2020 has taken a turn of events I don’t think any of us could have predicted. We’re living amongst a pandemic, the first I have ever experienced in my lifetime. The UK has been locking down over the past few weeks; shops and fast food chains have closed their doors, the high streets are empty, we’ve witnessed panic buying, social distancing, working from home – and more lifestyle-changing adjustments.
Everything feels so surreal as if we’re living in a film, but also scarily real at the same time. We’re entering uncharted territory every day and the uncertainty is causing anxiety, panic and fear across the nation. There has been an amazing sense of camaraderie, especially with the support shown to our beloved NHS. From clapping on our doorsteps to show our appreciation, to respecting our new guidelines (if you’re not, shame on you).
COVID-19 has changed and also ruined, many lives. For the safety of ourselves and others, we’ve had to be more adaptable than ever by restricting the food we buy, only leaving the house once a day for exercise, moving our offices into our homes and so on. Being inside for such a prolonged period of time has offered more time for reflection than ever before. I’m here today to speak about the things I’ve truly taken for granted, with some contributions I had over on Instagram too!
The current lockdown and restrictions have really made me think about what I took for granted before, both big and small. I think the most prominent one is freedom, to do literally anything as and when we want! Coronavirus has cancelled things for us all; weddings, holidays, day trips, driving tests, exams, concerts and other events – the list really is endless. It may sound trivial, and yes there are more important things to be worried about – but we’re only human and these feelings of upset and annoyance are perfectly understandable.
An annual trip abroad is what gets some people through the year, weekend plans seeing family and friends makes the working week more bearable and walks in the country give us the headspace we often need. I took for granted being able to book a holiday and knowing it was going to go ahead, walking the dogs and not having to physically avoid people, popping to B&M to look at the homeware. Going with mum in the car for some driving practice, having date night at The Harvester and a trip to the cinema, trips to the beach.
All of these things will feel so much more amazing when the lockdown is lifted and we’re free to resume our “normal” lives. I don’t think that will be for a long time yet, unfortunately. However, we have a major crisis on our hands and people still aren’t listening to the government’s orders and advice. If you’re not staying home, you are not saving lives – it’s come down to that now. It’s not just ourselves going through this, it’s every single person you can think of. It’s a lonely time for many, and that’s concerning enough in itself. Life can feel very isolating sometimes, without having to experience literal self-isolation.
So what have other people said they’ve taken for granted? I kept them anonymous for no reason in particular, other than we’re all human and have all taken something for granted at least once.
- “Ferry Meadows”(country park in Peterborough)
- “Regular sex”
- “The gym”
- “Having a job that means I can easily work from home whenever”
- “Having enough food in the shops”
- “Being able to go see friends whenever”
- “Being able to go on date nights”
- “The new tennis court in our village. Haven’t used it once yet but now I can’t, it’s all I want”
- “Going to the store whenever I wanted something”
- “Fresh air because I have to wear a mask all the time outside and be stuck inside”
- “Just nipping out to a shop if you’re bored”
I think it’s important to acknowledge the simplicity in a lot of the things listed above, but even the simple things in life aren’t doable for the time being. I believe there’s something installed in us that means we want what we can’t have, but this has personally made me more thankful for what I have. I have a roof over my head, food in the cupboards, my full time job is now at home and I’m surrounded by my family, partner and pets.
If you’ve been personally struggling, I am always here to talk if you wish. However, if things are more serious and you’re looking for help, here is a link to Mind, with a list of helplines and listening services.
This has been a hard-hitting time of realisation and I truly hope it never happens again. I cannot thank the NHS and key workers of the UK enough for what they’re doing – risking their lives so we can still live ours. I hope the amount of appreciation we’ve seen for nurses, shop workers, delivery drivers etc continues past this period.
Is there anything in particular that you’ve realised you’d been taking for granted prior to covid-19? I’d be really interested to hear down below!
Until next time, stay safe, stay home, save lives.