First Time on Furlough

We are living in extraordinary times.  My company, as with many companies, are trying their best to keep people employed during the crisis.  In my case, as a salaried employee, we were put on a ten day unpaid furlough over the next 6 weeks.  Our choices were to take the time off in 5 day increments or to work 3 out of five days per week.  Based on my workload and personal preference I chose to take Tuesday and Fridays off and today is my first day.  Honestly I feel really lucky that we are able to continue to work as I can live on 3/5ths pay indefinitely.  That is a major advantage of our lifestyle, debt free position, and ability to live on less.  For my coworkers with mortgages and children it is much harder, but everyone is trying to make it work.  This decision has allowed our company to avoid laying people off at least for the time being.

Speaking of my coworkers, every one of them who is a working parent deserves a medal.  Not only are they working very long hours, they are also home schooling and taking care of their children.  I love my kids but I am incredibly grateful that they are grown and out of the house, because this would be so much harder with them in it.  Even with just the two of us, it is still difficult.  We live in a small space and we used to give each other breaks by going to the store, running errands etc.  That’s a rare occurrence now and I feel particularly bad for Lee because he is listening to me talk all day about things he doesn’t really care about.

That’s because we are very busy.  Even before shoving five days worth of work into three days, there was lots to do and now we are doing the best we can to get it all done.  Things will be left on the table though.  It’s unavoidable, and for all of us Type A’s that can be particularly difficult.  But the company clearly stated no work phone or computer on our days off so I am left with some time to fill.  I want to make sure I don’t spend it focusing on the unpleasantness around me and instead I am trying to find positive things to do.

I recently discovered Tik Tok, which I think is super fun, and even made a couple of Jack videos which you can see @jacktheflyingpupperking.  I wish I was living in a Tik Tok world where folks are dancing and singing and trying to make the best of things.  Obviously those folks are only showing you a small slice of their lives, but I want more moments like that and less moments of worry and fear. I also purchased (before the crazy) a corkboard map of the US.  My idea is to take my favorite picture from each state and print and cut them out to make a collage.  This project is harder than it sounds (just picking my favorite picture is rough), but I am going to try and tackle it.

Other than that we are trying to stay safe and practice social distancing.  This is actually harder than it sounds because we are in Texas and despite everything that isn’t really a thing here.  More times than I can count, when we are receiving packages, I have had to back away from delivery people and ask them to set the box down.  They almost always give me an odd look as if my behavior is abnormal.  That’s pretty concerning to all of us and we actually stopped doing pickup at one local grocery store because they weren’t practicing social distancing.  As with everyone it’s been a crazy ride and we are just waiting for it to be over.  What the fallout will be long term, it is hard to say, but personally I don’t think things will just go back to normal.  If nothing else being isolated with people says a ton about those relationships and they will either be much stronger or weakened when all of this is done.

In the meantime I continue to try and be as kind as I can be to everyone I come into contact with, but that gets somewhat harder as the days go by.  I am just thankful that so far my family is safe and I am employed, which puts me in a really blessed position as compared to so many people.  Take care of yourselves and the people in your lives as best you can.



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