Yesterday marked the anniversary of the first Covid-19 lockdown in the UK. One year of what feels like “life on hold”. Yet, has life really been on hold? Although it may not feel that way, the reality is that life is moving on. Every single day. In an unconventional way, but it is moving on. We are simply too distracted adapting to this new way of life to truly appreciate how much we’ve lived and achieved.
So, in this week’s blog let me take you through some of my learnings and key events from the past year.
Mauda was launched
This has to be the most significant one although the most recent one. A project I’d been thinking about for years, but always too afraid to take the leap of faith. It’s difficult when you have a full-time job, the work days are long and you’re just too tired to plan properly (or maybe these are just excuses). Well, the biggest positive of a life changing event is that it forces you to re-evaluate what you want and how badly you want it. I wanted Mauda! BADLY! And here we are now.
Braille and BSL should be part of the curriculum
Mauda cares about accessibility, so learning braille and British Sign Language were two of my goals. I’m by no means proficient and have a loooong way to go with BSL, but I started learning and truly enjoying it. I can’t for the life of me understand why we have the choice to learn foreign languages in school, but not the accessible written and spoken language systems available in our own language. Schools, are you listening?
Work travel is overrated
Ok, I guessed this was the case before lockdown, but not how absurdly overrated it really is. After living in hotels during the week for just over one year, I confess I was delighted when lockdown came. However, I worried about the impact that would have on my work. Not that there was anything I couldn’t do remotely, but there was such a focus on physical presence I worried about how people would adapt. I worried in vain, because nothing really changed and I think most people were delighted to have a break from the office. Yes, more traditional organisations had to accommodate remote arrangements quickly. Some had to do in weeks what would normally require an 18 to 24-month project, but that was it. I suppose lockdown also proved projects are overrated…
This one is especially relevant because it could open opportunities to people with disabilities that pre-lockdown most organisations rejected from the outset. The current remote working arrangements proved it is possible to be productive under these circumstances, so hopefully we won’t go back to the previous normal. The new normal will be a more flexible, accessible and inclusive way of working.
Doing good always brings good
When lockdown hit and the NHS faced increasing numbers of patients and a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment a nurse appealed for anyone with a sewing machine to help make scrubs. At such dark times, doing something that positive really lifts the spirits, so that was a no brainer. What I wasn’t expecting was to get inspiration for Mauda’s first collection. It’s amazing how comfortable scrubs are and with a bit of imagination you can definitely pull a stylish garment that is as equally comfortable (Frances Trousers!)
There’s no place like home
Sure, aging does that for you too, but the constant travel also made me realise how much I cherish my privacy, the comfort of my home, home-made food and the company of my family. Growing up, meal time was the time for the family to catch-up on what happened during the day. It was the safe space and time to vent about frustrations, to drop the day mask and be ourselves! That’s something I kept with me to this day. I missed it when I was constantly travelling for work and spending more time with colleagues than family, but needs must (so I thought). Lockdown has helped me redefine the boundaries between work/life and what I’m willing to sacrifice or not for a job.
I didn’t really live where I live until lockdown
Entertainment is great to give your mind a break from the pressures of work. Going to a gallery or museum, cinema, restaurant… so much to see and do and so little time when you only have the weekend to squeeze everything you can’t do during the week. With no venues open or travel allowed my husband and I started truly exploring our surroundings. And that reminded us of why we chose to live here in the first place: close to the city centre, but peaceful as the countryside. We explored more of the area where we live in the first lockdown than we ever did in the 5 years we’d been here before. Although we look forward to the end of lockdown we won’t be going back to our old habits.
Finally, the world of social media
More due to the nature of my work now, but Tik Tok really did it for me last year. Blindings Lights by The Weeknd hooked on Tik Tok… With Mauda, Instagram is my main engagement app and all of a sudden I’m hearing about Reels and Stories and there’s a world of social media that I just wasn’t aware of and had to learn in record time. All quite addictive, but so much fun playing around with the functionality. Who would have thought?
What about you? What have you found out about yourself or what have you learned in this last year? Feel free to comment below or simply take the time to reflect on it. It may give you a boost of positivity acknowledging how much you’ve achieved without even noticing it. Keep strong and safe x