Work from Home

via Twitter user @zahraloum.

These days in quarantine—working from home for my final semester of graduate school, for Kits to Heart, and for my research job—scare me.

And insanely, it is less about the pandemic itself and more about how I have the mental and physical ability to work all day. There have been too many nights where I find that it’s approaching midnight—and I would still be working, having been on my laptop since 8 in the morning.

Sure, weather permitting, I do try to take hour-long neighborhood walks during the afternoons. I enjoy these moments of being able to get some fresh air, while chatting with Hsuan. Work and school always dominate such conversations, but I’m sure my overly strained red eyes feel thankful at my crazy workaholic self.

In many ways, WFH has opened up a lot of time, from eliminating commutes to automatically deferring in-person meetings to ones where, for example, even the professor feels the need to cut classes short. While not without its inconveniences, it has also been nice living back home during this period with my parents, who cook most dinners.

At the same time, however, when does the work ever end? To me, besides the near-daily walks, there are absolutely no lines drawn for when I should or need to be taking a break. Even now, as it approaches 11 p.m., when I would normally be getting ready for bed, I am up blogging about how I’ve been staring at my screen and typing too much.

I certainly feel a strong cognitive dissonance between what I know I should be doing (giving myself more breaks?) and what I want to be doing (being the “best” student, part-timer, and CEO as possible).

Ultimately, I do feel lucky that I have things to work on and am able to continue doing so. In fact, I have a lot to look forward to. As I finish my final semester, I have never been more proud of the work I put into my classes. Soon, I will be able to share more of what I’ve been spending all my days working on. One is an urban oral history project, while the other is about Kits to Heart—which you may have been following, but I plan to follow up shortly with some even more exciting updates.

In the meantime, please consider donating to Every dollar will go directly towards a cancer care kit for someone in need. Please spread the word, because cancer patients seriously need some joy, especially now. I am happy to help send a kit to someone you may know affected by cancer. Just let me know.

Stay safe and healthy. ❤