It’s all fun and games starting a blog until you get writer’s block after after writing your first post. There’s so much information and encouragement on the internet in regards to starting a blog, and how to write your first blog post. Someone should really add some content to advise how to go about writing your second one.
I’ve been trying to avoid writing about lockdown at all costs because of how much the whole concept makes me cringe at this stage. But since this is a current occurrence in my life, I feel it would be inappropriate to not bring it up.
When lockdown was first announced I will not deny, I had a couple of panic attacks. I had just left a job I’d been in for nearly three years and was about to move into an industry that I’d never worked in before. I was in the office for just one day of my new job, before being sent home to work remotely. It has been a huge challenge learning a brand new job from home, having very little guidance. I’d like to say I’m getting there, but my self doubt tends to overrule this.
I think people who are waiting for things to ‘go back to normal’ want to give up on that. We are in a moving process and there has been some huge changes to life as we once knew it. It is an impossibility to revert to what we used to be and more importantly, why would you want to? A lot of people have taken this change and time we have been granted and utilised it, others have chosen to ignore the opportunity and wish it away. Wish for normality to return, but why?
We have seen such a shift in society and community throughout this pandemic. People have came together and showed each other support in ways I’ve never witnessed before. It has been a roller coaster for everyone and I’m certain it’s not over. I think it is so important that we take what we can from the cards which we are dealt. I have learned from this lockdown that you can’t escape inevitable change and must instead utilise opportunities that change provides.
Back in March I was presented with time I’d never noticed I had before. The fast paced life I once knew suddenly slowed down and became calm. I have had a lot of time to think and grow over these past few months. Before lockdown was declared I felt like I was stuck in a rut of going to work all week and then drinking all weekend. I felt sad and anxious from Sunday to Thursday of most weeks. This was a waste of my life and I hope to never return to such a place.
This pandemic has given me the chance to see things clearer. It has given me the chance to enjoy walking, when I used to drive even the shortest distances. I have woken up on a Sunday without a hangover and experienced having time to think straight, and be mindful, without the effects of substances clouding my judgement. I have spent weeks with my mam and sister, which I would have never given myself the chance to do, had it not been forced upon me, but I am so glad it was.
Now that lockdown has began to lift somewhat, being able to enjoy the summer with friends in gardens and outside rather than inside bars has been a great experience. I love how creative businesses have become to overcome lockdown barriers. Some of the bars in Newcastle have been filling up two pint milk bottles with beer for customers to take away, which is just iconic. The pubs and restaurants are back open this Saturday and I am curious to see how this is going to pan out. I personally think it will be absolute mayhem attempting to enforce social distancing rules on a bunch of drunk people. I have a friend that for every pint she drinks, gets one inch closer to my face while we are talking, and I’m sure she’s not the only one that alcohol has this effect on.
To be honest, I have saved a fortune from pubs and restaurants being closed for the past four months, as this is where I used to spend at least 70% of my wage. I am not in any hurry to resume this problematic behaviour. I think a lot of people will be desperate for a taste of normality, but I think many others will have realised how much enjoyment they can get from the comfort of their own home. I can see many people continuing to enjoy the new normal, by socialising with friends in their gardens. I think the novelty of visiting bars may dwindle. Perhaps just wishful thinking for my bank account’s sake.