What is happening?

The past few weeks have been odd for me and if I’m honest with myself and everyone else I’ve felt a decline in how I have been feeling. But why? Things are looking up on lockdown aren’t they? Things are moving forwards so why do I feel like I’m going backwards?

During even the worst parts of lockdown I have tried to stay positive and found ways to stay in touch with others. In fact I have probably had more contact with people on a regular basis than “normal”. I think that deserves inverted commas now as I’m not quite sure what “normal” is anymore!

Maybe therein lies the issue. No one had anywhere to go or had any other plans and we all had more time for each other. It was nice. It was caring. It was fun. It was enjoyable. It was how it should be. Lockdown has started to lift and there has been a real shift and I’m not sure I like it.

I had a chat with one of my best friends and we came to the conclusion that although we wanted Lockdown to end and for us to get back to a new “normal”, there were some things we didn’t want to end. This new social contact with people on more occasions was one of them.

During Lockdown, I have never felt more included, involved, part of a community, cared about. Lockdown is lifting and people are forgetting and moving on. They are going back to their old ways. I want to hold on to some of what I found during Lockdown.

At work, we have morning Arcobaleno radio where we nominate songs to be played every day; sometimes themed and sometimes even with Oscar type events at the end or UK-vision. I have simply loved every single moment. It keeps me going. But people have stopped nominating songs. I still do; over and above everyone else other than one of my colleagues, Sarah. We are on the same wavelength. I want to keep it going as a positive start to the day for everyone. We also have a Coffee Room chat on Microsoft Teams where there were lots of things going on but it’s fizzled out to nothing. You could hear a metaphorical pin drop. And then there is Wine Down Friday. We have had quizzes and Oscars and UK-Vision, and of course we have talked; sometimes with people we have never talked to before. Now that has dropped off the edge of a cliff. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoyed yesterday’s Wine Down Friday and I am grateful that the ones who turned up wanted to do my quiz; especially the CEO. But why have people stopped? The Pandemic is still here. We still have restrictions. Things aren’t “normal”.

At home, the road I live in has been so active in community spirit. We clapped every Thursday evening for 10 weeks. I agree that had to stop when it did but now I don’t see all of them every Thursday night. We got together for a socially distant VE Day and had an excellent time. Driveway drinks, Cinema nights, a quiz. This road is honestly the best place I could live. But again, things have moved on. Ok, the weather has not been as nice in fairness either but I haven’t seen them in two weeks. Or heard from them.

In writing that sentence I have realised that I haven’t contacted them either so I take my blame in that! But I miss it. I miss them. I miss how it made us all feel together.

And then there are my friends. I will meet up with some of them tonight in my garden, which will be amazing. Of course at a distance and there are only 5 of us. I am looking forward to that so much. So far it has only been via computer meetings for the whole of lockdown so tonight is special. But the other groups I miss seeing. The meetings started off well on keeping in touch but no one organised any more after the ones I did. Maybe I should have done more. Maybe it’s my fault.

I do wonder if it’s selfish to want things to continue how they were in Lockdown? Not in their entirety of course but to some extent. Is it selfish? Is it idealistic? Maybe I just want too much. The one thing I do know is that although I feel down and don’t necessarily want to make that first contact, I should. Maybe other people feel exactly the same. I know I’ve pulled back over the past few weeks because of how I have felt but I guess that probably makes things worse. But it’s hard. It’s hard.

I love my job so that has helped keep me going and I have seen lots of people virtually through my computer every day. The joy of Microsoft Teams. I do love to see people’s faces. I feel like we have all talked more than we would have done if this was “normal”. Please let that never stop!!

So I want to hold on to some of the things I found in Lockdown. Please don’t think I’m selfish. I am going to make a concerted effort to contact people too. Let’s not forget what we found. There were positives in Lockdown and we are nowhere near back to “normal” so let’s hold onto those, embrace them and build on them.

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