Remember seeing those pictures on Facebook of a solitary log cabin saying: “for £2 million could you spend three months here with no contact with outside world, no phone or internet”? I used to see them and think sign me up, I’ll piss it, I’ll do it for free! Then the world went into self-isolation and it turns out I’m full of shit….
Having spent my first day working from home, which, by the way, I fully back, I realise just how much I enjoy human interaction. Luckily for me I have the internet and a phone, so I’m not completely shut off but day one was very strange.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a week for everyone, by the end of Tuesday I was gagging for a break, working in news has been intense, it’s been hard, it’s meant hearing heart breaking stories and having no words of comfort, being worried for our own families too. We’ve been learning to adapt to work responsibly and away from each other. Part of the joy of news for me is meeting people and talking to them, I will talk to anyone but for now that has to stop, while as a society, we try to get a handle on this surreal world we’re living in.
We’re all facing the prospect of being away from friends and family for a long time to come but in a way, it seems to be bringing us closer together. I’m picking up the phone rather than relying on a speedy WhatsApp message. I’ve checked in with more friends over the past few days, some who I probably should speak to more often. We take for granted the ability to meet up for a coffee, go out for tea, meet a mate for drink, give our grandparents a hug, we always think we’ll have more time, this should teach us to do more, to say yes more, make more of an effort.
I, like many, am sad I don’t know when I’ll see my best friends again – despite the fact we had nothing booked in, I’m sad I didn’t get a planned blow out last night, I’m sad I don’t know when I’ll see my grandparents again, I’m confused about whether or not it’s safe to see my mum but the sooner we properly start dealing with this and following the rules the sooner we’ll be able to get back to normal. More lives will be saved, it is worth the sacrifice.
It’s also made me reflect much more and is forcing me to be still. I love being a journalist, I love socialising, I love travelling – I live my life at two speeds, 100 miles an hour or asleep. Having to change how I work and stay home is giving me time to just be. To think about the other things I enjoy, (music and writing) and things I used to do before life got busy like drawing, running, walking, painting, baking (though I’m pretty dreadful at it). Being still for a while is a chance to do some of these – maybe I’ll actually learn to cook something more than pasta and pesto!
Whatever the next few weeks and months bring I know I’ll be more grateful; I’ll make more of an effort, I’ll pick up the phone more, I’ll learn to slow down and learn to be still. The next few months are going to be challenge for us all but they’re also an opportunity to do more – albeit from the living room – a chance to think about what’s really important and remember what we really enjoy, I’m going to grab this moment with both hands and relax, see what comes from it, here goes.
Journalist, writer, traveller, music lover, collector of hats, news addict, bookworm