With Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) in effect, we’re looking at the brighter side of life and thinking of all the bits about lockdown that haven't actually been so bad...
Anyone else suffering from lockdown fatigue? We may be partway through Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) already here in Singapore, but the pandemic is, in essence, still very much ongoing. And I’m so tired. I’m fantasising about big weekend brunches again, dinner dates with Hubs, and having actual options for where to take the kids, other than ‘the kitchen’ or ‘the sofa’. I can’t wait to have a reason to get out my sweatpants and reacquaint myself with make-up. Don’t even get me started on the state of my lady garden (pass me the hedge trimmer). Yep, it’ll be nice to look like an actual human being again, rather than an overgrown, dishevelled mess. But guess what? A small part of me is also slightly anxious about post-pandemic life. Much to my surprise, there are actually some things to miss about lockdown. Before you send a hitman my way, hear me out – you might just relate.
7 things to miss about lockdown
1. Being present and staying positive
OK, let’s get one thing straight before I begin, which I hope is already clear. I’m verrrrrry aware of the negative side effects from lockdown. The financial and emotional distress caused by Covid-19 has been a total sh*t storm, for reals. So take this all with a healthy handful of salt. Ready? Good. Now, let me ask you this. How many of us will look back on this chapter in history with a tiny dose of nostalgia? You see, through these uncertain dark days, many of us have got used to seeing the light and staying positive. Though it’s been hard in so many ways, we’ve also found peace being away from the masses and the chaos. Gratitude, meditation and mindfulness have all been huge in our household. And a part of me is going to miss it, sweatpants and all.
2. Being a part of our kid’s learning
Hands up who’s struggling with homeschooling (teachers everywhere… respect!). But despite all of the tantrums – including my own – I’ve really enjoyed the insight into my three-year-old’s learning. It’s been great seeing her interact with her classmates and teachers, and discovering new concepts. Every day we’ll check on how her seeds are growing (marvellously), do some colouring (everything in pink and to hell with the lines) and sing her favourite songs (the wheels on the bus are indeed still going round and round). I know that when life goes back to normal, I’ll be too busy and short of time to embrace this. And I’ll miss it.
3. Exercising as a family
When we were still able to exercise as a family, my husband and I would strap the kids on the bikes and go for big rides together. Normally, I’d be hesitant about cycling on roads alongside the traffic or on paths packed with people, but lockdown has meant there are way less cars and people out. We’d have whole stretches of tarmac to ourselves. An introvert by nature, this is bliss to me. That peace, that step away from the frenetic hustle and bustle – it’s something I’ve come to treasure. When life goes back to normal, that hush will no longer be there. And I’ll miss it.
4. Working as a family unit
Working from home with kids around, especially two toddlers, has been challenging. But thanks to tag-team support from my husband, we’ve thrived. Deadlines are met, meetings are held, ideas are born… and it’s been great. Having my partner around as my solo colleague is something I treasure. Bouncing ideas off him, listening to his own work tales and refuelling each other with regular cuppas has been wonderful. Working silently on our laptops side by side is a comfort I didn’t know I needed. And I’ll miss it.
5. No commute!
Pre-lockdown, my commute to the office wasn’t too offensive, but it still ate up around two hours of my day. Not getting where-the-hell’s-my-bus fury or stressing about removing a clinging limpet of a child from my leg in order to leave the house is kind of refreshing. Likewise, at the end of the day, I don’t feel like I’m racing home for that precious, if frazzled, hour of time with my kids before their bedtime. When the work for the day finishes, I’ll close the laptop and boom! There I am. Ready to sit on the sofa for my daily dose of Peppa Pig, play with the kids, take the dogs out for a walk or take my time cooking, rather than it being another chore to eat into my time as Mum. And I’ll miss it.
6. Realising that we can always adjust
Don’t get me wrong – the pandemic has been (and still is) incredibly draining and taxing, as any parent will know, especially with demanding, energy-sapping toddlers. There have been meltdowns and tears, and “I can’t do this anymore” moments. Some days feel like wading through treacle. But the curveball I never expected? That I’d become so adjusted to this new way of life and have a whole list of things to miss about lockdown. We’re resilient beasts when we need to be, and that’s something I don’t want to forget.
7. A wave of kindness and respect
Yep, there is plenty of positivity in the time of coronavirus. And kindness, too. I used to witness so much impatience and impoliteness– people barging past each other, sniping or not saying thank you. Now, in the limited interactions we have, there is so much more respect for others. I’ve lost count of the little quips I’ve exchanged with random strangers I’ve walked past while begging the kids to pick up their mask, not dawdle or keep scooting. There’s so much “we’re all in this together” camaraderie, and I really hope that kindness continues once things get back to ‘normal’.
I absolutely appreciate everything is rose-tinted in hindsight. For sure, there are lessons to be learned from this reflective waffle. Being more mindful in my parenting, not always multitasking to the point of near-collapse and appreciating my husband more are good starting points. So as I psych myself up for the day I’ll be able to take the bus back to the office, a full face of make-up on and with coffee in hand, I have one question on my mind: Can I keep my sweatpants on?
Top image: Amanda Elisa for United Nations Global Call Out To Creatives