This week we got the news that we were kind of expecting but also dreading – lockdown was officially extended for a further 3 weeks. It wasn’t a surprise, I think most of us thought this would happen from the outset, but the announcement left me feeling pretty flat.
Another 3 weeks not seeing family and friends in the flesh. Another 3 weeks playing ‘dodge the stranger’ in the street. Another 3 weeks of uncertainty for our business. Another 3 weeks eating and drinking the house bare. Another 3 weeks of trying to persuade my son to get out of bed before 1pm (anyone else’s teenagers slowly becoming nocturnal?). Another 3 weeks staring at my roots, questioning whether I should just brave the grey.
Then there was the realisation that my biggest girl will be spending her 20th birthday in lockdown, 80 miles from home. That’s been a bit hard to get my head around this week.
Feeling the Pressure to Get Lockdown Right
In many ways, we are finding our way in this strange new world. We’ve developed some little routines that we try to stick to, like doing a circuits class in the garden a couple of times a week, eating a meal together every evening, only drinking alcohol five nights out of the seven (major achievement). We’ve also enjoyed ending our days by watching an episode of Line of Duty, followed by Gavin and Stacey for some light-hearted relief.
But I’ve had this nagging pressure all week, that I need to get lockdown right. It sounds stupid when I write it down but although these last 4 weeks have felt like an eternity in some respects, I’m conscious that this time is a gift, one that I won’t get back. In short, I’m scared of regretting how I have or haven’t spent this time in lockdown.
Even though most of us are doing very little at the moment, social media (and my mind) would have me believe that everyone is mastering a new skill to be revealed to the world once lockdown is over; everyone is making wonderful family memories that will be talked about in years to come; everyone is creating a garden that even the National Trust would be envious of*.
Everyone, that is, but me.
When Motivation and Concentration Go on a Mini-Break
I’ll admit to starting week one feeling fairly optimistic; heck, I even made bread for the first time in my life! I went on to set myself some nice, achievable goals like clearing out my wardrobe (week two’s success story). Unfortunately, the goals started and ended with my wardrobe because ever since, I’ve had zero motivation and the concentration span of a gnat. There’s been no Marie-Kondoing of my knicker drawer and my spice rack remains laden with the same clogged up contents that should have been thrown out in 2013.
My biggest lockdown achievement to date, is managing to get the teens to pick up a duster. Followed closely by finding eggs and pasta during the same shopping trip (I’ve yet to find flour).
Have you had nights when you’ve secretly longed to go to bed early, so that you’re another day closer to the end of lockdown? Perhaps you’ve spent an entire morning in bed watching TikTok, pretending to your kids (once they finally surface) that you’ve been up and showered hours ago? Or will you admit to being a teensy bit excited when someone drops a puzzle off on your doorstep because you realise that unlike every other activity you’ve tried, no one else in your home will attempt to join you?
If you’ve said yes to any or all of the above, you’re welcome to join my lockdown club. Week 5 and I’m planning to immerse myself in a ‘puzzle bubble’, whilst trying not to get riled that it’s midday and my son has yet to start on any school work.
Best of luck my fellow lockdown chums. Let’s remember to relax a bit this week, it’s all going to be fine.
*For the record, our garden already looked like this and it’s mostly thanks to a very skilled gardener!