have we tried turning this year off and on again?

hello, friends.

it’s been a minute, hasn’t it? i haven’t shared any of my writing for a couple of months now; i’m always jotting stuff down in notebooks but it rarely sees the light of day at this point. i don’t quite know why, i guess as i get older i get a bit more selective with what i share. even most of the memes i share on instagram are in no way related to my life; just things i think others will benefit from. of course i was meant to have finished the letters in my ‘dear…’ series by now but that hasn’t happened. i think Nick would understand… it was my tribute to him, putting some kindness out in the world. i will finish them, especially now we’re in lockdown! there’s really no reason not to. sorry, Nick! charge it to my head and not my heart…

so… how are we all doing? surviving? it’s all a bit surreal isn’t it? it’s a bit like something out of an episode of black mirror (i’ve watched about 4 episodes of it, it freaked me out too much so i stopped). we’ve almost had world war 3, brexit, BoJo got into number 10, Trump is still president, there was a month in the UK where it felt like we had storms every week and now covid-19. seriously, have we tried turning this year off and turning it back on again? fucking hell. 2020… we were all so buzzing for a new year, a new decade… then it arrived and was like, buckle up bitches.

i was one of those a month ago that was in the  “coronavirus? it’s just the flu” camp… well i soon changed my opinion on that. this virus is so much more than that. the impact it is having on the world is unprecedented. if you’d have told me at christmas that we would all be in a government enforced lockdown in March because of a global pandemic i’d have looked at you most peculiar.

one of the things that worries me the most is that there are still people who are treating this like it’s ‘just the flu’. still going out, still not practicing social distancing. what will it take for it to sink in to these people’s thick skulls? their ignorance is literally going to kill people. it breaks my heart that i can’t just run around to my sisters and give my nephew a hug. to hear him say “when will this virus be over so i can see my friends again?”… how do you tell him that there are humans out there that are longing this out? treating this like a holiday from work? it is just so selfish. add to that that people have lost their jobs as a result of this pandemic and won’t earn a wage until the country is back to normal… it just makes it even more selfish.

i am very lucky that i am one of those that are able to work from home so i still have a bit of structure to my week. more than ever i appreciate this. being able to have some sort of routine is helping me manage my anxiety at how absolutely mental this whole situation is.

there are definitely some benefits to working from home and i am coping with it much better than i thought. one good thing is the commute is great! no delays… no random men trying to talk to me or telling me to smile… i’m saving money because starbucks isn’t enticing me in with it’s sexy coffee smell errryday… i do realise we are only one week in and in 2 weeks time i might be saying the exact opposite but for now i’m ok with it.

working from home does have it’s challenges though. i’m especially finding it hard as i only started my new role 3 weeks ago. i was still in my training period when lockdown was announced. i hadn’t even met half of the team i am directly managing and now i’m managing them remotely. my boss has been really supportive so i am lucky and she keeps just reminding me that we’re all in this together… (go wildcats!)

some things that are helping me work from home and maintain a sense of structure in my week

  • getting up/ going to bed at around the same time as i did when i was commuting to work
  • ensuring i get my allotted government 1hr exercise in BEFORE i start work for the day – it’s quieter outside and it helps wake me up; gets the juices flowing.
  • it’s so tempting to stay in sweats all day, but i make sure i get dressed and ready as though i’m actually leaving the house
  • working near a window – i may not be able to leave the house but the natural light (and fresh air if i open the window) helps to keep me concentrating
  • making lists of what i need to achieve/ get done that day
  • making sure i still take my breaks and when i do take them making sure they are taken AWAY from the space i’m working in so it feels like i actually have had a break.

i know these all probably seem quite simple but in this first week these have really helped me cope and adapt to working from home; something which i always said i would/could never do.

my first weekend in lockdown has not been too bad; cabin fever is slowly starting to creep in though. i am, however, trying to be positive about being gifted all this time on my weekends. i’m using this time to reset. i am going to get to the bottom of my list that is filled with boring but necessary things – i spent my saturday night sorting out all my paperwork and my pensions. WOO. i am also using this time to try to reconnect with old hobbies that i had convinced myself i had fallen out of love with; writing for an audience and running.  maybe you could do the same? this list might change but for now these 2 things seem achievable to me. my neighbours are also being treated my daily concerts through their windows, bless them.

i have seen some people using this time to learn something completely new; languages and instruments seem to be the favourite. some people have set up social media pages to connect people in this very odd time (‘we’re all in this together 19 is one such page). i also feel like i need to say that it is absolutely ok if you do not want to do any of this stuff; if you would just rather rest and watch netflix all day then that’s ok too. you do you, boo.

i have to believe that this is all happening for a reason – i know, i know such a cliche!! – but i absolutely have to. the society we have now has left us so disconnected from what really matters in this world, we’re starting to realise how lucky we are, how good we had it. how often did i take for granted my freedom? just being able to pop out when we wanted, being able to go and visit friends whenever we wanted? go and grab a coffee? or dinner? i hope we all come out the other side with more gratitude for ‘the simple things’.

even the environment is starting to reset. you’ve all seen the reports of marine life back in the canals in venice and that some people in china are seeing the sky and sun for the first time because there is no smog. it’s actually kind of incredible.

i probably need to think about rounding this up because, story of my life, i have gone on much longer than i predicted or needed. i just want to say one last thing…

it is ok to be scared by this. it is ok to be anxious. it is ok to be upset because something you were looking forward to has been cancelled; weddings, holidays, birthdays, baby showers, graduations etc etc etc. it is ok to feel all of that and more. it doesn’t mean you don’t understand how serious this situation is. it is ok to enjoy use your sense of humour to get through this; we have to find something to smile about in this time – on the really tough days the memes are all that are getting me through!! well that and the people i am connected to virtually; we’re actually super lucky that throughout this isolation we are still able to be so connected to those we love. having said that, i really can’t wait for this to be over so i can hug my nephew and a few others real tight.

see you on the other side, lovers

stay safe and wash your feckin’ hands!!

 

xoxo M

 

 

 

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