The other day my boss said, “When we go back to the office…” Obviously I’ve spent the last ten months thinking about that although the longer things have gone on the stranger it’s seemed. In spite of everything slowing down I feel like I never really stopped to consider things, like the fact that it was a March 16th, 2020 that I used Zoom for the first time, and March 18th, 2020 that I had my first case of Zoom fatigue. And, well, that’s pretty much all I can think of at the moment but it has been a year of big changes.
My wife decided she’ll be working from home even after things get back to normal—whatever normal looks like, and that means we won’t be riding to work together most days. It also means I won’t be riding the bus home most days. It’s the end of my adventures in busing, a change I always knew would come eventually but I never really thought about it because I never knew when it would come. It also means I need to find a new parking space—we always used her parking permit and I had about a half mile walk to work. I’m still working out the details but my new parking place wherever it is will be closer to my building. I’ll have a much shorter walk, although I think I’ll still walk. The difference is it’ll be voluntary. I won’t need to walk to the bus.
All this made me realize that my daily routine never was routine. Every day was slightly different. We went to the same parking garage but rarely parked in the same place from one day to the next. We never arrived at exactly the same time. I walked different paths every day. If it was raining or really cold I cut through a lot more buildings which slowed me down but I was fine with getting to work a little later if it meant I could be a little warmer or a little drier. On my way home no bus ever arrived exactly on schedule, and even when I rode with the same bus driver from one day to the next there were different people on the bus, different seats where I sat.
Every day was slightly different, but the differences were something I could count on, which is why I overlooked them. The differences have always been part of my routine.