I haven’t blogged much in recent months – mainly because I’ve had nothing interesting to particularly report on (apart from life on a now-mending broken foot) or because I’ve had so much in my head that none of it was coherent enough to write down.
Today I popped down to the shop (told you I had nothing to report on) and as I was walking along the South Circular and seeing almost pre Covid-levels of transport and people queuing (mainly without masks) at the Post Office it made me think back to late March and April when we were all on full lockdown and I realised I actually quite liked it.
I could have let Rex off the lead on the A205 (usually one of London’s most congested roads) that month as there was no traffic. There were no planes in the sky. I saw more wildlife in my garden than I ever have. People were respectful as they passed you in the street, nobody cared what you looked like. It was quite simply so peaceful and calm.
Having worked from home since 2018 I didn’t feel the impact of the ‘new normal’. I have worked full time throughout 2020 so apart from missing my Friday afternoon wind down at the local, my daily gym visits and a monthly get together with the girls it wasn’t really too different.
But there were a few things that did change. Despite having a rather stressful experience at the start of lockdown (see the earlier blog) I actually started to enjoy not feeling the pressure of going out. When you work from home all the time and you agree to meet pals in town of an evening it can feel like a bit of an effort – it’s not quite the same as just going ‘hey let’s have post work beers!’. Now there were no excuses as I didn’t have to go out. So instead I jumped into tracky bottoms and honed my culinary skills with some fun complex dishes always accompanied by wine and the latest box set.
At weekends I became a gardening addict – I’ve grown lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, chill, spring onions and to less success beetroot and I’ve enjoyed it so much I intend to do it all again and more next year. I haven’t dried or straightened my hair or wore make up since March 23 until about two weeks ago (when I got some new work and have had to start looking more presentable on Microsoft Team meetings – even then it’s not pre-Covid presentable!)
I have enjoyed chatting to people online – I’ve actually cemented some really good friendships because of lockdown and equally I’ve let a couple go too.
I live in London so despite (still) not visiting town since March I don’t mind so much – I know it’s ‘there’ and ready for when I do (next Saturday as it happens) and I don’t have any desire to find a move to the country.
When lockdown restrictions eased, and I went to the pub for the first time my first cider and blackcurrant was quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever tasted. A couple of weeks ago I did feel the need to leave the flat and went to visit my friend in Wales – it was very tame, lots of beautiful long walks on the Brecon Beacons and village pub lunches.
The only thing that I’ve booked that feels anywhere near pre-covid and in fact is probably pre adulthood is booking my ticket to join my old raving pals at a one-off night at Bowlers next April… don’t know how a bunch of 40 year-old+ ex ravers are going to cope on an all-nighter but we’ll try our best.
Anyway – I wonder whether the lack of excitement about everything re-opening again is because of Covid fears or whether I’ve just bloody gone and become middle-aged?!
I’m not sure there’s a middle ground to avoid being middle aged. I don’t want to be middle-aged really. I mean, who does? I’ve always felt that I’m 40 something going on 30 but now I’m not sure I am. I do quite like my new calm lifestyle.
So, I’ve got a couple of choices:
1) Continue to enjoy the silence, or;
2) Get back out there.
Regardless of the new 2020 lifestyle – it’s got to be option 2 right???