It's been just over three months since I returned to work after my Maternity Leave, during Lockdown, and I've been reflecting on what feels different - and weirdly normal.
Also, Lockdown had moved on a bit since then. Gone was the three month total Lockdown where we were not supposed to leave the house apart form a daily walk and medical/food supply runs. Things definitely felt more normal. I only really have missed the cinema, and only a little. When I was pregnant I basically slept for nine months (!!) so we didn't go out at all really, and when baby arrived we had other things on our plate, obviously. I'd like to say I'm missing gigs and theatres, but experiencing that part of city culture was rare for me, however enjoyable they were before Lockdown.
I think how I'm feeling now, like many other people, is we are firmly in a 'new normal'. And this 'new normal' isn't temporary, like the 'normal' we were subjected to in the early summer. Thank goodness that didn't last an enormously long time (and that the weather was so great!), and let's hope national Lockdown doesn't happen again.
I appreciate many people are fearing job losses, suffering health issues, and worried for their children mixing at school, but for us, we're feeling lucky. This form of Lockdown isn't so bad. It's all relative, isn't it; comparing these days to days back in April, it's a totally different situation down here in Bristol. London and the north is struggling in particular, and comparing my situation to people who have family members with Covid or who need to shield isn't really fair, but we're doing ok. What has really helped is all the socially distanced dog walking with a friend or two, and having one of my closest mates support bubbling with us. She lives on her own, so it's totally legit, but honestly, I feel like the support is more for me!!!
What has been quite different in the last three months is my day job. I work part-time as a PA in a government department, and every day, in normal times, I'd take the Park & Ride into the city centre, working in an open plan office with over 1000 desks. Now I'm working from home indefinitely, which is totally different. There's a whole blog on that subject alone, but it's mainly a good thing, and I feel much safer than having to use public transport and mix with people I have no idea how well they are following the government safety guidelines. I am blessed to have a job I can work from home with, keeping a routine is so helpful.
Two weeks ago I started a new role (same department). This was a strange process with a video interview and starting work on day one in my spare room. El Husbandio and I both work in the same room Tuesdays and Thursdays - I think that'll be the biggest challenge!! We're already kind of on top of each other day and night.
Of course, I'm saying "roll on that vaccine!" and I miss my friends and family - and the warm weather!!! - but honestly, I'd love to keep working from home. It's so easy to fit in walking the dog, receiving deliveries, managing nursery drop offs/collections, it's (mostly) quiet, I have my home comforts... I even managed a haircut on my lunchbreak back in August! I do miss the company of my team some days, but it's fast becoming the new normal that we catch up on video and have social check ins. And if my work situation stays this way for a while, I shan't be complaining.
My lockdown buddies and I are staying safe. We're not being risky (nursery being the only wild card really) and we're hanging in there.
Stay safe yourselves!
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Born to be a Tourist