What I learnt in lockdown
Hi, my name is Natascha, and I’ve been in lockdown for five weeks, two days and 17 hours, not that I am counting.
Let me explain. Due to an immunity disorder I’ve had since childhood, I locked myself down hard and fast when this damn Covid-19 thing reared its ugly head.
The first week, I was in quarantine alone, and I was super productive. It was easy and almost like a break from the rest of the world. I was working out online; I was doing yoga; I was taking my dog for walks.
Then.. week two hit and my hubby (who I do love very dearly) moved his office into mine.
I was all excited on the Monday morning. We showered, made coffee for each other, went downstairs and started working.
We were polite, trying not to interrupt each other’s Zoom and phone calls. It was delightful. We even worked out to Chris Hemsworth Centrfit together. We walked the dog together, made lunch together, it was a real love-fest.
By week three, I realised, along with ALL of my colleagues, that my husband is SO GOSH DANG loud, it was like working next to a human megaphone. This is coming from me – the loudest person in every room.
Not only did I come to discover his’ big voice’ on Microsoft Teams meetings, but also that his entire job requires him to be in said meetings 7 hours a day, five days a week.
But wait, it doesn’t stop there.
I started noticing how HARD he types on his keyboard, ALL DAY, EVERY day, and how loud and rackety his desk fan is.
We stopped taking our dog, Dexter for a walk, and instead sent him off to Doggy Daycare, (at least one of us has a social life). We stopped working out, and my yoga and meditation went out the window as hubby’s every word reverberated around the whole house. ALL. DAY. LONG.
By the time week four came around, and I had a permanent headache. Everything was LOUD, and I couldn’t focus. I was stressed, with constant migraines, short-tempered, and feeling broken.
I wanted to see my friends IRL more than ever before. I wanted to explain how I was feeling. I wanted alone time. Most of all, I wanted some peace and quiet. Working out had become a thing of the past and my emotional and mental wellbeing was fracturing, to say the least.
Then on Friday, my husband was asked to return to the office (insert a ticker-tape parade and many falling balloons). That same day, I decided to take the day off and look after myself.
I read a self-help book. I bought a present for my husband. I went for a peaceful walk on my own and then just relaxed. I continued relaxing this way over the long weekend. The present I bought my husband was a Winston Churchill book – he’s a massive fan of good ol’ Churchy – and so he read all weekend, giving me some time on my own. I signed up for some meditation online with my yoga studio and really allowed myself to rest all weekend.
You may ask, what the hell did she take out of this whole situation? Well, I am glad you asked.
Heading back into the office (the kitchen table) on Tuesday, I noticed I was joyful, and the place was peaceful enough to give me time to reflect on what has just happened.
I learnt that my husband is the most uplifting and compassionate leader I have ever had the privilege of “working” beside.
I realised that he is one of the hardest working people I know.
I am proud of the resilience, strength and adaptability he displayed.
I’m lucky that he looks after me. At a time I couldn’t go to the shops, he was popping in and out ensuring we were well fed… and trust me I will need a gym after this COVID crap is over.
I have a newfound, and deeper respect for my husband and I am very grateful to the universe for giving me this lockdown time with him.
I also learnt that I crave routine and time out alone, but it isn’t up to my husband to magically read my mind and give it to me. It’s up to me to create a space and set boundaries.
I also learnt that when you speak to your partner in terms of their values (in my case, hubby’s being War History books), you can get what you need in return.
I’m grateful for quarantine because without it I wouldn’t have learnt these beautiful lessons.
What are you grateful for?