Lockdown Life

2020 was so full of promise at the start its hard to get your head around where we have all seemingly ended up. Its hard to comprehend that a world so used to running on overdrive has now been forced to stand & stare as it were while a virus sneaks about casing devastation in its wake.

Whilst volunteering at some music festivals last year I spent several hours on shift in the company of younger people & it gave me a fascinating insight to some of the complex issues that now seemed stem from an overwhelming sense of anxiety about almost everything. Indeed Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes sum it up for me in the lyrics of Crowbar ‘the next thing to arrive is a terrifying fear of how you’re supposed to live your life’.

Since then its started to make me ponder whether this is a new phenomenon or whether they are just more forthright & willing to express these feelings. I can certainly remember feelings of anxiety when having to tackle a problem I had no experience of or found myself dealing with all manner of unfamiliar situations but I don’t recall being paralysed from it.

Which brings me to the ‘hows everyone coping’ with this lockdown situation? Seems in many & varied ways but this is where perhaps our ability to adapt & how we cope mentally will be sorely tested.

Everywhere you turn there seems to be virus updates the quality of which in some cases is decidedly dubious. I for one have limited my daily intake to once a day from a reputable source. It doesn’t mean I take the issue any less seriously but I don’t need to be overdosing on it. I believe much harm to an individuals mental health can come from a rising sense of panic generated by information overload.

For me as its has always been the secret is grounding oneself in a routine or rhythm for the day or week. As my daughter wisely said just the simple act of getting up & making the bed is a simple way of defining the start of the day. Sounds crazy until you hear people trying to determine what day it is as they all start to merge. On retirement the days of my week were differentiated by the various activities I am normally involved with. With this all gone its been vital for me to start building a new reality.

So clinging to the threads of my previous ‘routine’ the day starts with a walk by myself across the fields. Breakfast & then to join my daughter for an intense 20 mins exercise programme followed by a further 20 minutes of stretching. Once done we then set about tasks we have set ourselves for the day. As she is good at cooking she has taken over in the kitchen which has freed me up to tackle some jobs around the garden which have been waiting to be done. We still interact with our social media so can communicate with friends & family whilst exploring perhaps some of the aspects that have perviously been a luxury to invest time in investigating.

We also have been spending time trying to capture some video of me attempting some of the wtfimu2 challenges that are still possible to attempt during the confinement. This enables my daughter to try out new filming techniques while I advance my skills needed to try & complete the tasks.

Today I had a visual guitar lesson via FaceTime with my guitar teacher so its quite interesting to see what can be achieved despite the restrictions. Indeed I do wonder when things ‘go back to normal’ whether some of the the things we have learnt will actually morph into some ‘new normal’.

May be firms will see the companies don’t crumble completely by its staff working from home & some of the comradeship will continue long after this. Indeed the level of international co-operation seems incredible so why can’t this be the new norm too?? Who knows perhaps some better work life balances could evolve as a result?

Hubby is busy in the garden too with sorting out the chickens & trying to develop a means of creating a supply of pellets for our biomass from sawdust. This a very eco friendly project which again is something that will enable us to use sawdust that otherwise would be a waste product.

I hope where ever you are when you are reading this you & your loved ones stay safe. Back later to update on how the lockdown is going later. Please feel free to comment on what is really helping you so far.

Enforced Hibernation

What a strange times we all find ourselves inhabiting at the moment. Its hard to get a grip with the fact that my next adventure lays in tatters as the world retreats to fight off the virus that’s seems to have run rife across it.

Indeed the various things planned for this year have now started to be shelved as we enter a period of uncertainty. Festivals & family gatherings all have been cancelled or rescheduled. However as we readjust the expectations of what we will be able to do I have discovered that it is possible to find a positive way forward.

sign in Miami airport on way home

Having only just managed to get back from the USA where I should have met up with my daughter for a spot of shore leave. Plans abandoned we entered a scramble get rebooked albeit on separate airlines before the travel bans came in to effect. Thankfully now back at home she has thrown herself into cooking tasty meals for us so that’s a bonus.

Some people I know were not as fortunate & we are awaiting news of whether they can also return. As it stands we have been to date extraordinary lucky it would seem so I am not grumbling & my heart goes out to anyone who has not had such an easy time.

As a retired nurse I have former colleagues who are currently working really hard to combat this in probably very trying circumstances. I hope they all are able to remain safe & well as indeed anyone else currently performing an essential roles too.

spring flowers

Curiously though with the on my hands I will have an opportunity to reconnect with my garden & the beauty that is within it. The spring bulbs are poking their way through & some already flowering.Mother Nature is a curious thing for on one hand is reeking such destruction one minute at the same time as producing wonderful vistas of colour to enjoy.

Whether the result of being an only child I know not but I have always enjoyed my own company especially if armed with either a playlist of my favourite music or a good audio book. The sunshine has beamed down on me whilst I have started rebuilding a small dry stone wall that surrounds a flower bed.

My daughter & I have challenged each other to complete a 30 day shred exercise programme on a dvd that she found turning out a cupboard. I believe that it is good to fill the time with positive activity rather than become overwhelmed with information & start worrying over aspects which I realistically have no control. I think it better to keep informed but not obsessively checking as a coping mechanism.

It was strange having to go to the local pharmacy today & queue in a line where everyone was 2 metres apart & what normally takes a few minutes took nearly an hour. Buying a pint of milk was an equally lengthy process but at least everyone seemed in good spirits & considerate towards one another.

It may be a while before I can write about new places visited & things that I have experienced on my travels so for the next few blogs I will probably just report on things a little closer to home.

Here is hoping that if you are reading this you, your friends & family all stay safe & well.

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