Our lockdown experience ? Well, when I heard mid-March that we were going in to lockdown I felt huge trepidation. It wasn’t so much about the virus itself, as in our little bubble of the four walls of our house I was confident we weren’t going to be exposed to it as I was comfortable we’d stick to the rules and self-isolate, however I felt but trepidation about having so much intense time together as a family.
Like many, our lockdown experience has been a real rollercoaster of feeling worn out and irritable but also reflective and appreciative of the simple things in life. My desire for many years has been to try and slow down, I’d voiced this to friends, shared it on my instastories and had spoken to Christian about it. Then weirdly out of nowhere slowing down was enforced on me. It’s made me take stock and I’m sure like to so many of you, we’ve had to evaluate the way we live, our values and reflect on the trajectory we’d all been on. Now as we come out of the current phase and lockdown restrictions begin to slowly get lifted I thought I’d share my personal learnings.
I don’t underestimate my lockdown experience has been very different compared to many, I’m very fortunate not to have had family directly impacted by the virus or had anyone in my close circle working as a key worker. To the NHS, carers and all the other keyworkers out there, I’m so grateful to you for what you do. My lockdown has been far easier than yours I know that. I’d love it if this time led to pay increases in the NHS and an uptake in people choosing teaching or nursing / caring as a career.
As I said above I have for a couple of years wanted to try and slow down as the constant relentless rushing around I’ve been living had felt pretty stressful. I never knew how to though, nothing seemed able to be dropped. Lockdown for me has been restorative and a reset. I’ve reflected on alot of things and looked back on events over recent years, I’ve found myself thinking about friends that have come and gone, friends I want to see and can’t, I’ve thought alot about money, places I’ve never been and things I wanted to do. I guess when your freedom is limited you naturally think about the places you want to go. So my learnings from these past 12 / 13 / 14 weeks (how long has it been?) have been:
My children are pretty good really!
They adapted to school stopping with no real impact. I lapped up all the free resources on sites such as Twinkl and the BBC, which I found helpful. Sure they argued with each other and squabbled, not sharing or getting on each others nerves but then we all experienced a bit of that and it’s normal for siblings to wind each other up. However, they were ready and dressed every morning by 9:00am to start ‘school’ and I had their attention pretty much up until lunchtime. After the first few weeks I’d sacked off doing school work in the afternoons, figuring they were getting much more intense teaching during their mornings with us and thus could play in the garden during the afternoon.
I can save when I need to.
Prior to lockdown I was spending £12 a day on parking, lunch would usually set me back about £4, even more if I popped in to my fave haunt, Friska. Now I’m hardly buying anything. There was a midpoint during lockdown when things were starting to irk me and I went and bought a few things from Amazon but even that was mainly stuff to keep the kids amused, like plastic hula hoops and board games. As lock down has eased Christian and I have popped out to pick up a drive through Costa Coffee a couple of time, straight away we’ve spent £12. This time has really made me see how easy it is to fritter away cash and also how little you really need. The power to save is in my hands, I really have enjoyed following the Money Fox on insta and have picked up some great money saving tips from her too.
My diet has been too carb heavy.
Did you get sick of cooking every day? I certainly found that no sooner had I finished breakfast and cleared up it was time to start thinking about what to feed everyone at lunchtime. Oh and can my son pack ALOT of food away! I was stunned, my saving grace was giving them both a selection of snacks in their own boxes that they were allowed to eat when they wanted but once these snacks were gone there was nothing else. This saved getting bothered every five minutes for snacks. But cooking, I found that having to juggle Skype calls and school work I prioritised cooking quick meals, so we ate too much fresh pasta, bread and carbs in general. As a result I’m keen to get out of my recipe rut and know that the best way I can do this is to plan my meals, try cooking new things (from the huge pile of magazine cut out recipes and cookbooks I’ve amassed) and to be more conscious about my food balance.
We have eaten good meals most of the time. The kids have worked through different school work each day. I may not have touched the ironing in many months but the important stuff happened.
I like this simple way of life.
It’s been less fraught, simpler, restorative in many ways. Life doesn’t need to be complex. We’ll spend less now and feel less pressurised to do things out of the house. We used to have the kids saying to us every Saturday morning ‘Where are we going today?‘ and we’d head off somewhere such as AirHop, it’d be £50 for the four of us for an hours entertainment and we’d feel a bit ripped off. No more. We’re not turning in to miserable bast*rds don’t get me wrong but the kids survived all these weeks without us spending a fortune each day, long may that continue! As the lockdown restrictions are eased I don’t want to rush in to seeing people or going to places where lots of people are in proximity. The scenes on Bournemouth beach were chilling and no doubt there will be another virus spike in the Autumn, because of this we’ll lie low for as long as the government recommend. Even when we are at the stage of going back to ‘normal’, I don’t want it to be like before. We gave the planet, nature and ourselves a break, I wish we could retain a bit more of that vibe……… I also don’t feel the need to start socialising lots, maybe I am turning in to a miserable ol’fart but the simplicity of the four of us suits me.
My key takeaways are nothing radical, are they very different to yours?
Here’s what lockdown looked like to us.