Happy New Year … Has It Been a Happy New Year?

I don’t know about anyone else, but for me it has been a long three months. Where do I even begin? I feel like it’s time to have a good chat. Do you have time? I certainly do.

(This is a lengthy post and I start with a recent life update followed by a recap of the year thus far before returning to present plans. Hopefully it’s not too confusing; I don’t feel like revising!)

Last Thursday my boss announced his plan for a “dry run” of remote work, meaning he wanted us to see how working remote would work for everyone. We are a small team in a tight office, so he wanted to reduce the likelihood of anyone of us infecting the rest. I took that as an opportunity to visit family. It was wonderful. I got back yesterday afternoon.

Because of my job, I have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the world and locally pretty closely. It was pretty clear as early as mid-February that the U.S. was not taking it as seriously as we should’ve been. SXSW was cancelled with very little notice and Austin just today announced the order that restaurants and bars close until May 1st and community gatherings of 10 or more people are now prohibited.

I kind of wish I had just stayed with my parents, but it’s hard to be productive there and I definitely want to use this time to work on myself. I also feel like I need to be readily available if needed at the office.

I’ve not been too concerned by the overall situation. I started practicing higher than normal standards of sanitization at work and home in advance, so I’ve gotten good about mindfulness of not touching face while out and correctly washing hands.

My main concerns right now are future shortages if people keep panic buying and, of course, my 50-year-old parents and 85-year-old and 90-year-old grandmothers contracting the virus. I should be more worried about myself as I am not the healthiest person, but honestly I feel fit to thrive right now. I entire adult life has been social distancing (hehe) and I started ordering Blue Apron last month, so I’m set to not go to the grocery store for unnecessary items. I might lose weight and be in a better mental state after all this is over. Fingers crossed!

In recap of the earlier months of the year, January was busy and annoying. It was my last month working part-time with two jobs. I had a lot to wrap up at my first job and was facing a lot of anxiety leading up to February. I had doubts about whether I was making the right choice and if it was smart to end the job search. I was interviewing for places I applied before learning I would become full-time at my current workplace. I was also onboarding new employees and trying to make sure they felt supported and had everything they needed. This month I was also still actively planning to start a technical writing side hustle and transition this blog toward that endeavor. I was overloading myself.

Then February happened and my work life changed drastically and not in ways that I expected. My boss was swamped with affairs outside of our company’s day-to-day, so I was mostly left alone to figure out my new role as a full-time office administrator at the company. A lot of my job I’m able to do from home, so I was enjoying the flexibility, but I was also constantly concerned about proving myself in my role. I also had additional tasks preoccupying my time that involved figuring out visa applications.

These months went by very slowly but at the same time I feel like they were a blip in time that I’ll never get back. The main thing I am proud to say that I accomplished during that time was reading and writing, although most would probably be unimpressed with just how much. I reread the first two books of the Truly Devious trilogy and the final installment, which debuted at the end of January. I also resumed weekly writing dates with my writing buddy. I didn’t get much done, but my mind being on writing again even if just for two hours a week was a joy.

Let’s return to the present. I got back from visiting my parents yesterday. I had things to do at the office this morning, and I’ve also been doing some much needed housekeeping.

A few weeks ago I started thinking more about the blog. My old domain name was expiring last month, and WordPress was not letting me forget it. I was just hesitant to jump in again too soon and letting it prevent me from actually doing things. With the COVID-19 protective measures effectively in place, I now have a bit more time to dedicate to personal and professional development.

(I cannot emphasize enough just how grateful and lucky I am that I become full-time at my current job and do not have to worry about money or risking infection at a public-facing job. I’m also grateful I’m no longer in school or having a semester interrupted. If you are struggling, know that I feel for you.)

I decided an hour ago officially to let my domain name expire. The Inky Saga was envisioned to be a creative lifestyle blog, and my heart is no longer in it. I have too much going on that doesn’t relate and I want to start putting the skills I developed in school to work.

I have purchased a new domain name that should be ready to use in the next couple of days. If you are wondering what I plan to do with this blog, I would say that I’m still interested in following the plan I made in my last blog post before the new year, but I am reevaluating the necessity of privating old blog posts. The hard thing is that I’ve renamed the blog again…

Anyway! Similar to my November daily blogging spree, I feel like this is a good time to stretch my blogging muscles again. I would like to post daily while I’m working primarily remotely. I think it would be fun and I think there might be some people out there will a little extra time on their hands that might appreciate some extra blog content.

Let me know how you are faring during this difficult time. I know I have a lot of international blog readers and we are all going through very different experiences at the moment. I’m truly interested in how you are doing and how you’re spending your days.

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