I like to draw from time to time and always enjoyed art at school (albeit I wasn’t great at it). So regardless of the fact that we are all locked in and trying to keep ourselves occupied, we enjoyed this activity a long time before. The weekend just gone my youngest son and I took a photo each and attempted to draw it, the results below.
The Pirate In me
95% of the workforce in the company I work for are now working remotely. With around 16,000 employees worldwide our company were quick to react to upgrading it’s remote networking capability. As a team tool for communicating, we use Microsoft Teams. For those not familiar it’s a collaboration tool which allows internal teams to share documents, online chat and video/voice conferencing. I have a daily call with my team just to make sure we are all OK firstly mentally, comfortable with workloads and what we want to achieve; quite light touch. But once a week each team member picks a dress theme. Last week I got to pick the theme, which was Pirates. The following photo is of me attempting to be a pirate, and after that is a drawing by my youngest.
Brothers in arms
During this lock down period we are still OK to go out as a family, albeit no more then once in a day, unless it is essential. So last week we ventured out at a nearby quiet country lane and I took this picture of the boys, and then attempted to draw it!
Just before heading off to bed last night, I went to double lock the front door. It’s normal practice, but last night I opened the door and stood out on my steps. Looking up I caught sight of the night sky and gleaming stars. So I took a picture of it.
I stared at the stars for a while, maybe a neighbour may have spotted by unusual behaviour. But I realised how little time I spent looking up, too busy looking down, just another headless chicken. The photo won’t do it justice but the sky was beautiful, the stars were joyful and at peace. I wouldn’t say the air quality is poor where I live, but it may be a nice improvement compared to 8 weeks ago.
Today a friend shared the following on a WhatsApp group, and so I wanted to share it with you. Have you noticed such changes where you are? If so, let me know.
Each week I will (try and) share a small segment of something useful I learnt. While this is for my own amusement I hope it resonates with my lovely readers.
Make believe until you walk outside
Based here in the UK I am guessing lockdown protocols are pretty much the same where you are. Exercise together as a family but otherwise only travel out for essentials and minimise numbers. While like some, we’ve managed to build a routine at home. This week we were talking about how it’s beginning to feel second nature so another couple of weeks should be sustainable, at least. And maybe what’s the panic?
But I did venture out for some essential items and the reality of the situation hit home. Parking up at my local supermarket I queued up for the first time, (just been buying from a small store so far) and the sorry state of affairs was laid bare to see. Observing social distancing in its practical sense just didn’t feel right. But the reality is, this could easily be our future for a long time to come. When the message is stay home, stay safe, save lives, they really do sincerely mean it.
Every accomplishment starts with a decision to try
In amongst the daily grind we must not forget about our own personal accomplishments. So as I speedily arrive to the end of this month, what have I been up to?
Understand the global impact, at home
The Coronavirus, which came to global realisation after the New Year has swamped everything and anything. As countries started implementing their own lock down procedures, here in the UK it came into full force this month. It also meant schools around the country shut their doors, with only kids from key worker families attending. Regardless, this meant parents having to juggle things at home. But more important was ensuring kids mental health and well being was top of the agenda. So we devised a timetable, which while not plastered on a wall pans out as follows (only item 1 & 5 in that order): (1) Morning exercise (2) Homework/reading (3) Garden play (depending on whether) (4) Meditation (5) Board games
Social media cut down = more writing
Beginning of March must have been the last time I posted anything on my personal Instagram account, or my comedy one to say the least. I haven’t logged in to check since then and for now I don’t think I will. The turn of this year I was making good progress on final edits of my first book, and had it in my head that I needed to remain social media aware and hungry to spread the word. But the balance between keeping up to date with all those Insta updates, twitter feeds and writing can become blurred. In some cases it’s the social media that can start to take precedence. Since taking a break from my social media shenanigans I can say my writing has picked up. While I still need to get back to reviewing feedback from my beta readers to see what needs changing in the draft, my blog has benefited from my needed attention. Once my book is completely finished, at that point I will delve back into the world of spreading the word. If this has taught me anything, then it’s not to panic and don’t give into the concept of FOMO (fear of missing out) – look at what will work for you, as opposed to focusing too much on everyone else.
The tail end of February I just finished reading Some Rain Must Fall – and Other Short Stories by Dutch-born writer Michel Faber. I didn’t include this in my February update but you can read the view here.
Saving the best until last! While the reduction in social media time has resulted in me writing more often, majority of the credit goes to our Blogging Community. To the writers, their stories, their challenges, the conversations and the positivity is something I feel so proud to be part of. It’s daily practice for me now, for this time is so well spent. Thank you to each and every member for creating and maintaining our virtual relationships.
How has your month been? Have you been able to tick off something on your list?