Hundreds of people have written posts like this over the past couple of weeks – and rightly so – I hope that we never have a time like this again in our, or our children’s lives, but we’re here now and I wanted to write my thoughts down about it all – to look back on in years to come.
For us, our daily routine hasn’t changed much. I work from home anyway, so things are just the same in that department. Ashleigh has been furloughed, which worked quite nicely as it solved the immediate childcare situation (Graysons Nanny / Grandad and Granny / Grandad usually look after him whilst we both work, but obviously they can’t visit at the moment). Weekends have changed vastly, but it’s ok – we know how lucky we are, and are grateful for the time we get to spend together, safe. There are people in much worse situations, and we never let that slip from our thoughts at all.
To be fair, sometimes things seem so normal, that some days I’d be hard pushed to even realise there’s a pandemic. Unless I’m reading the news, or wondering why there’s no recent football data in our systems, then there’s no immediate reminders for me during the day as to what’s going on. I know I’m extremely lucky to be in my current situation.
Then things start to hit home.
A look out of the window, several cars starting to gather sand from not moving (we live very close to the beach, and it gets everywhere). The postman with his face mask on. The planning required to simply pop to the supermarket for supplies. The strange feeling you have as you see other people outside for a walk, and cross the road to keep your “social distance” from them. The guilt you feel for popping out for a walk yourself, wondering who’s judging you from a distance for breaking the rules (even though you aren’t, but it’s all to easy for people to get quite righteous about it all)
At midday during the week, I’d normally pop to the gym for a bit, do a few KM on the exercise bike and some weights, then head home again. I started back in October to help my mind (and my achey back!). I can’t do this now, obviously – so I’ve replaced it with an evening bike ride every other night (when I’m not putting G to bed, we do alternate nights (we do this for lots of things, without even thinking about it, we just take turns on stuff)).
On Friday, I made a playlist for my evening ride. I don’t normally wear headphones on the bike, but seeing as the roads are dead quiet, and I’m on a cycle path, then I have been recently. Music is something that I simply can’t live without, and I often find it helps me through various times, whether that’s trying to concentrate at work, or if I’m just feeling a bit crap about something and need a pick-me-up.
My route on the bike takes me down the seafront, and along the cliffs for a few kilometres. I then duck back on the prom, and cycle up to the top of the cliffs where the path comes to an end. As I got to the of the cliffs, I looked out over the sea. You could see for miles, around the curve of the coastline, and it was one of those moments that I simply won’t ever forget. I was listening to some up-beat tempo music to keep me peddling, and Foo Fighters “Times like these” came on:
It’s times like these you learn to live againFoo Fighters
It’s times like these you give and give again
It’s times like these you learn to love again
It made me think about everything that’s changed in life, in 3 or 4 weeks.
Those little trips out for the day, visiting your family if you’re in the area. Popping to shops to grab some chocolate or a bottle of wine because you’ve had a shit day and need the pick-me-up. Realising you don’t own a pair of socks without holes in, and being able to just pop out and buy more. Getting in the car and driving somewhere just because you can.
All these things that we just take for granted, and we simply can’t do them at the moment.
What a privileged life we live.
I’ve certainly realised just how lucky we are – we moan that we can no longer do these things – but it is temporary. I’m now (even more) grateful for the things that we did, and will be able to do again shortly. The luxuries we have in life. It really is times like these you learn to live again – to take a step back from normality and have the reality of the world thrown upon you.
The power of Mother Nature. We aren’t as invincible as we so nonchalantly assumed we were.
Whilst I still have moments of normality, I for one certainly won’t ever take our lifestyle for granted again. I’ll appreciate more than ever that cup of tea with family, that trip to the zoo with friends, that freedom to pop to the pub or enjoy a nice meal at a restaurant. And every time I do, I’ll remember these times, and remember how quickly life can be turned upside down, and just how vulnerable we all are.
Let’s hope that times like these have helped us all to learn to live, give and love again – and that we emerge on the other side a stronger community, and better, more understanding and more appreciative versions of ourself.
Stay safe, stay indoors, and try to pick out the positives, no matter how small they may be at the moment.