I’ve not posted anything since the UK lockdown was initiated 2 weeks ago today. It seems like an ideal time to reflect.
It’s getting serious now. The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has gone in to intensive care overnight following progressive symptoms of COVID-19. Shit just got real.
I write this from the dining room of my privileged lifestyle in a rural village of Northamptonshire, continuing to work remotely for my company, working over endless technical deliveries for our customers, clients & stakeholders.
I appreciate I am in the minority here though. Let me elaborate.
Last week, over 1m Brits claimed unemployment benefits following the government’s support of 80% salary up to £2,500 per month. Friends at ASOS have also opted for “furlough” (a new phrase in our lexicon) through these tough times, effectively taking reduced paid leave from work for the next few months.
Every day, I see news of friends losing their jobs or big companies closing their doors, even seeking administration. Not only is this pandemic challenging our health and wellbeing but also our financial stability.
I often have to stop and reflect on how lucky I am, continuing to keep my job (albeit remotely), my health is in good shape and loved ones are around me, either at home or nearby (my family are literally down the road in the same village). I’m being very cautious not to leave the house much, only for the essential shop trips and occasional run or walk around the village. My grandmother is in her eighties so at extremely high risk, especially without a spline to protect her health.
If I’m completely honest, I’m actually in an ideal situation. I’ve wanted to find a better work/life balance over the past year; spend more time with my growing children, reduce the daily commute to London, find a bit more time for myself. This lockdown has allowed me to do all of this.
I’m saving money on travel, enjoying family time at home and eating better (although drinking a lot more too).
We even made the most of the glorious sunshine this previous weekend. We pitched up our tent in the garden, hosed down the patio and fired up the BBQ for a lovely day outdoors but in the safety of our own property.
I’m not here to brag, just point out some of the positives through a very difficult time for the majority. If I continually focus on the bad news, it would bring me down. I need to keep my spirits high for me and the (little) people around me.
My positivity was even recognised recently at work through an unexpected “shout-out” on our company “all-hands” video call – embarrassing but promising that I’m already bringing something to the teams in my new role.
All that said and done, I think it’s worth continuing these posts. There’s not much structure but should be enough to write about every week or two.