The world we are living in right now is NOT normal, and it’s important to understand that we cannot be expecting ourselves to be our normal bubbly, productive, hard-working selves. Everyone is dealing with this global pandemic differently. Some of us are still able to work, others are dealing with unemployment for the first time. Some are mourning the loss of loved ones, and others are dealing with severe loneliness from being stuck somewhere alone, far from the ones they love. Schools are cancelled or online, work is remote, and life is straight up weird. 

As someone who puts a lot of her personal worth into productivity–not always in a positive way–I have really struggled during this time. I’m able to do a little bit of work from home, but frankly, I’m not as productive as I usually am and as someone who lives a “busy life” I find that my daily walks around the neighborhood are almost demoralizing compared to my old commute.  Sometimes, I don’t get out of bed til 3PM. Sometimes I feel productive just for making one meal a day. And so I turned to a little saving grace: My Pandemic Resume. 

We are entering into the second month of the COVID-19 lockdown around the country. Time has both flown by and crawled, depending on the day.  But we’re actually doing more than we think we are! It’s not just about hours logged at work! Finishing an entire series…that’s an accomplishment.

I challenge you to create a “Pandemic Resume” about your experience during the pandemic. It’s not about showing off to your boss later–though that might make you feel better–but it’s about being able to look back at what you did during this time and not beat yourself up for being a “bum.” 

Since I started my “Pandemic Resume” I have felt so much better about my own work or lack thereof during this time. Sure, I’ve only finished three online courses when I meant to take five, but I did watch 98 episodes of Hannah Montana, and that’s a big commitment!

Here are some ideas for categories on your own Pandemic Resume inspired by my own resume and categories I am choosing not to include because of who I am as a person

TV shows watched

There’s something insanely satisfying about saying you watched 98 episodes of one show, or 110 of another. It’s pretty easy to track episodes as well–they’re usually numbered–but if you binge an entire show, you can simply Google how many episodes there are. You can also choose a new show based on episode amount to control your viewing habits. For example, Lizzie McGuire has 65 episodes. There are 60 episodes of Game of Thrones. Reign has 78 episodes, Jason Mesnick’s season of the Bachelor has 13 episodes, and The Good Place has 53. 

Movies watched

Part of the reason I started tracking my movie watching was because I was simply forgetting, but it’s also cool to see it grow over time! I’ve been rewatching a lot of movies during this time–because comfort is real–like Clueless, She’s the Man, A Star is Born, etc, but there are also a lot of great new movies streaming. For example, Check out Onward on Disney+ if you haven’t seen it yet, or The Goldfinch on Amazon Prime. 

Books read

Book tracking is super easy, and very useful when you’re trying to pick out future books or talk about your own experiences.  I always make a “to be read” list so it’ll be interesting to compare the books I read during this time with my initial TBR lists for the month. If you think you’ll forget, also keep track of the author and if you read the physical book or listened to it on audio. 

Podcasts listened to

This was a hard one for me–and I did a lot of the calculating retroactively–but I find it so amazing to see the podcasts I listen to laid out like this! There are some podcasts that I listen to daily so I’ve heard almost sixty episodes since this pandemic started. Other podcasts I didn’t discover until the pandemic began, so I’ve been able to go back and complete the whole catalog. Don’t be afraid to approximate with this one–especially if you often listen to multiple podcast episodes while attempting to fall asleep because everyone’s sleep schedules are trash. 

Webinars/online events attended

Now, this might be a hot take, but if you are super stressed and not working or anything like that, don’t feel like you have to be engaging in a ton of professional development. It’s not for everyone, and it’s not applicable to every field. It is for me though! As a librarian, I’m lucky that there are so many webinars available both live and recorded for me to consume during this time, especially as I’m working to get a raise soon, ya know? Plus, because so many in person events had to be cancelled,a lot of author book talks are being held online for free or for a small donation, and I can track my attendance at those! You could also attend online events in your field and track them. 

Online courses completed

There are a ton of online classes out there for free. Check out places like Coursera or the “learning” section of your local public library. Now is a great time to lowkey dip your foot into a new subject. I love Universal Class and Coursera, but there’s also, Khan Academy, Learning Express Library and more. I like to do things that are on the periphery–like grant writing and yoga–so it feels like a “break” from work. You could learn a foreign language, explore business techniques,  or discover a new favorite area of history. 

Loaves of bread baked

We’re all doing a lot of baking, aren’t we? Why not keep track of that! It’s productivity too. For example, I’m baking about 3 loaves of banana bread a week, which I know is insane, but I’m proud of it. Try keeping track of what you’re throwing your heart and time into in the kitchen! It’s not for nothing. I don’t recommend tracking ALL meals because that could lead to other problems, but something concrete like “loaves of bread baked” might be a good starting point.

“Other tasks completed”

Not everything you do has to be a “resume item” because we’re only human, but if you are having trouble categorizing some things, I recommend creating an “Other” section. Some of the things in my “other” category include designs for an Instagram account, a draft of a picture book, a redo of my resume and LinkedIn profile, and a birdhouse made out of wine corks. 

What will you put on your pandemic resume? What do you want to remember from this time, and what will you look back fondly on having watched when you remember all the time you spent in front of the TV?

Aryssa D
FFL Cabinet Member