When the world stopped

This is the draft of a blog that I started writing over 2 months ago. Obviously, it never got finished, but now time has moved on and the world is still changing, I thought it would be interesting to post with a postscript. So, here you go…

It’s Sunday 10th May and it feels like any other Sunday. A lazy morning, a run, and an afternoon reading on the sofa. But tomorrow I won’t be going to work. I haven’t done any work since the 31st March, and I’m currently in my second month on furlough (a word I’d barely heard before a couple of months ago).

While my colleagues are working hard from home to keep our business turning over, I’m wrestling with the guilt and shame of just how much I’m enjoying having nothing to do. My days are filled with long walks, naps, Netflix binges, YouTube workouts and runs in daylight, intermittent cleaning and cat bothering. I don’t have to get up and get my face on and wear a bra and drive 10 miles away and sit at a desk for 9 hours and drive home and do it all again 5 days a week.

(and I know I had it very easy pre-Covid; a comfortable, decently paid job in an office full of excellent people.)

And honestly, it’s great. It’s the life I thought I always wanted and if there wasn’t the looming threat of global recession (hellooo redundancy) I’d be perfectly happy to stay in this limbo-state.

 

Now it’s the 25th of July and I am still sitting at home, though today is a Saturday so it’s a bit more understandable. This is my fourth month now of furlough, and along with over 100 others I’m officially at risk of redundancy. So that sucks, but it is what it is, and I’m in a much more fortunate position than many many other people right now.

We’re out of lockdown now, and have started doing normal things, like going to the cinema and visiting friends. Masks have finally (!) become mandatory for shops and public transport, people are going on holiday, my brother’s wedding is going ahead! 

Spring and most of summer have passed, Easter came and went, and now blackberries are starting to appear. The earth keeps turning, time keeps passing, the pandemic continues. It’s hard to plan for the future now. The Brighton marathon that I was meant to be running in April has been postponed to September, but that’s still provisional. A concert we have tickets to was moved from April to September, and now to September 2021. We booked the tickets in September 2019 so Agnes, you’d better be worth it. My husband has finished his degree, with no fanfare or celebration, and now has the pain of trying to find a job in a sector that is difficult at the best of times, let alone when charities and businesses have had budgets cut to the bone.

So we’re carrying on, hopeful for a vaccine and thankful for living in one of the least affected areas of the country. The idea of going back to work for 40 hours a week now seems bizarre, but it will have to happen some time (sigh). And of course, I should have used this endless free time to learn a new skill or get some qualifications or at least something productive. But instead, I have been running and walking and reading and thinking and not doing a great deal, and that is O.K, ok? 

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