Things I've learned about myself during the pandemic

Thought this might be a fun topic. Here are some new and interesting things I learned about myself.

  1. Most surprising: I have normal hearing for my age, but apparently I rely very heavily on lip-reading to understand people. It’s hard to understand people with masks on.
  2. Now I know how long I can go without leaving the house and seeing other people. About 2 weeks, preferably 1 week.
  3. Now I know how long I can go without seeing my parents and sibling, about 6 months (there are issues).

Those are mine, what about yours?

I’ll see an acquaintance as I’m biking by and they’ll ask me how I’m doing and I laugh “Apparently, I don’t like people as much as I thought I did. I’m getting along fine without them.”

Everyone (including myself) thought I was an extrovert who needed people. Nope!

Back in the day, I would take some vacation time and not leave the house for 3 or 4 days. It was wonderful. My friends thought I was weird. I would sometimes think I could be a hermit. I was wrong.

When this all started, I was telling a friend that being at home all the time was getting on my nerves. He said he thought I loved doing that. I realized that staying home because I wanted to was very different from staying home because I had to.

I am actually more productive working at home. I used to always avoid it, evening driving into work when it was 30 below. I like buying and cooking my food. Lost weight and blood sugar is under control again. I could keep doing this after my retirement age and doubt that anyone would really notice.

I learned that while I’m a boring introvert, even I have limits and after six months of being locked down, I’m starting to hit my wall.

This. So much this.

I’ve learned that the reason I never clean my apartment isn’t that I don’t have the time, it’s that I don’t want to, and all the time in the world will never make a difference.

It turns out I wear deodorant for me.

Yeah, same.

I have learnt this also.

To be fair, it wasn’t a surprise.

I have always wanted to work from home. But not all the time, a couple of days a week. Turns out 5 days a week is just fine. I never want to go back to the office.

I’m getting to know my co-workers better by working from home. Using Slack has helped me see who has a sense of humor. Also helps because I’m hard of hearing. I’d rather read stuff.

Sasdly, my lifre is better than pre-covid.

I’m on record raging against the horrors of the open-plan workplace, but I’d like to go into the office at least once a week just to physically see everybody. No specific or scientific reason, I just feel like a teaspoon of weekly face time keeps all my primate social instincts in something resembling working order.

I will say, I feel like I’m hitting the wall here. I managed to prolong the “introvert honeymoon” phase for about 6 months… reading, gaming, music, homebound pursuits. I’m tired of it all now. And my civic-mindedness has taken a hit along with my sanity… I’m legit about ready to jump in a nasty Ozarks hot tub with 3 dozen close talkers and just let the chips fall where they may.

I’m not actually going to do that, of course. That’s just how far my mental state has fallen.

Fast food isn’t worth it. Waiting in drive thru to take the meal to a park and squeeze ketchup out of little packets on the paper bag while the wind kicks up my newspaper is just not worth it. It’s barely edible when it’s hot, but the 5 minutes it cools while driving is enough for me to no longer bother.

I’m much more adaptable than I used to think.

HMS_Irruncible: Posting so I don’t have to.

I’ve gotten used to WFH, but I learned that I love driving and miss getting to do it as much.

I also learned that, while I like to cook, it’s meal planning that I hate. I got one of those subscription dinner boxes and it’s been great.

I learned a trivial fact about myself: I am willing to make my morning coffee with average quality pre-ground beans.

For decades, I bought small quantities of high-end coffee beans and ground them fresh every morning. But at the start of our first lock-down we were not sure how long it would last or what shortages we would face on our island, so I stocked up on supplies in a big way. Buying huge quantities of gourmet beans would have been a big expense, so I supplemented with a few large cans of Signature ground coffee.

Turns out that, while I can tell the difference between a mediocre cup of coffee and a higher-end concoction, I don’t care at all and may even prefer the house-brand pre-ground.

I’ve discovered I can get by without massive quantities of really good coffee.

I’d always assumed I was addicted to caffeine. There was a Seattle’s Best Coffee bar in the lobby at work, and refills were only fifty cents.

Now, I’m doing my own pour over* at home, only one large cup (because I don’t take the time to fuss in the afternoon). I was expecting the fuzziness and headaches that I used to get if I skipped a day, but my body seems not to notice that I’m getting 1/3 the caffeine I used to.

*Sometimes cheap Trader Joe’s dark stuff, but lately I’ve been splurging on Colectivo Coffee’s Velo french roast. Go sniff a bag of beans… I imagine an 1800s British club: notes of pipe tobacco and leather armchairs.

I’ve started just driving around. No particular destination (although if I wind up somewhere new, and there’s a yummy drive-thru or something, then … bonus!) but it’s nice to get the wind in your hair and some half-forgotten tune on the radio and a bit of new scenery.

Also, Google Maps will get you back home posthaste once you get bored and/or need to pee and/or you realize you forgot to put any snacks in the passenger seat a.k.a. car storage area.

ETA: I’ve discovered I’m not as introverted as I thought.
Probably less “unnerved being around people” and more “low bullshit tolerance” than I previously gauged.