It’s the First of November and all over Europe, countries are returning to varying degrees of lockdown. I have decided to return to my ‘Quarantine Diaries’ as a means of staying sane during Lockdown Round 2. I started out by re-reading my post ‘Lessons Learned in Lockdown‘ to see what I thought I’d learned back then, and whether my perspective has changed since.
Looking back on lessons learned
- ‘The only time you will get any peace and quiet is a silly-o-clock in the morning. But you may regret the decision to get up at 5am when it gets to 8pm and the kids are still bounding around full of energy.’ This is likely to be the case again very shortly. So far, the half-term holiday has been extended by one week. But with the Covid-19 situation worsening in Slovenia, I don’t expect the schools to re-open next week.
- ‘Asking for half-an-hour’s peace and quiet is not unreasonable, in fact it is more selfish to deny yourself a break, play the martyr and then take it out on everyone else later.’ Absolutely agree with myself here – sometimes half-an-hour is all you need to get your mind back in balance.
- ‘If you can’t get any peace and quiet indoors, there’s always the supermarket…if you head there at the right time of day.’ When we first entered lockdown in Spain back in March, we were only allowed out for essential shopping. Thankfully, this is no longer the case as it seems Covid is not spread easily in outdoor settings. So going purely for fresh air and exercise will now be an option.
- ‘Dirty dishes breed faster than rabbits. The minute you turn your back on them, the sink fills up again. Make sure everyone takes their turn washing up.‘ Well, now I have a dishwasher, so this is no longer much of a problem. But I do think everyone can should take their turn loading and emptying it!
- ‘Don’t feel guilty if your children spend more time online/playing video games than you would like. Just remember to give them your full attention at times when you are able.‘ This advice applied when I was working full-time for an employer. But my situation has changed and I can now choose my own hours, so I will be trying to limit screen time for my kids (though certainly not abolish it altogether).
- ’12-6pm may be the allocated time for children to have their outdoor exercise, but if it’s 30 degrees and sunny, stay poolside and chill!’ This advice is certainly no longer relevant since swapping the Costa del Sol for the Slovenian Alps!
- Bathtime is sacred (your own bathtime, that is). I no longer have a bath and I do miss it (is the obsession with bathing a British phenomenon?) However, I do have two showers to choose from, so I’m not complaining!
- ‘Don’t be too strict about the homeschool timetable: think quality over quantity when it comes to educational activities. It’s more important that your kids are engaged and interested than that they slavishly follow the curriculum.’ I am a little stressed about this point, second time around. There is talk of MS Teams-based live classes and I think I will be expected to re-create the school timetable for my 7-year-old as much as possible. I have no idea how I am going to do this in Slovenian, with a three-year-old to entertain in parallel. Time will tell…
- ‘Leave non-urgent work tasks until the afternoon or evening, once the kids have finished school. Also prioritise your own mental wellbeing over meeting work deadlines.’ As I mentioned above, I am now my own boss, but I think the point about prioritising my own mental health remains important!
- ‘You can NEVER do too much reading, or writing.’ Still agree with this one! Writing keeps me grounded and reading expands my horizons. So I plan to keep on keepin’ on with both.
A very important omission
Perhaps it’s evidence of my progress on the path to spiritual growth that I have a new lesson to add to the above list. Perhaps this is the most important lesson of all:
11. Never underestimate the value of gratitude
I cannot stress enough how much this lesson has helped through all the many changes I have experienced this year. For example:
- I took voluntary redundancy from my job and began living my dream of being a writer.
- I swapped a balmy Mediterranean climate for a Continental European climate: for the first time in four years I am experiencing Autumn in all its blazing glory, and my children may get to experience a white Christmas.
- I am gaining confidence speaking Slovenian, all the effort I put into learning it many years ago is now paying dividends.
- I am devoting 10-15 minutes a day to meditation and I am reaping enormous benefits.
- I may not be allowed to leave the region in which I live for the time-being, but I live in a world-renowned beauty spot.
- I have gained new perspectives on life in different countries and within different cultures.
- I get to be locked down with my beautiful family and spend time with them when we would normally be separated by school and work activities.
- I will save a fortune by not eating out and not wanting to buy new clothes as I will mostly be in the house or walking around in nature!
How is lockdown looking for you?
Another reason to be grateful: I get to connect with wonderfully talented writers from across the globe. I gain new perspectives and realise there is so much more to life than my little world. I’d be really interested to know how you have been affected by the recent round of lockdown measures, or indeed, whether you have been affected at all?
I hope you enjoyed this post and like the new look of my site, which has been given a little bit of a face lift today 😊 thank you for reading!
Wow nice lockdown dairies..
I think that blogging on WordPress has definitely helped me. It’s great to have a creative outlet and to be in touch with so many great bloggers in different areas.
It’s amazing isn’t it? You can make real connections with people from all over the world!
I do think that on the whole WordPress has some very lovely bloggers. I hope that continues to be the case for a long time to come <3
I agree: I never dreamed I would find so many people who shared my interests in writing, poetry, etc – we’re so lucky to have this community, especially in the current situation!
Gratitude is the biggest thing I learned. Fingers crossed lockdown 2.0 is OK for us all.
Yes, and that this thing doesn’t ruin Christmas. I’m lucky as I don’t mind a quiet family Christmas but I feel for all those locked down in isolation 🙁
I love the little gratitude notes you added in at the end of this! Gratitude is important.
Such a simple lesson it has taken me a lifetime to learn!
Even though we are many miles apart and I am not managing the incredible of parenting during COVID, I can relate to many items you wrote about. Years ago when I was going through a challenging time, I wrote in a gratitude journal. Your list reminded me of doing that. It was so incredibly helpful. Speaking of “staying sane,” with American elections coming up in two days and the uncertainty surrounding that, people have started panic shopping again. Just left the store and not one package of TP to be found. 😟 This year!!
Oh dear! I don’t understand the TP hoarding phenomenon at all. I hope you are still able to get out and vote safely. It has certainly been a challenging year for many people across the globe!
The TP hoarding is ridiculous! I always do early voting, so no worries there. Thank you. 🙏 Wellness and happiness to you and your family.
Thank you Michele. Wishing you and your family good health too 🙏
All parents going through a lockdown deserve a gold star and quiet time each day. I also agree that focusing on gratitude the way forward to experience joy in the small moments that make life worth living regardless of the challenges we face. Keep taking good care of yourself. If mama isn’t happy, no one is happy.
Well said! And thank you 😊
This is the condition here too. Though we are taking off the lockdown in stages yet social distancing is the norm, for many and schools are not completely open and not likely to open for couple of months more.
And I salute you and all the parents who are putting up with the children and continuing demand by the family for one or the other thing.
Thank you so much. I hope the situation improves where you are too!
Thank you so much. I dearly wish, this.
I love this post with your reflections. Good to hear that you meditate daily. This is as important to me as eating. It has made a huge difference to my well-being. Keep safe and well x
I agree, Deborah: I can always tell when I’m getting overloaded and that is my cue to go and meditate for 10-15 minutes. Call it a circuit breaker!
#3 was essential for me during my lock down! Which I’m afraid we might go back to if my state (North Carolina) can’t get things under control!
I hope you don’t have to go back to full lockdown. Take care!
You as well!
Number 4 is particularly true.
Please wave to the Slovenian alps for me! Good luck with the new lockdown. I hope it lifts soon.
Ingrid, I am a bit envious of your lockdown. I’m in the U.S. and I imagine you are aware of the situation here. If only we had at least a partial lockdown of malls, bars and other non-essential places, and people were more than willing to wear a mask and be socially distanced, we’d be in a far better place. I fear that anyone outside the country sees us as self-centered and crazy, but know that many are willing and able to help protect one another. My roommate and I are having our own personal lockdown in order to stay safe. I keep a gratitude journal and try to go for daily walks to keep my sanity.
And never underestimate the power of laughter of this post that I am having right now! I need a silly o’clock ! Thanks for the laughs Ingrid.. i’m not getting any bunnies.. I have plenty enough dishes and laundry piling high. 🤣❤️ Cindy
Cindy, I am up at silly o clock once again! And I go to bed at ‘pajamas o clock’ which is about 9pm at the moment 🤣 ❤️ good luck kicking Jack in the ass today!!!
That is too funny and I’m trying to get to bed my 10:30 with the time change if I can.. great plans ahead.. fingers crossed he will be rolling down that hill tomorrow… thanks! fingers and toes crossed.. xo 🤣❤️🙏
Ingrid, thank you for your quarantine tips! I hope you can keep your sanity and enjoy your children. <3 I agree that writing and blogging helps! 🙂
Thank you, I hope that you can too! How is the covid situation where you are?