Today my weeks in lockdown reach double figures (I isolated a week early because I was sick). Like almost everybody my experience of time is warped. Things I did last weekend feel like a month ago yet ten weeks seems to have passed in a flash.
While so much of this entire chapter has been truly terrible and it makes me sad and very angry if I think too much about it, personally there have been parts of it I’ve enjoyed. I was chatting to a friend yesterday about my experience of lockdown and he replied: ‘You’re a survivor’. I think survivor is a too grandiose word, but I am very good at adapting and making the most of situations rather than letting them get the better of me. Of course, I haven’t sailed through it completing unscathed – I’ve had two separate days where I felt really sad and lonely and one evening I got myself unnecessarily upset about something I should know better than to dwell on and picked a petty argument. But largely my bubble has been a happy place.
Early on I decided to make food a hobby not just a function and trying new recipes and delivering treats to my neighbours and the friends who live close enough for a doorstep drop has brought hours of pleasure. I’ve loved exploring parts of my neighbourhood that I didn’t know existed, although when I sent my oldest friends a sound recording of birdsong in a wood one of them responded with: ‘Is this your emergency message, have you been kidnapped?’ I’ve had some epic clear outs indoors and in the garden, got through four and a half series of Mad Men, watched stage shows I’d never pay to see and enjoyed them. Still only on part two of my BSL course though!
Perhaps the most satisfying thing has been doing a forensic dive into my finances. I have always lived beyond my means and been too quick to put things on credit cards rather than say no. This situation has forced me to have some honest conversations with myself and the lack of anything to spend money on is a unique opportunity to pay off credit cards in four figure chunks not minimum monthly payments. I’m being explicit about this because one thing I’ve done is attend a seminar about women and finance and one of the key takeaways was women need to talk about money more. It’s one of the very few things we don’t talk to our friends about and we are literally and metaphorically poorer for it.
Related to money is work and that’s been the biggest success for me. At the beginning of this all our shoots and training sessions were abruptly pulled and we had no idea how we’d come through this. Two months on we’ve repurposed the business and it’s blooming. I hope soon it will also be booming! I’ve always loved my work but at the moment it feels new and exciting and the time and effort that we’re ploughing into it makes it feel like we’re just starting out again, but this time with the experience from chapter one to feed into it.
While lockdown has been good for me, I’m ready to come out of my bubble. I want to see my family and hug my friends. I want to go for a swim. I want a haircut and a pedicure. And I don’t want to be physically distanced from partners and lovers anymore. As I come out of the period of business and financial stock taking my libido is shaking off its dust. For a while my daily photos and the messages and photos I’d receive in return were enough. But not anymore. I want to kiss and fuck and cuddle. I want to have my hair pulled and my arse slapped. I want to breathe in the smell of necks and and run my fingers through chest hair. I’ve sorted business, finance, home and garden, I want the rest of my life back now.