The last time I wore makeup was March 9. It was a Monday. I woke up, showered, got dressed, put on makeup, drove to work.
I took a photo of the nearly-empty parking lot.
I ate lunch with a colleague, and we agreed that about the last thing either of us would want to do was work from home.
The next day, I did work from home, not because of Covid but because I had a mid-day appointment in the opposite direction from the office and I didn’t feel like driving back and forth.
Then Google announced recommended work from home for nearly everyone in the Bay Area, and that was that.
When I left my office that Monday, I wasn’t thinking about
never? not going back for months and months. I left a jar of homemade kefir fermenting in a desk drawer. I left cards from friends and photos from early work trips. I left sentimental notes from colleagues written during team building exercises but no less sincere (I hope) for all that. I left a tiny carved stone elephant. I left stamps. I left a sweater (I think). I left things that would have been useful: pads of sticky notes, an external keyboard, multiple types of USB cables, a mouse.
The change was so abrupt that no one had a chance to plan for it. I was distracted, too, because first my husband and then I got sick (Covid? I don’t know.) I think I caught up with how many people were feeling about a month later. Normal one day, surreal alternate-reality the next – and now it’s been nearly six months. Is it any wonder we’re still reeling?
Now I’m looking ahead and wondering what’s next. On the one hand, planning for a time in the far distant future – Thursday, say – seems incredibly challenging.
On the other hand, these days are the days I get.
I don’t want to accidentally miss them because I wasn’t paying attention.