Things to keep you happy during the next month of restrictions.
I’ve been quiet. During the past few months I’ve managed to get myself a new job in a new school and a new place to live.
Bigger than either of these, I’ve just celebrated my 50th birthday.
Which puts me in a whole new world of ‘rona risk.
I was listening to the radio when they announced that those with the highest risk were 1) Female 2) Over 50 and 3) Overweight. That’s a full set of ticks right there. I have also returned to teaching so after the last lockdown when I was a key worker providing care for people in the community, I’m now a key worker facing children in a classroom. I can only do so much to minimise the risk to myself, wear a shield and a mask, wash hands, sanitise surfaces and keep my distance. It is only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, my living situation has also changed, decreasing my personal risk considerably by living alone rather then in a shared flat. This was the result of a glorious set of coincidences (or cosmic alignment) and I have ended up living in the same small apartment I rented for six months back in 2015. Who’d have thunk it! I’ve also gone from the suburbs by the sea to rural isolation, which is a good thing. I hope.
I have unpacked the boxes and organised my petit and bijou abode, I’m now faced with another four week stretch of solitude when I’m not at work. Time to think of a plan.
Make a list of all the things I wish I had accomplished during Spring Lockdown…
- Playing music. The ukulele was impossible when I shared a flat, but now I have no excuse not to get my head around some chords. I have also unearthed my old record player and lots of crackly vinyl will be listened to during those dark evenings.
- Cooking. I need to make sure I have a good store cupboard of supplies to minimise trips to the shops. Sharing a flat meant that kitchen use was limited to make room for everyone to use the facilities. Now I have a space to myself I need to get some of my cooking mojo back on track.
- Crafts and creativity. I did knit a hat and scarf during the last lockdown and I tried to crochet but couldn’t really get it right. I will have to see what I come up with during down time.
- Books are my weakness and my joy. I now have bookcases full of unread classics and a lot of fiction that I need to read and pass on. I also need to get through some non fiction for my MA, which is a priority.
- Exercise. Yep, well I would say I’d do a daily walk but the weather is not as inviting as it was back in Spring. It’s been raining non stop here for weeks. Nevertheless, I should make an effort to go anyway, I also have a couple of good yoga DVDs and some free dance classes online. No doubt some celebs will come up with some new craze to keep us busy during this time.
- Nature. My new place has a sweet little balcony and I’ve stuck the original ‘one pound bird feeder’ on the kitchen window. On day one a robin came to feed, on day three a coal tit and now I have sparrows picking up the leftover seed. Oh my feathered friends! Keeping an eye on nature, birds, the weather, trees, plants, all of this can make us more mindful and aware of our surroundings. But damn. I’m going to miss those squirrels 😦
- Keeping in touch. As well as email, texting and using the phone, I do love to write letters and cards. I really enjoy sending things to people in the post. I will aim to write to people and may even get the Christmas cards posted this year!
- Films and TV I think now is the time to watch something cheerful. Do not watch ‘Contagion’ or disaster films or even post-apocalyptic movies. There is no room for any bad outcomes right now. Just happy viewing.
- Games I’m not a gamer but I do love a board game or mystery so I may have to try and organise an online murder mystery party with friends. There are a few available that you can do to raise money for charity, so even better.
- Gratitude Be grateful every day, it’s that simple really. Appreciate the small things and try and do a bit of good whenever you can. A good deed daily is the way ahead.
I’d love to hear your advice, tips and unique ways to pass the time during this second lockdown in the UK. Take care of yourself and drop me a line xx