Remember at the beginning of lockdown, when everyone apart from key workers (or heroes as we should call them) was either working from home or furloughed and considering how they would be spending all their extra time? Bold claims such as learning a new language, decorating their home, and getting in shape flooded my Twitter timeline – either from individuals full of naive enthusiasm, or experts suggesting ways to cope.
Fast forward a few weeks, and it’s quite clear that this is a really strange period, that isn’t the ‘paid holiday’ that many people thought it might be. Advice about how to improve your life has been taken over by advice on how to ‘just’ survive. Getting through, coming out of the other side, protecting and preserving mental health however we can has become way more important.
Some people have thrived, some have struggled, and there are sad stories in the press about some people not making it. Those who have taken their own life because they couldn’t handle the pressure, the loneliness and the not knowing.
So, in this post, I’m laying it bare about the things I haven’t done whilst I’ve been working from home. Admittedly, by not being furloughed, I haven’t had heaps more time in my life, but working from home means I have ditched the commute, late afternoon meetings and doing anything at weekends, so there has been extra time knocking about!
Sorting out the utility room
Its been almost 2.5 years since our house renovations were complete, leaving us a utility room upstairs for our washer, dryer and storage. The furthest I ever got was putting up two big shoe racks. Our laundry basket is too small; the decorating is a mix of missing, raw plaster and 90s wallpaper and it’s just a disaster zone! About 6 weeks ago I bought a clothes rail for hanging drying clothes. It’s still in the packaging. It has, however, moved from the downstairs hall to upstairs, so yay for small victories.
Sorting out my spice cupboard
This sounds kind of middle class (which I definitely am not) until I break it down to laziness. I have no idea what jars of dried spices and herbs lurk in the overflowing narrow cupboard in the kitchen. Opening it is a sport in itself; who knows what will hit you or the floor once you unleash the protective door barrier. Heaven forbid I actually look in there to find something if I’m trying a new recipe. Why would I? I’ll just buy another glass jar, shove everything else back, and precariously position the new neighbour in a too small space hanging over the edge.
I did start the job a couple of weeks back when I was looking for some parsley. It quickly became a chore so I decanted a couple of half empty jars into one, then put it all back. One for a rainy day, maybe!
The rate at which I post (sporadically at best) says everything there is to say on this point I think!
I’m not an exercise person; it’s fair to say I’m very sedentary (not proud of it, but I’m nothing if not honest). I’ve seen lots of pics of people going on long country walks on routes they never knew existed near to their home. Now that restrictions have been lifted people are heading further afield to hills, woods and coastlines (I disagree with this somewhat, but that’s another story). I never even took advantage of the government approved one hour outside the house! I blame this on having a garden and therefore freely accessing fresh air. It’s not to do with being lazy. At all.
“I’ll use this extra time to read more” I told myself. I’ve actually only read 6 books (that isn’t a lot for someone who reads as quickly as I do). Some days I just can’t get into a book. Some days I’ve tried to read and my mind wanders. Some days I’ve just wasted days playing crappy games on my phone and then feeling annoyed with myself afterwards! But reading should always be loved and not forced, so if I’m not feeling I’m not going to push myself to.
Sorting out my pension
I have a few different pension pots sitting around, which I keep meaning to combine into one. It’s annoying that every time you change job you get another one set up – it would be so much better if you just had one for life that followed you around to your different employers. Everyone knows that sorting these things generally takes lots of phonecalls, being placed on hold, and time that you just don’t have in a busy office. I really should use a quiet home to multi-task whilst also cracking on with my day job.
It looks like I’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, so all that could change (it won’t). I may come out the other side feeling productive and accomplished (I won’t). But in these strange times just getting through it is enough.
What haven’t you done since the world changed in March? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks, as always, for reading. x