Hi there everyone, It had to be done, the obligatory lockdown post. You've probably read countless posts from friends and family on their lockdown journal type entries of home schooling, drinking wine, and group video calls with friends. So here is mine.
Monday 23rd 8.30pm the country all watched the PM address the Nation. Lockdown for the Uk for at least 3 weeks is announced. I think we all knew it was coming, just maybe not when, I had a few appointments still booked in, which I had to now cancel, I turn to my little dog and I say, well Spike its just you and me, mummy isn't going to be leaving you for a little while, you are going to have my full attention. We can actually work on some of your issues.. I wonder if we can stop you barking at vans. My thoughts of impending doom soon turns to motivation and ideas, in this gift of time I have given.
Tuesday 24th March
"Get your ducks in a row" I'm told by beauty business coaches via online advice. (I love that phrase because it reminds me of the film The Other Woman. I love that film so funny and Lesley Mann is just my favourite actress. Anyway. "Now is the time for action." "Only the strong will survive." "Come out of this stronger than ever before, more ready to conquer the world," I see these phrases and quotes coming from every corner of the internet, from social media to the adverts in between songs on You Tube. The general consensus being keep a routine, make lists, join some Facebook groups to see what others in the industry are doing, do some training, brush up knowledge and skills, free online classes... join here... sign up... free for a month... Everywhere I turn.
I think to myself first things first, lets make it official and close the business for anyone living under a rock and explain why. I got such a lovely response it was wonderful to read all the supportive messages. Whats next, keep a routine. Sounds straight forward, get up, exercise, do some work, do some chores, entertain Spike, have some me time. Yep I can do that, ok whats next, Make a list of jobs/activities you want to do but never get time. I absolutely love a list! Oh I know, I'll go into each room and write what I need to do in that room. As i'm making my way through the plethora of advice, support and motivation to "conquer the world." All of a sudden I notice a change in my mood and I feel like the wind has been knocked out my sails. I was looking through my diary and when a day is booked to capacity I put the words fully booked at the top of the page, so I know at a glance I can't take any more booking for that day. These words appeared on nearly every date in March never mind April. All that work to build up that relationship, and that trust with clients, so they made sure their next 1, 2 or even whole year of appointments was booked in advance. So they didn't miss their treatment, regardless of what it was, a massage, facial a mixture of mini treats, it was a booking of time when they could relax, time when they could feel special and looked after, time when they aren't mum, or wife, or looking after the family and everything else life throws at them. Time when they are just simply allowed to switch off. Also for me is was time when I used my skills, my knowledge, I felt useful, and had purpose. All of that is now on pause, and that fear of the unknown began to creep in, will be just three weeks or longer, will my clients be there when I get back, who is going to be in financial difficulties and can no longer afford me. Those unknown questions left me feeling in a precarious position.
Feeling a bit lost and in need of some processing time I brought my duvet downstairs! Now not sure if this was a stroke of genius or the beginning of my demise... I spent the day scrolling through Facebook, messaging friends and of course watching tv; world domination can start tomorrow I thought to myself. I took spike out for his evening walk, this is quite normal for us, but there was nothing normal about this walk. I decided to go into the park. Normally an empty park is the holy grail for me and spike. If you didn't know my little sweet Spike is harbouring some difficult qualities to say the least, he's extremely reactive, nervous and anxious. A dog, a bike, a kid on a scooter, a car that takes its sweet ass time to pull out of a junction lol, are all triggers and stress him the hell out. Imagine walking a ticking time bomb! that's my little Spike. So as you can imagine an empty space is bliss. Nothing to frighten or stress him out. But it was too quiet, I was too alone, the atmosphere was creepy and I felt vulnerable, my heart was beating out my chest and we quickly headed back home. A very busy mind and a very inactive body meant I didn't get to bed until gone 1am.
Wednesday 25th March
I decided to set my alarm for 9am because even though on one hand I had no work or reason to get up, on the other I wanted to keep to a routine as best I could. Damn my snuggly super cute and uber lazy Spike, he makes getting up so much harder 9am quickly turned to 9.30am before I got up. By 10.30am I had done some yoga and meditation and was ready to start the day. News came in from my mum, my dad got his letter from the NHS to stay at home for 12 weeks. I knew it was coming even if he didn't realise. He has COPD, early onset pulmonary fibrosis and is on immunosuppressants. I knew any contact with my dad and now also my mum was going to be from afar. My mum who hasn't actually been in the 21st century for that long, honestly she is more likely to map out the stars to navigate a journey than to use google maps, or on discovering you tube said to me, they even have a channel for card crafting Jennie, its brilliant, wonder if they will do one one for other crafts too. I'm not making that up she has no idea the scope of the internet. So she wanted to send a message to her sister in law to tell her about my dads letter, she has mastered WhatsApp pretty well, but only to me and my brother it seems. So she text my auntie Carole but the text wouldn't send. After what felt like 3 days and 800 messages later, we finally discovered why her message wasn't sending.
In the mean time little Spike is getting restless, I'd been told mental exercises are as good as a walk, so next thing was to teach spike a trick. Sit pretty seemed a good one to start, it looked simple and wasn't a million miles away from what he can already do. After more than his treat quota for the day and a few injuries sustained, mainly the hand I had the treat in got clawed to death as spike would swipe his paws in an attempt to reach up for the treat in a tiger like fashion, rather than sitting pretty, but we got somewhere close for the first day I was very happy with his progress.
After the stories of stock piling and empty shelves at the super market become rife in the news and on social media, with no income on the immediate horizon I decide to go through the freezer and see what I already have. I look at my stash of meals i'd frozen and picked one at random, it turned out to be chicken curry, and it was lovely.
Work soon comes to mind and I want to add a blog entry to my website, I'd already written the contents I just needed a photo so go with it, simple right? Wrong I ended up falling out with my Mac because I couldn't airdrop a particular photo, and it wasn't uploading immediately to my google photos. Haha I'm easily wound up it appears. Finally get it uploaded and its gone 10.30pm That took far too much time. I'm so frustrated and also I've fully been drawn back into Facebook after going cold turkey since Dec 25th. its gone 1am I'm still scrolling through Facebook, WTAF am I doing. I realise my phone is on 1% and prize myself off the sofa to get in bed.
Thursday 26th March
9.45am and awake to a very restless Spike who is barking at... who knows what? A person coughing 3 streets away, the wind changing direction or maybe a phantom ghost. I think it was just Spike telling me he really wanted a walk. I quickly got him out before I started a war with my neighbours. My walk didn't quite go to plan. Social distancing with a nervous dog is easy, I stay well away from everyone, so spike feels safe, and a dog off its lead will immediately make me do a U-turn. The park was busy with lots of dog walkers and my path was blocked in every direction. A very energetic, and playful young spaniel who was off the lead, made a few attempts to run at Spike but would stop and run back. I managed to get far enough away from the bundle of energy, to let spike spend some time sniffing, because so far he didn't seem too triggered by the young spaniel. The dog soon caught up with me and spike and just like Icarus flew too close to the sun, this little dog ran too close to Spike, Spike went from frozen to the spot, to fixation to attack in seconds as this blur of fluff ran past him. Spike got her by her ears and the little dog yelped. Holy shit! Spike let go and the little dog was fine you'll be pleased to know, her owner checked her ear (it was still attached and intact) Phew I hear you say, yeah believe me I was relieved too. So as you manage a sharp exit from the park followed.
Home to ring Virgin, I've got to get my bill down, I'm happy to get rid of the tv I just need to keep broadband, so I get ready to fight my corner and get my bill down. I fully expected to be on hold for a while, about an hour was the estimated time, but it didn't matter to me, it would take as long as it takes. 57mins into holding and the line goes dead. What the... did I lose signal, what happened? Oh bloody hell I decide to try again. Guess what? Yes it happened again. Similar time on hold and it just cuts off. Right bugger that Virgin ok you win for today I'll try again another day.
Do something creative to keep the mind healthy is the message I've been hearing recently. I decide to do my nails and add a little extra creativity with some nail art. This could also make a Facebook post so I snap a few pics. Its 8pm I open my window and hear the clapping for the NHS I join in and Spike joins in by barking too. Tea time I defrost another mystery meal, I really should write on them what it is.
Friday 27th March
In an attempt to improve my marketing skills I watched a webinar on the subject, whilst in bed eating Lidl's own version on chocolate hobnobs, half a packet of biscuits later and none of the wiser regarding marketing lol, I turned my efforts from marketing mogul to having a cleaning day instead. Decided to watch a film tonight, Contagion on ITV2 seemed a good choice, incase you haven't seen it, its about a pandemic, I actually loved it because I could under all the terminology and the sciencey bits.
Its the weekend!
Not that it means anything at the moment, but I decided that a lie in was justified and the duvet would be accompanying me downstairs. I then proceeded to watch every episode of the ghost whisperer haha don't ask. After spending the entire day watching tv, I take Spike out still avoiding the park at night, I walk across the top of Eastwood (as us local Eastwoodtarians call it) It was completely deserted, felt like a scene from 28days later (the zombie apocalypse film) I saw 3 buses, 2 were completely empty and 1 just had 2 people on. Back home to more sitting on the sofa watching tv, as you can imagine I've done absolutely nothing all day so I'm not tired and stay up till about 2.30am
Sunday 29th the clocks went forward
Wake up 2pm! Wow my body clock really get out of sync quickly. It's Sunday I say to myself, No need to worry about it, I can just enjoy the rest of the day doing things I usually do to relax, because a bit more relaxing is what I need right now! After an afternoon of listening to music, colouring, TV and eating. I think to myself, definitely need to get back to it on Monday, I set my alarm for 7am.
7am alarm goes off, I prize my eyes open and grab my phone, looking at the blurry numbers, oh hell no I just can't do it and say the word "hey Siri set alarm for 8.30am" put down my phone and crawl back under my duvet. My severely lacking will power and an extremely cuddly sleepy doggie, meant the snooze button got hit more times than I'd like to admit. After eventually dragging myself out of bed, I go make some breakfast, I think I'll just watch a bit of tv while I have breakfast then i'm on it. Spike then proceeds to curl up in a ball on my lap and fall asleep. Oh bugger Spike you cute ball of cuteness, thats it I'm calling in sick haha, cancel productivity for the day I'll start again tomorrow. I decide more cleaning is the best use for the rest of the day, before I know its 7pm and I've achieved nothing. Another late night but I'm definitely getting up at 7am tomorrow.
1.40am I woke up from a dream that Spike had fleas and I started itching, so much so that at 2.30am I was checking spike for imaginary fleas. I think I finally dropped off about 5am. my alarm wakes me up at 7am, you guessed it! I completely ignored it and set it again for 9am. I did actually get up this time promise haha. After successfully getting up at a time that could be classed as morning. I remember my brother telling me he has Disney plus and he gave me his login.... before I knew it was Thursday haha
Thursday 2nd April
I had to brave the supermarket today I'd ran out of mystery meals from the freezer. It was a surprisingly painless endeavour actually, I managed to get pretty much my usual shop, apart from eggs of course. I didn't have to queue to get in, overheard an argument over confusion if a couple were allowed to stand close together or not. And a woman in a black face mask who resembled a ninja. It's been a week since I had to stop working and now I really need to get my head in the game, after all, the messages and voices from social media are all about, using this time to improve and grow. So I make another list of jobs I need to do, with my new found enthusiasm to be productive, I know I need some financial support, and the advice is to apply for universal credit. I click create account. one of the 1st questions. What date did you move in? I barely remember the year, never mind the date, i'll add that later. Next question was about land lords details, it wanted his address, after spending 2 hours looking I gave up and thought to myself why don't I just ask him! so I text him and get my answer 2mins later. Note to self, add organise all household paper work to my to do list. I finish all the steps and then it takes me to a site to verify my identity. Now apparently there is not enough information about me to verify who I am which is slightly worrying, so I must ring them and do it over the phone. Now fully prepared to sit on hold for forever and a day, I make the phone call, cup of coffee in hand, I get through all the options and told to hold the line, it will be some time the automated message says. Then the line goes dead after a few seconds. I try 3 more times and same happens each time (cut to scene of me pulling my hair out) Right thats enough of that for now haha, I decide to do some yoga, as digestive biscuits are now my staple diet. After some exercise I move my laptop to the table and decide to work on my accounts and do my taxes. Its soup for lunch which I eat straight out of the saucepan because less washing up of course haha. By 7pm Ive walked spike, I'm in my pjs and I'd actually achieved something today.
And guess what its the weekend again, That's enough work for the week haha world domination starts on Monday after all ;-)
How is your time in lockdown going? Mine has proven I'm utterly useless at being an adult when I'm not working haha, but I'm not going to be hard on myself because these are extraordinary times and how we cope will be different for all. Stay safe everyone