This blog post will become obsolete one day when Covid19 is a memory and not a present thing, but for now, I need to tell you, “do this how you need to, not how others tell you to” and it’s ok to do things your way and what feels comfortable for you, whatever anyone else says.
Life is changing again. As the UK faces a relaxation of rules around Covid19 and what we are and not allowed to do, and we face more freedoms after almost 14 months of either lockdown or tight restrictions, we are faced with dealing with how we feel about restrictions easing and how other people are dealing with that.
The rules are there. But there is no rule saying you have to do everything they say straight away.
Apparently we are allowed to hug people again, using common sense. That doesn’t mean we all have to start hugging people. If you want to hug your granny or best friend, you have that power, but if someone doesn’t want to be hugged or isn’t ready, that is ok too.
Everyone is in a very different place. It was a huge adjustment for many people to go into lockdown, not once, but three times. It has felt like a rollercoaster ride we haven’t had a say in. For us, going into then coming out of restrctions and dealing with the chaos of life has been hard.
The problem we have, and that many other people have, I imagine, is how we handle this next phase.
Just because the government says we can have poeple in our homes, hug them, go to the pub with them, doesn’t mean everyone is ready to. Also, conversly, if someone esle wants to do those things, but you don’t, you can’t tell them not to. If these things are allowed and are within the rules that are supposed to be keeping us safe (that’s another post for another day, I am sure) then we also have to have grace for other people who feel comfortable doing those things.
That can feel hard. It might feel like other people are not being responsible. I admit, for me, people blatantly breaking rules or making light of them, or being unkind to people who have stuck to rules, has been a hard burden to bear. We have found this past year challenging when other poeple have decided to flout rules and made us feel like we were the problem because we chose to stick to them. But that’s something I am trying to work on.
It does feel weird to see people relaxing if you are not ready, and equally strange if you are easing into some of the new rules but others you know are not ready yet.
I honestly think that for many people, it will feel harder to come out of restrictions than it was to go into them. I know for us, there are things we are feeling ok with doing and things we are not ready to do yet, but I am, at this point ok with other people doing things we are not ready to, as long as there is no pressure on us to join that.
I joked on Facebook the other day that even though I am not a hugger, and it’s commonly known amongst my friends that I am not a person who hugs or likes being hugged, but that I had missed people and people contact this past year and was going to allow people to hug me. It was interesting to see the responses. Some people took it in the humour it was meant, and some people reacted quite strongly against the hugging idea. I think it was a mix of people who don’t like hugging and people who are not ready to hug yet. But it reminded me that my comfort zone is not someone else’s and that is actually ok. Ps if you want to hug me when hugging is allowed, as long as you have had your vaccine we are all good 😉
I have no desire to be in a hot, sweaty nightclub any time soon (that desire left when I had my children, I am way too old for that sort of thing) and I don’t know how I feel about big events and concerts yet. I do also know that for the time being, having people in our garden to socialize is where we feel comfortable, and we will work towards having people in our home. There is a part of me that feels we have to learn to live with Covid, but I also know the world isn’t ready, enough people are not vaccinated and it is still causing devastation worldwide. We are not in place to live with it like it is just a particularly nasty cold virus, although I am getting ready in my head to be in that place. It won’t go away, but hopefully, it will, one day, not be as brutal as it is now.
But I am looking forward to a much needed weekend away, later in the summer. I am keen to see friends and be able to eat out more freely, the boy and I are desperate to be able to visit museums and places we love and have more relaxed playdates. My weekly “sit alone in a coffee shop” time is coming and I am ready for it.
But not everyone is where I am at, some people are ahead of me, some people are behind. That’s totally ok. We are all working on this at our own pace. I think there are things the UK government is releasing too fast with a level of carelessness that makes me hope we don’t wind up back in lockdown next winter (travel and border control) and we are not planning on traveling abroad this year. But I am ok with how we are easing out of things. I am also ok with how others do too.
My policy as we slow down the rollercoaster ride of Covid19 for this part of the ride is “you do this your own way, not how others tell you to” it’s ok to do things your way and I am trying to make sure I check where other people are at and what they are comfortable with and afford grace. I hope, that people will do the same for me and mine.