I’m not writing much at the moment, which is why this is only my second post since lockdown began. I’m sure I’m not the only one but come evening time when I put my laptop down and virtually ‘clock off’ from work, I simply don’t have the energy.
Instead, evenings have turned into a ritual of catching up with family or friends over Facetime, thinking about what to have for dinner, making plans to devour entire series of TV programmes we’d previously not caught up with (last week – Fleabag, this week – Race Across the World).
My evenings are slow but comforting, my sleep is interrupted, my mornings come with a welcome feeling of a fresh new day – despite my tiredness.
My current ‘normal’ is ok, if I’m honest. I feel grateful for our personal circumstances – the ability to stay safe at home and feel productive through work. I get up early to do an online yoga class, make myself a nice breakfast, light a candle to create a calming atmosphere in my home office. I’m perfectly aware of how lucky I am right now.
I break for lunch and a chat with my husband. I plan in a run a few times a week, to have something to focus on. I realise I hate running but love the feeling it gives me – not only of achievement but those amazing post-exercise endorphins that everyone talks about.
I listen to a lot of podcasts, an ever-growing list that accompanies me on socially-distanced walks or on quieter afternoons while I work. I’m finding my way through a hefty to-read list of books too. I have to stop myself from buying more every time there is a sale.
My garden has never looked so good and our house has never looked so clean. I feel the need to want to change my bedsheets at least every week. My husband has taken to collecting old books. I’m looking after my skin with expensive new beauty products. We eat cake now, too.
Living in lockdown has made me focus on the little things. In allowing myself to be bored, I find I have time to look out the window and watch the passers-by as they walk up the street. I watch the forget-me-nots in our front garden grow and thrive and then wither. The other day, I sat and listened to the rain on the conservatory roof. I’m thinking about things (and people) I haven’t thought about in years.
Despite the worries of the world at the moment, lockdown isn’t making me feel scared or overwhelmed. Staying at home and staying safe often feels like the easiest thing in the world, give or take a couple of days where I feel listless or self-critical.
It is what will happen after that makes me think twice. Adjusting to ‘normal’ life again – one where a 5.30am start is routine, a faster pace is necessary and attempting to be in a world where we don’t all cross the street the minute we spot someone in view. Will we flinch when someone tries to shake our hand, or suddenly feel overwhelmed in a busy office?
Perhaps by then we’ll all be giving each other a helping hand to get back to our ‘normal’ without too much pressure. Perhaps the kindness we’ve learnt now and the way that we’re all helping one another along will just continue as we navigate our way together.