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    • When I knew I was going on furlough for an extended length of time, the temptation was to attempt a “Summer of George.” You know, from Seinfeld: George is between jobs and makes plans to accomplish great things, only he ends up glued to the couch within a few days of his announcement, accomplishing nothing. My goals were more modest: eat a little more healthy, move more, learn some programming every day. And my modest goals have been achieved consistently: first thing in the morning I get in a couple miles of walking, and before lunch I complete a lesson from a programming book. Today was my first day back from furlough, and I now realize that the total absence of what is work was the greatest gain of all.

      I had set my alarm for an hour earlier in order to continue to accomplish my exercise and education goals. Last night, knowing I had to go into work, it took longer than normal to fall asleep. I also woke up 15 minutes before my alarm was set, so already I’m starting the day with a sleep deficit.

      Because I was sleep-deprived, I walked at half speed and didn’t realize it until midway through my walk. I picked up my pace to finish. But it meant that I didn’t have as much time to ice down the swelling on my knee and I was completely SOL on getting in a programming lesson.

      Driving into work I was focused on all of the potential negative scenarios to deal with, adding stress before I even got to work. Arriving at work, you’re hyper focused on all the protocols to avoid getting COVID-19. Seeing people wearing masks at work is unsettling, even if necessary. 

      All this before I’ve even turned on my computer.

    • Sounds like it can't get much worse which means good news - it's going to get better. Let's hope it gets better for you sooner rather than later. Keep at the exercise and learning to enrich yourself and soon you will feeling like you've accomplished something significant before even going to work. You'll see this as so important that you don't even need to get anything from work other than money. Then, slowly you'll start to find new ways to get more out of your job. This could come because you are more fit, energized, less stressed due to exercising and maybe get more out of your job because you've been applying your learning to enrich your job performance and experience. Bottom line is focus on you - your health, fitness, self learning, peace of mind. The job satisfaction will come later. Best of luck. Maybe even tell yourself "and this too shall pass".