Life in lockdown has been boring. It’s necessary, I have no qualms about staying at home to help my community (and the world!) overcome this pandemic, but life has gotten small. So, my sister came up with this great idea of how to stay hopeful, optimistic, and how to prepare to start having adventures again, big and small, once we can all move back into the world safely. I’ve started a ‘Things We’ll Do After Lockdown’ jar, and I hope you’ll join me in making plans for post lockdown life.
Things We’ll Do After Lockdown
Last year in mid-March I had to but my courses short and jump on a plane from Australia and get back to Canada ASAP. Since then, we’ve been living with restrictions and lockdown. Like you, I’ve not seen my family much, we’ve not celebrated birthdays and special moments together, and our lives have been lived mostly in the house and the yard for the past 11 months. I thank my lucky stars that I have such a wonderful job and have been able to keep sharing yoga online throughout this lockdown!
One thing I’ve noticed over this time is that I am not making a lot of memories. With no face-to-face encounters, with no in-person activities and no celebrations, without the usual flow through the seasons, I have lost track of time, and lost track of traditions a bit.
I have had experiences, just maybe a bit more subtle, not so much shared in person but shared through stories. Many books have been read, many jigsaw puzzles have been completed, many kilometres have been logged on the elliptical, and I think I’ve watched all of Netflix at this stage.
Now, I don’t take a lot of photos (other than my dog and my garden) so I’ve been feeling like I might lose track of some of the moments big and small that I’ve had this year that lit me up (I saw a snowy owl! A bald eagle flew over the house!) So, I’ve started making some notes to help me to remember all the good things that have happened in the midst of a difficult year. This is a modification of a practice that I did over the year 2013 with a Gratitude Jar which was a great way to take stock of all the things I am so grateful for in my life.
My sister has taken this to a new level, though, with her idea for a ‘Things We’ll Do’ jar. Every time someone says, “let’s do this after lockdown”, or “I miss this, I can’t wait to do it again”, they jot it down and pop it into the Things We’ll Do jar.
I worry that once lockdown is over, once everyone is vaccinated and we can go back to ‘normal’, that I’ll forget what normal was, like, I’ll have adjusted to this locked-down life so much that I’ll forget what life used to be like.
This concern is not new to me because I live with a condition that means I have issues with chronic pain and anxiety, and over the past decade or so as it has progressed I feel like my world has gotten a lot smaller – no more fancy yoga poses, no tennis or hockey, more conservative hikes, no more sleeping on the ground when camping, less dancing, less running, less play. Overall, I have less adventures. I do less ‘risky’ things (note: I now consider hiking on a slippery day to be risky) I feel like, as I age, I have to guard against allowing my world to become so small that I lose all the adventures that I love. This year-long lockdown has just added to that contraction of my world.
So, I’m going to start working on challenging myself while on lockdown, Youtube dance classes are my first step. But, I’m also going to follow my sister’s example and start a Things I’ll Do jar, not to remember all the things I miss, but to prepare, to mentally rehearse getting back into the world and having some adventures again…when the time is right.
Things I’ll do:
• Family sports (croquet, volleyball, kicking the footy)
• Explore some new hiking trails
• More walks on the beach
• Get ‘home’ to Australia for a visit
• Find some sports that I can participate in (will the husband take a dance class with me?)
• Swimming in the lake
• Take some day trips
• Celebrate everyone’s birthdays IN PERSON
• Go to the theatre – a play, a ballet, a circus
That’s what I’ve got so far, but it’s a work in progress.
If you are locked down, on restrictions, or if you are like me and life has started to feel a bit smaller, maybe you’ll join me in creating a jar (or notebook, or bulletin board) and start to plan for more adventures when the time is right.
If you do, I’d love to hear about it!