Today I want to take a moment to discuss COVID and lockdown. If these topics are hard for you then please feel free to ignore this. I only discuss it now as I return to retail so for me, lockdown is over. For some it never began as they were working throughout. Then there are lots who are still working from home.
I have been dreading this day. I knew it would come. However, for several reasons from the company I work for to the general public who I am likely to interact with I was not looking forward to it.
Lockdown has been good to me.
In a lot of ways I have been happier than I have been before. It has also given me time and perspective which has put some changes in motion. I have been working on my mental health and, with the exceptions of when work contacted me (wow did that cause an issue), I was doing pretty well in comparison to before. I’m actually disappointed that I won’t be able to continue the work I have started with to the same extent. When people assume that I must be happy to return and excited by the prospect it is hard to keep my disappointment to myself. Especially when your manager makes pointed comments about the lack of enthusiasm from some people, including myself, to the news of opening.
I also admit that I am very much an introvert. My favourite things to do involve naps, games, or anything that means staying in. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy going out and seeing people but I need far less social time in person than a lot of people. I have taken several holidays to stay at home and do nothing in particular. People always act like that’s a shame and I tend to respond well it was precisely what I planned and hoped for. I like to leave things early before I am too drained. I can go without actual in person social interaction for longer than most people and not feel bad about it. I get that this is unusual but I cope well with it.
Drive time and streaming has helped me so much and given me such a boost through this time. I will always be thankful to all of you who have come along at times and regularly. Getting to chat with you all has been wonderful and your friendships mean the world to me. This isn’t the end of streaming by far but it feels like the end of an era of sorts. My regular slot has kept me focused during the day. I’ve had a plan and a routine as well as something to look forward to. It is very hard to truly explain what streaming means to me but it has given me so much and the GD drive time has been great for me. I’ve also loved that I have provided a great background for so many people hard at work. You are all doing so well and in case no one has told you I will… you are doing a good job, I am proud of you. You are all superstars for coping with your feelings on COVID, working through and adjusting to working from home in a very stressful time.
Honestly my sleep has sort of defaulted to its happy place. I’ve always been a night owl. Whilst I never necessarily stayed up all night I am more awake at night and capable of doing more. Recently my sleep has been from about 3am period until around 11am. In doing this I have felt more awake, more capable and more productive. Yet it is incompatible with the 7am work starts that I am likely to get when our opening returns to “standard” though that is not currently required. Especially as that generally means a 5:30/6am wake up call. Whilst it may not have been a great idea of letting my sleep slip to this, it is hard to try to keep it in the sort of acceptable range. My sleep schedule can’t be strict when I work anyway as the earliest I could start is 7am and the latest I could finish is 10pm. So I could either need to wake up at 5:30am or thereabouts or I could only get into bed at 1am having managed to do everything I needed to once I got home. Retail is good at preparing you for lack of sleep. However, managing to get regular sleep which leaves me feeling like a vaguely productive human makes me sad to leave it behind in my lockdown memories. I realise that I probably should have tried to be stricter with my sleep schedule but hindsight is perfect and using my judgement on what makes me feel better isn’t always great. The main thing has been I’ve felt better in this time, and have started learning new things and doing new things.
I also have some fear over the unknown, the uncertainty and the return to non-lockdown life. I don’t trust people to be safe when you see pictures of mass gatherings and hear the stories of people travelling hundreds of miles because it’s a sunny weekend. The talks of people going on holiday and the rush to the pubs when they reopened terrify me. The easing measures have been filling me with concern, though we are told it is safe to open non-essential retail that doesn’t mean people will be sensible. Knowing people in this area… well let’s just say it isn’t necessarily unfounded.
So goodbye lockdown. Goodbye freedom. Goodbye perspective and alternative opportunities. I hope to continue the work I have done on myself and continuing with the new perspective I have gained. Until change happens I guess I need to cross my fingers and hope for the best.
Stay safe, stay home where possible, wear a mask (unless medically you can’t) and wash your hands. And if you do go shopping treat the retail staff well, I go back because I have no choice and if I didn’t work there I wouldn’t be going anywhere near it.