I bet it’s true for most of us that we’ve never spent so much continuous time with our husbands. Not ever!
Although we love them, this much togetherness can be both exhilarating and annoying. And some of us may be feeling we’re on our last nerve.
Although at our house we’re both working from home, our experiences are vastly different.
I’ve always worked from home so this feels quite normal.
Since I’ve always worked from home, I’ve always had a room dedicated as my office. In my well-equipped office, I have everything I need to function at top efficiency.
Since I run my coaching business on the Zoom platform, using it even more frequently was a piece of cake.
It’s my normal routine to dress for work every day, adjust the ambient lighting and open my computer. I’m a one-woman shop. I break for lunch. My routine is well honed. The days fly by.
A new routine for my husband proved more than a wee bit disorienting.
My husband, on the other hand, found adjusting to working from home in the early weeks exasperating. He’s used to working in his corner office with an accommodating staff at the ready. They take dictation, prepare voluminous legal documents, copy huge files, answer his phone, take messages. They manage the never-ending paper flow with dexterity.
For over 40 years he’s lived the life of a typical lawyer in a large multi-national firm. No changes or disruptions to the status quo for decades. Ingrained habits. Long hours. Expectations that assured fast turn-arounds and client satisfaction.
When his office officially shut down and mandated work from home, he was in culture shock. Put off by the technical complexities of setting up his work computer in our house, and without a high speed printer and copier, it was as if he exchanged his BMW for a VW Bug. Put-putting along with only an iPad and his dinosaur of a Blackberry to keep him afloat, his adjustment was filled with time consuming workarounds and bouts of frustration, irritation and disbelief.
Having no designated office space of his own at home, he spread out across the house. Stacks of papers and files proliferated. Everywhere! On two floors.
Dressing for work wasn’t a priority unless he had a video conference call. I’m here to say that PJs all day is not a good look.
In lock down, he devised what I would call a hybrid work style, incorporating aspects of a life of leisure, life on vacation and life in retirement. An eclectic blend which, to me, was both distracting and amusing.
Life in the slow lane continues.
Here in Maryland, we probably have another 3-6 weeks to go before our curve flattens enough for our sensible governor, Larry Hogan, to ease up restrictions and cautiously enter Phase 1 as outlined by Dr. Birx.
Based on the governor’s analysis, we are either a bit over halfway or only just reaching halfway through our lock down.
Comparatively speaking, we’ve got it easy.
We are lucky that we still live in a single family home, just the two of us, with plenty of room to spread out.
Except for needing to share the land line for business calls, we can keep to ourselves during most of the business day and with a little advance planning, share the phone without conflict.
Weather permitting, we walk in our neighborhood. We take drives into the country just to marvel over the beauty of spring blossoms and blooms.
I meal plan and cook but my husband does most of the grocery runs every 7-10 days. He suits up in his mask and gloves, like a knight preparing for battle, and braves the 60+ line at Trader Joe’s. I deliver the groceries she’s requested to my 91 year old mother.
Once a week we order out several meals at a time from a few neighborhood restaurants still open. We Netflix and chill. I can recommend The Spy and Grand Hotel for your entertainment.
Another six weeks of lock down with almost no outside distractions doesn’t have to breed discontent.
I have notice that feeling at peace with yourself makes it easier to accept and even tolerate the uniqueness of other humans, particularly husbands.
As we prepare for another 3-6 weeks on lock down, I’m thinking more about what has kept me relatively calm, sane and happy. And what I can continue to do to stay that way as the weeks wear on.
The overarching absolute is that it’s essential to manage my mind.
This requires me to:
- Examine what I’m thinking about daily.
- Write thought downloads about anything and everything that concerns or interests me.
- Notice the relationship between my thoughts and feelings.
- Allow whatever feelings have percolated to the surface to ebb and flow without trying to push them away or resist them.
- Sharpen my awareness of how my feelings drive my behavior.
- Keep expectations in check, for both myself and my husband.
- Accept that you have zero control over other adults. Stop trying. It’s exhausting and ineffective.
- The only person you can ever control is yourself.
- Allow urges to buffer against the discomforts, disappointments and frustrations of lock down without answering them.
- Maintain my food and beverage protocol by planning in advance what I’m going to eat and drink and when.
- Cultivate a state of curiosity about why my husband does and says.
- Offer compassion to myself and my husband when irritants and frustrations arise.
- Ask myself how I want to show up as the best version of myself, no matter what. Be that woman.
Whatever is going on, please try to remember that when you argue with reality, you lose. 100% of the time.
And as a final suggestion, allow your future self, your wise counselor and all knowing self, to remind you that in the end, it will all work out. And if it hasn’t, it’s not the end yet.
Ready for help managing your mind during lock down?
If Covid 19 is infecting your marriage and making it difficult to imagine a the right remedies for your unique situation, we can talk it out. For free.
Let me know right here and we’ll set up a call.