Earlier this week we acknowledged the year anniversary of the covid-19 lockdown. It has been quite an emotional week – while the last year was a lengthy period of reflection and practising gratitude, the realisation of the enormity of the situation affected me more than I expected.
I’ve already spoken about this in previous posts, but lockdown started slightly earlier for me than most. The Bloke and I regularly reviewed theatre shows for the press nights at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, and we were in the bar area eagerly waiting to see Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and talking to our friend who works there. Suddenly the theatre manager appeared, called everyone together and announced that the show had been cancelled in response to the government announcement that had been made that day, and that was it. I remember seeing the worried and emotional expressions on the faces of the staff and public and felt awful for them.
I still find it incredulous that we all thought it was going to be for a few weeks, or a month or two at the most. A year on, with over 126,000 deaths in the UK and over 2.75 million worldwide, there isn’t a single person I know that hasn’t been directly affected by it or know someone who has. Both my mum (who works for the NHS) and The Bloke (who works in a school) have tested positive for covid in the last six months and thankfully (while they both have said it is the most ill they have ever felt) they didn’t reach the point where they were hospitalised. Both are suffering from long-term effects, still feeling lethargic and The Bloke has a lingering cough that becomes more prominent when he is tired. Both have had the first dose of the vaccination (and thankfully didn’t have many side-effects) and are able to go to work, but they still have to remember to take it easy.
What I have found interesting over the last few months is that this lockdown (which have been in various levels of confusing restrictions from November), has seemed much more arduous than the previous ones. Perhaps it is because of the rapidly increasing numbers, the dull and cold weather in contrast to the heatwaves of the first one and the Groundhog Day nature of daily life, but despite actively taking time to appreciate the positive the first few months of 2021 seemed like it was beginning to spiral in a negative direction. When things reach this level I find it all too easy to allow my mindset to follow.
Thankfully, I kicked myself up the backside and got over myself. I’ve always stayed on the fence when it comes to religion, but I’m a big believer in the law of attraction and putting things out into the universe and seeing what comes back, and a combination of techniques I learned in cognitive behavioural therapy (removing negative influences and situations to create space for positive ones, reframing the mindset to focus on positive thoughts and beliefs and improving the present) and a little help from some incredible friends, meeting some new people in the online world and a push from the universe has meant that recent weeks have been pretty fantastic (or, at least, as fantastic as they can be when you can’t really go anywhere or do anything). I’m a little reticent to believe that the end is in sight, at least for this year, but I’m optimistic about the direction that things are moving in and upcoming opportunities and ideas that I am looking forward to seeing realised.
As a result I have found that the things I would have deemed mundane 18 months ago have become so much more exciting (I went food shopping last weekend for the first time in ages and I practically bounced all the way to the car) and I have the urge to start being productive and creative for myself again. That’s the thing when you spend 99% of your time being creative for others – I absolutely love my job and the people I work with, but at the end of a day of content creation, scheduling and writing blog posts for other people’s social media accounts and websites there is very little energy left to do my own. I have created routines that seem to be quite effective, set out some plans and I’m working hard and loving every minute of it!
And who knows? I might actually put on some make-up at some point too!
What about you guys? Are you finding joy in the normally mundane things?
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