Are We There Yet?

When the COVID-19 quarantine became a real thing and after a reasonable amount of moaning and mourning the death of a social life and impromptu travel, I promised myself that I would use this extra time on my hands to do all sorts of productive things. I would focus on the social media marketing for my latest book. I would make great strides with the current WIP. I would write clever blogs for my website. And I would become an expert with Canva Pro. Well, as I begin Week 4 of this quarantine, I can honestly say that I have done just about none of this. And every day I’ve ask myself why.

Most days I would sit down at the computer with the best intentions. I’d open the manuscript, read over the last chapter, set the cursor in place to begin again and then suddenly remember that I had forgotten to throw away that box of old saltine crackers that I kept around for my mother-in-law before she passed away last September. So off I’d go to the pantry where I’d find a lonely keto power bar and decide to sit down with a cup of green tea and check the latest posts on FaceBook.

Two hours later, I’d need an isolation walk around the neighborhood to counterbalance the sitting. April in Florida means pretty warm and sometimes humid temps so I’d come back hot and bothered and take a shower. Then it was time for another cup of tea and a check of email and a scour of Instragram. (Thank God I don’t do Twitter.) So now, it’s late afternoon and I’m disgusted with myself for getting absolutely nothing done. I trot off for one last stab at some writing when a friend in London calls to check on life in Florida during the pandemic. And even though I have absolutely nothing to really report, I finish the call an hour later. It is now time to think about preparing dinner, which can not be accomplished without that evening cocktail or glass of wine. Translation: the day is over.

I have recently discovered that I am not the only writer or professional working at home that has wrestled with this problem. Some day it will have a syndrome name like “restless attention span” (RAS) or “any excuse to screw around” (AXSA). Whatever it is, I’m honestly trying to kick the habit in the coming weeks and accomplish something even if it’s wrong. It will be helpful to know that there is an end in sight to this “Safer at Home” dictate. For now, at the very least, I’m thankful that I don’t have to teach fifth grade math.