“Chico” the escaped sausage-dog

Yesterday was tiring. I wouldn’t normally feel so tired at the end of a working from home day. But I was pretty beat and I received messages from other colleagues saying they felt the same.

For me there are a number of factors at play:

  • I’ve still been getting up at my usual time but have been starting work much earlier as the commute is now only a flight of stairs.
  • Skype meetings, somehow, are more tiring than regular meetings (though I’ve had some welcome tips on preserving my voice!)
  • There’s a new job feeling this week. It felt like this last week too. My brain certainly feels overloaded when I start a new job.
  • Life has fundamentally changed
  • The news is terrifying

It’s the final two factors catching-up that are probably really the cause. Life has changed, and you can’t escape that fact.

If I’m feeling exhausted, goodness knows how people with children at home are feeling. You’re made of stronger stuff than me.

Despite all this there were many good things that happened yesterday. I held a good Skype meeting with 16 members of my team and everyone was in high spirits, supportive of each other, and it was good to see that individually and collectively, our sense of humour is in tact.

I chatted to a member of my team 1:1 and again learnt more about the WiFi in the house as we moved out of the kitchen so that my wife, Angie, could make a smoothie as noisily as she pleased! Working in the food industry, Angie continues to need to travel to work, hence it is just me at home after mid-morning each day.

A friends WhatsApp group also became a bit active in the afternoon and just for a few moments, the usual banter helped me forget life outside.

I was rather zombie-like in my 4pm meeting with colleagues across the campus (figure of speech) – tiredness creeping up on me rapidly.

I then went for my Tuesday evening run. Slightly before 5.30pm, I admit, as I just knew I needed to go before I dropped off to sleep.

Outside it felt eerie whilst also being perfect for running. I almost felt guilty for enjoying the quiet roads and the wide open spaces.

Then a lovely thing happened. I was running up a main road when a little sausage-type dog came scampering past me. A few seconds later I realised I hadn’t seen an owner, so I doubled-back. He was now sniffing away on a grass patch by the pavement so we became acquainted with one another. His name was Chico and his address was on his collar. He was small enough to pick up so I took a slight gamble and did so – and he was fine! Next job, find the address. I flagged down a car that was turning in to a side road, was given directions, and then walked for half a mile with this little pooch in my arms until I found the owner’s house. He could’ve been a little more grateful as we momentarily broke social distancing rules to hand over the dog. And then I was on my way and completed my run.

No photo evidence I’m afraid. In this day and age when nothing is deemed to have happened unless you’ve had your photo taken with it, you’ll just have to take my word for it!

I made the mistake of turning the news on at 7pm. So turned it off pretty quickly.

So what will I do differently today? Little steps. I will start work a little bit later, take proper breaks throughout the day, watch the news once only (Boris’ briefing probably), and continue to practice talking normally.

Life is like an experiment at the moment. There are new constants and new variables, and the substance is changing as a result. But we’ll keep tinkering with our lives and routines on a daily basis and find that new normal. We have to.

ps – Chico would like you to know that the featured image is of one of the many dogs who wish they were as handsome as he is, but sadly aren’t.

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