Me, myself & I

Had to test something yesterday for work in Microsoft Teams, so logged in on separate accounts with my phone and my personal laptop as well. It ended up looking like this (I took a screenshot)…

Suffice it to say, I was eager to end the test.

Yesterday I also told a teamleader who I work with a lot but is not my boss that I think I need to look into doing something else, as I don’t enjoy this work anymore. My boss also knows (told her a few weeks ago). Gulp. What next?

Quarantine bedtimes

This quarantine thing has quite an impact on my daily rhythm. I find it difficult to get to bed before 1 or 2 am. Last night it was 2 am, or a little after. I’m a pretty sound sleeper and usually can fall asleep quickly but last night our black cat had decided to grace our bed again. She’d been sleeping curled up near Mr. Esther but as soon as I got into bed, she first decided to lay on top of my side, but that got hot for me, so I pushed her off. I then had to battle her for space on my pillow. She likes to lie on it too, particularly half on my head, which is not comfortable for me either. In the end, after about half an hour, she settled somewhere between Mr. Esther and I and I could finally fall asleep.

Then, this morning, after barely 5.5 hours of sleep, I got up again so that I could help my daughter get some food into her and give her some moral support before she went to school for two socially distanced exams (she has an exam week this week). She does really well in all subjects, except for math, and she was nervous, despite studying really hard for that on her own and also via video calls with friends. She’ll be getting extra help with math from school from next week onwards (we had asked for extra help some 7 or 8 weeks ago as Mr Esther and I are pretty useless with math) but for this exam that help comes too late. Anyway, I figured the least I could do was give her that little bit of extra support this morning, so that meant waking up some 45 minutes before I normally do. When she left I was still tired, so I decided I could just lie down again for another 25 minutes or so before I took a quick shower and started work at 9. Of course, I fell right back asleep and didn’t wake again till 9.30! I hastily got up, threw something on that looks halfway decent infront of a webcam, did a quick brush of the hair, put on a dusting of mascara and then got to my laptop to prepare for my first meeting which was at 10 am. Luckily, there wasn’t too much to prepare.

So, here I am, unshowered and tired. Luckily no more video meetings today, just some chores to do on the computer that aren’t time sensitive, so I took a little time eat a late lunch and now to blog. I’m wearing the Pride & Prejudice green book cover earrings I got from Guylty and lunch was a slice of bread with a little butter and chocolate sprinkles. I look wrinkly, old and my hair is an unwashed mess, but I am happy with the earrings and sprinkles! They are the only things to really bring me joy so far today (and the news from mini-me just now that the exam seemed to go OK, we hope enough for a passing grade).

I really need to work on getting to bed sooner, though. Half an hour past midnight should be doable, right? And then get up at 8.30 am after 8 hours of sleep? And yet… Last night, Mr Esther went upstairs at 1 am and I said I’d be right there and before I knew it an hour had gone by! A little while ago during a video conference, my boss told me she pretends she needs to travel to work, so she gets up early and does her normal routine and that helps her be on time. I am not that disciplined, however, and I just can’t do that because in the back of my mind I keep on thinking it isn’t real anyhow so why bother?

I think it’s time these lockdowns ended and some sense of normality comes back into our lives. Only then will I be able to discipline myself for better bedtimes, I think. However, it will be a long while yet before normality returns. There are talks of possibly setting an evening and night curfew here and vaccinations don’t seem to be progressing that quickly either. I know I need to self-discipline but I’m so terrible at it… Am I alone in this or are you guys just as terrible as I am?

Back to real (virtual) life

Christmas holidays are over and we’re all back to work in our virtual real life worlds. Mr. Esther is working online in his study upstairs, Junior had online classes in his attic room until 2 pm and now (between 3 pm and 6 pm) he is at his part time job in a DIY store. He normally works at the cash register there (behind a plastic screen) but due to Corona restrictions, the store is only open for pickups of online orders. So, the last two times he went in to work he had to do other jobs (masked), like cleaning shelves and re-stocking merchandise.

I’ve just finished my first working day (which was OK), here at the dining table, and mini-me has been doing her online classes opposite me as her desk in her bedroom is too narrow to accommodate all the materials she needs. I went up to her room for an online meeting for a bit, but otherwise our working station today is looking like this (mini-me has started studying for exams that will be happening in two weeks).

School from home for the kids will be happening for at least the coming two weeks but as the Covid 19 cases aren’t going down fast enough here, I suspect those measures may be prolonged.

Two weeks of holidays have just flown by. We’re all not quite ready for all this real life, virtual, stuff again and each one if us looks a bit pale and tired today because our bodies are still on holiday clocks instead of work/school clocks. We all really need to make sure we get to bed earlier tonight than we did last night. All four of us are night owls, so wish us luck!

Winding down online school & work for 2020

Since yesterday (Wednesday) schools in The Netherlands are closed again due to stricter Corona restrictions and my kids now solely have online classes. My son already had partial online classes next to his partial in school classes but now all his classes have gone online and he does those up in his room in the attic. My daughter up until Tuesday was at school but all classes have now gone online for her as well. She decided to do her online classes at the dining table opposite me today with beside her our black cat.

It’s lovely but quite distracting too, as the way mini me is reacting to other students in her online breakout room has me cracking up opposite her. Luckily it’s only for today as mini me has no more classes tomorrow. In effect this means her Christmas holiday starts after her last class ends at 2.45 pm. Mr Esther too has his last working day of 2020 today.

Mr Esther jr just came downstairs triumphantly to celebrate his last online class of today (only got a quick shot as he shimmied in our kitchen). He only has tomorrow morning to go before his holiday starts.

For me, it’s quiet at work now, not much left to do, which is why I can make extra time to be distracted and blog today. We have online Christmas drinks this afternoon with our department head (they sent us champagne glasses and snacks and sparkling apple cider in a package). Tomorrow morning, like Mr Esther jr, I will be working online one last time in 2020 and then we’ll all have two weeks off! It’ll be a weird, lockdown Christmas and we’ll be pretty much stuck around the house for most of it, but I’m looking forward to a two week break with no schedules, no online work and no online classes for the kids. The lockdown will still be in effect after the Christmas holidays (till January 19th), but we’ll deal with any distractions that will bring when the time comes.

A little paranoid?!

I’m working at home, trying to take a screenshot of the Microsoft Teams feature that makes automatic closed captions during a video meeting. Closed captions only works for English. I tested what the captioning does when I speak Dutch and it translates my Dutch sentences to the most outlandish English sentences, which does give me some amusement as I test it a little longer than I need to. Gotta do something to make this all more fun, after all.

So, I’m testing this functionality while my daughter is baking cupcakes at the table and my son just got home and they’re chatting with me. With some hilarity, of course, because what they say in Dutch gets translated to some weird stuff in English and they come and check it out. I then get serious as I need to take a screenshot of the menu option where you can switch captions on or off. Also, as I’m having a bad hair day, I need to hide myself a bit behind that menu bar. The kids are doing their own thing again while I am speaking some English sentences that make sense, like: “Good morning. Welcome to the meeting” which will end up in my screen. Then, just as I take the shot, the captioning apparently catches something in the background that my kids are saying in Dutch and this is the caption I get…

I only notice it right after the shot is made and can’t stop laughing. This is the perfect, serendipitous picture, isn’t it? The kids love it too, I don’t think my work has ever caused this much hilarity for them before. I did get the correct screenshot later…

… but I’m still wondering whether I should include the first shot in the little manual / news item I will be using this for… 🙂