Lockdown has been hard for many people, and since being furloughed I’ve found that one of the hardest parts has been having so much time to think.
I’ve tried to stay busy, I’ve tried to create To-Do lists… but even then, it’s easy to get lost in my thoughts. After all, doing the washing up for the hundredth time today hardly calls for rigorous mental focus.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, because every trending article at the moment seems to have a focus on reflection & rebuilding.
Whether on a grand scale (hello, the UK economy) or on the personal side in terms of career changes and new-found passions or skills.
So, in attempt to brain dump, here are the things I’ve missed, haven’t missed and will miss from my time being furloughed.
What I’ve Missed.
- The obvious one here has to be family. Normally I visit my parents 5-6 times a week, and regularly see my sister at their house… so as you can imagine, it’s been hard not seeing them properly.
I’ve been bombarding them with Facetimes, but then there’s always the pressure to talk. Which is even harder given nobody is doing anything.
I guess I miss simply being with family. Not being forced to talk, instead just sharing a brew, half-heartedly watching TV and pottering around together.
2. In an unexpected turn, I also miss the gym. Prior to lockdown, I’d attended HIIT and weight training classes four times a week and for the first few weeks of furlough I attempted to keep up the same momentum at home.
Turns out I need the peer pressure of being in a class to work out regularly – I just have no love or motivation for home workouts.
- Popping to the shops.
I used to believe I knew how to meal plan, however not being able to pop to shops whenever I wanted has taught me this was all I lie. I never buy enough snacks, but always manage to end up with too much spinach. Perhaps we should put that down to good intentions…
- Having a reason to look nice.
While in recent years there has been a big push in the belief we women dress for ourselves. While this may be true for some, it turns out my appearance was mainly performative. Lockdown has made me almost fully feral, and I long for the days when a smokey eye or bright lip seemed more than just a pointless indulgence.
Things I haven’t missed from ‘the old world’
- Feeling constantly guilty because I don’t enough time to do everything as well as I would like.
If an abundance of time has taught me anything, it that the old saying is true – we only do the things we view as a priority. With all the time in the world, I still have yet to finish reading Dracula, watch the endless list of ‘classic’ films I’ve missed out on or re-organise the closets.
- Materialist comparisons.
In the old world, I interacted with a lot of people who financially better off than me. Which meant it was hella easy to fall into the trap of materialist comparison.
Pre-lockdown I was desperately craving a new car, but now I couldn’t care less along as my loved ones are safe & healthy.
Things I Will Miss
- Celebrating the small wins and truly valuing things.
The first time I secured a click and collect spot, I honestly nearly cried. It was the height of the pandemic and it meant me and my parents (they shared my delivery slot) could shop in relative safety. Also, the shortages caused by panic buying served as a great reminder to be grateful for even the bare the necessities such as food.
It also made me savour the moments of joy, whether that’s sitting out in the back yarden with a good book, or seeing our seeds sprout. In such uncertain times, small moments of joy have seemed even sweeter.
- Working together
It seems the world has got a lot more collaborative recently. From me and Craig creating joint DIY projects, to our local community sharing plants and growing tips, it feels like there has been a real sustained effort to make things easier for each other.
It’s made me want to give back more once this lockdown is over. I’m not sure how I’ll do it yet, but it seems more important than ever to give back to our local communities, even if it is in the smallest ways.
When I’m back working full time from an office, I’m sure they will be plenty more that I’ll miss from this stretch of enforced rest. In all likelihood, there will be days where I yearn for a few days filled with nothing much, but I hope I’ll remember how lucky I am.