How Am I Coping? (T-SQL Tuesday #132)

So far this is a pretty crappy technical SQL Server blog. But I fully accept that, since I'm a pretty crappy technical SQL Server blogger. Seems funny for my second blog post to be more about me stuff, but at least I'm finally writing something.

T-SQL Tuesday #132 is asking the question How Are You Coping with the Pandemic? It suggests breaking it down into three categories, so I'll just dive right in.

Mental health
Mentally, I think I'm doing mostly all right. As a raging introvert (like most people that are blogging on this topic haha), the loss of in-person interaction is relatively not a big deal to me. The only issue I've really felt is the feeling of being trapped at home, but that's largely handled by being the designated gopher in the household, so I'm the one doing groceries, picking up takeout, etc. There have definitely been times when the whole state of the world (not just from a pandemic perspective) has gotten to me and I've gotten mopey for days at a time, but overall it's been okay.  Have seen enough of extended family members over the summer, though with numbers rising, who knows if that continues.  Really the only person I miss is my DBA twin.

Physical health
Initially my physical health was doing very well. I actually lost about 15-20 pounds in the early days, because I got into a sacrifice mode, because I didn't want the family to run out of food, so I ate very little of it myself. Once things started feeling like a new normal, I eventually let down my guard and my weight (which I track in a database of course) is running pretty high these days. But I haven't gotten COVID so I'm definitely counting myself lucky (particularly as the resident gopher).

Professional development
I actually took some big steps in this area during the pandemic. There was actually a pay cut of 10% across the board at my company for about 4 months (and it was almost 25%), so a bit of survival instinct kicked in there. So I scheduled two Azure exams and am now a proud Azure DBA (for another 22 months because they expire after two years, which is not surprising). As well, I took a couple of SQLskills courses (the Azure one and the Clustering/AG one), and I also am in the middle of attending the PASS Virtual Summit. Kudos to my wife for letting me pay for those out of my (our) own pocket, and boo to my company for the same reason. But I figured with the increased "free time" and overall uncertainty of life, now was the perfect time to make some bets on myself. Just in case.

My main advice is to really embrace/accept this as the new normal. Hoping for this to be over anytime soon is exhausting, and it's gonna be even more exhausting with winter around the corner. Then someday (.......) when things start to improve, it will feel like a bonus instead of what you expect. And a bonus will be VERY welcome when this is all over.


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