I think we can all agree that lockdown has given us a lot of time to think and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I’d argue (looking on the positive side of things) that it’s actually presented a lot of lessons for us to learn from in different ways. So here are some of mine…
I’ve always felt a huge pressure to be doing things with my free time but lockdown meant nobody could really do, well, anything, forcing us all to lead simpler lives from our homes. “This has actually been really good for you, you know” my fiancé Matt pointed out to me one day and honestly? He’s not wrong. I used to feel like I had wasted a weekend if I hadn’t done anything with our days off but nobody created this pressure except myself. For weeks now, my time off has been repetitive in its mundanity, slower living filled with books, boxsets and conversation. The world hasn’t spotted spinning and it’s done me the world of good.
Something I think a lot of people would have realised is just how much we all took for granted the little things. You know the stuff I’m talking about. A hug from your mum. Not having to add half an hour on to wait in a line before you go to do your food shop. Being able to get your hair cut. Meeting your friend for a coffee. These are all stuff that is a little easier to do now (certainly here in the UK anyway) but for months I’d find myself constantly starting sentences with ‘I just want to…’ I genuinely can’t imagine myself taking even the smallest of things for granted after the months we’ve had.
The toughest part of lockdown for me personally was when I was told I was at risk of redundancy. The pandemic has affected a lot of businesses in really devastating ways and I was part of a group of people wh0 were put under consultation while finer details were worked out. I was very fortunate to find another job within my company (one I’d actually already applied for pre-lockdown) so things worked out incredibly well for me. That said, it was a really tough situation to be in, one made so much harder by being in lockdown. I don’t deal well with change generally and it was a strange scenario to grapple with, leaving one job and starting another, all from my dining room table. But I had been far too comfortable previously and change is an important part of life that in this case, worked out for the better, presenting me with an opportunity that has turned about to be incredibly exciting a huge learning curve.
Following on from the above, I feel fortunate to still be in a position where I’m earning a wage and better yet, I’m actually saving quite a bit of money too. There are no hair or nail appointments, no gym membership, I even paused my contact lenses as I just wasn’t wearing them. And I haven’t feel the need to spend this extra money I’ve been saving either. While we couldn’t go into shops to browse for a long while, I wasn’t particularly inclined to head online either. Admittedly a lot of this was down to me taking the attitude of “Well, nobody is going to see me anyway so I may as well just lounge around in these threadbare leggings…” but ultimately, I didn’t feel a need for any more ‘things’ and it was kinda refreshing. Other than my hair appointment, I’ve not missed any of it and it’s been very beneficial for the wedding savings pot.
Whether or not you admit it, this whole experience has been pretty scary at times. None of us could have predicted this is how 2020 would have worked out but here we are. And for a lot of us, as is common when big events happen, I reckon the coronavirus has provided a whole new perspective for us to step back and consider life from. Because why wouldn’t it? Something like this changes people. It is a big nudge that brings our feet firmly back to down to earth, reminding us what we want from this life, the company we want to surround ourselves with and the mark we want to make. This may sound dramatic but the amount of people I’ve seen making huge decisions whether that’s a complete change of career or even calling off their wedding has been really surprising.
This is ever so slightly cheating as technically this one became apparent because of my new job…which started in lockdown so we’ll let it slide, yeah? Anyway, my new role is much more fast-paced and I have less time to pick up my phone which is obviously a good thing, but this has meant I tend to get a build-up of notifications throughout the day. And I’m ashamed to say it makes me feel really flustered and even a bit panicky. I’m well aware this isn’t a healthy mentality and my friends or family members never demand I reply or anything so it’s all on me and I don’t like how intense my relationship with my phone is.
What have you learnt during lockdown? Let me know in the comments!