6 Things I Didn’t Miss In This Pandemic

We’ve been in this pandemic for over a year, and it has certainly been an adjustment in nearly all aspects of life. But not all those adjustments have been bad (for me at least)! In fact, there are some that are good. As people get vaccinated and things start opening up again (I went downtown and saw friends for the first time in over a year!), I think we’re all really thinking twice about the last year and deciding what new behaviours to keep. Here are some things that I really did not miss whilst in this pandemic:

I Don't Need You GIF.

  1. Having to drive my brother places – my brother has a far better social life than I do, and everyone once in a while, he’d ask me for a ride to some restaurant or pub or buddy’s house so he could have a few drinks. It was never a far drive and obviously I’m going to do it so there’s no drinking and driving, but sometimes he’d ask when I was in the middle of a movie, which was annoying.
  2. Eating onions and having to brush my teeth – I love raw onions, and probably munch on them several dinners a week via salads or just whole chunks, and it was very nice to talk to friends over video calls right afterwards and not worry about my breath being gross.
  3. Spending money on drinks – I am not a big drinker at all, but at a party or after curling, I’ll have one or two. In the pandemic, though, those events took a hit, and my wallet benefited. At curling, it’s usually customary to buy your opponent a drink if you beat them, but that tradition was removed during the pandemic in an effort to limit socialization and contact. So just having to buy one drink for myself was great, though I did miss the socializing a lot.
    Drinking Alone GIF.
  4. Seeing friends only once in a while – when the pandemic started, there was a big push to reach out to friends, chat via video calls, and stay in touch. Over a year later, and I still do interact with people a lot online, and it’s been great. As much as it’d be fun to interact in person more, we’re able to still play games, watch movies, and chat at no cost.
  5. Disagreeing about restaurants – to give my mother a break from cooking and to support local businesses during the pandemic, my family and I ordered in every week or two, and that was fun. Ordering in to eat has been wonderful because there’s no need to argue about where we eat. If I don’t want food from the same place my parents want, there’s probably a McDonalds or Burger King on the way that’ll work for me. It’s simple.
  6. Early in-person interviews – in 2020 when I was job hunting, it was really great to have video interviews. I could sit in my room, in my element, and not have to take public transit for two hours just to chat with someone for fifteen minutes. For first-round/preliminary interviews, I think it should stay that way.
    Job Interview GIFs | Tenor

Finding good things in what is otherwise a pretty hellish and complicated year and a half is always great. What do/did you not miss from the pandemic? I’d love to hear.

That’s all for now!

 

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It’s Time To Get Rid Of Introverted And Extroverted Labels

I said what I said.

We as a society love to label everything, but lately I’ve just not been feeling the introverted and extroverted ones. For a while, they were a binary. You were either one or the other, and it was literally on some job applications, so it was something you had to know about yourself and really be. And then, at some point, we went a step further and started saying “oh, I’m an introverted extrovert” or vice versa, which is just kind of dumb in my opinion. I’d rather ambivert, but honestly, just say that you’re a normal human capable of more than one emotion and have different comfort levels in different settings. It’s normal.

it's really common gif.

I’ve been to parties or events where people are constantly asking if I’m okay because I’ll be sitting very quiet and out of the main group. I don’t think these people would believe that at home my parents often tell me I’m too loud or that I have other friends who think of me as a talkative leader. I’m just not comfortable or secure in some of those parties, so I’m quieter. Maybe we like to see others as one-dimensional and understandable, so we tend to lean into these binaries when considering others.

Don’t get me wrong, I do it too. There was this one kid in my elementary school who would literally not talk. He’d say maybe 100 quiet words the whole year. He’d just sit quietly and read whenever he could and not really engage with anyone who tried to talk to him. We all just accepted it. But then one time my friend said he saw this kid playing road hockey with a neighbour on a Saturday. He was laughing and talking and participating. I didn’t believe it, but my friend insisted. To us at school, he was very introverted, but I guess classmates were never who he connected with, and he was more comfortable with this neighbour.

Ok Shrug GIF.

The thing about introversion and extroversion is that it’s only slightly about personality and more about mental and physical preferences. A lot of people think that ‘shy’ and ‘outgoing’ are synonyms for introverted and extroverted, respectively (and because of this, introversion was seen as less than), but this is not entirely true. It’s more about if you feed off others in groups and if you need alone time either to reset or as a preference.

And I can respect that some people really value alone time more and that some people need that mental break, but I feel like the need for solo time to oneself is true for basically everyone. We all need moments alone and we all need time to calm down, whether you enjoy wild parties or not. So why bother with these labels then? Why make it so we feel like we have to pick one when we do personality quizzes or, as I mentioned, job applications?

why do we keep doing this to ourselves? gif.

I feel like even the ideas of being ‘shy’ or ‘outgoing’ aren’t understood to be as encompassing or full-time, but as soon as we slap a psychology term on it, it’s an unwavering life sentence.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Do you feel like the terms introvert or extrovert perfectly capture your essence? Do you value alone time more than others? Do you think we should stop using these terms?

 

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Working From Home: A 6 Month Update

When the pandemic started I was unemployed, but I saw and read about people having to adjust to working from home. For some, it was an easy transition, but many others struggled or felt burn out soon after. In those uncertain times (I say as if we in Canada are not still in them…) there was a lot of discussion as to the future of workplaces. So I wrote this blog post talking about how I did not want to work from home and how I thought young people would suffer in the long run if working from home was to truly be the new societal norm even past the pandemic.

But then I got a job.

I started in right away in January, and it’s completely work from home. I’ve never met my boss in person. I’ve never been to the office building listed on our website. I don’t know when I ever will. But it’s been six months now, and I actually don’t hate working from home at all.

Maybe it's not the worst idea gif.

In fact, I like it a lot more than I thought I would. That’s not to say that I don’t stand by what I wrote last year, because I absolutely still do, but I’ve had a slight change of heart and am proud of myself for dealing with this new work situation so well.

I like not having a commute. I like that I can use a stove at lunch rather than just a microwave. I like being able to sit on my bed with my laptop sometimes rather than only sitting at a desk. I like that I can play music out loud if I want. There are a lot of pros to working from home, and I’m sure if you’ve experienced it, you know this all to be true.

What also has hugely helped me manage this lifestyle is the fact that I have a decent social life set up for myself. I spend more nights on Google Hangouts with friends than not, so I’m able to get regular human interaction, and it doesn’t feel transactional like it sometimes can at work. That work-life balance is real and important.

Work Life balance gif.

In Canada, basically everyone should be double vaccinated by the fall, so there’s some light talk about returning to normal, returning to offices. While I was totally against working from home before I had to do it, I think I’m more in the split party now. I think I’d like to only go in a few days, and ideally those few days be for meetings or something. For people established in their role and good with technology, perhaps being in the office every day isn’t necessary. I know for me in a marketing role, I really don’t interact with people outside of the department too often and a lot of my work is solo, so it’d be more of a social thing for me, which is fine because building relationships with coworkers is valuable. I still think starting a new job remotely isn’t ideal for either party, and I still think that the younger generation could suffer without the mentorship or connections in the long run, but when you balance the pros and cons, I think in general, it’s fairly even. Hopefully workplaces understand this and are able to nicely adjust for it so that everyone can work in their ideal way and get what they need out of it.

I’m learning a lot at my job and I like my coworkers and I’m glad I have the chance to work and figure out myself from home. The fact that I’ve had a change of heart regarding this is cool and I think it makes me a better person and a better employee.

I work well on my own and am not someone antsy, so spending basically 22 of 24 hours in my room/office and 14 of those on a computer isn’t hard for me, especially once I got set up with a proper desk. My room for years was just a place to sleep, so changing it up a bit to suit work was weird, but needed. Not all of it has been changed though…I guess this is now technically my office door.

I did this in grade 6 or 7 and I love it. Click to enhance.

If working from home is my life now and will be the trend for employment going forward, I’d still like to not have ‘home’ be at my parents’ house especially because I am now officially closer to 30 than I am 20 (ew), but one step at a time. This concludes my update!

That’s all for now!

 

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Our Current Workforce: Do You Dream Of Labour?

Perhaps you’ve seen this phrase or a variation of it online: “I don’t have a dream job because I don’t dream of labour.” Though I don’t fully agree with it, it’s an interesting concept, and I think it speaks to a larger problem that’s facing the world.

Most people, while maybe they like their jobs enough, they’d probably prefer to not have to work. There’s a reason why people hate Mondays and why people look forward to the weekends. Most people just work for the money because we need money to survive, and in this economy, we need a lot of it. So we let our jobs consume our life, define it even, so we can live. From literally the age of 4, we’re put on this path (aka school) that’s designed to get us to a place where we can go work for the rest of our lives. If you’re lucky, you end up with a good job that supports your lifestyle, a job that you enjoy doing, and a job that will allow you to retire at a reasonable age. But is that the reality for most people? What’s more, is that enough for most people?

Its A Lot gif.

I can’t speak for older generations, but it certainly seems that this younger generation is far less interested in just accepting this life. That’s why beliefs like the dream job phrase are so popular. People aren’t afraid to express their unhappiness with this very capitalist society we live in where we’re replaceable bots just built to serve a higher, much richer power. And then to go home to expensive rents, long commutes, student debt…I can understand why people dislike it and why people are struggling to find their place in the world.

you know what sucks? everything. gif.

Is the solution to just like, get rid of jobs? No, of course not. I’m not anti-job or anti-consumerism; I know that there are jobs that need to be done and there are services that people benefit from/enjoy, and that will never go away.

But perhaps people would be more willing to take a job they’re not super passionate about or even suffer through a bad job if it wasn’t such a huge part of life. People need more time to not be an employee. Between the working hours of 9-5, there’s often a hefty commute for many that’ll add an hour or three, not to mention things like making lunches the night before, working through lunch, working overtime, and whatever else. It adds up, and if you’re a parent, you have even less free time outside of that. You gotta sleep and go grocery shopping and still do all that. Is there room for friendships, family, or hobbies?

I know there’s a push for 4-day work weeks that some companies are starting to do, and I think that’s a great idea. I hope it becomes the norm. I think there’d be a huge decline in depression and suicide rates, and not to mention that people would be able to use that extra day of not working to put money back into the economy by going out and doing things and investing in hobbies.

That's A Great Idea gif.

I do believe that dream jobs exist. I do believe that there are people who love their career and wake up excited to go do it every day. We should still definitely encourage people to try and do what they love and lean into the things they’re good at. But I think we in general need to be more realistic about passions, how hard it can be to make money with passions, how many people don’t end up with dream jobs, how unpleasant the workforce can be, and how much of our life is consumed by our employment. If we’re more accepting of these less glamorous realities, we can make changes to improve so that life is better for everyone.

The idea for this post came from watching this video below that YouTube recommended to me. After watching this girl, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole and watched several others speak on the topic. I can’t really relate to some of it, as I do believe that I’m in the field I’m meant to be in and quickly found footing when I was unsure after high school, but I do agree that the pressure of a career so early in life and for so long can be toxic and hard to manage.

I’d love to know your thoughts. Do you have a dream job? Are you in that dream job? Do you think the workforce as we know it is healthy? As someone kind of just entering it, this does fascinate me, so any insight you have is welcomed!

That’s all for now!

 

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10 Sounds That I Like Hearing

This post idea came to me very late at night while I was trying to sleep recently, but that’s the experience you signed up for when you loaded this website. Honestly, I don’t know how else to introduce this post because the title is exactly what it is.

There are sounds that are unanimously unliked in this world from nails on a chalkboard to slurping to the sound of whatever alarm we have set each morning. But instead of talking about the bad ones, I’m going to list the good sounds that I like hearing and sometimes go out of my way to hear. In no particular order, here we go.

Listen To The sounds gif.

  1. Thin Sidewalk Ice
    If you live in a place with snow, you’ve probably encountered sidewalk ice, usually along the edges. It’s thin, it’s not really dangerous, but stepping on it gently provides a really nice crackling sound, and you can feel it break under your boot. Delivering newspapers in the winter sucked as a kid/teen, but finding patches of breakable sidewalk ice made it tolerable.
  2. Crunchy Leaves
    Fall hits hard in Canada, and there are always a plethora of dead leaves on the ground in those autumn months, and the crisp crunch of dead leaves is always enjoyable. Unlike ice, there isn’t much of a feeling under you, but you can still hear it nicely. The leaves are already dead, so it’s not harming nature, either.
    stepping on crunchy leaves gif.
  3. Lipstick Tube Snaps
    Putting the lid on a tube of lipstick or lip balm often makes a gentle and satisfying click, and sometimes I’ll just open and close it multiple times just to hear it.
  4. A Gameboy Advance Closing
    The sound of a Gameboy Advance closing shut, even aggressively, is just so fun. Maybe it’s a bit nostalgia-inducing too, but it’s a nice clack. The DS is fragile and not as audibly nice, but you can slam that GBA shut and it makes the same, hearty sound every time.
  5. Those Old Clacky Keyboards
    I don’t have one sadly, but sometimes in my old high school computer labs there’d be an older keyboard that had those thick buttons but made the best clacks and clicks as you typed.
    typing on a computer keyboard gif.
  6. Scraping Pumpkin Insides
    You know when you’re carving a pumpkin and you gotta use that scoop tool to scrape the inner walls of the thing to remove the stringy gunk? I like that sound. It’d be a normal, boring scraping sound if it weren’t for the fact that it’s got a cool echo-y effect from the hollowness of the gourd. And as you scrape more and the walls get thinner and thinner and the inside gets emptier and emptier, the sound only improves.
  7. Heels On Tiled Floor
    A few summers ago I worked at this place where I exited through a tunnel connecting two buildings, and it was long and quiet and tiled, and my slightly heeled dressy ankle boots made just the best sound on that floor as I walked—and I’m a fast walker. I’d be waiting in that hallway for my dad to come pick me up just pacing around so I could hear it more.
  8. Curling Rocks Hitting
    The sound of curling rocks banging against each other is so, so nice. Watching it on TV doesn’t do it justice because there’s something so unique about hearing it live in a curling rink where it’s slightly echoing and there in your space.
    Morris edges Martin in extra end to win Players' Championship - The Grand  Slam of Curling
  9. Paper Cutting
    Have you ever used one of those paper cutter things with the arm you bring down? My mom has a small one that I occasionally use, and the sound of it swiftly chopping through several sheets of paper is so nice and crisp.
  10. Suction Cups Popping
    I don’t know what it is about rubber just popping like that, but the gentle and distinct pop of a suction cup being pulled so it snaps and makes a sound is so nice. We used to have a shower mat that was suctioned, and pulling it back to clean and hearing those rapid pops was just an experience.

listening to good things gif.

Did you think I was going to end on something cheesy like “the sound of your laughter” or something?

Well, I hope you enjoyed this list. What sounds do you like hearing? I think there’s something kind of cool in being able to really enjoy the sound of something pretty average around you.

That’s all for now.

 

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