This week I’m ‘celebrating’ my eighth week of quarantining. I’m counting this from the day that the management at work gave me a laptop and told me, “You’re working from home now.” So, that has been eight weeks sitting in front of the company-supplied computer, trying to find some meaning to what I’m meant to be doing. Eight weeks of reduced interactions with my fellow human beings. Eight weeks of the same walls and the same view across the garden rhubarb. And I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m not in debt. I’m still earning enough money to cover my outgoings. And, when this is all over, I’ll still have a job to go back to.
Of course I’ve had my ups and downs over the last two months – who hasn’t? And, as a writer, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to escape the world around me … although it’s not as easy as it was before this all started. Lack of motivation has been a problem. Let’s face it: when you’re stuck in front of a computer screen all day, the desire to spend more time in front of another one is severely lacking. Lack of time has also been a problem. In accordance with Philip K Dick’s ‘Law of Kibble’, the list of things to do expands to fill the available space. But I have still had time to think and learn.
So, what am I going to take from this period of my life?
- I can cope with the big things. It’s the small things that cause the problems.
- Routine is a good thing. It brings comfort and structure to a day. But when it’s broken, it takes a long time to recover.
- There are some simple pleasures in life.
- Video calls are no substitute for talking to people in real life, no matter how much you try to dress them up as fun. But they’re better than nothing.
- You meet all sorts of people in queues.
- Small kindnesses matter.
So, while we sit in our social bubbles and wait for the ‘new normal’ to assert itself, what will will you bring with you when you emerge into the world?
OMP Admin Note: John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger. His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.
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