Spring Fever at Week’s End

Even without my alarm clock going off, my bladder “knew” when I normally woke up to go to work, and it roused me at six-thirty.

I got up, took care of business, turned on the coffee pot, and opened the apartment’s front door. The clouds were pretty at dawn, and I wanted to capture the image. I threw on a hoodie, which I really didn’t need, grabbed my phone, and walked down to the mailboxes.

You sunrise, March 20
“At dawn on the fifth day, look to the east…”

Yeah, the sunrise was worth it. Even in times like this, it’s important to take in moments of beauty.

A little past eight, my doctor’s office called me. I had an appointment scheduled for the afternoon.

For obvious reasons (read: COVID-19), I did not. The office was trying to limit patients to people who genuinely needed it, and my appointment was a routine follow-up on my blood pressure. Instead, we talked by phone. I went over my blood pressure tracking, which is still on the high but stable side, and we decided to add another drug to my cocktail, this one a vascular fluid pill of some kind, and I’ll pick that up from the local CVS tomorrow when I go out for supplies. Then, in six weeks, hopefully, we’ll be able to reschedule things, see how the new medicine works, and assess things.

I have been snotty and congested, off and on, since Farpoint in late-February. I may have had a case of “con crud.” I felt slightly worse after the Carbon Leaf show a week later. I hate admitting this, but I was alarmed enough by what I was hearing on the BBC every day about COVID-19 that I really considered not going to Farpoint, and with Carbon Leaf, even though I was really looking forward to it, I came thisclose to backing out on the day. Right now I’m 98% sure that what I’m experiencing is allergies since the mild winter means spring began for nature a good three weeks early and everything is in bloom, but there’s that miniscule chance.

I have been paying attention to how I feel. I occasionally have a headache. I occasionally have a weak cough. I have felt fatigued, like when I went for a walk over the weekend, but that’s my normal on my meds.

While I do not have a thermometer (one of those supplies I need), I have not felt feverish, I have not had chills, I haven’t felt tight in chest, and I have not have difficulty breathing.

If anything changes for the worse, I will say so. For now, I am good, and with luck and an abundance of caution, may it remain so.

The unfortunate thing about the phone call from the doctor’s office was that I didn’t get dressed for work. I didn’t have time. I had things I needed to do early in the morning, so I sat down in the t-shirt I wear to bed, logged in, and started working on the tasks I’d written down on my to-do list.

I see my colleagues on social media talking about how they’re working without getting out of their pajamas, or even without putting on clothes. Some talk about how the best thing about working at home is the beer. Me? Treat it professionally. Get dressed, go to work, even if work is my personal computer in the back room.

After putting files on the server, sending files to colleagues, archiving other files, giving status updates to the team, and answering various emails, it was ten o’clock and I had reached a good pausing point. “I am going to shave, shower, and get dressed,” I decided, and that’s exactly what I did.

I shaved. I showered. I put on a polo shirt and khaki shorts. I put on my baseball cap. I ate a late breakfast.

My glasses seem askew…

Then I buckled down to finish writing the import toys section.

The temperature climbed into the seventies in Pennsylvania, so when I took breaks for tea or just to get some air, I would go outside, sometimes to stand in the sun, sometimes to sit in my Adirondack chair for a few minutes.

My to-do list grew throughout the day. Catalog sections came back to be passed over the layout. A data file needed to be created. I added them to the list and jumped over to them when I felt I needed a break from the copywriting and copyediting. As a consequence, I didn’t finish with the import toys text until almost three o’clock.

Another break was needed, so I went outside. It was sunny and more like mid-summer than the first day of spring. I walked around my neighborhood and took photos. The heat of the sunshine felt so good on my face, and the bright blue skies lifted my spirits. No one could blame me for having a touch of spring fever on the first day of spring.

Yoe, early afternoon
Yoe, early afternoon

It was quiet. Few people were out. Traffic in the disnance was light, and on the local streets there was none.

Late afternoon, after the walkabout, I wrapped up a late project, wrote out another status update, and at five o’clock I called it a day. I took a beer out of the refrigerator, grabbed a pint glass, and sat outside on a lovely March evening and drank a Manor Hill Brewing Porter.

Yoe, early evening

I felt a bit like a unproductive lollygagger today, especially after yesterday. But I think that’s because Thursday was so successful. I look at my to-do list, which ultimately grew to 14 items, and 11 were completed in full, one didn’t need to be done, one remains in a holding pattern, and one I had logged even though I didn’t expect to do it today. To be completely honest, if I look at where I am in terms of the publishing cycle, I would say that I’m about a day ahead of where I would ordinarily be.

And I’m attributing that to closing my email when I’m working on a task. At the office, I leave Outlook open all the time. I get an email notification, I stop what I’m doing, I read the email, maybe I do something about the email, maybe I don’t do something about the email. The point is, doing this takes up time, and it breaks up my concentration. I’ve read that there are other, better ways of dealing with email, and this week I’ve done exactly that. Though I’m not putting “check Outlook” on my to-do list as a concrete task of its own, I am treating it that way. It is a thing to do, not a thing that is.

In short, I’d say my first three days working remotely thanks to COVID-19 have been a success. Thinking about it, this was probably the best week in the publishing cycle to go remote, because it’s a good easing-in week. Next week will be different and less dependent on the remote desktop, and the week after that vastly different and may even require going into the office for a day or two.

My plans this weekend are simple.

I am going out for supplies. I need lightbulbs and shaving cream. I need milk and bread. I need to pick up a presciption. I have a list.

I should do my laundry.

I want to clean up my “office.” It’s a little cramped. More room would be good.

I want to do some writing. Fiction writing. I have the outline I found yesterday, and there’s another idea that’s been kicking around in my head.

And I may do some thinking about my website. I have an itch to make a change, but I don’t know what I want. Maybe change the fonts up?

That’s a full list, too.

Back at the comics industry on Monday.

Published by Allyn Gibson

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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