Houseplants and Care

Houseplants with a typewritter

I love my outdoor veggie and flower gardens and have been an avid outdoor gardener for years. It wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic hit that I realized I also love houseplants.

Since March my houseplant collection has grown from a few plants I was given as gifts, to a sprawling set of plants that is in constant need of more space. Most of the plants I have are relatively low maintenance, there are a bunch of slow growers, and very few have bright bold flowers. They are shades of green and goodness.

Caring for these plants has brought me a lot of joy. Watering, tending to their soil and light needs, and simply sitting near them reminds of the importance of tenderness and gentleness.

Right now, in a time where there is a lot of uncertainty and the days are getting darker I need that reminder of kindness and care. There’s an urgency to press forward, to keep producing, and to maintain normalcy. Things aren’t normal. And we need to take additional steps to practice care and gentleness with ourselves and others right now.

Things I’m doing to prioritize care:

  • Taking lunch breaks. This seems simple but is something that often gets pushed to the side in favour of catching up on email or finishing one more task. I’m using breaks to reset and do activities I enjoy.
  • Scheduling breaks between meetings and where possible limiting myself to three virtual meetings a day. This one came out of the day where I had six Zoom meetings and was so exhausted by the end of it.
  • Not answering emails outside of work hours. Again, this one seems simple but is so hard to maintain sometimes – especially when working from home and the divide between work and personal time seems more fluid.
  • Spending time with cats and plants.
  • Making an active effort to engage with friends even when we can’t visit in-person. I miss people and virtual hangouts can help with that.

Photo by Shelby Miller on Unsplash

History@Work Archives Month Series

Wooden stacking dolls wearing masks

This year I was able to work again with Kristin O’Brassill-Kulfan Nicole Belolan to edit an Archives Month series for the History@Work blog.

This series looks at the intersection of archives, archivists, and public history in the age of COVID-19 and will be running throughout October as part of Archives Month in the United States. You can see the first post, about navigating a new community during COVID-19, by Hannah O’Daniel McCallon here.

Follow the History@Work blog to see the rest of the posts as they are released throughout October.

Photo by Evgeni Tcherkasski on Unsplash

The Covid-19 Chroniclers

Covid 19 logo

I’m participating alongside Andrea Eidinger, Britt Luby, Carolyn Podruchny, and Sarah York-Bertram in a “The Covid-19 Chroniclers” project. This initiative aims to document our experiences working in academia during the era of Covid-19.

We are chronicling our experiences working in academe throughout the coronavirus outbreak. We are writing as support staff, a tenured faculty member, a pre-tenured faculty member, a sessional instructor, and a graduate student. We feel that our personal lives could reveal how privilege in the academy shapes our experiences. We’ll be posting new content daily on the website and hope that chronicling this experience can be useful to reflect on academic life and to build community within academia.