AD | Collaborative post
When I think back to late February 2020, a global pandemic was not something I ever thought would really happen. We’d heard a few things about something happening but it wasn’t really a threat to us here in the UK at this point, or so we thought.
Now a year later, we’re only just about to really come out of lockdown and things are still far from normal. After a whole year I have definitely learned some things from the experience of living through a global pandemic.
Before the first lockdown I was quite happy with how things were at home. John worked Monday to Friday and Erin started school in September 2020. At this point Mum wasn’t working but she did end up getting a part time job at some point during 2020 (I can’t remember when).
Life just seemed to work well for us all for the most part. I had a routine at home and it meant I had freedom to work during the day as well as work around getting things done at home. When John started to work from home things changed. All of us were home, in the same house, ALL the time. John and I have argued a lot more than normal over the past year, with me getting annoyed with him being at home and not keeping everything neat and tidy like I would normally.
Last year I started running with John and also attending a Booty Burner fitness class on a Friday evening and it was so good for me not only to get moving but to get out and do something for myself. During lockdowns these classes haven’t been running and I really miss them. I really looked forward to that Friday evening. Exercise has become quite an important aspect in my life and it was helping me feel happier with other situations at home. Although I can’t go out to exercise in a class, I can do something at home or in the garden and using a workout planner template is a great way to keep myself on track.
With Erin in and out of school, it hasn’t been easy but hopefully we can start to get back into a routine again.
Where we live
Usually, I love where we live. We live in a small-ish town, around the corner from Erin’s school and only a couple of minutes longer to the local high school. We are on the train line to Norwich and the coast and generally, it works for us.
However, COVID and lockdown meant that we were literally stuck in this tiny town with nothing to do. The only place we can walk to is the woods and therefore, lockdown life is really boring. The woods are tiny too so it’s not like you can walk in different directions and find different things each time. We walk around in a loop and then go home.
COVID has really shown us that we need to be able to drive or at least one of us does. Lockdowns have meant that we couldn’t use public transport but people with cars were able to drive somewhere local to exercise etc. If we’d had a car we wouldn’t have been so frustrated so often. We’ve also had to plan so much more due to lack of transport or shortened opening hours and it’s not always possible to get somewhere in time, due to how long it takes to get there. Luckily, you can find all kinds of things online like opening times for places such as Clydesdale bank and that’s a massive help.
John has now contacted a driving instructor and will hopefully be starting his lessons soon.
During the summer of 2020 Erin had only just finished nursery so doing work at home with her wasn’t quite as hard as it was when she was in reception.
Home learning is HARD and I am not cut out for it. I definitely don’t have the patience and I don’t think Erin is either. I’m sure we spent most of the time arguing with one another, one of us crying at some point and the other one stomping off in a huff.
While we really did try with the home learning, I am glad I am not a teacher, nor do I ever want to be. I am very thankful for Erin going to school and the wonderful job her teachers do every day.
As a family who loves to go on holiday, this was an especially hard aspect of COVID for us. In 2020 we had a lot of trips away cancelled and plans rearranged. We thought that these would all be safe in 2021 but that sadly wasn’t the case.
In August we are supposed to be going to Disneyland, Paris but we’ve decided to cancel this and get a refund. We have to wait until Magic Breaks, who we booked with, are working on those dates for this to happen. A lot of people want refunds right now so they are doing everything in date order. This holiday was a really big deal for us and an expensive one. We felt great having it paid off in full months in advance. Now though, we’re stuck waiting for all this money to be returned. I think going forward we won’t be paying off any balance until close to the due date in case this happens again.
There have been other trips rearranged and luckily, most companies were lovely to deal with. Most companies offered free changes and altered their terms and conditions to stay in line with what position we were in as a country. These bookings mostly were booked as refundable anyway.
We did have something booked that was non-refundable and this is where I will really change how I do things. The company has let us change our booking (twice now) but we have had to pay more due to different prices. The company didn’t have to let us change and I know that we’re lucky that they did. We could have lost the money on the booking and I know a lot of people have been in this position. From now on, I will be paying the extra to start with to know that I can get a refund on something if I need to cancel.
I think COVID will have changed a lot of us, in the things we do every day and the way we live our lives.