Monday, 3 May 2021

LIFE AFTER LOCKDOWN

We made it to May, and we're actually allowed to do things again! Anyone else feel a big ol' mix of emotions about it all? Anyone?

Best girl Beanie!

I've spent the last year, like everyone, going through a whole rollercoaster of emotions, stress, worry, anxiety and anger about what's going on, and what it's doing to our lives. I've been incredibly lucky - I am safe, my family are safe, I've kept my job, I've been working throughout so I've been kept busy (although the furlough jealousy was real), I live in a nice wee flat so my living situation has been under my control and comfortable, and we got Beanie (our beautiful sphynx cat) so the last year has been filled with a lot of love and joy too. 

But it's been tough! (obviously). My pay got cut, work was intense and stressful, I love my partner, but living and working and only socialising with each other 24/7 is pretty intense. I missed my family, my friends, getting to go places, getting to travel, getting to live my life how I wanted. I was worried about my health, about their health, about what might happen and how long it would take, how much worst things might be. Last March I'd got into a great routine of going to the gym and trying to be healthy, and then I spent my summer attempting to find the motivation to do online exercise videos, feeling frustrated and annoyed at myself. 

So I should be over the moon that everything's opening up again and we can go back to normal, right? And I am! But also, at the pit of my stomach, there's a little voice that feels weird about things. I am excited to get to see people, I've already had my first vaccine (wahoo) so I feel a bit safer to be around, and I am ready to spend time in a place that isn't just this flat. I want to go to the cinema, to wander around a gallery, to eat food that I've not made, to bump into acquaintances in the street again! I went to the gym last week and it was so lovely to just get out of the house (my standards are so low these days), and find a bit of my old routine. I didn't feel stressed, everything felt clean and safe, it was good.

But somehow, things already feel a bit too busy, a bit too much. Maybe there's just too many options after a year of having none? I'm not used to having plans! I feel like I want to baby step my way back into socialising, because I'm nervous that if I just charge back in, all the stuff I don't want to return will be inescapable. I don't want to go back to being crammed on a bus every morning,  I don't want to feel like it's a novelty to have a night in, I don't want to lose the time I've found for painting (and I definitely don't want to lose my days spent with Beanie!). But also, I don't want to be scared of normality! 

I guess I just want the best of both worlds, and after a year of reflecting and thinking about what matters to me, it's about prioritising quality time and quality experiences. What that means to me in 2021 feels different to what it meant to me way back at the start of 2020. So I guess it's just about taking things a day at a time and being okay with the fact that some people will be buzzing about life post lockdown, some will be nervous, and some, like me, will be sitting in the middle, wondering if they are being losers by fretting at all.

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