This lockdown malarkey is dragging on for longer than I may have first anticipated – or at least longer than we may have been led to believe. Not that three months is that long in the grand scheme of things, but it feels like it’s been going on forever.
It’s been a really rough couple of weeks for various reasons and I’m at the stage where I really want lockdown to be over with, because it feels like I’m missing out on so many things. Strangely though, I’m not completely sure exactly what those things are!
I’m pretty sure going to work isn’t the thing I’m missing. Yes, I miss my work colleagues, some more than others, and I miss seeing people and passengers etc. But I don’t really miss the two hour round trip each day, or getting up at 440am for an early shift, or getting home around midnight from a late shift. I enjoy my job, don’t get me wrong, and I miss being part of things but I’m certainly not desperate to get back to it.
I’m also pretty sure it’s not going to the shops that I’m missing. I’ve still been going to Sainsbury’s once a week, weird experience though it is, and although I quite enjoyed getting out of the house at first the attraction and novelty has certainly worn off by now. I remember quite enjoying wandering around a garden centre from time to time, or looking at things in shops, but the fact I can’t do them right now certainly isn’t keeping me awake at night!
Am I desperate to get out for a KFC or McDonald’s? Not really. Will I be in the queue for Primark or Next or anywhere else when they reopen? Also no.
I’ve still been going out for walks and stuff, so that’s also not really been something I’ve been missing. I’ve certainly still been eating and drinking what I fancy too, so again they’re not things that I’m particularly looking forward to when all this is over.
I’ve been seeing more of Joshua and Sarah than I have in many, many years, albeit we’ve been able to do a lot less together as a family due to lockdown and Sarah’s shielding. So I’ve definitely not been missing them, even though I am of course looking forward to getting back to having days out, rather than just enjoying local walks.
I am of course missing seeing my friends in person, although I have seen a lot of them virtually via Zoom over the past few weeks. I’ve done quizzes, played bingo and had numerous games nights, but it’s certainly not been quite the same as seeing them in real life.
Although when I think about it I don’t really see that much of them outside of lockdown either. I have a small group of local friends I see at football, either watching or playing, but that’s generally a couple of hours every couple of weeks. We have the odd night out with dinner and drinks but it’s pretty rare to be honest – maybe a handful of times a year at most!
Most of my blogging friends I see maybe two or three times a year at the very most. There’s one or two notable exceptions but all in all I’ve seen a lot more of those friends online in recent weeks than I do in real life outside of lockdown!
So it’s not work I’m missing. It’s not shopping, or fast food or walks, or spending time with Sarah and Joshua. It’s not even socialising with friends because I probably wouldn’t have seen them more than a handful of times over the past few months anyway. But I know I’m missing something.
I know that the something I’m missing is making it hard to find the positives some days. I know that it’s making me feel a bit trapped, and demotivated and bored and irritable. I think it might just be as simple as the fact that I’m missing the opportunity to do things.
I’m not excited about going back to work but I’m annoyed that I can’t go back if I wanted to. I’m not excited about getting a Zinger Tower meal from KFC, but I’m annoyed that I can’t get one if I wanted to. I really don’t go out much in the evenings socialising with my friends but I’m annoyed that I can’t do it if I wanted to. I know we wouldn’t have gone away on an expensive foreign holiday this year for various reasons, but I’m annoyed that we can’t book one if we decided to. I know I do very little when I’m at home on my own but I miss having that time to myself to do very little.
I’m missing the things that I probably wouldn’t be doing anyway. I’m missing the little things that normally wouldn’t bother me that much if I wasn’t doing them. I’m missing having things to look forward to, or at least having the ability to arrange things to look forward to if I actually wanted to have something to look forward to!
Having spent 2019 and the start of 2020 trying to say yes to more things it’s felt weird to have all that taken back out of my hands. I’m much happier when I have a sense of purpose – something to achieve and to work towards and to look forward to.
Having started 2020 full of optimism and plans and enthusiasm, it’s all turned into a bit of a shitshow. And whilst some days I know it’ll get better soon and that these few months will be something to look back on as a miserable memory, there are other days when I can’t see it. I can’t see the end. I’m not sure it will get better soon. I lose sight of what it is that I’m looking forward to when lockdown finally ends.
But tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow is always a better day, right?