Life Changes During a Pandemic
I think we’re all pretty aware of how chaotic things have been this year – COVID-19 has thrown the whole world into turmoil and we’re not sure what’s going on from one week to the next. On top of this daily instability, I seem to have found myself going through some big life changes during this time too!
Back in March I was new to Mind, having only started at the end of February. This meant that by the time working from home was implemented and lockdown hit, I’d only actually spent about 3 and a half weeks in the office. It’s so odd to think that I’ve been with my team longer via Zoom than in person (but they’re all amazing and I feel close to them, so that’s great!). It’s definitely been a challenge settling in to a new job whilst everyone is also adapting to working from home and meeting via Zoom.
More personally, I started a new relationship during all of this too! Having been slowly dating for a few months, my boyfriend and I ended up having the dreaded “talk” the day before the first lockdown was announced. This meant that as soon as we got into a relationship, we didn’t see each other for over 2 months then could only see each other outdoors before eventually having a normal relationship. Finally able to have a normal relationship and seeing each other, we’d finally booked a week off in November to go away together and spend more time together – only for lockdown 2.0 to hit! This means limited contact outside again for the next month as we don’t live with each other.
Finally, I moved out of my shared house due to terrible housemates. I’m now living in Surrey for a couple of months with my aunt and uncle, which is great because I am in a nicer environment (I’m sure there are plenty who relate with horrendous housemates!), have nice people around in the form of my aunt and uncle, and the bonus is can save money. Moving is stressful at the best of times, but doing it whilst working full time AND during a pandemic is absolutely manic. I had a feeling a new lockdown was coming so pushed myself to work faster and be moved before it happened (and was in my new place 6 days before the new lockdown announcement so clearly timed it well)!
To summarise, during this year I have: gotten a new job, started to settle in only to then have to adapt to working from home; packed my entire life into boxes and moved home; entered into a wonderful relationship but had to deal with months of not seeing my partner. But – I did it! Overall, the biggest thing this has taught me is that I can do more than I realised or gave myself credit for. If I can do all this during a lockdown and pandemic, then I can tackle anything else thrown my way!
My gratitude has also increased hugely as a result of these changes. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful job and team around me that made working from home so early on doable. I’m also grateful for wonderful friends and a relationship that has lasted such big difficulties already (so is hopefully very strong!). I’m grateful to have family to look out for me and take me in to give me a more tranquil work environment.
I’d encourage everyone else to take stock and reflect on what has been a particularly difficult year for us all and congratulate yourselves for getting through it and anything you’ve overcome during this time with such a big shadow cast over us all – even if that victory is simply “I got through it” (or should I say “am getting through it”, my optimism is making me a bit pre-emptive!).
By Jade Reed
Project Support Officer
Posted on: 6th November 2020