Life in lockdown brings challenges, but for us boredom is not one of them. In our household of five we aren’t letting boredom through the door. But first we have to acknowledge what we don’t like about lockdown, so we can move over to the good side.
What don’t we like about lockdown?
Catching up with friends face to face
School not being open
Rugby training being cancelled
Not seeing the girlfriend
These are some of the consequences of lockdown that we don’t particularly like but unfortunately have to accept, but by accepting them we can use the extra time for the things that we never get to, or for exploring new stuff.
So, what have we been doing?
Well, that really depends on who you are, your position in the family. So, for fun, let’s have a quick rundown of what we have all been doing when we haven’t been bored.
The 11-year old
Arguably she is the busiest and most organised of us all. Lockdown does not seem to be affecting her enjoyment of life, her sense of adventure and thirst for knowledge. The list of achievements is long and growing.
Organised 2 Big Bingo Nights for our street of 23 houses, including creating the most fantastic instruction leaflets.
Built a protective face mask out of cardboard.
Gutted her bedroom and reorganised her books by author name – David Walliams has a shelf to himself.
Lots of skipping.
Bonding over baking with the 16-year old.
Started writing an autobiography.
Lots of exploring in the woods out the back of our house.
Learnt how to strip a bed and re-make it.
Mastered Google Classroom.
Although Google Classroom is great, it isn’t as good as the real thing. You forget what a social space school is, and the friendships that exist there in a way they can’t virtually. It’s a sad time because after the summer she goes to High School, and that last term of Primary School where they say goodbye to teachers and younger children, have their Leavers Assembly and their last school outing, won’t now happen. She’s missing the human interaction.
The 14-year old
He has gone from being the busiest to the laziest member of the house. Not entirely his fault, but nevertheless he is hard to live with at the moment. He still has a list of lockdown achievements though.
Can make really mean breaded chicken – homemade, spicy breadcrumbs to boot.
Has learnt how to cut the grass.
Is weight training in the gym, aka the garage.
Become the dog’s best friend by going on lots of walks.
Honed his finger skills through repeated PS4 playing.
Unfortunately, though he still knows best, and needs to realise that teachers are not psychic, and although he is doing (a little) schoolwork, the teachers can only know that if he shares it on Google Classroom with them. I guess like his schoolwork he’s a work in progress.
The 16-year old
This has been a tough time for the 16-year old. She has gone from being busy preparing folios and studying for exams, looking forward to starting a great seasonal job at Blair Drummond Safari Park and building some much-needed confidence after a couple of tough years, to nothing.
Literally nothing overnight.
She is the only one who has uttered the words “I’m bored”, and frankly I don’t blame her.
After some initial moping, she has sorted herself out and also has a list of achievements.
Our neglected garden shed is looking fresh and lovely after being painted.
Daily exercise for the girl who asked for a lift to the school bus every day because walking down the hill was tiring, and she’s looking fab for it.
The Barbers is open for business.
The Playhouse has been gutted, cleaned and turned into a comfy space, with cushions and blankets.
The IT skills are much improved, finally getting to grips with audio uploads, Zoom singing lessons, Google Classroom and online HR induction training.
Realising that it isn’t magic fairies who clean the house when she’s not there, but real people, and now that the cleaner can’t come in, she has taken responsibility for her space – finally!
But if there is one thing that I would take from lockdown is how much I am enjoying her company. She is engaging in conversations at the dinner table every night, not sulking away on social media, no door banging, no “you don’t understand’ yelling, just smiling and happy and good fun to be around.
My Better Half
Lockdown has been interesting for him. He has built a new website and is about to launch a new tax proposition to the marketplace, but in the middle of it all he had an accident and detached his retina. After emergency surgery he is now on the mend, but this has meant his lockdown experience has been slightly different to the rest of us.
He is learning to do nothing – no cycling, no walking, limited TV watching and internet surfing.
He is learning to be bored, which is a skill in itself.
He is thinking about what is next and formulating plans.
He is getting involved in home schooling – listening to piano practice and facilitating spelling tests.
Learning Portuguese might be on the cards too if the 11-year old can persuade him.
I guess if you are going to detach your retina then this is the time to do it. Excellent service from the NHS and time to recuperate without people pressing you to keep going as though nothing has happened.
I have realised how much time I spend driving, back and forth from the house to clubs, kids’ friends, work, school, shopping and more, and I am enjoying the extra time, as well as the fuel savings that this has allowed. And, I have been putting this extra time to good use.
My garden has never looked so good, and I have a freshly cleaned and grouted patio.
I have started writing more and more.
No more ready meals because I don't have time to cook.
Baking is on the up, and I have started collating a book of my favourite baking recipes.
All the little jobs I keep putting off like changing the water filter on the fridge have been done.
Most of all though I am enjoying fresh air and exercise and being with my kids, really getting the opportunity to chat and laugh with them.
Who knows what it will look like, however, I am hoping that we can keep a few of the good things.
Time as a family, enjoying each other’s company.
Being outside more, fresh air, exercise, the garden and our pets.
Not being so hectic.
Having time to consider, instead of being pressed for decisions and action all the time.
I am missing social, face to face contact though, and this I am looking forward to most post lockdown.
What about you, what are you looking forward to?