With the UK’s lockdown measures gradually being eased, I thought now’s the perfect time to reflect on the life lessons I’ve learnt over the past 12 weeks and contemplate what the second half of 2020 may hold for me.
Be grateful. I see myself as one of the lucky ones because thankfully I’ve so far dodged the dreaded virus (or if I’ve had it then I was asymptomatic). What’s more, touch wood, my family and friends are also fit and as well as they could be. I’m also grateful for having a nice pad with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, including a home office, and that it’s somewhere I feel safe and comfortable. My finances are also in good health and I’m thankful that my business is doing fine and serving as a brilliant distraction from the worry and stress that would’ve otherwise swallowed me up.
Appreciate key workers. Don’t need to say much here other than a huge thank you to doctors, nurses, teachers, cleaners, refuse collectors, bus /train drivers, postal workers / couriers and everyone working in food production and supermarkets etc. I salute you!
Stop being greedy. I’m a self-confessed shopaholic and would often spend weekends wandering around the beauty counters in my local department store buying lipsticks that I’ll end up using once before they get lost in the bottom of one of my many handbags. Being in lockdown has made me realise how greedy I must be because, let’s be honest, I don’t need the bulk of what I’d usually buy but do it simply because ‘I can’.
Don’t go to bed on an argument. Lockdown has inevitably resulted in some arguments (mostly around domestic chores) with my husband. But letting such rows spiral out of control or going to bed feeling mad with him has never made me feel better about a situation. Indeed, this made it much harder for my brain to switch off and often I woke up feeling worse. So, why torture myself, especially during such uncertain times when we don’t know what else we’ll be waking up to? Instead, why not think of all those people who’ve spent the past few weeks on their own and appreciate everyone you’ve had around you.
Never take anything for granted. Who would’ve thought an invisible virus that appeared from nowhere would’ve resulted in so much disruption in our daily lives? So, treasure every moment whether that’s a call with your parents, a night out with your pals, an early morning stroll in the park, or in my case a Saturday morning croissant and latte (latte is thanks to my husband who has become a brilliant amateur barista!).
Value the simple life. Once we take away the past-times we participate in due to peer pressure or out of the fear of missing out, it soon becomes apparent that it’s fine to slow down and just let time be. Contrary to what I feared, I’ve been surprised by how well I’ve coped with my own company, mooching around at home bulk cooking, dancercising, watching boxsets and blogging with birds singing away in our garden. I now hope never to hear the phrase – sorry, my diary is full for the next six months so can’t make it blah blah – ever again!!!!!
Alone doesn’t have to be lonely. As I wrote in my blog – #Covid19: The age of loneliness? Not necessarily – I’ve long suffered problems with loneliness and hated my own company. Therefore, the idea of not being able to see my family and friends filled me with fear and dread. But thanks to the wonders of modern technology I’ve had more contact with others than ever before, including friends I’ve not spoken to in ages. It’s also worth noting here that a call or personal message is more impactful than posting an update on Insta, Snapchat or Facebook.
Take one day at a time. I have been and always will be a great planner. But I’m also guilty of worrying about the future, including the most trivial and ridiculous. But given how uncertain all our futures are looking I now try to take one day at a time. I’m also slowly beginning to learn that there’s very little to be gained either by sweating the small stuff or freaking out about events and issues that are beyond our control. The same applies to changing people. At the start of lockdown, I was glued to the news but now I limit my consumption because when it comes to Covid19 neither you nor I have little control over most of what’s being reported. What’s more, worrying about the coronavirus’ long-term impact on people like me who have under-lying health condition is futile. Instead, I’m now mostly trying to focus on the present and really enjoying it.
Time is precious. Cutting out my commute has freed up several hours in my week and that’s given me time to reflect, time to rest, time to talk, time to learn and time to help my brother launch CheekyLittleCareers. This time has been precious and I now know more than ever before never to let it slip through my fingers.
How about you? What life lessons have you learnt?