F is for Flexible #AtoZChallenge

April 8, 2020

Like the fact that I’m writing this post after midnight because I started working on something else and lost track of time, perhaps?

Or the fact that I woke up for some unbeknownst reason (stress, probably, because I knew I needed to go to the grocery store?) at 6:15 a.m. so I just got up and did yoga after making my list?

Or maybe like the pep talk I gave myself before I went to the grocery store for the first time since all this *waves hands* started so I reminded myself that, you know, they may not have everything I need so to get what was available and make substitutions as necessary? I mean, that’s why I bought plain unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of unsweetened vanilla milk, for example.

mrs incredible flexible

I’m trying to get to Elastigirl levels, here.

My classes are all online now, so I have adjusted due dates and assignments and have to check my email more often and also still show up for meetings looking semi-decent, which often means I change out of my robe and into a sweater emblazoned with the school logo so I can stay cozy and warm while maintaining a slight level of comfort.

I have to (am choosing to? am figuring out if there’s an alternative to?) grade all my students’ papers on my laptop now. I hate grading on my laptop. It is actually the worst. But I also am not going to print out all of my students’ papers so I can grade them, am I? (I mean, am I?) Whatever, I’m wearing my blue light glasses more often so that my eyes don’t fall out of my head from staring at a screen all day.

My daughter and I live in a one-bedroom apartment, so my office is in the living room. The living room is also where we both watch TV since, you know, that’s where the TV is. Since I’m leaving audio comments on my students’ papers/drafts, I say, “I need to record,” and then my daughter pauses her show so I can leave a comment. When I’m done, I say, “Okay, you can press play now.” I gave feedback on 30 drafts today, and she was in the living room for more than half of them.

I like going for a walk every day, but in the before, I went to water aerobics three times a week and sometimes step aerobics. The pool in my community is closed (as well it should be) and I am not finding walking vigorous enough so I got a couple of dance games for my Xbox. I also bought an Xbox–partially for this purpose.

I used to go to the store basically every day. I went once this week and felt intensely guilty about it because I just went last week. But I was able to get–I hope–enough staples to last me until next week. I want it to be longer, but I don’t think it will be.

flexible cat

my usual level of flexibility

Flexibility means I am learning what works for me in this new situation and what doesn’t. I rearranged my living room furniture to open up space and create a better/clearer/stronger line of demarcation between my work space and my living space, for example.

Things keep changing, and they keep changing quickly, so I’m really trying to go with the flow and, as I said in my attitude post, keep my head where my feet are by focusing on what I can do today to make life more manageable. And because the world keeps changing, I have to be ready to adapt–sometimes on the fly. If I hold too rigidly to the way I usually or used to do things, I would be tearing my hair out in frustration.

As it is, I am trying to remind myself to stay flexible enough so that I can make the necessary changes as needed because, really, that’s all I can do right now.


For this year’s A to Z Challenge, I have decided that I’m going to focus on my survival/coping strategies while practicing social distancing. What are the things that make it bearable? What helps alleviate my stress and fear–or at least what distracts me from both? Tune in tomorrow to see what I have chosen for G!

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  1. Elisabeth Ellington

    Flexible is hard. The cat gif made me laugh because I can relate. It sounds like you’re trying lots of different things to make social distancing and isolation and remote learning and health work as well as they can together.

  2. K E Garland

    It’s a challenge to be flexible when EVERYTHING changes so rapidly. I’m wondering if you’ve had to grade another set of papers, since writing this? Are you going to continue with the living room/voice recorded, “Hey I need to record” set up?

    • Akilah

      Yes, that’s true. And I haven’t graded anything since then, but I am going to keep it up when I give them feedback on drafts, yes.

  3. Mrs Fever

    That cat! *laugh*

    Yes, I’m pretty much “flexible” in exactly that feline way. 😉


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