What I’ve learned from my first two weeks of quarantine…
The first week felt like a surreal at “home holiday”, my commute was cut from 25/30 minutes to 30 seconds, coffee was on tap and I could wear whatever I liked. Regardless of this, I made an effort to “Get Ready” each day which is something I’ve continued, I feel so much more focused and happy if I’m well dressed. I also learned to quickly remove anything that could be vaguely distracting from my home work station, so I could remain as professional as possible and not feel “cluttered”.
I cried; a lot.
Because I was frightened. I don’t handle uncertainly well. Because people are dying. I missed my family. I missed my old life. I wanted more freedom. For the first time, I didn’t know what was going to happen from a day to day basis and that was tough.
Then I realised, a lot of what was happening was and is out of my control. What’s in my control is how I react to things, following the rules and doing the very best I can to make the most of each day. So, I changed the goalposts and readjusted the lens I used to look through life with and decided to make each day as rewarding as possible. It turned out that some days all I would achieve is not crumbling and losing the plot over something minor. Others, I would wake up and lay in bed letting all the happy things in my life rush through my head and go on to tick off an abundance of jobs.
I started living slower.
Sleeping more, reading snuggled up in my softest faux fur blanket, drinking my coffee whilst listening to the birds and admiring what a beautiful day it was. Baking bread from scratch, lovingly piecing together each meal and appreciating the time I had to enjoy my food and consider it, rather than rushing my meal to get on with my next job. I walked slower to soak up more time outside, I smiled at people more, started more meaningful conversations and realised my blessings were endless.
I finally understood, that actually some days are a battle, in one way or another that’s never going to change, it’s just how life is. But how I viewed the end result was entirely up to me. I decided one morning to go out early and run harder, pushing through the barrier I had previously set for myself. The following day, my body ached and I gently allowed my body the respect of rest, rather than feelings of fury or disappointment. I listened to the wise words of my beautiful friend and learned that when I express feelings of anger or resentment towards someone else. Maybe for a choice they made or a way I decided to let them make me feel, I realised that actually I wasn’t hurting them, I was hurting me.
Everyone is going to have a different journey.
I’m mindful of the fact not everyone lives with someone that they love and thrive with, not everyone has a garden or space to escape. Some of us are unexpectedly unemployed and learning to accept that strange new fate and find a way to fill the void and/or pay the bills. Some of us are going to lose someone we love and chances are, we won’t get to say goodbye. But, what I’m trying to say, in a long-winded way is that my life is far from perfect but this week I’m focused heavily on gratitude.
Gratitude is a beautiful thing.
You don’t have to be grateful for the big stuff, I’m just happy to have all the little things that make my life worth living. Like the stroking, the soft fur on my cat’s head, feeling winded with emotion watching my nephew fall asleep in my sister’s arms during our video calls. An unexpected hug from my husband, eating something so simple and delicious and celebrating another healthy day by wearing a beautiful headband and huge earrings. Just to sit in the living room, maybe with the odd pit stop in the kitchen…
I’ll update in a couple of weeks time, but for now, stay safe, stay at home, respect the rules and remind yourself to be grateful for the little things.
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