It’s not even six in the morning yet and I’m already up out of bed. I’ve tidied up the flat, the dishwasher is rumbling and I’ve got my cup of coffee from the cafetière.
Cafetière. Now that’s a fancy word.
In less than three weeks time we’re going to hit the 1 year mark of the Pandemic and its lockdowns here in the UK. I don’t think anybody expected it to last this long- I certainly didn’t!
But here we are, the kitchen counter has now become the breakfast cafe, the restaurant, the bar, the coffee shop and the bakery where my Partner makes the magic happen. And on top of that we bought a cafetière.
I never fancied myself to be the kind of person to have such an outfitted kitchen, we still don’t have a toaster! When we saw the cafetière in the shop I was suddenly hit with the over-whelming sensation that it had been too long since I’d something other than an instant coffee from the jar. The occasional take-away’s from Costa Coffee when I had a quiet moment at work just weren’t cutting it anymore.
Before the pandemic I used to spend a lot of my free time in local coffee shops (and Whetherspoons!) reading, writing, relaxing and unwinding. Obviously things are different now. Perhaps it’s not the taste of the coffee that I miss, but the experience.
As I take a sip of hot coffee and smell the roasted coffee bean smell that I’ve come to love it occurs to me that for all the hell of the last 12 months both due to Covid and my personal life, I’ve come out the other side a stronger, (and I hope and pray) better man.
Life’s not all bad.
The Pandemic is affecting all of us differently, but there are some consequences of it that I reckon have in some way impacted upon us all.
I was reflecting on some of those things this morning. I thought about how they had affected me. I saw some positives in them and realised that life’s much easier if you focus on the positives, rather than the negatives. Especially when you’re powerless to change the situation.
So keep scrolling dear reader, for some positive spins on common changes brought about by the Pandemic this last year.
- Increased working from home.
My Partner now works from home almost exclusively and this has changed the way we live. Being in the emergency services my schedule isn’t exactly Monday to Friday, 9 til 5. I often work a mixture of morning and evening shifts, weekend shifts and as I was this last weekend, night shifts. This means that pretty much half of my time-off falls when my partner is working… from home, in our cosy flat, during lockdown where there isn’t exactly anywhere else I can go.
When I’m off work it can sometimes feel like we’re in each other’s space, constantly. It’s challenging for sure.
Having to adapt to this new way of living has brought us closer and made our relationship stronger. It’s led us to ways of communicating better with one another and supporting each other. Maybe it’s because this hurdle to overcome fell around the time we moved in together? I don’t know. But it’s changed our mindset from one of living independently of one another to actually living together. It’s made us tackle issues head on and work together as a team.
I’m painfully aware that for a large number of people, the new “Working from Home” set up has become a literal induction to hell. Parents with children running riot, small cramped flats brimming with flat mates all jostling for the one spot where there’s signal and trying desperately to block out each other’s calls. The stress, the mania, the panic. How on earth are you meant to get all this work done and deal with all that drama at home?
I don’t have the answer to that question, but the only thing I can suggest is being open and frank with everyone in the household to find a way to make it work. When my Partner and realise that we were going to have to share our space like we never had to before, by examining the practical issues we were able to find solutions that worked. Can you?
2. A reduction of distractions.
After the lockdown hit it became painfully obvious to me how much time (and money) I spent in the pursuit of day-to-day pleasure at the expense of my own development and growth. Whilst I of course thoroughly miss seeing my friends and family (and going to the pub!), having the absence of those things imposed upon me forced me to confront my own shortcomings and ask myself the tough question:
“Why aren’t I where I want to be right now?”
Have you had cause to ask yourself the same question during the pandemic? Maybe it’s a dream you gave up on, or maybe like me part of it’s something as simple as why your fitness isn’t where it should be?
I’ve found this temporary reduction of distractions has served as an invaluable sounding board to tackle head-on exactly why I’m falling short and what I can do to change it.
3. Improvise, adapt, overcome… and learn?
In the desperate search to replace and replicate the things that we used to have/do before lockdown, we’ve all as a society discovered new ways of getting stuff done. This extends to the individual level too as people have seeking new ideas to replace those material pleasures and activities that have been lost (if only temporarily).
Take for example the cafetière I’ve recently introduced to my not-very-sizeable repertoire of culinary skills and expertise. Where as before I didn’t know the first thing about coffee, now I can make a killer brew from the comfort of my own home- and my partner ain’t exactly complaining!
Life sucks right now and “that ain’t sayin’ nothin’ new!”, but it occurs to me that by trying to draw the positives out the situation, it will improve our mindset and make it pass more pleasantly than before.
So try and see the positives, I am, and it’s helping me through.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for the morning. Hopefully my sleep-cycle will clunk back to normal soon!
All the best!
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