Life Lessons in Lockdown – Fiona’s Five to Thrive

Week five and I’m rocking this lockdown way more than I thought I would. Yes I watch the daily death toll with both alarm and sadness.  I have total admiration for any keyworker – whether that’s frontline NHS or the carers, social workers, shop workers and binmen too. And lockdown has taught me some valuable life lessons and I don’t want to forget those, when we get back to whatever becomes “normal”.

I flew back from a great week’s skiing in Italy with my son the day Italy shutdown including shops, hotels and ski resorts. I was worried that a wrongly timed hot flush would mean quarantine, if the heat gun to the forehead test at the airport proved positive. I then watched with alarm at Italy’s loses as we started to realise what was ahead for us in the UK. When they implemented full lockdown a few weeks later – you could go out to exercise your dog, but not your child or just yourself I realised it would be a very different story living through their hardcore version of lockdown.

But here in the UK with our love of the weather, endless talking about the weather and spring having definitely sprung our lockdown has been far more British, with exercising outside on feet or bike allowed, indeed encouraged for both mind and body. How lucky we felt and indeed are.

So what are my Lockdown Lessons – here’s my Five to Thrive

  1. More friends and family and techy time – I Facetime my mum pretty mum everyday, I “House Party” with my wider family and mates, I “zoom” meetings. Never again will I take for granted the joy of meeting people for real. The Lockdown has made me value relationships and make more time for people AND massively improved my technical skills too.
  2. More neighbourly stuff   – I’ve always looked out and made soup for a few of my lovely older neighbours, but I now shop for three others through Age Uk as a volunteer. Our block of flats is like a little helpful community these days…we hang out of windows for the carers clapping, we take each others (and there are lots) of bottles to the local bank. We sit in the communal garden far apart but still together. We’ve got closer and nicer to each other. I hope it thrives beyond lockdown.
  3. More local discoveries – the fab bakery less than a mile away, our very local shop actually sells everything we really need. And our needs are more basic now…you’ve got eggs! Great! Flour – fab! And wow how we love the walking, all those previously unwalked local streets, being nosey and seeing the delight people have for their gardens. And even Boris gave a plug in that Monday night lockdown speech for a daily cycle ride, we’ve so enjoyed an adventure to pack a flask and sandwich and head off and discover places on our doorstep. I’ve never felt so safe on the roads or seen so many other cyclists. I think many of us will be fitter now than pre lockdown. The Country has been told to exercise, possibly one of the best health education campaigns in years. Bar the shielded, everyone who can is making time for his or her daily exercise.
  4. More domesticated – I’ve cooked from actual recipes, baked cakes and discovered how yummy homemade flapjacks can be. I’ve harvested wild garlic from roadsides, defrosted the freezer, painted walls orange in the bathroom and sorted out my clothes….ok it’s taken to week five to get to some of these – but wow what a sense of satisfaction!  
  5. More appreciative of what we have – while I’ve done my fair share of online shopping – a Badmington set, inner tubes, slippers, a stylus for the old record player so I can play the vinyl again, I will never again take for granted the chance to wonder round shops, where you can feel and touch things and try on. Oh and get a hair cut.  

2020 was to be our year of adventure. We planned to cycle and campervan round the coast of Britain. We planned to go and see the Tour de France. We planned to fly to New Zealand again for cycle touring.

What I’ve really learned during lockdown is that it’s possible to redefine  “adventures” very close to home, whether that’s discovering local lanes, trying new recipes or getting my paints out.

How long till I go stir crazy? The talk of easing the lockdown while we watch on to see how other countries fare gives me hope. And while I’ve learnt the joy of the local it’s also made me really excited about adventures further afield. I’m missing seeing my boys, my mum and the sea. Given she’s on the coast and 400 miles away in Scotland she’s first on my life post lockdown list.