Dan's blog: Learning to Love the Lockdown
Over the last few weeks, all of us have been adjusting to the new reality of working from home, social distancing, and the like. I thank my lucky stars that my boy is not yet of school age, so at least there isn’t the added strain of home-schooling, which I know many of you reading this are soldiering through. For a time, I considered writing about the hassles of adjusting to a new way of working, new household routines, trying to focus with a crazed two-year-old charging and screaming around me, not being able to meet with friends or relatives, and so on. I figured, hey, we’re all in this together, right? You’re dealing with those same problems. Maybe sharing those challenges will bring a sense of solidarity out of mutual misery at this whole ruddy mess?
But then I opened my eyes, and truly looked around me at the opportunities this situation has brought. Before all of this, I would spend much of my day, Monday to Friday, either getting ready for work, travelling to work, at work, travelling home from work, or decompressing from the stresses of work. Updates on the antics my wife and son were getting up to would be peppered through the day. I’d spend time in the evening playing and bonding with him between teatime, bath time and bedtime, and then have a couple hours free time before retiring to bed and repeating the process over again the next day. And that would pretty much be the only time available to me to watch my little baby growing up (weekends and holidays aside, of course).
Now, on the other hand, I can witness first-hand what he gets up to during the day. I can even take part in some of it, like singing and dancing, whilst still carrying on with my work on the PC. As soon as I clock out, I’m already home, so I have even more time to spend with my family. As a bit of a social hermit crab, one of the most exhausting parts of my day normally is the commute, surrounded by so many strange people; with none of that to deal with, my de-stress time is shorter. And that means – you guessed it – more family time!
Even the time spent out the house, being restricted to an hour of exercise a day, has become better utilised. Where we would usually have a vague idea of what we wanted to do, and then just wing it and see what happened, we now figure out exactly what we’re going to do, and you can be sure as sure that’s what we’ll do! Never in a hundred lifetimes, before the pandemic, would I have expected to build a wigwam with my son in the nearby woodland! Yet now he goes every single day with Mummy (while I tag along any time I can) to make further adjustments to it, often to the tune of genuine praise and enthusiastic encouragement from passers-by!
So, despite all the difficulties, I invite you all to take a moment to find those silver linings, embrace the opportunities, and learn to love the lockdown as I have. Because by staying home, we’re as close to the ones we love as ever before.
Dan is a Technical Expert for a financial institution in the City, with a young autistic son, a loving wife, and an indifferent cat.
Category: A Cityfather's Diary