With a lot of people’s world shrunk down to predominately four walls over the last couple of months, it is hard to stop yourself from looking inwards, assessing life and reflecting on this lockdown - what its enabled or in some cases ‘disabled’. Perhaps with it also being my birthday month, reflection is inevitable and checking in with yourself, only natural. Also, is it me or does it feel like everyone was born in May?! Clearly, we all know what happens on those August holidays now! (Oooh holidays, we miss you).
Right now, holidays are a fantasy and everything else feels like it is heightened, with the small things being super charged in their intensity. Your weekly trip to Tesco is now a real conversation starter or when you manage to nail an Ocado delivery slot it is big news! All our conversations with friends and family are centred around the big little things: the effort to find eggs, the spice rack revamp, the baking stories, the woodland walk, the Zoom quiz fails. Suddenly these previously insignificant things are everything – they are the routines and thrills that keep us (semi) sane. For me, having just received a delightful bunch of flowers from Bloom & Wild, I was struck by a real feeling of happiness, more than I have had before from flowers. Why was this the case? I don’t think it’s because they were for my birthday, or that they’re especially unique flowers but I think that because of the intensity with which we now experience life, these joyous flowers feel like a holiday. Pre lockdown, moments of joy and bliss often cost quite a bit; for me, this period has driven up the value and delight we can get from the simple things in life.
That is something beautiful that’s come from all of this: it’s simplified our lives; it’s forced us to stop. It has created the space to see and feel joy in the little things we might not have noticed before and heightened the delight in others. That’s not to take away from the devastation this pandemic has caused and the fact that 2020 will be etched in all our minds forever for the impact it’s had, but for me right now, as I turn another year older, I’m trying to consciously find the joy. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to ‘find your flowers’: find pleasure in the mundane and joy in the simple. Our lovely friend and wonderful women’s leadership coach Katy Murray (@katycatalyst on IG) talks about ‘beauty spotting’ - calling out when you see something beautiful, something special – and you’d be amazed as what it can do to your mind and mood!
Here are some other ideas to help life in lockdown feel a little less locked down:
Focus on today: Sounds obvious, but try not to project too far forwards
Don’t compare: This one is hard but everyone’s on a different chapter. Don’t compare your prologue to their chapter 30
Let other people in: Figuratively and virtually. I’ve never regretted a chat I previously wasn’t in the mood for. Other people are an amazing source of energy and inspiration.
Say yes to things: I still struggle with this. Especially when it comes to showing up as a co-founder and saying yes to being on video, going live and coming out from under the laptop. I need to personally practice this more!
Buy more flowers: Buy all the flowers. Randomly send flowers to other people. They’ll do more than just brighten up a room.
After we’re through this time, I hope we don’t quickly revert back to life as it was before. I hope we don’t let everything pass us by; I hope we learn some deep lessons. For what it’s worth, here are some I hope we learn and take with us for life beyond the lockdown -
Communities are the backbone of survival, neighbours are priceless, and we can achieve more together. Technology done right is wonderful. We need connection; I knew that before, but I can Confirm it now! Going for a walk can be a beautiful thing. Everything is a privilege. Nothing is guaranteed. Humans are resilient. And flowers, flowers bring a surprising amount