Kisses in the Hallway

          Many of you have been working from home because of pandemic restrictions for a while now. My husband is an essential worker in logistics and until this past week, he was working in an office twenty minutes away. Unfortunately, one of his co-workers traveled out-of-state over the Holidays and returned with COVID-19. Given that my husband is over sixty…well—he now works from home.

          As an introvert, I had some difficulty with this new arrangement. Of course, being an extrovert, his new work environment was challenging for him as well. However, it only took a couple of days for us to get in sync with the new schedule. He took over the home office, and I moved my work into my “she-shed” (aka guest room/ grandkid’s playroom.)

          Our challenges don’t compare to what many families face during this pandemic. We don’t have to supervise little ones attend school, Girl Scouts or music lessons online. In fact, we don’t have to monitor any kids while we work. I have more respect for my adult children as they do exactly that!

          So, how did we adjust to this new schedule? We agreed that keeping our routine would work best for both of us. He fixes his breakfast and is out of the kitchen before I’m ready for work. I enjoy having breakfast alone as I catch up on the news of the day, quietly ponder my next writing project, or plan for small groups I facilitate. My wonderful hubby knows I thrive when I have my alone time. (Bless him!) Of course, my notepad on the refrigerator that says, “No Talkie before Coffee” is always a helpful reminder.

          Our new routine has some key transition points in our day. He still kisses me good-bye in the hallway before going into his office. We might even meet for lunch if our schedules line up. I wink at him as he stands at the kitchen sink, telling him he must be a new employee because I haven’t seen him at the water cooler before.  

          At the end of our day, we have an intentional transition time. We pour a cup of tea (or occasional glass of wine-Yay Fridays!) and share about our workday. That helps him transition from “work mode” to “home mode” where he can let go of the day’s stress.  

          I’m happy to say we transitioned well to this new work routine. In fact, we have survived this past grueling year primarily because we start our days spending time with God in prayer, reading Scripture and journaling. God knows what we need and is faithful to provide.

            We are grateful for the light at the end of what has been a very dark COVID-19 tunnel. The vaccine will be available soon, and we can finally reunite with family and friends. Eventually—we may go back to our regular work schedules and locations. In the meantime, I’ll gladly receive my kisses in the hallway.

* Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

C.L. Burger

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