Like most of us, I’ve lost track of the days and weeks in lockdown. The one thing I do remember, is that it started on a Monday so by my reckoning, we have now reached the end of week six.
Let’s just pause there for a moment…
Six weeks ago, I never imagined we would still be in lockdown. Even less, that my sanity would be in tact (debatable) or that I would be enjoying some aspects of this forced seclusion.
I don’t think we pause enough to consider how far we’ve come. This is quite a milestone and whilst I know that we might be in this situation for another six weeks, we need to give ourselves a pat on the back, an especially large one if you’re sharing your home with toddlers…or teenagers. If you’re juggling both, then you’re an absolute hero!
When lockdown was announced, the thing that I thought I would struggle with most, is being cut off from friends and family. Under normal circumstances I rarely go more than a day without face-to-face interaction with someone outside of my immediate family; I therefore questioned how I would cope.
I think it’s helped that I know no one else is having a great time either (FOMO has been a serious issue in my life for goodness knows how long) but I’m shocked to discover that I’m not missing it nearly as much as I thought. I’ve become so content in my four walls that I’m in danger of never coming out!
I concluded last week that not wanting to get back to the way things were is not bad thing, but I do think it’s important for me to turn my attention towards some things that I am looking forward to once this is all over.
7 Things I’m Looking Forward to When Lockdown is Over
1. Freedom to Roam
No explanation needed here really but one of the things I’ve hankered after, is popping into town to meet a friend for a coffee and catch up, spur of the moment. Or taking a walk somewhere a little further afield at the weekend, just because.
I’m not particularly spontaneous by nature but these restrictions have left me feeling a little trapped. I’m looking forward to being able to do what I want, when I want.
2. Reuniting with My Girl
Without a doubt, not being able to see my eldest daughter has been the hardest thing about lockdown. The hospital locked their doors to all visitors seven weeks ago and it feels like an eternity.
It’s her birthday at the end of this week and whilst it was always going to be hard, not seeing her will make it infinitely more so. She’s requested that we save her presents for when we can see her properly so bar a couple of little bits and pieces, that’s what we’ve decided to do.
I’m so excited for the day when visitors are welcomed.
3. Getting Stuck into Home Improvements
Being at home so much has inspired me to make some improvement plans. I know that many people have been doing DIY projects during this time but it’s been hard to get hold of the right tools and I’m loathe to either join the queue at B&Q or put even more pressure on warehouse/delivery workers.
First up is the garden – taking some trees down and planting new ones. Next, I think, is the study or maybe the hallway – we’ve been wanting to rip out our existing staircase and put in a modern oak/glass one for sometime now.
We are great ones for making plans and not actually starting on any of them so hopefully the release of lockdown will give me the kick up the backside I need!
4. Visiting the Beach
Don’t you just long to feel the wind in your hair, whilst strolling along a deserted beach? With it being summer, I know that the ‘deserted’ aspect is unlikely but you get what I mean.
I am so looking forward to seeing the sea again. It really does represent unadulterated freedom.
5. Celebrating Milestones
It’s amazing how long we deliberate over how to celebrate milestones, isn’t it? Social media tells me that lockdown has thwarted so many grand plans over the last few months.
My husband turns 50 in September and whilst he’s not one for lavish celebrations, we had planned to go away together. I am hoping that one way or another, this will still happen in the not too distant future.
6. Corporate Worship
My faith is central to my life, as is being an active member of our church. Attending church has been such a key part of my life for so long, it felt strange to have this suddenly taken away.
Whilst most churches have been brilliant at finding accessible ways for people to connect (mostly on Zoom or Facebook), nothing beats corporate worship for me. Sitting in your living room, humming along to someone else belting out a worship song, doesn’t really float my boat!
I am looking forward to being back in our 500-strong auditorium, seeing all those friendly faces worshipping together.
7. Watching My Children Flourish
Being a teenager is all about learning to break away from home, piece by piece. This process includes planning adventures with friends, experimenting, earning money, taking risks and bending the rules a little.
I’ve really enjoyed watching my younger two do this over the last 12 months. My daughter, aged 18, had loads of things planned to celebrate the end of her A levels – concerts, music festivals, a holiday with friends. My son had been embracing the freedom that his bike affords and his first paid job was a lifeline. The threat of Coronavirus has stopped all of that.
They are missing out on so much being cooped up for this length of time; I’m looking forward to seeing them flourish once again.
I’m sure that I could go on and on, but these are the key things that I’m looking forward to once lockdown is fully lifted. I am surprised that my list doesn’t include more socialising. It’s not that I don’t want to see my friends and family, I value relationships and want to nurture them as best I can, but I’m just not sure that socialising is as integral to my wellbeing as I once thought it was.
Am I really the extrovert that Myers Briggs professes me to be? Having read up on the term ambivert recently, I think that this best describes me. If you think that you sit somewhere in the middle, this could apply to you too.
What are you most looking forward to once this whole pandemic is over? Have you learnt anything new about yourself during this time?
Gail3 years ago
Can resonate with so many things you say here, Suzanne. It’s the simple things like popping to a cafe and just having the freedom to go out more than once a day I really miss. The absence of seeing your daughter must be such a huge thing for you all – I really hope you get to see one another soon, so difficult. I understand too what you are saying about teenagers – our eldest is only 13, but I know he really misses the social interaction with friends that’s so fundamental at that age. X
BLEKE3 years ago
One thing I’m looking forward to is something you mentioned recently on Twitter: finding out what else has been going on in the world while the media have been obsessed with the virus. Do you remember the cynical words of Jo Moore on the afternoon of 11 September 2001: “It is now a very good day to get out anything we want to bury.” ?
Like you, I’m looking forward to regaining my freedom to roam, especially so that I can visit family and friends who live a long way from me. On my travels, I hope there’s time for a partly-liquid lunch at my favourite pub, the Moon Under Water.
Getting back to normal corporate worship is important, of course, but the Christian life has various aspects, some of which are less visible than others yet not necessarily less important. We shouldn’t let this temporary fragmentation of our churches tempt us to neglect those less visible aspects of the Christian life — and that is a reminder to myself as much as to anyone else! The practicalities of church services post-lockdown could be tricky, if members of each household are obliged to keep their distance from members of other households. Perhaps we’ll have to hold multiple services each Sunday?
I’m very much looking forward to hearing that all three of your children are flourishing once again.
On another blog, I encountered a quotation from J.R.R.Tolkien, which I think applies well to COVID-19 and its consequences (past, present and future):
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Jill3 years ago
I really don’t see you as an extrovert Suzanne. I think the real you has been shown up in these circumstances!
Sarah MumofThree World3 years ago
I can’t imagine how much you must be missing your eldest daughter. It must be so hard. It must be hard for your younger daughter to have her wings clipped at such a key time in her life. I’m actually not sure what I’m looking forward to when it’s all over. I hope we will be able to go to Padstow, which we booked long before all of this started. I hope that the last two races of the year which haven’t been cancelled will go ahead and that my son can get back to athletics training, and hopefully competition too. And I’m really hoping that panto can go ahead this year!