It’s been a weird season; understatement of the year right there. Since the official UK lockdown ended and we began this strange transitional period, I’ve really struggled; with motivation, focus and finding a routine.
I’ve missed my blog and the therapeutic nature of writing, but even this feels a strain for me at the moment. In an attempt to kick start the creative juices, I thought that I would spew out one of my rambly, off-the-cuff posts to keep us all in the loop.
Inside – Summer 2020
Life is definitely not back to ‘normal’ (and there’s much about that which I miss) but it’s certainly better than it was. We’ve met up with friends and family for drinks and walks, we’ve taken advantage of the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme and we’ve even been on holiday, albeit in the UK.
Looking back, which seems like eons ago, I dealt with lockdown fairly well, as did the kids. Of course we had our moments of discord and initial kicking back against the rules, but on the whole we found a way to cope. I even became ‘content’ in my own four walls as the dreaded FOMO didn’t really come into the equation.
I don’t think there’s a soul out there who wouldn’t admit to struggling a bit during this transition period. As we’ve slowly started to ease out of lockdown, I’ve been trying desperately to hang on to everything I learnt during those early days. I can already feel myself slipping back into old habits and feeling overwhelmed as a consequence.
What I’ve realised, is that it doesn’t take very much for me to feel overwhelmed at the moment. I seem to have less capacity than normal which is frustrating me but we are all juggling so much more mentally (uncertainty, new demands, ever-changing plans etc) than we are used to. This will naturally lead to fatigue.
Here’s the thing, I’m doing my best (as are you) and the only way to keep going right now, is to take things one day at a time (a mantra which you’ve heard me wax lyrical about time and again). I benefitted so much in lockdown from the forced time to pause (my word for the year), to breathe, allowing myself to do things that signify ‘rest’. After a few weeks of no down time at all, I enjoyed a couple of hours christening a new puzzle yesterday and didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty. More of this please!
Outside – Summer 2020
Hands up if you too sat in your home for 3 months thinking of all the things you would like to improve as soon as is humanly possible?
What started as a plan to transform our bannister from white painted mahogany into a thing of oak and glass beauty, became a complete home renovation project! Cue decorating the hall stairs and landing, panelling and decorating the downstairs toilet, replacing the suite and re-carpeting the stairs and landing.
Due to a Covid-related delay in supplies, trades people being booked up, and not thinking things through on my part, it has taken a lot longer than anticipated. I managed to book in a decorator to come while we were on holiday which led to me having anxiety dreams for the 2 days before we returned home (does anyone else do that?!). However I really needn’t have worried because he did an excellent job.
Clearly I didn’t think we had enough going on so I also ordered some white wooden shutters for our study and utility room which were finally delivered and fitted last week.
Let’s just say that lockdown has a lot to answer for!
These are all jobs that I’ve been wanting to do for two years but haven’t got round to. Why I decided to do all of them immediately after lockdown, I’ve no idea. But this is how I’m working at the moment – my motivation comes in fits and starts and I’ve got to strike while the iron is hot. Obviously it’s upped and left now but hopefully all of this will be finished by the end of next week and then I’ve promised the kids that there will be no trades people in the house for at least 6 months!
For obvious reasons (*cough* lockdown) I’m going to focus on home improvements this time round, rather than beauty and fashion (loungewear aside). I know that I keep
threatening promising more fashion posts, but I didn’t feel like making any new purchases during lockdown and I’m going through a weird transition phase with my hair right now so selfies will be scarce for the foreseeable!
Beyond – Summer 2020
Of course no-one has really been anywhere of late so this section is going to be a little sparser than usual. Saying that, we did manage to go on holiday at the beginning of the month which was an absolute God-send. We booked a family holiday to Cornwall back in January and although Twitter made me feel slightly concerned that we wouldn’t be welcome on the Cornish coastline, thankfully we didn’t meet any hostility whatsoever.
Visiting the sea was one of the things I was most looking forward to once lockdown was over and 6 months later, I finally did it! Honestly, there is no better place for stunning coastal scenery than Cornwall. Despite stifling temperatures across the rest of the country, Cornwall seemed to have its own little weather stream of cool, often-murky-but-sometimes-sunny weather. As I kept saying to my less than satisfied teenager daughter, you don’t go to Cornwall for the weather. But how wonderful it was to escape from our four walls.
I don’t know about other parents of teenagers but as soon as lockdown restrictions eased, I saw so much less of my two and actually missed having them around – the doubled-edged sword of parenting strikes again! My son is 15 and definitely would prefer to be cycling off to meet his mates than sitting in with us, so seven days together was a real blessing. We spent some time with wider family who we haven’t seen since Christmas so that was really lovely too.
It now looks like our 50th birthday celebration to Croatia might have to be postponed or at least ‘redirected’, so I’m glad we were able to do Cornwall when we did.
An Unexpected Pleasure
Summer 2020 has not been what any of us were expecting but the weather has (on the whole) been absolutely glorious here in Berkshire. I’ve been totally surprised by my ability to adjust to what has gone from a 6 week summer holiday to a 6 month one; something I honestly never thought my sanity would cope with. Obviously I would not want to trade my teenagers for toddlers anytime soon, but trust me, there are downsides to having teenagers lolling around the house 24/7!
Interestingly, since reading back over a post that I wrote at the beginning of May, I have managed to tick off five of my ‘7 Things I’m Looking Forward to Once Lockdown is Over‘ list. I’ve been able to see our biggest girl once a fortnight for the last 2 months and I even snuck in a quick hug with her last time we visited. My teenagers are flourishing and by that I mean they are out every night. School is the next big goal; I know that this is largely due to us being low risk and my boy being that much older, but I have no anxiety over it. All I am currently feeling is excitement at hopefully being one more rung up the ladder towards normality.
How have you all been finding things lately? Have you adjusted to the easing of lockdown rules? How do you feel about your kids returning to school?
Gail3 years ago
Love reading your catch up posts, Suzanne. I agree, this period has been really tiring, I think the constant uncertainty and trying to keep up to date with everything really takes a mental toll. Your staircase looks great, it sounds like you’ve got lots done in your home since lockdown. We are just starting to think about some much-needed home improvements – I procrastinate terribly on these things, the thought of all the upheaval holds me back! Your holiday sounds lovely, and I’m glad you didn’t encounter any issues. Our kids are back to school now and it all seems to be going quite smoothly. Good luck to your teen! xx
Suzanne W3 years ago AUTHOR
I’m a procrastinator too, Gail! It’s taken me 2 years to get any of this stuff done and I decided to do it all at once – typical! I’m now thinking about my next project but will leave it a while. Glad to hear school seems to be going smoothly for now 🙂 xx
Sarah MumofThree World3 years ago
Well done on tackling your hall project! I saw the finished work on Instagram and it looked stunning. We did a couple of home projects at the start of lockdown and I don’t want to do any more for at least a couple of years now.
I’m glad you all had a good break in Cornwall. We were just the same! Things might not have been quite as usual, but it was so nice just to get away and see some different things after so many months at home.
Suzanne W3 years ago AUTHOR
These home projects do take their toll don’t they? It was good to see your daughter getting involved!