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My Experiences in Lockdown 2.0

There were moments during lockdown 2.0 where I felt tearful at times; I am normally a very positive and happy person and this came as a surprise. I was working hard, driven by the fact we were locked down during what should have been our most busy and important time of year. So I was using lots of brain power trying to be creative in my ideas, to keep customers interested and buy from us and, of course, keep staff, customers and loved ones safe. I didn’t think I was justified feeling stressed or down as I don’t have children, or elderly relatives or medical issues (gosh I could go on and on) which were some of the trigger stress points my other friends had - I knew I was incredibly lucky compared to many others I knew.

But it took one kind act from a friend to completely lift me and make me realise it is ok not to be ok. My friend gave me some bubble bath, a Gratitude Journal and a teddy owl to hug if I needed a cuddle from a friend (I call her a wise owl so this is her animal representative I suppose - in the same way a Goose might be mine!) Not only did it make me laugh, but knowing someone was thinking of me, that I wasn’t alone, even when she was going through a very tough time herself, was overwhelming and gave me a fuzzy feeling. There is always love to go around. I started seeing the kindness around me, from those who love me - like my family, but also customers who would smile and wave at me through my studio window as they walked past on their daily walk. I wasn’t seeing all the good stuff until then. It’s taught me that it’s OK to feel a bit wobbly sometimes, no matter our situation, and that small acts of kindness go such a long way.

I’ve learnt not to put too much pressure on myself and do too much all at once. I am used to doing a hundred things in a day, but actually sometimes it’s an achievement to get one thing done, and do it well! I’ve also learnt that we are all probably feeling the same at some point or another and that being kind to others like offering a smile, phoning a friend, or sending some chocolate to someone might just make their day and help them a little bit. Kindness is one of the best things we can give.

What I Am Looking Forward To

I can’t wait to travel again! At night I think of the places I have been lucky enough to experience and I imagine myself there again, thinking about the sounds, what I can see, the heat or the cold and what I felt. It’s a great way to fall asleep. For instance, I might imagine myself sat in the Arabian desert around a fire cooking flat breads after dune bashing in 4 x 4s with new friends I have made, or walking round an unfamiliar town - a place not many westerners have been, down a street with wooden shutters flung open, lined with spice and date stands and with unfamiliar faces animatedly chattering to each other in a language I don’t understand. Or I might remember trekking for orangutans in a Sumatran Jungle with a guide who resembles Mogli (in not just his appearance but oneness with nature) and camping for the night in a place that assaults the senses with its cacophony of sounds - the jungle is not quiet! - and that moment you see an orangutan in the wild for the first time. Or the sticky heat of an Asian city at night, lights everywhere, beeping horns and temples on street corners alive with activity and thick with incense. As you can tell, I could go on and on...but remembering these memories fills me up and keeps me going and makes me excited to think ‘where next?'

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