t understand is the people who phone to complain but don’t have the registration number. I get messages like ‘he was tall with sunglasses on and driving badly. What are you going to do about it?’

Well, I can’t do anything unless I’m given the reg. There are about 60 company vans and I’m not going to know who you are talking about unless you’ve made note of the vehicle registration.

I’ve also been getting a lot of rude calls about payments. All these people who’ve been on furlough and are now back to work are phoning me and complaining about overdue invoices from March that weren’t set to the office till June…What do you want me to do about it, Karen?!?!

Heaven forbid I tell them the office is still closed and the only way of contacting accounts is to email. I might have well told them I was carrying the plague and they’re all infected.

I will never understand why people think that being rude on the telephone will get them anywhere. I just find it ridiculous.

Day One Hundred and Sixteen – Thursday 9th July

I was unintentionally unprofessional today. I was sitting in my workspace, my hair wet from my shower, studying a spreadsheet that I was filling in information from the past week. I was all very committed to what I was working on. In the next second I opened my eyes and it was almost twelve. I dozed off and slept for 2.5 hours! I was mortified!! Luckily, I hadn’t had any phone calls or emails, but I still felt crushing guilt for accidently falling asleep when I should have been working.

I’ve just been so tired lately and today and the air pressure is super low and it’s muggy as hell. I woke up with a headache and tired eyes, those eyes are now itchy with hay fever and I guess my body decided it needed a little bit of extra rest.

The thing is, I’ve been trying to get to sleep earlier, turning everything off and going to bed at 10:30pm but my brain won’t stop talking and I find myself awake till gone midnight. I know it’s my insomnia but sometimes I think ‘I have enough problems, why do I have to have insomnia as well’. I know going down that path isn’t a good idea but sometimes you just can’t stop yourself from having those negative thoughts.

I was in the office this afternoon and with all the windows open, it still felt oppressive and overly warm. This time I brought a couple of Chubb Chubb lollies with me, and they did help with the crippling head pain and the desire to have an OCD episode. The new printers have just been installed but I couldn’t work out how to scan to other people. It wasn’t just me though, the two other people in the office couldn’t work it out either but our IT manager assured us a ‘how to guide’ would be coming out next week.

I managed to be done with the office by 2:50pm, and it was a quick trip to the post office on the way back. I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription. I took my mask with me. The sign on the pharmacy door reads ‘2 people at a time. Please wear a mask’. There were 3 people waiting outside the pharmacy before me and I was the only person wearing a mask. To be honest, they looked at me like I was silly for wearing one! They also couldn’t read, and only went in one by one. When I entered after the man before me, he looked shocked till one of the pharmacists pointed out that it was fine.

I don’t understand these people who don’t follow the rules. If somewhere asks you to wear a mask, WEAR ONE.

Day One Hundred and Seventeen – Friday 10th July

Friday at last, although to be honest, this week has gone by so quickly it feels like a trick! This week has been a combination of business and quiet. I’ve had more actual work to keep me busy and I’ve been experimenting with more crafts for my shop.

Today I feel the most awake I’ve been all week! I feel happier in myself and I feel ready for whatever comes. I changed up my workspace today. Not only was it getting a little messy, but I was getting bored with the space and not feeling the usual comfort feelings from it. I have changed the way my chair faces, lined up the books I want to read in this month and August and generally tided up and sorted things out.

I don’t think the dogs are pleased with the new space I put their dog basket in, but otherwise, I’m happy with the change of room scenery. It is important while working from home that you give yourself a space in which you can work that is synced with you.

I talk to colleagues all the time who say they work at their dining room table, kitchen table, or sofa, and I’ve heard all the complaints about working from home and how uncomfortable where they’ve chosen to work is.

It was very important to me that I crafted out a designated workspace for the duration period. With my Dad working downstairs in the study, it was decided that the spare bedroom would become my workspace and it has worked really well. The company I work for isn’t talking about going back to work yet, and I don’t see anyone returning till mid-August, beginning of September. The logistics of the office aren’t safe for us all to return at present, as we only have 1 male toilet, 1 female toilet, 1 kitchen and a long corridor less than 1mtr wide that runs the length of the building. You can’t have 30+ people in an office space with those facilities. There would be no room for social distancing and the chances of COVID-19 would rise.

I am almost done with my commission now. The cats are now painted and honestly, they’ve been so stressful to do, I don’t want to open myself up to more animal commissions. I’m much better at drawing flowers, leaves, and dinosaurs. I just have to paint the edges and bottom in some bright colours before I can send pictures to the customer and see what they think.

I did get another commission but this one is much more my thing. It’s a baby shower card for a girl. Right up my street, easy to do, and I can get creative about it. I’m far more excited to do this card than I ever was to do the cat box above.

Am I excited for the weekend?

To be honest, I’m just excited to sleep without an alarm! I haven’t slept well this week and it is definitely showing. I’m going to try and cook this three cheese Italian pasta recipe on Sunday, so hopefully Sainsbury’s will have all the ingredients I require!

I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to read 1 or 2 books on Saturday, but we’ll see what happens. I try to never make relaxing plans because the chances are, when the weekend arrives that I get a headache!

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