Living Through COVID-19 Pandemic – Week 22 – Saturday 15th – Friday 21st August

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Three – Saturday 15th August

I’m pretty sure that out of 153 days blogging, most posts mention a headache or a migraine, but that’s like associated with me, now right?

I talked through my concerns with my Mum regarding the diet, and we seem to have come to a conclusion. I always watch out for my Mum when she starts a diet because she can get a little obsessive about it and start counting calories, and she doesn’t realise this is a bad thing to do or that it negatively impacts her mental health.

I needed her to know that I was watching her but also that I needed to know that this diet wasn’t set in stone. That I could deviate from it if I was suffering from a migraine, or if I was out with friends because last week kind of felt like I was in a prison with no hope of parole.

Of course, I want to lose weight, lockdown wasn’t kind to me but beyond that, I recognise that I’ve put a little weight on in the past couple of years. However, whatever way I chose to lose weight, it will be on my terms and that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on the diet, it just means I will be following it in a way that works for me, even if that way isn’t what is written in the book.

For example, I wouldn’t just eat meat because a diet told me to, that would be stupid, as I’m allergic to it.

We reached a compromise on the subject and I feel better about it now.

I had a migraine today. Unsurprising really. It’s still storming where I am, and the air pressure is low. It’s humid and the air is close. I slept till 11:30am anyway but have mostly spent the day between naps and painting. I tried to read but my eyes couldn’t cope and I’m staying away from any screens. I want to get rid of this migraine because I’m going to a baby shower tomorrow and I do actually want to enjoy it.

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Four – Sunday 16th August

Today I got to attend one of my dear friend’s baby shower. It was something that I had to socially build myself up for because, as I have social anxiety, mixing with others can be a stressful experience. Luckily, I already knew how to get to my friend’s house as I had been to her ‘new home house party’ the year before.

My friend is Polish and while I find the culture of Polish people fascinating, it was daunting last time to be surrounded by people who could communicate without the use of English. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was one of only six guests and that actually gave me a boost to realise that I was as important to my friend as she was to me.

There was a lot of talk over ‘too much pink’, as she is having a girl but luckily, I bought my presents before she knew the sex of the baby, so my ‘gender neutral’ gifts were a warm sight.

One of her other friends – whose name escapes me – made all the food for the shower and let me tell you, it’s been a long time since I’ve had such delicious food. I joked that she could cook for me any time! We all spent a lot of time complimenting her food because she is a perfectionist and was unaware of her own skill.

It only rained on us once, otherwise it was a lovely day and I found myself participating socially and allowing my own voice to be heard. I managed to keep my social anxiety at bay and have a good time without worrying so much.

Still didn’t get any reading done though!

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Five – Monday 17th August

It hardly seems like the weekend is over and we’re already back again on Monday. I know I talk a lot about the days blurring into one but when you’re working from home all the time, you don’t get that sense of a ‘break away from work’, like you would if you were working in an office.

Even though I prefer working from home, I do miss the feeling of really feeling like I’ve had a weekend off and coming back to work with a refreshed mind and body.

Still no news on when my company will be returning to office work. Everyone senior is still tooting a different horn, so it is very confusing. I don’t think many people that work in my office are in a hurry to come back. The only people I’ve spoken to who are wanting to either can’t work efficiently from home or are extroverts just waiting for life to start again.

I’m perfectly happy working from home. In fact, I get far more work done at home than I do in the office. In the office there are far more distraction and people are constantly emailing me to ask me to do jobs for them that they’re too lazy to do for themselves.

At home I’ve found that tasks that would usually take me a couple of days, now only take a morning or an afternoon to get done and honestly, it’s made me re-evaluate my job and what areas I am profoundly good at versus what areas are lacking.

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Six – Tuesday 18th August

I managed to get out this morning and walk the dogs with my Mum. The air was still, close and muggy as hell. I was only wearing shorts and a t-shirt but still had to have a second shower and change clothes once I was back! The dogs seemed to enjoy it though. Freddie ate lots of blackberries and Luca got very muddy paws…and almost caught a pigeon.

I worked in my makeshift study this morning, but I felt like a sim running around when there is a fire on the lot! Come lunchtime I got a migraine. I think, although mostly caused by the lowered air pressure and the coming rain, it was also partially caused by my stress over an audit I’m preparing for.

I was in the office this afternoon and actually I feel quite chuffed. I was super pissed off last Thursday when I didn’t manage to get anything I wanted done, but today, I managed to change that. Armed with lever arch files and a stack of paper, I managed to get everything in month order and attach ¾ of the required documents together. I’ve paperclipped all the documents that are awaiting their 4th piece and I managed to email all the suppliers I needed to get hold of that last document.

Luckily, we haven’t used much of the material that the audit regards this year, so it hasn’t been as torturous as it could have been. Still unpleasant though. Waiting for the 4th document is always the stressful part. It should be the easiest part to get but through lack of communication, stubborn men and wasted time, it is always the hardest part to get and the part that causes me the most grief.

A colleague asked me today if I had any ‘special insider knowledge of COVID’ and I found myself really stumped by the question. Like, COVID isn’t a celebrity you can gossip over. In fact, this same colleague has asked me on 5 separate occasions now if there will be a second wave and when can we expect it. On every single occasion I have told him that it was never a question of ‘if’ there would be a second wave but ‘when’ it would come.

It’s not my fault if his brain can’t retain the information I have now repeated to him five times. From the colleague who once mansplained my own syndrome to me, I somehow expected more.

I have also noticed this colleague seems a little anti-mask so maybe he was looking for an answer that would agree with their decision to forgo wearing one? I don’t really know.

I watched a tiktok earlier which stuck with me because it showed a completely ignorant American asking ‘British people’ questions. It stuck with me because it was a reminder of the stupidity lurking in America and I couldn’t quite believe where this person had got their views from and why they weren’t knowledgeable on these simple things. They ended the tiktok saying ‘sorry if I was rude’, and they were rude but I’d argue that I was more offended that they had these assumptions about the UK. See below for the questions (and my answers), if you want to see the original video, it’s done by someone called: jamillamusic on tiktok.

  1. Why do you call bread ‘crumpets’? – We don’t, they’re two separate things
  2. Why can you never pronounce your Ts? (said with bad American/cockney accent) – We can…
  3. How do we survive without chipotle? – Quite easily.
  4. Why do you not celebrate Thanksgiving? – Because that’s an American holiday that has nothing to do with the UK.
  5. Why is it that all British people listen to is American Singers? Like do you not have your own? – Erm…have you not heard of; The Beatles, Adele, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Leona Lewis etc. etc.
  6. Why do you all call a popsicle an ice lolly? – Because it’s a lolly made of ice.
  7. Why do you guys put ‘x’ at the end of your texts? – They’re kisses, it’s just nice.
  8. Is there really a difference between accents in England? Because Manchester and London sound the same to me, I literally can’t tell the difference? – Course there is, not my fault you can’t recognise them.

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Seven – Wednesday 19th August

I keep thinking that this weekend is the last of August, in some misguided attempt to convince myself that my pay-check is coming earlier. I’m definitely feeling the pinch of money this month but then I remind myself that not only did I pay quite a bit for my car service, but I also bought some furniture and that gave me a smaller amount of money to play with for the month.

Still, as we’re due to get another bonus at the end of August, it is no wonder that I am eagerly awaiting it. With the excitement comes a big sense of gratefulness and compassion. I realise that through this pandemic I have had job security when a lot of other people have been furloughed, made redundant, or let go and are trying to survive in a pandemic world where no real end is in sight.

I’m very grateful that I work for a company that has managed to provide for all its employers and one that has grown in times of struggle and remained fully functioning. It does also, make me more aware of those that are struggling or suffering, and, in that awareness, I become more observant and try to help where I can.

It is raining fit to burst here and the air is very still and muggy. The migraine I got yesterday has carried over to today – which is unsurprising – but it has multiplied in its intensity from a night of bad sleeping. (You know, when your head pain is so bad it stops you from sleeping?)

I decided to work from my bed today, because, its more comfortable and when I’m feeling grotty from a migraine, it helps to have some comforts around. The dogs are curled up under the blanked next to me. One of them is snoring but it’s quite cute really.

I feel less stressed today, but my shoulders and neck muscles are still knotted and unbelievable tight when I try to move. I’ve been doing this audit for 4 years now and it never seems to get any easier. It is always a constant strain on my mind and I always panic about how I will get it done.

Colleagues have suggested I implement a strategy where I gather the 4 pieces of information as soon as an invoice comes to me but then I’d be phoning suppliers every week and I’d rather not become a bother. I’ve been on the receiving end of an angry supplier and I’d rather not take myself to that place again! It’s easier to collect all the information in bulk, and even easier now I have an email to talk to rather than phoning individual branches.

Plus, head offices usually have copies of the information I need in their files, which are easy to locate, whereas individual branches have to hunt for the original document that they may not always have.

Anyway, I’m giving myself a day to work on other things so that I don’t get too swamped or stressed by this audit and I could do with a day that doesn’t involve looking intently at a spreadsheet.

My parents and the dogs are going away for two weeks on Friday and this might be the last time I ‘garden sit’ for them before I manage to move out. Although, as I am still working from home, not much of my day will change. I’ll just have to water the garden according to the spreadsheet every night. & Yes! I have a spreadsheet. I force my parents to make one every time they go away because there are so many plants in the garden and heaven forbid, they come back and one has died. I’ll never hear the end of it then!!

I still haven’t read a single book in August so far! Believe me, this is weighing heavily on my soul. If I manage not to suffer from a migraine this weekend, reading is the number one priority on my list.

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Eight – Thursday 20th August

Ohh it was a struggle to get out of bed this morning! I had a difficult night’s sleep with many wakes during the night. When I wake overly tired and then have to stare at a computer screen for 8 hours and do work, it doesn’t make for a happy day. But, it’s all about how you handle yourself and what outlook you have for life. I try to be as positive as possible. A positive outlook and the ability to be proactive and take action will always triumph over a negative outlook and the idea of doing nothing at all.

I was in the office this afternoon but seeing as a lot of paper needed to go into the weekly payslips, I actually put them in big A4 envelopes. This just meant that I didn’t have to do as much folding as I usually do, and that didn’t knot my back up as badly as it usually get while doing this task.

It was actually quite refreshing in the office this afternoon and I managed to get through the task within a reasonable time.

When I was home, and the working day was over, I was pleased to see that my sister was still visiting. So, I got to enjoy some quality time with my sister and her partner which was really nice. I’m going to be cooking dinner for them next week, so I have that to look forward to and to plan.

With the turning weather, my inflamed knee is flaring up again, but I can’t work out whether that is because of the weather or whether I am subconsciously tensing in the night.

I finally managed to read my first book of August tonight. Or rather, I finished reading one. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. It was a really good read and very thought provoking.

Day One Hundred and Fifty-Nine – Friday 21st August

Had a weird dream last night, it took place in a forest that kind of looked like a forest that the Wookies would live in. It was very green and very sparkly. My brother who was sometimes a mythical creature, had been taken from me by the villain of my dream who was played by Richard Armitage. I battled with swords, a bow and arrow, and a long stick with nails. The army appeared like characters from Crash Bandicoot mixed with Mario. There was also a lot of mystery surrounding the forest, and places of severe haunting and disappearances. I’m not entirely sure what the point of the dream was but I remember it being very intense and there was a lot of adrenaline packed into it.

The morning was filled with anxiety and howling dogs. It was quite funny really, how long the howling went on and how in-tune they both were. They’ve gone on holiday, so they were quite aware that the behaviour of their humans wasn’t normal this morning.

It is hella windy outside today but somehow still warm. I tried putting a jumper on, but I got too hot too quickly and had to change into a light t-shirt. I’ve been working on one of my recipe books, writing up recipes that I’ve got from Pinterest or various diet books.

As I’m still on the 800 Calories diet, I’ve been writing up all of the recipes I can find that are under that limit and are meals I can eat. I was going to go to Sainsburys today, but the weather is looking particularly nasty, so I might have to leave it to tomorrow. It keeps spitting, so no chance of doing any washing today either.

August is dragging on SO long! I desperately need payday to arrive! For some reason, August has seemed unbearably long.

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