I can’t remember when or where I head about the word ‘jab’ to mean ‘shot,’ ‘vaccine,’ or ‘needle’ but for once it was not on a British drama. In fact, I see if used by a number of Winnipeg Free Press journalists on Twitter before my account deactivation. It’s missing the accent though. If a Brit says ‘jab’ it sounds like a unpleasant but necessary thing while everyone else sounds like they’re threatening somone after school. It doesn’t matter, I now qualify and getting my Covid jab next Friday.
I am relieved.
For the past few weeks, I have not felt mentally well. I went to my manager and asked to go back on campus twice a week. The act of getting up, getting dressed, and driving to work helps break up the week. It will not solve all the problems happening at the moment but it’s a treatment for burn out. Getting the Covd jab feels like the closest thing to hope in a time such things are few and far between. The 3rd wave is real, it’s here, and the vaccine rollout expanded from age-base to those working and living in hotspots. How was this not done sooner? Well, we have dumb politicians like everywhere else in this world.
People talk about a return to normal but normal has left the building. I don’t work at my work life the same, hell, I don’t look at my life the same. Meanwhile in my fantasy life:
RA: We haven’t…
Me: We haven’t what?
RA: You are usually enthusiastic about initating time together but we haven’t…
Me: Can we cudddle? I don’t have the energy for anything else.
Yesterday, I took the day off. It’s the first anniversary of dad’s death and I began to explore my options. My online course in elearning started and my first assignment involves making a video introduction. I also started to look at other jobs. I rememembered couples in Wuhan filing for divorce after their quantine lifted. It’s like people took stock of their lives and thought I need to make a change. I need to make some BIG, BIG, BIG, changes. The protocols have not lifted but I am considering some big, big, changes. It’s my my parents’ death kicking starting it althought it’s part of it. Another death drove the point home, one I don’t want to repeat in my life.
I had a manager at the downtown campus, let’s call her Margaret. She followed the rules her entire life and managed with a tight fist, yet she was kind and generous. She loved the fact I was coming aboard. We had a coworker who benefitted from managers looking the other way. He was obsessive, he seemed to leap to shush people and those people were usually BIPOC students who weren’t loud in my opinion. He called his walkarounds ‘policing’ and the memory makes me sick even now. That was only a tip of what was going on. Needless to say she documented, disciplined, I sent emails and talked about his behaviour along with my other coworkers.
I was off sick and learned she was off as well. I thought she had pneumonia like I did. She didn’t. She had a stroke and she died. At her funeral I learend she was supposed to retire in January. Margaret was so close to leaving the place behind and spending time with her family. The employee got to retire, in fact he had not choice after he went one step too far beyond the one step too fars he did over the course of his time. He got to live. It’s something that stuck with me.
Fast forward to this year and we had four retirements. We are leaner than lean, making do with even less, expected to engage or to get engaged if disengaged. I also began to think about retirement, how soon I can retire and that’s when I knew change needed to happen. I didn’t want to die before or so soon after retirement. I began to draw lines around work.
I enjoy what I do. I care about what I do. It’s time to help myself with the same care I give to students. I have joined the Covid Fatigue ship and I am sailing the self-care waters. I am following the north star and seeing where to turn.