So 2020 was gearing up to be one of my best years ever, trip to New York, my first ever Glastonbury, the start of our new kitchen extension, music gigs, weekends away- yet all of it cancelled and postponed and the future as we knew it put on hold until who knows when. Priorities had switched to essentially staying alive and not getting ill.......grim!
So the realism set in.....the world as we know it fundamentally shut down...restaurants, bars, flights, businesses, shops all closed. I was washing my hands multiple times a day, people were stockpiling toilet roll (i still don't get that now!??!) and hand sanitizer was like gold dust to everyone and anyone who could get their hands on it.
My eldest sons University closed first, and much to his delight he was at home for the foreseeable future with all lectures now being performed online. Next the secondary schools closed with my 13 year old thinking he was on an extended holiday (oh that feeling changed pretty quickly I can tell you)
I had now been given a 3rd hat, along with my day job hat and my freelance one (well 4th if you count general parenting as one) - home schooling!!....never have i appreciated more the tough job teachers are faced with, and here I am taking up that mantle, trying to teach a teenager the square root of thingymebob (no I've no clue either).
So then onto me - so my day job is a Proposals Manager in the construction industry (in addition to my freelancing) and I have to say I am hugely lucky that I work for one of the most positive companies ever!! - they reacted fast and instead of furloughing all office staff we were sent home to work and it was pretty much business as usual.
My work routine pre-lockdown was one a lot of office workers can relate to - Get up early, rush around getting my son ready for school | do the dreaded school run | proceed to sit in traffic for 45 minutes | busy open plan office | lots of random chats with colleagues | lots of coffee | lunchtime at my desk | minimal movement | maybe work on and then home to continue my freelance work in the evening. I barely went outside during the week and exercise/movement was minimal - but don't get me wrong - I love my job...but yeah it wasn't healthy!
So flash forward to now - sat here as I'm typing at my dining table with my two screen set up and my chair from the office. I'm sat by the conservatory door - which is open most days (thanks god the weather has been so good) - fresh air....yes fresh air whilst i work. I benefit from having a later alarm - (yey extra half hour in bed). I get up at 8 and i get dressed (no day pyjamas). Im getting alot more done in the mornings than being in the office, without the usual distraction of chatting to colleagues, I'm zipping through tasks and my productivity is up. All my interaction is done via Microsoft Teams - multiple chats, video calls with stupid backgrounds, catch up calls with the girls - the app is a god send - but yes I do miss proper human interaction.
So the biggest change to my day is related to my dog - so meet Marley - my new coworker!! Home working was the perfect opportunity for me to actual get off my arse at lunchtime and have a proper break - when he wanted a walk he'd stare at me, like this...until I gave in and got his lead.
I'm gone from minimal weekly movement to averaging about 5k a day walking and double that on the weekend- in the fresh air, sunshine on my face with a happy woofer beside me and I have to say I'm loving it and I'm feeling better for it. My day has structure, I'm getting exercise, getting outside, spending time with my dog and speaking to random people on the way.
I've discovered the process of relaxing - and believe me relaxing is not my forte, evenings and weekends I'd still be zipping round 100 miles an hour, even on holidays I need to be doing stuff. But this lockdown has actually forced me to discover the art of relaxation and you know what - its not too bad! Without the option to go out to places, the garden has become my best friend - Iv sat in the sun, with a magazine and chilled - I feel calm, relaxed...but weirdly a bit guilty that I'm feeling positive and happy.
I guess I've realised that I'm calm in a crisis and just get on with it - I've adapted my routine and ultimately feel better for it. I've embraced home working, my fitness is up, I'm feeling healthier, I'm getting out everyday, I've lost weight, I'm relaxing more, I'm more productive....hell I've even dabbled in baking (and believe me that's unusual!!). I've also reconnected with family more which has also been a positive.
For me lockdown has been a revelation in terms of reassessing my day to day life, realising whats important and what can be changed. Its been a surreal few weeks for everyone - but I've got through it in a positive way with no-one close to me being ill. How has the lockdown affected you? - positive/negative - let me know!