Why I wear jeans and other musings on working from home

Like a good chunk of the country, I’ve been working from home for a while and I have thoughts. This blog won’t be very cohesive. There. You’ve been warned.

I started out trying to separate my work space from my home space, but it turns out that’s impossible to do in my tiny and adorable and very open house. Do you remember that scene in Winnie The Pooh where Pooh Bear gets stuck in Rabbit’s front door and Rabbit is faced with the dilemma of how to deal with this new feature in his house?

All rights to Disney for this classic.

I don’t usually think of myself as a Rabbit type, but I definitely have control issues. As witnessed by my “solution” to the problem, which was to hide the work space in the most obvious way possible. This next photo is weekend mode:

Nothing to see here. Why do you ask?

Working from home does affect how I dress a little bit, but not that much. Unless I’m wearing a dress, I won’t wear leggings to work, even if I’m home by myself. There are a few reasons why less comfortable jeans are chosen over comfy leggings. Not to say you can’t wear leggings, but this is why I don’t.

  • More structured clothes make me sit up straight. Over the years, I’ve learned that posture can make or break a day. If I’m slouching all day, my back is going to hate me by the evening. If my posture is consistently good, my lower back is pretty happy at the end of the day. So I save the slouchy clothes for when sitting isn’t required.
  • I wear fitted jeans, because I don’t own a scale. My weight fluctuates in normal circumstances, so it’s safe to assume that it will fluctuate in stressful times when I’m in my house surrounded by quarantine food. I love food. So if my jeans start to get uncomfortably tight, it’s a good indication I need to stop eating quarantine snacks between quarantine meals.
  • Putting on a nice sweater, a good pair of jeans, and a little bit of makeup gets me ready for the day. It is a ritual and it helps me delineate time. I’m bad at delineating time, which is why having set times when things happen makes a big difference.
  • One of my former housemates told me that I have two modes – all dressed up or Lost Boy from Neverland. This is true. Saturdays are my designed lost-boy-style days and I don’t want that to spill all over the rest of the week.

I’ve been on a lot of video calls over the past few weeks. Video calls crack me up, because they are pure theater. Everybody is starring in their own little film and those films all have different styles. My preferred Zoom style is radically backlit, so I can be a mysterious silhouette and not worry about my face doing crazy stuff. Anyway, I’ve stopped worrying about those meetings. Video calls are a necessity right now, so might as well make the best of it. My style advice for video calls: if you wear a color that contrasts with your background, you will show up nicely. Good lighting makes any shot better. Keep the overall shape in mind. If I pull my hair back into a tight ponytail, I look like I have no hair at all on Zoom. But if I put my hair up in a high bun, people can at least see that I have hair to put up.

Overall, it’s been okay working from home. I really miss people. If anything funny happens during the day, my impulse is to tell everybody I know individually, like Paul Revere. Why would I tell my story to everybody at once on social media? The story must be tailored to each individual hearer. I would have preferred to tell this blog post to each one of you who are reading this. You guys are great.

Feeling isolated, but overwhelming the feeling of isolation is gratitude. I’m healthy, my family is healthy, and we’re all on good terms with other. We all very much wish we could be together, which is a blessing in itself. Even though we’re apart right now, this won’t be a permanent separation. I’m grateful for blue skies and dark skies and sunbeams and snow flurries. Oh, and an earthquake. We had an earthquake. And I will tell every one of you all about it, individually.

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