I remember arriving to work at a specific time, settling in to my cube and starting my day. I had routines, an overflowing inbox and a clear understanding that, at a certain point, I would leave.
THIS is work
THIS is home
I remember rock-paper-scissors with my husband for which of us would pick up the child from school.
School was over THERE.
Now all the things are here. With a few more added on. There are intruding news stories and contagion reports.
I met a new friend on Zoom last week. I told her I was working on a new book, but…Covid.
“You must have so much time for writing now.”
Well, I do have time.
But whose time is it?
My job happily takes every second I give it and asks for more.
I find the starch to draw a boundary when it comes to my kid. She needs me!
And what is left?
Used to be I could leave the house for some uninterrupted time: a “break.”
Breaks are broken. Those cheap seats at Starbucks are illegal.
So, I’m nowhere. I’m not the only one.
We had a system. We had a lot of systems this. And every last one is unavailable.
This whole thing has gone on long enough. There is a lot I can’t control. And there are some things I can.
Repeat five times fast:
I am not available at that time. I have a previous commitment.
Leave mommy alone. I am doing work.
This is my time.
Other people cannot have it. Other people will have to wait.
In a blaze of irony, it’s going to take work to take a break. It’s still worth it. We’re going to be here a while.