Skip to content


Written by


I’ve been (extremely slowly) reading No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work and I’ve just finished the chapter on motivation. It felt really relevant for me at the moment, especially in light of how Covid-era realities have hit people and colored their daily experiences at work.

I was talking with my psychiatrist (hey, girl!) the other day for the first time in a few months. She was asking how I was holding up. I gave her the answer I felt was honest: I feel incredibly lucky that living the Covid quarantine life is barely different than living my regular life. I’d prefer to be at home, I don’t really love going to crowded places, I have no desire to have people over to my house (how does anyone even enjoy this when it requires so much cooking and cleaning??), I’d prefer never to step foot in a grocery store, getting food delivered is an absolute DREAM, etc. The only thing I’ve had a hard time with is not being able to go to the gym. Who the fuck am I?

On the whole, I’ve gotten through this whole experience without much difficulty. Until I started school.

School is the absolute WORST right now. There are so many reasons. Masks suck, all the additional time it takes to get anywhere or do anything sucks, physically distancing yourself from kids and other teachers sucks, the skin peeling off the palm of my hands/cuticles/knuckles from non-stop handwashing and using hand sanitizer sucks. Teaching phonics in a mask especially sucks. Teaching kids who chose to be remote when they are precisely the kids that need the most help really sucks. Teaching kids who essentially didn’t go to kindergarten last year and being expected to get them to grade level when they are so far behind incredibly sucks. Not having enough time in my day to teach the amount of kids I need to because group work is verboten ridiculously sucks. All of this leaves me feeling like I’ve run a marathon by noon.

But what’s strange is that, in spite of all this, I’ve been able to maintain a level of positivity about work because it seems like every. single. person. around me is just one hiccup away from throwing themselves off the Narrows bridge. When the world around me is falling apart, I feel like I have no other choice than to be the one who holds it together. (The reverse is also true: I’m usually the one falling apart when everyone else is completely, inexplicably unconcerned.) Inside I have this sad little girl who can’t stand the emotional boat being rocked and so I feel like it’s my responsibility to make sure everyone else is calm. There’s only room for one emotional psycho on this boat AND I’M IT SO EVERYONE ELSE NEEDS TO CHILL OUT. So all I do all day long is try to keep it light for all the people I work with. I try to help them see the positives. I try to offer my support – Can I do this for you? How can I help you? Let me take this off your plate. Don’t worry! I’ve got it handled. It’s ok, this is temporary. You can do this. At least it’s not ______! Thank you so much for everything you do. You’re killing it, sweetie! Etc. Etc. Etc. All the while I’m practicing deep breathing like I’m preparing to set a new freediving world record.

And I’m 1000% sick of it. My motivation for helping people calm the fuck down has completely worn fiber-optic-cable thin. So I don’t think I’m going to do it anymore. From right now, if you’re losing it, I’m leaving it, because I’ve started to lose it and frankly I’m over it.

So let me offer you some advice, if you’re one of those people at your workplace who just can’t seem to chill the fuck out: if you are fucking tired of your job, just quit. If you feel like you’re in over your head, stop swimming. If you continuously tell people, “this isn’t what [you] signed up for,” take your name off the list. If you don’t want to get out of bed tomorrow, flush your alarm down the toilet. Because if you are so miserable, WHY ARE YOU HERE??? If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and feel grateful that you’re alive and that you have a job that pays your bills; if you can’t remind yourself that this is temporary; if you can’t reframe the challenges of working under Covid as an opportunity to grow your practice and learn new skills; if you can’t admit that, yes, those things ARE your job even if they’re not explicitly stated in your job description… if you can’t realize these things, you can’t be helped and I won’t feel sorry for you any more.

Is this harsh? Yep. Do I care? Nope. There is not a single person on this planet that signed up to do what we are doing this year. Not a single one. You are not special. Your challenges are not yours alone. You’re not the only person who is miserable. You’re not the only person who hates many (most?) moments of your life right now. This is 2020. Put on your big girl panties, head to your nearest self-help section, buy the book Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Dr. Daniel Amen, huff some fucking lavender, and calm the fuck down. Ok?

Now. If you need me, I’ll be in bed, reading The Four Agreements. Again.

Previous article

ten books about unrequited love

Next article

book covers

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *