I haven’t blogged at all in 2020.
I wanted some time out to think about this blog and where I want it to go in terms of content and direction. I’ve had lots of ideas but as always, held back on the ‘doing’ bit, fearing that it wouldn’t work or other people would hate it.
Then, in February, I started my new copywriting job, which has been such an exciting step in my career. I wanted to be 100% focused, so Newcastle Sparkles took a back seat.
I mean, how tiring is a new job? Naps and early nights continue to be my new norm while I adapt to making the switch from the arts and culture scene to the tech industry, and absorb everything that this new role brings. I feel incredibly grateful to have a job to wake up to every morning, and one that I’m really enjoying.
And, of course, there’s the C word…
It’s flipped our lives upside down in a matter of weeks, and is probably the most surreal and scariest experience we’ll ever live through as a society. Well, for this generation at least.
So yeah, Newcastle Sparkles has been lacking in TLC recently, but I’ve decided now is as good a time as any to start writing again.
Social distancing means, like everyone else, I have plenty of free time while I stay indoors, and I can get creative without any distractions. (Well, if you don’t class dancing around your kitchen with a glass of gin as a distraction!)
I’d say I’m generally coping well with the current situation. Although I’ve had a few wobbles.
After Boris Johnson’s ‘lockdown’ announcement last Monday, I felt completely overwhelmed and burst into tears. I’d been working from home for a week up until that point, but reality struck me at that moment: I’m completely alone.
But, am I really?
We’re more connected than ever before thanks to social media and ‘apps of the moment’ like Zoom and Houseparty. So there are plenty of ways to interact with each other. But despite all the tech that’s at our fingertips – all we seem to crave is real human interaction.
I’d like to think that sharing the lockdown with someone would make it easier. I find it hard living on my own at the best of times, when I have the freedom to pop out for a girly brunch, enjoy a few cocktails in town, or arrange other fun activities whenever I like.
But, true to life, the grass is always greener.
I have friends who are finding their flatmates beyond unbearable, or struggling to juggle their work commitments with home schooling. We’re all contending with different situations and challenges. Nothing new there.
And so, as I have nobody here to share this experience with; I am turning to writing again, and finding contentment in the simpler things – hello bubble baths and scented candles!
I think we have all been rather good at fulfilling the constant need to be busy in our day-to-day lives. Now, all of a sudden, we’re having to put the brakes on everything and – with more time alone with just our own thoughts – contemplate what, and who, really matters.
And as I’m beginning to learn – it’s okay to literally just sit and do nothing, too, and we shouldn’t feel guilty about that, lockdown or not.
There’s been a common theme to 2020 so far: be kind. And this couldn’t be truer than right now. So, let’s support each other, reach out to family and friends, share ideas on what we can all do at home to make this unprecedented situation more bearable, and get over the fear of seeing our own faces on video calls!
We may all be physically apart, but we can still be together and use our phones and social media for just that – being social.