What a wild ride it's been, eh?
I'm hoping you've been able to enjoy the past few weeks of freedom, if freedom to you means going to the gym, for a swim, to get a haircut, a sit-down coffee with a pal or a pint at your local pub (garden). Although last year we had a brief taste of it, this time round seems to be an even brighter light at the end of the tunnel.
Over March and April it's felt really lovely to be able to see family and friends again in a setting that isn't a park and appreciate in person all those relationships that have gotten us through a hellish time. However, it's also creeping into reality the overwhelm of life going back to our 'old normal'. The more plans that fill my diary now, the more nervous I'm getting about managing everything I've been able to do over the past year. Don't get me wrong, lockdown was WEIRD and VERY DIFFICULT at times but it's also given so many of us a structure we may feel we need to now unlearn.
On one hand, it's given us a huge wake-up call. Life is short, let's go for our big dreams because who knows what's around the corner? The flip side is that it has taught us how to live a little more slowly, a little more quietly and embrace what can actually happen when we scale back our busy schedules.
You might have been made redundant, gotten a different job, broken up with somebody, found a new hobby or started a business in the past year and all of those things are still relevant to the future but we're not used to handling them in the same way. Plus managing it all alongside other REAL LIFE plans? Give us a break.
I, as much as anybody else, am looking forward to being on a beach abroad or in the middle of a packed festival crowd but I'm also hyper-aware of making sure I'm not booking out all of my time. Next time you're invited to something, if your first instinct is 'that's my only free weekend' or 'I wanted to *insert wholesome lockdown activity here* instead' then remember that it's more than okay to put that first. If anything, it's more important than ever before we end up completely burning ourselves out.
Here's to you, and to me, getting back into a post-pandemic life in the way that works best for us. Even if it means actively choosing a night in with friends over a night out, or baking even more bloody banana bread.