I went out on a 45-minute bike ride this morning in the quiet lanes where I live. Quiet, mainly traffic-free and the sun was shining.
I saw a few people out an about – couples walking dogs, a man pushing his child in a buggy with the dog lolloping alongside, farmers on quad bikes with various numbers of sheepdogs balancing on the back and individuals walking in the bucolic morning.
Something wasn’t right though. No one made eye contact, it took a cheery ‘good morning’ to raise their heads even a little bit and everyone looked either guilty or a bit angry.
I know we are in unprecedented times and we are on lockdown – but we are allowed to take exercise once a day, go out to visit shops occasionally to collect basic provisions and support elderly neighbours (I got some wine and other more essential provisions for my octogenarian neighbours yesterday) – but no one has told us we have to lock down our emotions.
As a nation of ‘curtain-twitchers’ perhaps we are all waiting for someone to tell us off? Perhaps we are feeling guilty about being outside?
Maybe feeling the pressure to behave?
I saw a couple of posts on social media the other day which surprised me:
a. “How are they going to police the going out once a day thing?”
b. “Should I tell ‘the authorities’ about a couple who pressurised my next-door neighbour, a dog-groomer, into grooming their dog on Tuesday?”
My thoughts on what we’re currently going through:
1. As adults we are facing enough pressure without needing to ‘police others’ – so in answer to (a) – no one should *have* to police you. You know the guidelines.
2. Don’t start ‘reporting people to the authorities’ – this is not a productive or positive use of your time. People WILL get the message. The authorities are already busy enough.
3. Stay focused on what you can do to keep those around you safe and healthy:
– helping the family maintain some structure (no one is good when they don’t have routine);
– tidying and sorting the junk you don’t need,;
– gardening (if you can);
– Learn new things as a family – online exercise, recipes you’ve never made etc;
– Talk to each other.
4. If you’ve ‘always wanted to write a book, read all of Shakespeare’s Plays, learn another language’ etc…do it…an hour a day.
5. Get the board games out and play together.
6. Read different peoples’ lists of things you can do to keep busy., which will keep you busy for an hour or two!
What am I doing (mainly)?
– Getting up at 0730 and working on my book edits.
– Mulling a second book.
– Keeping positive with my PLN On Twitter – esp #Teacher5aday.
– Making ridiculous 80’s funk and soul handwashing videos for Twitter @EnterpriSBox.
– Avoiding Facebook and the ranters, conspiracy theorists and nonsense.
– Working in the garden.
– Cooking more.
– Evening ‘read time’ (it’s wine-and-reading-time for the rest of my family)
– Bed a bit earlier.
Remember, this shall pass and you don’t need to change your personality – please remain positive, stay kind and say hello to each other when you’re out and about.
The lockdown applies to movement NOT emotions.