As talk turns more and more toward ending Lockdown I am surprised to find myself in a bit of a panic.
Not just because I’m not entirely sure Coronavirus is ready for us to be out there, rubbing ourselves on one another again (it can’t be JUST me).
My panic is borne from my lack of social media worthy achievement over the last 11 weeks.
I haven’t learned a new language, de-cluttered my house or redecorated any rooms.
I haven’t baked daily, up-cycled old furniture or made face masks from old t-shirts.
I haven’t landscaped the garden, learnt new skills and deep cleaned the bathroom.
I basically haven’t done anything that social media implies I should have, and I worry that I will emerge into a world of multilingual Delia Smiths as unskilled I was at the start, but carrying a little more wine weight.
So Anna…WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH ALL THIS SPARE TIME YOU HAD?
Well dear reader – I have rather enjoyed it. In fact, here are just a few positives from Lockdown 2020.
I want to acknowledge that I know some people have been struggling with Lockdown and it’s been far from a cake walk for many. I do feel for those people immensely – I know I am lucky to be able to write this post as a positive.
Completing Post-Op Precautions
My hip replacement took place not long before Lockdown and my post-op precautions were in place for 12 weeks. Despite not being able to see a physio I stuck to the rules and, after 12 long weeks could start to behave like a ‘regular’ person again. I sat on the couch, I curled my legs up to watch TV, I slept on my side and I picked my own stuff up off the floor – it was a whole new world of comfort, one I had forgotten! Most importantly though, I began to shave my own legs again.
Both Seth and Rory celebrated Lockdown birthdays. Seth got lots of lovely window visits from his school friends who bought along handmade cards and gifts. He also had a ‘Vidhug’ with birthday messages from family and friends. Had it not been Lockdown he would have probably had a party but it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as memorable as this one was, and he wouldn’t have lots of really thoughtful treasures to remind him of it.
Rory didn’t get any window visits – don’t worry, he was totally OK with that. We did, however, celebrate with a takeaway meal from our favourite restaurant. We can NEVER get a table there but, thanks to Lockdown, they have started a takeaway service, so it was a BETTER night than he likely would have had.
I decided a little while ago that I needed a change. I need to be more than I am now, I need a new challenge. As much as I love to write – this here little blog isn’t ever going to change the world. For a long while I have thought about getting into teaching but for one reason or another it was never the right time. Lockdown saw me prep a lesson and have a remote interview for teacher training. Despite the fact I cried after the interview and was pretty confident I messed up (that’s a whole other post I must write), I have been accepted to begin training in September! HUZZAH.
We all know I’m not really a people person and small talk makes me feel a bit awkward. Due to Lockdown I’ve managed to avoid small talk and instead just be in touch with the people with whom talking is not a chore – there are also a LOT fewer chuggers knocking on the door which is a delight. Apps like Zoom mean I can enjoy a glass of wine and a chat with all the people I like and luckily, the people I like know their angles so I’ve not been confronted by this look once!
We have also enjoyed a socially distance meal with our neighbours in the front garden. Pre-lockdown drinking and eating on your doorstep was considered a bit…weird. Now it’s perfectly acceptable!
Without the hustle and bustle of the old ‘normal’ we have spent more time together. We’ve always got along but now there is a lot more laughter – everyone is a bit more chill. Aoife and Seth have reconnected as there is no one else around to go off with or impress – their friendship is beautiful to see (it’s not all perfect, they’ve fallen out more than once). Aoife is embracing just being a child again, Seth absolutely adores her and Rory and I haven’t fallen out once (though he did dream I spent £1000 on tickets for a concert we were already at, so dream me is in trouble). The relationship between Aoife and I has improved to, I was struggling to ‘get’ her – being 9 today is more complex than it was in the 80’s – but spending all this time with her has definitely helped me to understand her more.
Ultimately Lockdown has helped us to take stock, to realise and appreciate the things we have previously taken for granted – popping to the shops, a trip to the coast a countryside walk followed by a pub lunch and how well we get on as a family.
I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago but, being the lazy arse that I am, I didn’t get round to ever ‘properly’ finishing it and a lot of very important stuff has happened in the last two weeks.
Since the murder of George Floyd we have seen Black Lives Matter protests across the world. Although I’m not going to focus on that now, as it would seem trite in this particular post, I am going to acknowledge that I appreciate Lockdown has ensured that I had the time and space to devote to learning, and to educating myself in an attempt to be a better ally. Had these events occurred in in my ‘normal times’ (and many incidents like this have) I would have shamefully made excuses not to give it the full attention it deserves. I appreciate that now we all have the space to sit and listen and truly hope that we do.
For us as a family I don’t think we will ever go back to the ‘old normal’ after lockdown.
For us a nation, I truly hope that we don’t – we can come out of this so much better.