Pandemic Lockdown Day 28: 22 April 2020

Last night, I had a ton of very disjointed dreams. According to the news tonight — and, to be honest, New Zealand news isn’t the greatest at getting anything scientific right — abnormal dreams during a pandemic are normal. The dreams I had during the earthquake sequence were far more disturbing. These pandemic dreams are more the bizarre / surreal / disjointed type.

Tonight, watching YouTube, I remembered one dream I had was that Barbra Streisand had died. I knew this is fake because the obituary in my dream was saying she was in her 60s when I think she’s in her 70s. And, I looked it up; she’s very much alive, thank you very much.

Today was wash, rinse, repeat. Got up, ate breakfast, worked until about 12:30 PM, finally felt I was dirty enough and smelled enough to take a shower.

A little difference in my work day: one department wanted to start teaching during Alert Level 3, which we are technically able to do with some classes due to the practical nature. No one took responsibility but everyone had ideas. Boss B (wanting to reopen to those students) had emailed Boss A and me about this. Boss A had written back saying he needed further guidance but didn’t feel comfortable about it, but wanted to know my thoughts and feedback.

By the time I finished my (lengthy and well thought out) email about the subject (which took me about an hour, which is an hour less I have in my day to do vital work which again is not really mine to do), and pressed send — by the way, dear readers, I don’t own The Place Where I Work and decisions at times like these are not mine to make — Boss B decided (and I’m not sure if it was in a huff or in a moment of clarity) that he’d agreed with Boss A and he had written Boss A, but hadn’t bothered to email me, so I had spent 60 minutes or so, wasting what little precious time I do have, writing a pointless email.

I was pretty fucked off with it all, to be honest.

This is where my normal COVID-19 lockdown day diverged: I made the time to eat lunch (shock). And I spoke to my Mom for an hour and a half. We do that on Sundays (NZ time) usually.

Post talk with Mom, I spoke to a colleague (in the same department the email earlier in the day pertained to) first about helping her with email issues and then about starting back under Alert Level 3 with her students. Kinda a rehash of everything I’d just discussed with Bosses A and B, and I didn’t need to get stuck in to my really pressing tasks so the students in the other department could keep learning without a hitch.

By the time all that ended, I said to my husband that I needed a break and we went out for a short walk.

Back home, after doing a few quick chores and feeding the cat, I went back to work, editing sound files, raising the volume level, and matching every 30 narration files with every 30 slide files, and adjusting the transitions and slide lengths to match. Convert the PowerPoint to a video file, upload it to YouTube, name it properly, put in details and make sure it is unlisted so no unauthorised people can access it, and then embed it in Moodle with a proper description, in the correct module. One more lecture finished.

I don’t know. I think pretty much most people I work with think this is a 5 second process.

It’s not. It’s time consuming. And I’d be super appreciative if someone would either make the effort to help a bit more, or I got any sort of recognition for the work I do. The problem is that by the time I explain it twenty times to someone, I could have finished 20 different files. So what’s the point?

No one will help. And I’ll maybe get fleeting recognition, if anyone bothers to give me anything.

I hear the, “oh, take some time off,” which is great in theory, but no one is going to do the work for me. If I take a day off, double the work will be there the next day, so what is the point? Seriously? What is the point?

This just keeps repeating. Some people are lazy, some people do legitimately try to help but don’t know how, but I end up exhausted and overworked and not appreciated at all except maybe the odd half-assed reassuring phrase, and this whole process repeats.

In counselling, we’ve talked about self-care and self-respect. The problem is, I have very little self-respect, and self-care feels like a pity party. And right now? Right now I feel like a chump for letting this happen to me time and again, and I feel like a big loser in life in general.

Ah, well. What the fuck does it matter? I don’t feel like anyone cares.

Seriously? What a heartbreaking place to be in life.

I finished about 5:30 PM. My eyes have been having a really difficult time lately, getting blurry and unfocussed because I’m spending so much time on my computer, so I just need to give them all a rest. Instead, though, I ended up cooking dinner (which took me an hour). After dinner was over, I changed the cat’s dirt box and found, in the process, a heap of wet clothing in the washing machine, so that had to be dealt to as well.

Frustrated and tired, I went to take the dirt box out to dump it in the unilluminated garbage can, but before that happened, I had the honor of having our front door slammed in my face due to my husband being in a bad mood. Fun times.

So, I’m pretty upset tonight.

I don’t want to get into it any more. I’ve written enough. I feel trapped. And sleep is not really bringing me any relief in that matter.

There was a bright spot today. Jack (our neighbor’s cat) was sitting outside my home office window this morning, on the fence, looking in, and as my husband and I were discussing something, he meowed because he wanted one or both of us to come outside and play with him. My husband wanted to do some gardening, so he went out, and Jack ran down the fence to greet him.

Minutes later, my husband returned to the window with his gardening bucket. Inside? An immovable Jack. He wanted his foster dad to pay attention to him, so sitting in the bucket it was. Very cute.

Our cat Sissy was very cuddly tonight too. I think she knew I was upset, bless her. She has a very pure heart.

COVID-19-wise, in New Zealand, we had 6 new cases today: 3 from a small cruise ship that got into trouble near Antarctica several days ago, and 3 from existing clusters. We unfortunately had another death, another elderly person from Christchurch in the hospice / dementia care nursing home where a cluster appeared. Each time I hear something like that, I say a little prayer for the person who died and their family. It must be a very harrowing time for them.

I know I’ve been a sour dick today in this blog, but I have realized during this month in lockdown that I have got 1 (one) statutory return done — I am still waiting for the Government agency in charge of the other one to process the changes I made on 4 February, and I’ve had no response on that at a week later — and none of my own overdue work done. I haven’t even had the chance to liaise with my colleague in my own department on anything we have to do. So again, I feel overwhelmed, overworked, and super under-appreciated. And this has been going on for a while and I don’t feel I can continue like this very much longer.

I hope wherever you are, you and your loved ones are well, you all are safe, and you stay safe and be kind. Kia kaha.