We are closing in on six months of being away from our Fountain Square office because of the novel coronavirus. (Although, there was a brief respite with fun signs in July.) While some things have gotten easier—or maybe they’ve just become our new normal habits—this lockdown, mask-up thing still ain’t easy, folks.

Is it just me or…

Have you become a 5th grader when it comes to hygiene?

Does anyone else forget the last time they’ve washed their hair? I’ve been known to turn a pajama shirt inside out before a Zoom call to hide the toothpaste stains—that may or may not have been from the morning before. I never thought I’d virtually attend meetings with bedhead and no makeup, yet that’s my reality. In fact, I find myself asking people why they are so dressed up when they have a collared shirt on.

Is “Zoom Throat” real?

Maybe I made the name up, but the sensation is real. At the end of the day, my throat is scratchy from hours and hours of video and phone meetings. I know I talked this much when I was in the office, so what gives?

And what’s with all these aches and pains?

Lately, our team has begun comparing the ailments that come from sitting all day on couches, beds, at kitchen counters, and all the other places that are not ergo-friendly. I didn’t realize how much my body needed those cross-office walks to stay limber. Thankfully, we recently received permission to “steal” a lumbar-friendly chair from the office to ease a bit of the ache.

Does your beloved pet drive you crazy these days?

I love my pets. I know you do too. But is anyone else tired of letting them in and out of the house 5, 10, 100 times a day? I know, when I worked in the office, my dog stayed in the same position until I got home. Don’t even get me started on the barking when people walk by our house, or during an important video meeting.

How did it get to be September already?

How can it be time to plan for the holidays and put together the 2021 budget? Weren’t we just lamenting that our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations had been cancelled? It doesn’t make sense that the months have flown by when the days stuck at home are so long. Heck, I still don’t know what day it is most of the time.

It has been hard to get used to this COVID life. And, all joking aside, I truly miss my work besties. I know we can see each other on Zoom and through Slack, but it’s not the same. One-minute life updates are harder when your offices are separated by miles instead of feet.

I know I am so lucky that our office makes the little things a big deal, even during a pandemic. Our team sends snail mail notes and gifts to one another. We’ve started book clubs. Some of us have attended team outings full of virtual hugs and conversations from the four corners of the backyard. We’ve toasted birthdays on email, arranged cookie deliveries, and planned drive-by baby showers. Even if we can’t be close, in some ways we’ve become even closer.

I know I’m not offering any real answers here. And I know that being an empty-nester with no e-learning or childcare worries is a blessing. I’m mostly blogging to let you know that you’re not alone if you have the September blues. Try not to be too hard on yourself. We’ll get through this alone, together.

If you’ll excuse me, I have to go let the dog out now…