Yesterday was the first day of the new phase of dealing with Coronavirus in the UK, and I have to say being able to go out for more walks with Arthur is a bit of a relief. I still plan to stay pretty local for a week or so, as I’m sure we are going to see images of crowds and idiots not playing fair over the coming days. Living at the coast I’m prepared for the crowds to arrive on our doorstep imminently. Thankfully the car parks are open so will stop people parking in crowds along resident streets.
As with most new beginnings it’s easy to find yourself briefly looking back over the past, and there has definitely been a lot of soul searching going on from people during the last seven weeks of lockdown. Me included! As humans we are great at adapting to situations or surroundings, sometimes without even realising it, and although lockdown has been tough I’m sure everyone could find one positive to take from it. I think the situation has been a very big reality check for everyone on what really matters.
Taking a step back, albeit forced, to look at your life and what you liked about it before this pandemic and what you want to change going forwards seems like a pretty normal thing to do. Feels a bit like New Year doesn’t it as we emerge tentatively from our homes again.
I’ve forced myself to be positive as much as possible, because otherwise I think it’s very easy to wind up on a downward spiral of misery and negativity. I’m dramatic at the best of times, and with very little escape from the reality we find ourselves in, I can easily see how dangerous that could be for the mind, so I made the conscious decision to accept it and make the best of it. Although there is still a very long way to go, a few things spring to mind on reflection of the first 7 weeks of strict lockdown that I plan to take into post corona life…(and no, unnecessary trips to the fridge, and daily bottles of wine didn’t make the cut).
Time is the most precious thing in the world, but too little and too much of it are both a recipe for disaster. The first few weeks I felt like I had no time at all. Trying to juggle two of us working from home, including a lot of overtime and out of hours work, a puppy, keeping the place livable, trying to get to the supermarket with ridiculous queues, and making sure we made use of the daily exercise hour (we have no outside space so this was essential) was a lot.
Then since being furloughed I’ve had more time on my hands than I think I’ve ever had since uni days. That’s not always a good thing, it definitely doesn’t feel like a holiday. It took some adjusting and I’ve had my moments in both situations.
The constant battle for balance rears it’s head again and although I love to be busy and have plans, I’ve found I have really benefited from the slower pace of life for a while. This doesn’t just mean work either. I miss my job and the normality of it, and working in social media I’m constantly seeing things that would apply to my work and have to put it aside. But I’ve also found that not having my personal time filled with commitments has been a refreshing change. Note to self to make sure I allow for this in future when normality resumes.
I really really miss people and eating out. Having to think of dinner every night, make sure you’ve got the ingredients and then making the bloody thing really is an absolute drag and I can’t wait to have the luxury of those last minute decisions to go out somewhere. I actually enjoy cooking, but not every single night. I must be the only person that hasn’t baked once either, I am not contributing to the national flour shortage!
A three course, restaurant meal is so high on my list for when this is over I honestly get emotional thinking about it. Takeaways at weekends from local businesses have been a life saver but it’s just not the same. I’ll never take it for granted again, and I will look at every meal out with a view of ‘but what if it’s the last one for months again?’.
And people. It’s funny because sometimes we’re all so busy we can go weeks without seeing some of our friends but I’ve never been so excited to see them. We need to make a real effort not to fall back into old habits where weeks pass and before you know it you’re trying to find a date for a Christmas get together once a year. Slight exaggeration but you know what I mean. I’m meeting my cousin for a walk on the beach today and I’m so excited.
And what about new friends and generally just being nicer to each other. I’ve got closer to some people, and even met new ones albeit virtually over the last couple of months. I think we are all speaking to neighbours and strangers more, even if it’s just a quick chat in the Asda queue or to another dog walker. I’m looking forward to a real drink in person with some of them.
The one I’m most surprised at is exercise. The run police have calmed down a bit now I think, but I’m not sure where they expected everyone who usually goes to the gym to go to when they all closed, or where people who usually get their fresh air drinking on the quayside (me) would go to instead when they can’t and need to get outside. We’ve found so many different walking routes and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed our daily outings with Arthur.
In addition to that for the first time in a long time I’ve actually felt like I want to exercise, rather than forcing myself to because I know I should. Maybe that’s what being stuck inside all day does to you, and although I’m not Jessica Ennis or bringing out a fitness DVD just yet, I am trying and doing what works for me. I’d really like for this motivation to continue post Covid!
And finally, really taking advantage of what is available to us. Like everyone I’ve had a lot of plans cancelled this year, some more important than others. While we’ve made the best of all of these situations virtually, I can’t wait to appreciate doing all those things when we finally can. Hen do’s, weddings, birthday and anniversary celebrations – they will all be that little bit sweeter when we can finally do them.
In complete contradiction to what I said earlier about making sure I have time to myself, I don’t plan on turning many things down for a while when we have full freedom again.
What about you what sorts of things will you take into post Corona life from your time in lockdown?
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