The only thing stranger than a national lockdown is a second one. Earlier in the year, I had no idea what to expect from the stringent measures - I already work from home, so I figured other than queuing for the supermarket and giving up barista-made flat whites, it wouldn’t be that much different to my normal life.
I was wrong - lockdown affected me a lot more than I ever thought it would. It wasn’t really about giving up the cinema, pub teas or shopping trips, but more a combination of it all - of giving up the choice.
And now we are back in a similar situation, with a small light at the end of the tunnel with this week’s vaccine news, we are still very far away from normal.
On top of all of that, I also received the dreaded self-isolation notification last week, so I am stuck in my house until Friday at 23.59. And that brings us to the title of this week’s newsletter: Everything is different now, so why are you trying to live like before?
Routines can be great, they keep you sane during times of uncertainty. I easily fall into routines and I don’t really have to force myself into them, I wake up the same time every day (thanks Potter), I eat three square meals and I fall asleep before 11 most nights.
However. I also think routines are not for everyone - in the same way that not everyone can be a morning person or a night owl, yet society places a higher value on those who get up early and kickstart the day (you only have to search Google for the hundreds of “my 5 am morning routine” videos to see that).
What’s so good about being a routine person over a chaotic one? Or a morning person over a night owl? In reality, we are all different yet we so often strive to fit into the same boxes.
In the past, I’ve aimed to start work before 9 am. Even though I work for myself, this is something I’ve struggled to shake… but since Lockdown 2.0 started, I have decided to give myself a little leeway and go with the flow.
I take time to drink my coffee and eat my breakfast with a book, rather than the news or Twitter, and I head to my desk at about 9.30, but if it’s 9 or 10 then I am learning that it doesn’t really matter. If I work late, who cares? It’s not like I have anything else to do! And by late I mean ‘til 6 pm, I am not a night owl and you’ll not catch me checking my emails after tea…
Time is just a construct and we have a shitload of it now, so I am learning to obsess less over it and go with the flow more. You might be reading this thinking what on earth you are a robot or you might be nodding in agreement as someone who naturally falls into a routine, either way, it’s easy to get caught up in trying to live the life we used to live pre-pandemic while the whole world has changed outside.
Can’t focus? Give yourself a break (and this is a note to myself, as well!) Need a little lie-in? Do it. Whatever gets you through this weird ol’ time, let yourself have it. On that note, I’m off to have a second piece of cake.
📚 Since I’ve been self-isolating, I have read a lot - three books, in fact. All solid 4 star reads for me and took me to my 2020 goal of 50 books (add me on Goodreads).
Here’s a quick rundown:
A tale of a girl who makes a Faustian deal to live forever, but sacrifices her right to be remembered… she floats through life for three hundred years, meeting people who immediately forget her after she’s gone. Until one day she meets a man who remembers her.
A woman meets a man on a rooftop and falls in love, but soon realises that he might not be the dashing prince that he first seemed. An old lover enters her world by surprise and she starts to see things from a new perspective.
A story about an all-girls boarding school where the students only study to become better wives/people-pleasers, they don’t mix with the outside world and aren’t allowed access to the internet. Soon the girls realise they might be living a lie and they embark on a mission to discover the truth.
And that’s all from me this week, come and chat to me over on Twitter or join me for Freelance 4pm Beers on Friday - an opportunity for those of us who work alone/from home to come to together chat about our weeks and have a laugh (like this tweet if you want to be added to the group).
Have a great week and remember to be kind to yourself!
Enjoyed this? You might like these past issues:
4 November: Lockdown Part II: Here's my manifesto 📜
28 October: Why business owners don't talk about depression
14 October: Meet the bosses who shaped me
6 October: Running a business when you're sensitive AF
30 September - Let them eat lockdown layer cake 🍰
23 September - Poetry in Notion: How one tool revolutionised my work ✨
16 September - A sceptic’s guide to self development
9 September - A quick one from Bonny Scotland