I pride myself on honesty, on not glossing over things.
I don’t claim to have a perfect house or a perfect life.
I am very aware that I am lucky, and I like to believe that I am aware of my privilege.
I don’t use the excuse of being honest to hurt others’ feelings, and I’m anything but wreckless as to the impact that my words may have on others. In fact I spend a disproportionate amount of time worrying about any potential misunderstanding.
My Facebook and Instagram for the past few months is all photos of us out enjoying nature, beach walks, hill walks, country walks, sunsets on the beach.
It looks idyllic if you don’t read the captions.
I’m writing this post to set the record straight about what life in lockdown was like in 2021.
The tagline should be: Lockdown 2021: All of the lockdown, none of the novelty.
We’re in this newest lockdown a whole month now, confined to our 5km radius, working and schooling from home. There are no sports or activities happening, no cafes or restaurants, no non-essential retail. Last March we consoled ourselves that at least it wasn’t January and the evenings were bright, and then we locked down in darkness with cold weather. I guess we deserved it. Comparison is the thief of joy!
School at home (I call it this as it’s not homeschooling in the true sense, even if my kids do call it homeschool hell) is very different this time. Because the schools saw it coming they were ready. We’re getting daily updates on apps and websites, we have to submit work multiple times a day, there are three zoom meetings a week each. It is full on. It’s device heavy. We have two adults also working from home in the house so it’s broadband heavy too. The kids work away but they need input from us. They’re not used to not having access to us when we are home so they come into the home office (usually immediately after one of us has returned from giving Irish help or finding the right screen on zoom for them) for a variety of reasons, ranging from “can you spell something for me” to “his elbow touched me”, or “can I have a hug?”
We’re not supposed to complain. We are saving lives. It’s the right thing to do.
The thing is that this is all hard.
We know that it is so incredibly hard for the workers who are fighting the pandemic, those who are vulnerable and those who have lost people to it.
We absolutely acknowledge that.
But it’s also hard in a different way for the parents who feel they can’t give enough to their job or their children and that nobody is getting their best selves.
It’s hard for the kids who miss their friends, their teachers and their routines.
We all work and relax in the same house. We get through the work and we make dinner again.
It’s Groundhog Day. It’s hard in the boring mental health injuring sense, not hard in the life endangering way. I know.
We are all sick of walks.
We are sick of our 5km radius.
We all miss our friends and family.
We know we are stuck with this, so we struggle on.
One day at a time.
One TikTok wrap, one more treat because life is hard and it makes the days different.,
One more walk. Some more hugs.
We might look back and be glad of the chance to slow down, that it was a good thing. I’m all for looking for bright sides.
But in this February fog with at least another month of it I want to shout it out.
I am lucky, I am privileged, I am tired. This is hard.
Tomorrow is another day, we will get through it.
I might dash to the beach for sunrise. If I do, there will be a picture on instagram.
If I just lie in bed there won’t be, I’m not making any promises either way.
One day at a time is as much as I can manage right now.