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

 

 

 

dear the 10s…

with 2020 less than a week away i find myself doing that thing that we all do… looking back on what has been and looking forward to the future and where we hope to go. with that in mind…

dear the 10s,

there is so much i want to say about the last decade and the ride i’ve been on but there are simply not enough words. or maybe there are actually too many.

i can confidently say i am a totally different person going into 2020 than i was going in to the year 2010 (and thank fuck for that)

there are some lessons that i learnt along the way (in sometimes the harshest ways) that i want to share for anyone that may wish to hear them…

🌸if people want you in their life, they will make time. they will make an effort. you can waste so much time chasing people and wanting people who don’t want you. 

🌼how people behave is a reflection of how they feel about themselves, truly. even when it’s hard to believe sometimes.

🌸not everyone will like you. and that’s ok. it’s not your job to convince them you’re a good person and worth their time. let them miss out. 

🌼there is such a thing as being too kind. too gracious. too understanding. don’t be a mug. 

🌸life can’t be planned, as much as you would like to think it can be, it can’t. there will always be something that happens that you can’t plan. you can’t control what happens to you but you can control how you react to it 

🌼it should be a legal requirement for everyone to go to therapy 

🌸having emotions is ok. you’re allowed to feel how you feel. even if people don’t understand it, you’re not wrong for feeling how you do 

🌼stop trying to make yourself smaller so you don’t intimidate people or scare them off. the right ones will stay 

🌸people will generally be disappointing. they can’t always show up for you. it doesn’t mean they don’t care. even if you think it does 

🌼 when your head becomes too loud, get out. break the cycle. write. sing. dance. run. they will all help (if you’re feeling really brave you can tell someone else)  

🌸social media ; fun, but super fake 

🌼everyone has their shit going on, so try not to be too much of an asshole

🌸life can be messy but still worth living. mistakes are essential to learn and grow but a mistake can only happen once. twice makes it is a choice.

🌼 if you love someone, let them know. you can never regret putting a little more love out in the universe

🌸 there are good people out there, try to trust in them. 

🌼 if you can survive the next 10 seconds, you can survive anything

nothing particularly new or noteworthy there but things we all definitely need to be reminded of on occasion.

to my friends that came into this decade with me and have stuck around this whole time… rach, mark, jade, dalby, den, byng, amy, 504 galdem. bloody hell… ten years! we’ve had fun! thank you. for all the memories. i’ve had some of the best times of my life with you guys this last year and decade. i can’t wait to see what the next 10 bring 💓

the 10’s will be forever known as the decade the three loves of my life entered the world. 2011, 2015, 2017. they make life worth living. if i never get my own kids, these guys are the next best thing. and now i’m thinking about them i just want to squeeze them. oooh.

we lost some of the greatest this decade too and even now i find it hard to comprehend that they’re not here 🌈🐯🐘 ☘️ we have remembered them in the best ways and will continue to do so in the 20’s because, as we all know, the ones we love never truly leave us.

i’m going into 2020 trying to be grateful for the confusion that this last month or so has brought. i’ve honestly been so sad at my core these last few weeks. even if people haven’t seen it. on more than one occasion i have cried myself to sleep. not ideal really. god bless byng and amy for putting up with my teary voice notes; i promise you won’t always have to put up with them.

the me at the beginning of this decade would never have pictured me ending the it where i am. id honestly be most disappointed in myself. i definitely thought i’d have it all figured out by now… maybe that’s the biggest lesson of all… none of us have a clue what we’re doing and just making it up as we go…

i don’t have a clue what the next ten years are going to bring… it’s scary and exciting all at the same time. i guess that’s life. i know for certain – possibly for the first time ever – what i want though. and that makes taking the first step a little easier.

wishing you all nothing but goodness for 2020 and beyond

M xo