The longest March in the history of March, that is what this month is. Similar to the no man’s land between Christmas and New Year’s but with less toilet paper and holiday cheer. Last night on my personal Facebook some of us were chatting about how surreal the last few weeks have been. Walking into a grocery store and finding only empty shelves, normally bustling downtowns and entertainment districts rolled up like a ghost town from an old western and the constant news cycle are enough to have anyone questioning their sanity, but we will get through this.
Many of you are finding yourself in a position that I’ve been in for a few years, working from home, chained to your house because of some damn disease. Fear not the work from home blues, from one biker chick to another, I have some hints and tricks to help you get through.
I get it, one morning you woke up and the world turned upside down and you haven’t changed out of your pajamas since. Stop that. Get out of the sweats and pajamas and put some clothes on. You are going to work today, aren’t you? Studies show that even when you work from home, dressing as you would for casual Friday will make you more productive than PJ’s or your favorite homeless look, and you will feel so much better. Trust me on this. I personally recommend the Angel Wing Back Button Down with a nice pair of Grace or Faith. Comfortable and stylish!
Knowledge is power, but being sucked into an obsessive fear vacuum is unhealthy and will lower your physical resistance. I speak from experience. Be informed, be knowledgeable but don’t let the news overwhelm you. Prior to my diagnosis I found myself in a rabbit hole. I am a fairly skilled but mostly obsessive researcher and I spent hours in front of my computer with glazed eyes wondering what was going to happen next when I could have been doing anything else. Turn off the news. Stay informed but turn off the news.
The family and the day to day running of the household are going to be your biggest challenges and the only way to overcome them is by having a complete screaming melt down. If you have a she-shed you should be all set. If not, good communication between you and your partner will be key. We all love each other when we are not in each other’s face twenty four seven. We’re all stressed, our partners included. Now is an opportunity for us to grow as individuals and bond with our partners. Work together on a bike, the couple that wrenches together stays together, after all. Plan a road trip where you want to ride when this is over. Work together to create a schedule that will allow you both time to work and relax. My partner is mornings and noise, I’m afternoon-evening and quiet, please. Respect each other’s style and give each other some space and room to not know how to do this yet.
My basic rule of thumb is, if I wouldn’t do it in my regular, OSHA standard workplace, I don’t do it while I am working at home. Unless it’s bring the bike into the office to use as a photo prop. I would do that. Whether it is laundry or the dishes, that will get done before and after work, just like a real girl would do it. I am being gender specific because I am willing to bet you are not quite sure where all that stuff around the house keeps coming from or how the dishes never seem to make it in the dishwasher without your assistance. I feel your pain, sister, but your boss doesn’t. That will keep unless you just can’t get your head on and need to do something mundane to get things right. I’ve spent many a “lunch break” loading and unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming only to come back to the job with a fresh perspective.
Staying on a regular schedule will help keep things in perspective and keep you on target. Don’t misunderstand, no one is saying put on a suit and stare at your laptop for eight hours straight. You’re at home, take the bike out for consciously socially distancing spin if you still can (just don’t touch anything and wash your hands. Damn, I sound like my mother), clean a cabinet, it’s whatever, but… set and keep your boundaries for when you are normally most productive. It will amaze you how much you can do when left to yourself to just do your job.
I’m not going to lie, it will make you go a little crazy sometimes. There will be times when you will just sit on your bike. There will be a time when you will look back on this and remember just how strong you were, how strong we all are.
I want to take a minute to assure you that I am doing everything possible to ensure each package that leaves the shop is clean and free of bacteria. None of our merchandise has ever left the stock room. We don’t go on the road to rallies or events. The only hand that touches your purchase is mine. Everything has been wiped down with disinfectant, and stored in individual airtight plastic bags on stainless steel shelving until purchased. Hands are washed before and after each customer’s order comes in. That’s when the gloves go on, literally. Each of your items is inspected for flaws as per the usual, but I now wipe down each garment and accessory with disinfecting wipes before it is placed in a box. A box that has also been wiped down with disinfecting wipes before any merchandise goes in and before leaving the shop. That would explain why your new outfit smells so lemony fresh!
I also want to let you know how much I appreciate the support from you all during this challenging time. It means the world to us small business owners right now to have your support and I do love you for allowing me to be the shop to gear you up for when we can all ride together again. I know things are scary right now and they may be for a while to come but I am going to do everything I can to keep bringing you the best in women’s motorcycle riding couture and hopefully, putting a smile on your face. Stay safe, stay sane and keep that shiny side up. The wind sister behind you is using it as a guide.