Lockdown Lessons

As we start to emerge from lockdown many of us are thinking about what we’ve learned from staying at home and doing very little. Well, I say doing very little, but that’s not really true is it? I don’t know anyone who has been at home literally doing nothing. In many ways lockdown has made some of us busier than ever! 

But I definitely think that many of us, who have been fortunate to have been unaffected by the virus, have learned a lot from lockdown so I thought I’d share some of the lessons that I’ve learned over the past three months: 

  1. Family time is so special.

I obviously already knew this but having such concentrated family time could have gone one way or another! But I have really loved having so much time in our little family bubble. Life became very simple. Difficult at times of course, it wasn’t all easy, but the simplicity of it brought so much happiness too. And I haven’t missed out on any of those special little moments:

2. I don’t need to buy lots of “stuff”.

As a fan of decluttering I had learned this before lockdown, but then with limited means of being able to buy things I had to spend incredibly wisely. My only downfall in that respect was books – book post has been a regular lockdown feature and it just makes me so happy! But in terms of necessities, on top of the food shopping, it was generally always things we needed for the little man and because I was buying online I really considered any purchase before I made it. So any “stuff” that arrived was needed and not just bought on a whim! 

3. I need a new style!

I can’t tell you how scruffy I have felt in the last few weeks and it doesn’t seem to matter what I do clothes wise, I still feel scruffy. My wardrobe is definitely in need of an update and the lockdown weight gain hasn’t helped! I feel I’m starting to acquire a “mumsy” look – something I don’t aspire to. I’m quite excited – I just have to decide on my new style, whatever that may be (and it’ll probably be unnoticeable to anyone else but me!), and continue to keep the snacking at bay as snacking is definitely my enemy!

4. The importance of friends.

I’ve found that I’ve really connected more with some friends during lockdown which has been wonderful and such a blessing in these strange times. I have loved the video calls and the Zoom meet ups. For me, I feel especially lucky to have had such regular contact with friends back in the UK during this crazy time. It might have been almost 11 and a half years since I moved away but it’s so special to realise that those bonds are as strong as ever. 

5. Three meals a day at home takes up so much time!

I’ve never been a huge fan of cooking. Occasionally I’ll “take a notion” (as they say here in Ireland), if I get inspired by a cookery programme, but to be honest, I’ve always seen it as more of a chore although I love eating! But since lockdown I’ve become less of a fan, it seems to take over the whole day, especially as I’m committed to making sure that the little man has a healthy diet. I’ve lived for our almost weekly takeaways and I cannot wait until we can have a trip out to a restaurant again!

This was actually delicious and tasted better than it looks but what a luxury it’ll be to go out to a restaurant again!

6. It is impossible to be raising a child, working from home, have a dog and maintain a spotless house.

If I had a euro for every time I’d said to my husband during lockdown, “this weekend I’m sorting out the house” – well I’d be about €15 richer – but anyway, the point is, it never happens! It starts to happen but then, due to one thing or another, it’s never finished. It’s impossible and we don’t live in a big house. So I’ve decided to just accept it and get on with life!

7. I enjoy working from home. 

This is something I always thought I’d like, but as someone who loves mixing with others I always wondered if I’d be able to completely work from home. However, when I was working from home in March, April and May I really enjoyed it! As I hope to be a full-time writer one day this has certainly been a good thing to discover! 

8. How much I miss my friends and family in the UK. 

For various reasons I haven’t been back to the UK since before the little man was born. However, once we have the freedom to go again it is now currently my dream destination. I have a whole itinerary mapped out in my head already! Makes a change from my original dream destination of Canada!

9. Lockdown doesn’t mean an end to everything.

I’m mainly thinking about my book club, one of my favourite evenings of the month. Despite the book club only being six months old when lockdown happened we’ve maintained it with video meetings instead which has been lovely and my fear that it’d disappear has proved ill-founded thank goodness!  

10. I truly know what I want from my life. 

I think having more time to think, not having to worry about being in a certain place at a particular time, effectively slowing down, has been brilliant for me. It’s made me see what is really important and what I really want from this life, after all as they say: “this isn’t a dress rehearsal”. This is so true. Having time to think clearly, instead of rushing from one thing to another and just accepting that’s how life is, has been such a bonus over the last few months and now I’m clearer about the future. 

My little man teaching me how to slow down!

So there it is. My main lockdown lessons. As we continue to live through these strange times, I think it’s an experience that none of us will ever forget. 

Colette x

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