I am an Extrovert. With a big E. I enjoy human interactions. One crew mate described me as “a bit touchy freely”. Most say I don’t shut up. I get my emotional energy from these social interventions; they help me to form ideas. The networks of people that I have spent my career building, motivate me and help me see clarity where there is muddy water.
I was off work a bit in February, and then ill at the end of February and the start of March. I went into the office for 2 days for the whole of February, working, but travelling and going to meetings in prisons all over the country.
This means that I have been into the office twice since the beginning of February. By the time I was better in March the world had already started to change. We were being asked to work from home if possible. On 10th March I went to an event in the House of Lords and instead of handshaking we were bumping elbows. It all seemed a bit strange and fun.
Then we were told that we couldn’t go into the office. This was mid March and I’ve been working at home since then. Well not working from home, you see, there is a difference. I’m at home with my children whilst trying to work. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one. I’m home schooling my children whilst trying to simultaneously chair video calls. I’m feeding my children whilst simultaneously presenting papers to boards. I am simultaneously referring my children arguing whilst trying to negotiate procurement processes.
I am not just working from home. It is very different.
And I need you to know that I’m finding it hard. The back to back calls/meetings, the lack of adult human company, that’s not a 2 dimensional face on a screen. I miss the hugs, the eye contact rather than us all looking at different points on a screen.
I am losing it in lockdown. I am losing my energy. I am losing the love for my job, I am losing my confidence. I sometimes feel like I’m losing my mind too.