Life in ‘Lockdown’

April 27, 2020

Life in ‘Lockdown’

– Sue Bartlett, Change Coach Manager – Active Plus

What a strange world we find ourselves in! I know I am not alone in having to re-invent myself and realise what is important to me in my life. I am a social animal… I thrive on company and meeting people. Fortunately I have a partner who had moved in shortly before lockdown so I have company as I know that being on my own would not have been good for my mental health. I think too much! Even so, it is still odd.
Being able to jump in the car after work and head to the beach for a walk or go out for coffee with a friend now seems such a long time ago… and a long way off. It doesn’t stop me dreaming about it though! Not having my children to stay over the Easter holidays and not seeing my elder son before he heads off to danger zones with the RAF is something I really, really miss. Caring for my elderly, isolated mother…the weekly shopping, cleaning and hair washing which I now find are my responsibility. Vidal Sassoon now has nothing on me!! (I’m not sure she…or my partner would agree!) I think his number ‘3’ looks great! My mother hasn’t got a number 3… yet!
My son’s wedding, planned for June this year had to be postponed until next year… so much planning and looking forward to has gone on hold. And I will have to lose the half a stone I have now put on during lockdown due to comfort eating, or I won’t fit into my outfit!
In my ‘every day’ life, lack of routine and motivation are two of the most difficult things for me, and I realise now that I actually thrive on the organisation I once had during the day, the full diary of work meetings with participants, and supporting them and my work colleagues are what I looked forward to most. I have moaned so many times about using the laptop and phone constantly for work and for socialising but where would be now if we didn’t have technology! As much I hate it, I am so grateful that I have the knowhow to use it or the guile to ask someone to help me to use it!
I’ve been introduced to’ Zoom ’this week, something I previously thought was an ice lolly!
It’s brilliant! A Coffee morning in your lounge! Great for catching up with work colleagues, participants and my pub quiz buddies!
The good things: Yes, there are actually several. I now have more than enough ‘spare’ time for all those things I was going to do ‘when I retire’! The keyboard has come out of the loft and I have reacquainted myself with it! There’s a way to go! Yoga sessions in the lounge…via Zoom!
I have sorted through the garage, and now need a skip to get rid of all those things I kept ‘in case they were ‘useful’’! Two jigsaws down and one to go……thousands of photos to store ‘somewhere safe’! GARDENING….well, where to start! A new fence, old one painted, not a weed in sight, plants re-planted in bigger pots, walls and decking pressure washed…. A never-ending work in progress, and I love it!
Finding local walks, back lanes and woodland. Listening to the birds in the amazing stillness and quiet everywhere. Being able to cross the main road without looking, as there’s no traffic! Even the cat accompanied me my on my walk around the block last night, unhindered by cars and ‘strangers’.
Strangers….there’s a thing….EVERYONE says hello and smiles when they pass you out walking now. And maybe it’s just because they haven’t spoken to anyone all day/all week, but how lovely! I’ve met my neighbours! Each week when we are ‘clapping for the NHS and Essential workers’, (last week I got a bit over excited and broke my wooden spoon on the saucepan I was banging!) new people speak across the road or the fence. It’s so nice!
People are being kind to one another, whether it is helping someone who is isolating by collecting/delivering things or just calling them on the phone to say ‘Hello, are you ok?’. It’s the little things, reaching out to someone that means so much right now.
I hope this doesn’t change when we reach the ‘other side’ and that we will continue to be ‘friendly’ and realise that we are all ‘In it’ together, and there’s no separating us through social standing or what we have, or what we do. We are all the same underneath! We all have our vulnerabilities.
I was recently asked to provide a simple sentence about ‘what we do’ as a company at Active Plus. And whether I actually manage it or not….I like to think that, in or out of work ‘ We make people smile again’. A smile costs nothing but it can mean a lot to the person who receives it.
Stay safe and well everyone, and try to find one small thing each day that makes you smile

I look forward to shaking your hand again very soon…and I think we’ll all deserve a Big hug!