The realities of a guilt-free work week — week 9
Reflections from my 12-week Investigation Day experiment
Well, the world truly is upside down. I know this to be true because today I baked. Anyone who knows me knows that while I love to cook (and eat), baking is definitely not something I do. Ever. These not so terrible looking specimens are actually my first attempt at the Aussie classic Anzac cookies. Slightly overcooked — perhaps — but not bad for a first go.
I’ve been, some might say aggressively, pursuing creative outlets this week and baking is the culmination of those efforts. While I’m at risk of overthinking things (not for the first time), I suspect I’ve been craving connection to people and activities that feel warm and safe, things that make me happy. I’ve been listening to and playing more music (sorry neighbours), writing more and talking to old friends.
Overall I would say that this week I have slowed down. I described last week as feeling like I was “swimming in oil”. This week I decided to float for a while. I still got a lot done — but I did it without fighting with the world around me.
Today I read a headline that said “how to ensure WFH doesn't slow you down” — and I deleted the article immediately. I reject the premise that anyone has to or is able to maintain their pre-COVID19 velocity. No doubt for some of you it is significantly faster, more complex and hectic. For others slower and with a lot less stimulus. All I know for sure is that for now, nothing is the same as it was — for any of us.
Do I feel less guilty?
So, how’s the guilt factor this week? Well, once again it’s taken a different form. My slowing has been palpably contrasted with my partner’s increased pace. She’s on the front line of all this craziness and while I’m doing the best I can to support her, I can’t help but feel like I’m not quite doing enough when I look at her incredible effort and commitment. Reading that back my logical brain says ‘well that’s just silly’ — but it doesn't make the feeling go away.
What observations have I drawn from today?
I haven’t delivered on my hope from last week’s reflection. I didn’t get momentum back on those strategic projects. I did, however, have 3 helpful, stimulating and thought-provoking conversations. I did get out from behind the desk with my dog and enjoy the sunshine (which is still allowed where I live) and I did do something I’ve never done before — the aforementioned baking. All in all, I’m ending the week looking forward to the weekend (as always)— but also looking forward to seeing what next week will bring.
How will next week’s Investigation Day be different?
Next week is Good Friday. I’ll be taking a break, having the day off, hopefully (but not expectantly) with my better half. I’ll be back on the Investigation Friday bandwagon the following week…who knows what the world will look and feel like by then!
If you’re curious about the background to Investigation Friday, what’s happened in weeks 1–8 or other topics I’ve written about, follow me here on Medium