For some people, like me, the changes that have come about due to recent events have had little impact. I live most of my life online or to some degree remotely. As an Open University student I study online; as my Dad’s carer I ‘work’ from home. I bank, shop and pay bills online. I spend more time communicating remotely than face to face with everyone other than my Dad. I am lucky. I have amazing friends who I can connect with in many ways.
Socialising is now very much a remote experience. In an age when we are trying to encourage connection, fearing losing it to an increasing array of gadgets, we are now grateful of the many ways to communicate.
This is an opportunity to assess how we spend our time, and our resources. I recognise that for some, life goes on the way it always did, to some extent. Not everyone can work from home or manage to serve their clients remotely. In time to come it will become obvious what we miss or what skills we need to be able to manage situations effectively. I foresee a lot of reading, learning about new subject areas, a lot of postponed jobs being tackled and a lot of strange concoctions in food and drink being sampled. There will probably be a lot of media consumed.
I am hoping we will emerge with a new found appreciation of the skills of teachers, doctors, nurses, emergency service personnel, retail staff and refuse collectors. Maybe our attitude to food waste will change. Some people may realise their work life balance needs addressing. The range of options available to us to experience the world may tempt some people to take advantage of that when this is all over. Taking a free course to pass the time may lead to further study or changed opinions. Finding ways to make a meal from what is in the fridge or cupboard may lead to a passion for cookery. Spending time together as a family may help us get to know our loved ones better. Entertaining our kids or helping them with their education may lead to volunteering in schools or awaken a dormant hobby. The difficulties we experience when shopping may lead to us creating our own version of something we are unable to get hold of. There are so many resources to take advantage of without going anywhere.
The world of the internet has many critics and many fans. The fact that I know, typing this that I have no idea who will read it is an experience I never thought I would have. I am very grateful to be in such a privileged position.
If somewhere in all of this you find the time, spend time with yourself getting to know you. Whatever you learn will help you in so many ways. We can focus on getting to know others and that is important but we have to know ourselves as well. Also try and take time out and do nothing if you can. We can focus so much on doing we forget to be. Meditate, breath, relax.
I did say this is an opportunity and it is. We have it, even though we didn’t ask for it. Like a surprise present it is here any way. It may not be universal but hopefully the effects will rub off on others. We can make this a positive experience if we take advantage of it.
Copyright © 2020 Lily Lawson