#LockdownDiary – One of many – Day 19
The idea of a collection of daily words describing how you felt for 30 days of social distancing and isolation feels really meaningful to me and something that I think I’d really appreciate having in 10 years. Think outside the box of what you might typically write!— NaNoWriMo (@NaNoWriMo) March 31, 2020
‘Sometimes thinking about the fact that it’s going to last another three weeks is difficult, you know?’
We walk side by side with my partner in the park. We had hoped that going out around lunch time would make for a less busy outing but there are still a fair amount of children running around.
‘Yes,’ she replies.
I don’t linger on the subject. I am not entirely sure how to articulate how I feel about this prolonged lockdown. I knew I was not going to return to work last week but I had not thought about the consequences. And mostly I don’t. It is difficult to comprehend what is happening.
My new routine is settling in and it is increasingly difficult to remind myself this will stop. I am not paid to write, photograph, and edit sounds. I am paid for something else.
‘Can you step back a second,’ I ask my partner. I like the shape of the trees, the blossoms, and the dappled light on the floor. I want to capture this moment with my camera.
I am grateful for the opportunity given to discover my local area in a way I never have before. I can see it change. The narrow path by Stoke Brook has gone from muddy and bare to dry and luscious bringing people to it once more. Trees that were all branches and shapes are taking on colours and volumes. My eyes see something different everyday.
I press the shutter button and we walk on, avoiding three family groups that would otherwise trap us on the spot.
‘It’s not that I’m running out of things to do. But you know, I have to remind myself this is not normal. Sometimes I just tell myself what my password is to unlock my computer at work. I visualise my desktop and what I need to do.’
I think about all of the personal works I’ve drafted since the beginning of lockdown. It is luxurious to have time to read, to think, to write, to produce audio pieces. I can waste time if I want, there is still tomorrow. I do not have to cram everything into small time slots outside of work. My mind is free to wander, uncluttered from the stress and worries of paid work. It is allowing me to rediscover old loves and forgotten projects.
I don’t voice my next thought but sometimes I feel guilty at not being more angry or engaged with what is going on in the world. It’s not that I don’t care about how the government is behaving or how inequalities are laid bare. It’s not that I don’t see the opportunities to bring about change and evolution in our societies. But I do not have the mental space to act or think about all this. I am all too aware of the cost of maintaining a balanced life. There are fears and insecurities that lurk just under the surface and if I do not keep them in check, it would be all too easy to let them rage inside of me.
So I carry on, making the most of my new routine knowing it will end. I don’t ignore my insecurities but I do not feed them, refusing to let them thrive.
‘There’s an old Columbo on,’ I shout from the living room. ‘I don’t think we’ve seen it. Maybe the next one is a new to us one as well. Do you want me to leave it on?’
‘Sure,’ my partner answers from the kitchen where she is warming the soup for lunch.
It is soon apparent that we have seen this episode but it doesn’t matter. We watch on as we eat, the dialogue transforming into a background noise as I work on my laptop and my partner plays her Scrabble turn on her phone.