During the lockdown I have come to understand the importance of taking care of myself and finding ways to make memories.
My name is Alison and I live with my daughter. The night the news broke out on television, it was shocking. I never imagined the situation of COVID-19 would get to this point in my life. It then struck me, what this news meant for my family and me, but in particular for my boyfriend who owns a small business.
We are very lucky that we haven’t been affected too much by the pandemic. However, we still had to readjust our life and take each day as it comes. We would go out once a day, to take our dog out for a walk which is a great way to get fresh air. And go grocery shopping once a week and keep our distance from other people.
What has been the hardest for me was not being able to see my loved ones. I call my mum often, but after countless calls, we ran out of things to say to each other. Which is funny as we normally don’t, but I cannot wait to see her in person again.
My community is important to me, so I am trying to find ways to help them. At the moment I am helping out at our local food bank.
One of the good experiences during this lockdown is having some time for myself. I often focussed too much on my work, going to meetings, or spent my free time helping others. I have started to take up some hobbies such as knitting and even learned about the stars, which has opened up a whole other world for me and I have started watching tv more often.
One night, it was raining slightly, so my daughter and I went out for our usual walk with our dog. After some time had passed in the park, the rain started to get heavy so we started to make our way home. On our way out, the gate we came in from was locked. We checked the other ones in the park and those gates were locked too. I thought to myself how amusing it was for the groundskeeper to close all the gates on this particular night out of all nights.
After some time passed and the idea of climbing over the gate sounded impossible when we had to consider the dog as well, we managed to find a way out. However, this exit would require us to crawl through a small hole through the trees and brush. As I squeezed through the hole to get out I made a little joke by saying, “it’s a girl!” to my daughter. She looked at me as if I was a mad woman but that’s okay. What matters is we were safe and I strongly believe we have got to laugh over the small things in life.
I haven’t been fully looking forward to the lockdown easing up. This is because I have come to appreciate my time alone and realise how important it is to take care of yourself. I am determined to make sure to continue making time for myself and learn to say “no” to extra meetings whenever I need a timeout. I am also looking forward to starting to implement some ideas I have on how to network food banks and other charities together.
The one thing I want others to know is we need to become more flexible, and go with the flow. I know sometimes we can get stuck but we must try our best to move forward, and remember it will make us stronger.