Lockdown – “View from a Room”

As we come to the end of another week in Lockdown, will the word ‘isolation’ start to mean something different to people?

Thesaurus.com offers synonyms like ‘reclusiveness’ and ‘abstinence’. I would now add ‘surrendering’, ‘adaptability’ and ‘discovery’.

Lessons to be learnt.

This is going to be a marathon and not a sprint and we need to build armoury for the long haul, both personally and professionally.

The power of having a ‘gratitude’ mindset reminding myself of what I do have rather than what I don’t have is keeping me positive.

I am not going to replay here my daily maxims from WhatsApp, but am thankful for the humour and courage within these messages. These tiny little threads feel just as strong as big chunky chains to keep us linked up – nothing reclusive there.

I have realised how engaging it is to meet family members, pets and children of work colleagues who make impromptu walk-on appearances during Skype calls. I wonder if bringing ‘our true selves to work’ will now ring even more true as we share our home lives more openly, ironically, as we close our offices.

The same applies to seeing our daily TV newsreaders, still doing a great job, but looking a little less manicured and coiffured, presenting from their front rooms. ‘Through the Keyhole’ was always one of my guilty pleasures – now it’s all out in the open.

Never has social media, even for luddites like me, played such a role in keeping us fit, teaching us hairdressing skills, connecting us to others and in keeping lockdown blues at bay. Leaning in to the moving ‘Clap for Carers’ to support the amazing work and spirit of the NHS reconfirms the power of social media.

We all now know there will be a very long wait for our next beach read so no more excuses for not having time to read, if this is your thing. My two hour commute has now been replaced by reading – there’s a book in us all …

Thrifty cooking and cooking from scratch seems to now create both pride and purpose. Hats off to Jamie Oliver for his Keep Cooking and Carry On – I can vouch for his excellent minestrone. In my house, it feels like Ready Steady Cook again, again and again … never did I think that a plate of retro bubble and squeak could be so comforting.

I am honing skills in resourcefulness and canny budgeting that will hopefully stand me in good stead for the times ahead – surely that is a good life skill for us all.

Am seeing many online resources and blogs providing valuable guidance for working from home.  The new ‘normal’ will have us living in an increasingly digital world, with us most certainly needing to update our communication and leadership skills in this context.

I touched on ‘abstinence’ earlier. My boyfriend and I are living apart in self-isolation which has its challenges. It also means we look forward to our daily calls and our Friday night ‘telecocktails’ with friends, chillaxing against a Zoom backdrop resembling our favourite pub. I am also developing my ‘waist up’ date-night look with some trial and error – still to master the art of Zoom chic.

In the 1930’s Great Depression people stopped spending on big ticket items and bought less expensive items like lipstick, referred to as the Lipstick Effect in economics. What will the equivalent be for us?

I also wonder about the fall-out of Covid-19 on the emotional and physical well-being of us all and how this is going to impact on our lives and future generations.

All I can do is take a day-by-day approach, practicing self-care in order to support others and in trying to still find joy and simple pleasures in life when staying home to save lives.

The words of the serenity prayer have never chimed so loudly for me, abridged here to, “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

As said by our very own Queen Elizabeth II, we will meet again.

Rhonda Martin https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhonda-martin-0251579/

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