Thursday, April 29, 2021
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Friday, March 05, 2021
Things I like about lockdown*
Peace and quiet
Little to no FOMO (aka Fear Of Missing Out)
Reduced cost of living
My pal's weekly Zoom quiz. An absolute Godsend and something to look forward to every week.
No pressure to dress up
No pressure to go out
Feel ok about being alone - it's now completely normal to be on one's own.
Not having to see people you don't like any more
A more level playing field for disabled people who can't get out of the house regularly because of their disabilities.
Regular Government sanctioned walks in nature.
Less pollution. I can breathe easier. I have had no asthma symptoms and barely any allergies for a year now.
The simplicity of life. Being able to pay attention to the small things.
Zoom yoga and meditation classes
The 'we're all in this together' feeling (even though we aren't really - see image above)
Things I don't like about lockdown
Having no place to go
Fear of other people infecting you
Having to keep your distance
The relentlessness of it all
Not knowing what's going on in the world as all the conversations are virtual. There's no bumping into someone at a networking event or conference.
The ableism of those who can and do take risks. So many people can't take those risks with their health and will be stuck inside when others are frolicking recklessly. That's hard to stomach.
Having no-one to hug or to touch
That flat feeling you get when a Zoom call finishes
Poor quality zoom calls - just get yourself a little webcam like this one that I have and a good light!
The divisiveness and politics of lockdown
People being careless or selfish about what risk they're creating for others
People losing their jobs and homes
Rishi Sunak, Matt Hancock and Boris Johnson
So. Much. Death.
*For some context, dear reader, I'm in lockdown 3 in the UK and riding it out on my own
I keep hearing people complain that the ‘mainstream media’ does not understand economics and that we’re talked down to as if everything must be explained as if the economy is a household. In this thread I explain all you (and they) need to know. Economics in one thread then....— Richard Murphy (@RichardJMurphy) December 12, 2020
We've just had the budget so there's lots of talk about bolstering the economy, about supporting those who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic, about tax rises and what money is or isn't available when you shake the magic money tree. Lots of people talk about needing to pay back this deficit like you have to pay the bank back if you're overdrawn or have taken out a loan. Except governments don't quite run that way where money is concerned. If you're at all interested in how government economics work and how governments create and distribute money, then I highly recommend you read the above thread by Richard Murphy. You can read it on Twitter or via Thread Reader where it reads more like an article. It is fascinating!
Thursday, March 04, 2021
I'm at one of those pivotal moments in life where the status quo has gone and I have to create whatever comes next. I've never had, or at least never felt I had, these kinds of choices before. I was restricted when I was younger by money (or lack thereof), time (too much time spent on work in retrospect), negative self-talk (I'm only human) and when it came to going to drama school, complete and utter parental disapproval.
Now that I am an adult orphan and am due to inherit a modest sum of money, I have active choices to make about my life and how I live it. I don't have to stay put. I am not trapped. I can do whatever I like. Well, you know, except for the pesky pandemic, but you get my drift.
Obviously the world has changed dramatically since whilst I was caring for my mother. We're living through a pandemic and that has changed us all in some shape or form. The world of work I knew a few years ago has changed, possibly forever. The commute has gone. The in-person events have gone. The after-work drinks are no more. Travelling abroad to speak at a conference or visit an exhibition to network with colleagues and peers - all gone. And I have little sense yet of when or how that will come back. And if it should come back, do I still want to be part of that picture? Can I slot back in having been absent for the last couple of years? These are questions I'm asking myself daily and perhaps they're the wrong questions. After all, that world has gone - at least for another 6 months, possibly longer.
I need to adapt to that change too and be open to new things. And I've changed too. I'm older, wiser and have been through life experiences that would change anyone's outlook on life. But I'm seeing that as a positive and that I have even more experience and knowledge to share than I did before. So maybe the questions can be more around what am I open to? Who do I want to work with? What talents can I bring to the party? What companies or sectors would be a good fit? What are my transferable skills? What am I hoping to get out of the next step(s)? Where do I want to be?
But choice can be paralysing. Too many choices on a menu and you end up going for the same thing you always go for when you visit that same restaurant. What a privilege to have choices available but what a responsibility too.
I'm sure I'm overthinking it here, as is my wont. It's time for me to do something, to take action, to get involved. It's time for me to start engaging again with the outside world and to start contributing to it again. I can't sit at home waiting for something to happen because I'll be waiting a long time. I have to make it happen. So I'm tapping into my creative spirit. I'm writing more - both published posts and lots of journaling. I'm meditating to get some clarity and vision. I'm dreaming too to see which dreams fit best. I'm starting some of those more work-related conversations with work-friends and friend-friends. I'm researching the market to see what's happening and what people seem to be looking for. I'm reminding myself of what I've done in my career and what my strengths are and thinking about CVs and marketing materials and websites and all that stuff. And I'm opening myself to new opportunities and also looking at what courses I might do to refresh my skills or stimulate some different thinking. I want to have those deep, insightful conversations again. I miss that.
So if you have any bright ideas on what or where my next step might be, get in touch!
(As an aside, if it weren't for the slight issues of Brexit and a Pandemic, I would probably be doing all of this from Barcelona for a month or two whilst supping on Cava, eating tapas and hanging out on a roof terrace. But that's out of the question for a good few months yet.)