On Wednesday 1 April Kat found herself (like so many other people) furloughed from her work. Seven months later, she finds herself on the verge of returning to work. So, how are things now?
Well, what a crazy year this has been (so far)! I’ve seen so many ups and downs, inspiration and negativity, experienced so many emotions… sometimes all in one day, or even one hour! The world as we knew it is now a completely changed place. People have adapted, learnt new ways, adopted new lifestyles, and ridden with the ever-changing rules and regulations. We’ve all experienced a different ‘story’ within this huge pandemic, and this is just a snippet of my story.
What have I learnt?
I’ve realised that my coping mechanism in these uncertain times is to open my mind to other options, however weird and wonderful they may seem. Nothing is guaranteed so whatever hopes and plans I may have previously kept; they’re subject to change at any point. I’ve learnt to ‘ride with it’, ‘go with the flow’, and take each day as it comes. This has taken some effort. I’m aware of my own battles with my mindset, and there have been quite a few times when I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by the sheer uncertainty and insecurity of having a house with a mortgage to pay, a car, heck a campervan I bought last year with the intention of travelling around from festival to festival this year, and suddenly no guarantee of an income to keep hold of it all. All of which brings me to my next learning…
I’ve learnt that I have way too much stuff! Just… things. Materialistic items. I have a house which I’ve filled with clutter! I’ve decided that I really don’t need all the ‘stuff’ I’ve accumulated over the years. I’ve given things away. I’m one of the people (and this may have happened near you) that put things out on my doorstep with a big sign saying, ‘Help yourself!’ for passers-by to take. This gave me an incredible sense of fulfilment! I’m always grateful for a freebie, so to offer things like cabinets, TV’s (yes, I know) and various other bits and bobs knowing someone else would really appreciate them was a wonderful feeling. And I got the bonus of de-cluttering my house, which also helped me with de-cluttering my mind.
De-cluttering the mind… now there’s a thing. I’ve found that too much news, social media and other people’s opinions can have an adverse effect on my mood, so I’ve limited it. I’ve spoken with people who have actively deleted their Facebook account following a lot of negativity and feel a whole lot better for it. I’ve spoken with people who are currently avoiding watching live TV, sticking only to Netflix for entertainment. Whatever works for you is probably your best bet. For me, limiting the doses are my best medication, indeed there are still many good stories out there on our news channels. Colonel Tom’s getting his trainers out again, Paul Harvey and his ‘Four Notes’ are raising lots of money for Alzheimer’s Society and Music for Dementia, and there is plenty of evidence of people really looking out for each other.
This may be my biggest learning of all over the past seven months. We really do need to keep looking out for each other. With another lockdown, particularly through the colder, darker days and nights, I will be making more of an effort to reach out. I’ve been surprised just what an impact can be made on another person’s life just by being there, including just checking-in.
So, onwards. Working from home isn’t my choice, but I remind myself that this is all temporary and things will improve if we all help each other.
Now, what’s my password again??