Low energy mode

The allergies have struck me all week. I took Monday off. I returned to work on Tuesday even though I was not feeling 100% and I ultimately left 3 hours early. I took Wednesday off and I found better best. The allergies were tolerable on Thursday and Friday where I worked through both days.

What I got out from this week is that though you feel like you’re in “low energy mode,” people still expect 100% from you…maybe this is just normal American work culture. On Tuesday I thought I was ready to return to work. I drove to work and as soon as I parked and carried my kid to daycare, I was feeling really tired. I thought “should I call out and turn around?” I resisted the idea because I would hate that I came all this way to just turn around. I happened to return on the busiest day of the week…or maybe it felt really busy because I wasn’t feeling well and I just could not keep up. For Thursday and Friday, I just took it easy. My job requires me to talk a lot, so I had take it easy on the talking and shouting across the office to catch my coworker’s attention. If I was talking significantly less than usual that is why.


I started volunteering for a local high school robotics team. My husband referred me there and it’s mostly remote where I assist them with outreach and public relations — it’s what they need and I have experience with both from my job. My husband has been volunteering there for some time as a mentor and coach. I told him that when I start working somewhere closer to to home I would like to volunteer and he said, “you can volunteer now at the high school robotics team.”

I use to volunteer quite a bit when I had a lot of free time. I took a break from it because I was so busy at my work at the hospital throughout the pandemic and I was pregnant and I gave birth. As I am getting the hang of parenthood and things are getting “back to normal,” I thought to get back to volunteering.

Tiny kitchen update

Today is the last day we’ll be having our tiny kitchen. Tomorrow the exterminator is coming for the second treatment. I do like seeing the counters less cluttered — I’m in no rush moving all the stuff back after the second treatment. As I use stuff from the box, I move it back to the cabinets and drawers. After a month, whatever stuff is still in the box, I donate.


One thought on “Low energy mode”

  1. Hi Julie,

    Yep – with allergies come both our bodies working harder just to breath and even think, so of course we burn out earlier in our days. Covid and the stress it adds to getting our jobs done have only complicated things with one exception – such as we’re able to work from home, we get back the time we used to spend on commuting which for some is substantial.

    I used to manage all the production non-UNIX based databases for Charles Schwab and once found myself with not enough staff to do the job. This was before any form of working from home was done much and the only way we survived was by my stretching the rules of allowed work-from-policies. We were allowed one day / week and without asking permission I changed my team to 4 days / week with one day when all of us would be in the office for meetings and such. It was wonderful. I found that I got much more productivity because my staff were essentially giving me their commute time along with their regular hours which got us past the staffing problem.

    I think your point about the American work culture has some roots too. We do work hark and long because that’s what it takes, but I think this is more of an IT culture because my Indian, Asian and European peers all work like crazy also.

    With covid squeezing every company – it may be some time still before we get a systemic break of any real value.

    Hang in there my friend. Get the rest you need to stay healthy. That too is part of our culture. We expect professionals to manage their need of rest and managing things like allergies.



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