Today it finally happened. Today, 50 days into my personal lockdown timeline, after 7 weeks of “pandemic nesting,”* it finally happened.
Today’s the day I gave in and worked in my PJs.
(I think the plaid on plaid is what really makes the look, don’t you?)
I’ll have you know that I have been pretty darn impeccable in my work routines up until now. New, clean shirt every day; “button pants”** once or twice a week. I’ve even been wearing the occasional dress, if that’s what has happened to arrive from my Gwynnie Bee subscription.
So I’m choosing to think of today as an expression of normalcy rather than a depressive reaction to these COVID days.
You see, it’s been a busy couple of weeks at work, with a whole bunch of things due today. So I’ve been staying at my desk late into the evenings all week, and last night I pulled my usual trick of switching between a few hours’ sleep and a couple hours’ work throughout the overnight hours.
No, It’s not the healthiest sleep pattern, and I sure wouldn’t want to do it every night. I wouldn’t even want to do it on multiple nights of deadline week, which is something I used to do. But for one night? The value of that quiet overnight work time is still so great to me that my semi-all-nighter routine is a habit I’ve not been able to break.
And that’s the thing. This whole cycle—the “all-nighter,” submitting the deadline-thing from my desk at home, working in my PJs (with nap breaks) for the last 24 hours—this is something I’ve done since long before COVID. The exact details of this pattern have changed over the years, as my job, my family, my house, my age and my body’s requirements for rest have all changed and evolved. Still, there’s a unifying thread of night-owlness and PJs-working that traces all the way back to grad school for me.
All of which is to say: this thing that on the surface could so easily be read as something negative? A backslide into COVID anxiety, defiance of all the sage advice about supporting your mental health with good routines?
For me, this is a moment of full-on assertion that I am still living my best life, even at the end of week 7 in lockdown.***
It’s a good reminder about how unique we all are, and how important it is to understand that beautiful variability as we’re finding our individual paths through this pandemic. Because if I was thinking too inflexibility about how you’re “supposed to do COVID”**** I could be spiraling into another wave of paranoia.
Instead I know myself well enough to know I don’t need to be concerned.
Sometimes PJs are just mutha-effing PJs.
*Yeah, remember that post about a week ago when I said I was at the end of 7 weeks in semi-isolation? Total math fail. Or something. Because, I knew the operative math equation was “6 x 7=42”—I’m less sure why I thought that translated out into 7 weeks of 6 days each?
**Thank you, Pluto!
***For reals, this time.
****Whatever in heck that means.
Image credit: Photo taken by the author, subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.