Today is Monday 13th April 2020. Three weeks ago, at 8pm (I think) Boris Johnson announced the UK was going into a lock-down. We all knew it was coming, some had suggested by the end of the week or maybe by Wednesday, but still it was a bit of a shock. The main guidelines, although confusing and unclear at the time were (this is a wee quiz for me to get it right!):
- You should only leave your house for food shopping and medicine, as least frequent as possible
- You can have one form of exercise a day – run, walk, cycle – either alone or with members of your household
- You can leave your home for medical needs – provide care support for vulnerable people (over 70 years old, most vulnerably sick – who had already been told they should not leave their home for 12 weeks)
- You can leave you home to travel to work – but only if you cannot work from you – or you are a ‘Key Worker’
- If you have symptoms of Covid-19 and live alone – you should self-isolate for 7 days (longer if symptoms remain)
- If you have symptoms of Covid-19 and live with others – everyone should self-isolate for 14 days (with or without symptoms) and if anyone gets symptoms they should start their 7 day self-isolation.
- We should wash our hands whenever possible and avoid touching our eyes, mouth and nose.
I think that is it? What have I missed? Of of course, the one most talked about:
- We must social distance from each other – being 2 metres (or more) apart from each other (unless they are in our household).
Why am I mentioning all this now? Boris Johnson said that every 3 weeks he would review the lock-down. That is today! So I have been doing a mini review of my blog over the last 3 weeks.
So much has happened. The confusing guidelines / rules have now become clearer and stuck in our minds. A whole new discourse has been formed – with a whole host of new words. Zoom has become a verb. Boris Johnson himself has had Covid-19 and been to the brink of death, relying on the NHS and ITU to help him recover. And over a quarter of the world is now on lock-down.
So today, I have re-read all my blogs and picked out all the themes. I have also created a Word Cloud. For those who don’t know what a Word Cloud is – it picks out the main key / repeating words (about 100) that are used in a piece of text. I copied and pasted all the blogs into a Word Document, before entering this into an online Word Cloud website.
My daily Reflections on Lockdown blog (not including today) has 22,032 words and took up 51 pages on a Microsoft Word Document! Below is the Word Cloud. What I love about it the most if it has placed ‘Jim’ where the UK is!
And so here is a review of my blog so far. I have the review in Italic and indented. And my thoughts about it now, in regular text and not indented.
FIRST FEW DAYS (DAYS 1-4)
In the early days I was loving the stillness and silence in the city. I found myself turning more inward into myself and became aware, that when we meet people on a daily basis we must give out lots of energy that takes this away from ourselves.
Although I am still aware of the stillness and silence in the city, it is a lot less. Have I become more used to this is the way the city is? I think I am still very much living within myself and have found I have reconnected with a deeper spiritual part of myself, which I have not been in touch with for many years. I like that part of me and glad I have found that part again.
For the first few days I really struggled with the endless ‘screen time’. Forever on my Phone or Tablet or mini-screen netbook – watching the news, social media, skype calls, facebook calls, facetime, etc…my energy was for every sluggish and I had a constant headache.
This has now completely disappeared. Not often on social media, hardly ever watch the news, and no more skype/facebook/facetime calls.
I would get annoyed when there was too much traffic on the streets. One day I was really disappointed with so many lorries and the noise of them.
I still don’t like seeing traffic on the streets. It has become the norm to cross the road, expecting there to be no traffic. If there are 3-4 cars at traffic lights, I get frustrated thinking “why so much traffic today?”. I would love this to continue when lockdown is over – but fear this will not be the case.
The rapid growth of Zoom Pubs, Zoom Quiz’s, Zoom music, Zoom shows, Zoom Pilates, Zoom meetings and Zoom Chi Gong (!). We all had to learn how to use Zoom.
I now feel a bit of a Zoom Expert. I spent about 2 days learning all about Zoom. I have been asked to Host a Zoom Album Launch for my friend on Saturday night!
On Day 4 Chris Evans on his radio show made a poignant point that he does not want the world to return to how it used to be. He said “The world was broken. There’s been a pause. There needs to be change”. He also quoted on that day about Donald Trump saying the US would be back to normal by Easter.
Chris Evans’ point has stayed with me and I still agree. Despite there being continual conversations of when we “return to normal”. Of course, Donald Trump got his time calculation a bit wrong!
BY THE END OF THE FIRST WEEK (DAYS 5-7)
I was loving the fresh air, comparing it to the film The Twelve Monkeys. I was so fully aware of the stillness in the air. The silence. That was bringing a presence to my life. An awareness. I was starting to connect to nature. Hearing birds singing, I even heard a wood pecker!
I was loving all the newness, despite also such a struggle.
I felt a pang of disappointment when I entered a cafe that I had been going to for a couple of years. A feeling of life as “normal” was there.
I asked you the reader – “have you enjoyed or hated all the change?”.
I had changed my flat around, turning the spare room into an office.
Writing my blog was becoming a routine.
Time was slowing down, there was no rush. I noticed people were walking slower. There was time to be still and connect to nature. We didn’t have to check the time as there was no appointments.
I told a story of ‘dancing’ with a girl in the window who was dressed in pink. A new type of connection.
When ever I walk down that street I look out for the girl in the window to dance again – but I have never seen her again.
The two most poignant things that hit me re-reading the first week of blog was the quote shared (above in the picture) and the question – I wonder whether lockdown was creating an environment for healing to occur?
WEEK TWO (DAYS 7-14)
Week two was the harder week. For some readers, they commented some really good blogs “the best”. I wonder whether after the first massive shock to it all (Week 1), I was now accepting the situation, but struggling massively – as what my ego was used to, was still trying to adjust to it all? My ego was battling against what it knew to be familiar?
I shared a story about an old man living in a village, with a great white horse. The theme of the story was to neither judge good or bad of any situation, just be with what had happened.
I quoted Eckhart Tolle – “Knowing yourself is to be rooted in being, instead lost in your mind”.
I discovered what Helen described as an ’empty space’. Which I felt when “something was missing”. How usually we fill it with something or someone. We aren’t usually aware of it because of the hustle and bustle of life – but lockdown was helping me/us quieten down and become aware of it.
I explored that a lot. I haven’t noticed that empty space or something missing feeling for a good few days. Where has it gone? I wonder, whether I have filled it with all the things I now do in life? I hope not. I kind of miss it.
Those times of really finding it hard and struggling was the richest time of learning about myself. I hope to find that place in myself again.
I explored the ‘ego’ and people shared comments on this.
I think this is still an area I need to explore and understand more.
END OF WEEK TWO (DAYS 12-14)
I started to fear of returning to “normal times”. I didn’t want this. I looked at developing a plan to ensure when lock-down is over I don’t return to my usual habits.
The fear is still there. I like who I have become in this lock-down. I like life in lock-down. I don’t want to return my life to how it used to be. I still haven’t done a plan!
I explored “letting go”. Telling the story of the creature clinging to the bottom of the stream and then letting go. Helen shared part of her story about working hard not wanting to let go – had to keep it all together. But later realising, if she let go, she would ‘fly’.
I really enjoyed that part and don’t think I continued to explore enough.
WEEK THREE (DAYS 15-20)
I continued feel fear of lockdown ending. Fear of losing all this.
I started to feel life as “normal”. No longer struggling with the unfamiliarity or strangeness of life. Matt suggested I focused on what has not changed.
I feel like this life is now “normal”. As I said in a quote – The ego is comfortable with what it is used to. I wonder whether this is what has happened?
I continue to focus on trees and nature.
The last few days of my blog seems less exploring my inner state and just letting you know how my day has been.
I miss the deep struggles and exploration of Week Two (Days 7 to 14), can I get back to that?
So that is the summary of the first 20 days of lockdown. Not to mention all the funny things shared, the quizzes and Fi’s efforts to complete them so I have the answers.
What was your favourite thing I shared?
What was your favourite quiz?
What is your most memorable day or parts of the blog so far?
Please do share your thoughts in the Blog Comments or on Facebook.
A different daily reflection of today. But hey, this review has been really useful, for me.
Here’s to many more days of writing this blog!
Oh – and before I go. I wanted to share with you about Honey the Dog. Since lock-down begun, she has found a ‘new’ favourite ‘toy’ to carry around in her mouth. A pair of my socks!
Thanks for reading.
Lots of Love