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The first I knew of the most recent lockdown changes was a text from my neighbour, she'd messaged to say I could see my family again. If I'm really honest, in that moment when I read her message I felt a bit emotional. I didn't know the details, exactly how it would all work, but the first thing I thought of was how much seeing family would mean to so many people, how much it would mean to me. It's just sad it wasn't a message of hope for everyone, that shielding is still shielding.
We've all handled lockdown differently and had our own challenges and decisions to make along the way, but here in my house, myself and the little one have only once ventured out in the car because we had to. We've not gone for drives and we've not bumped into anyone we know at whatever distance, we've just gone out for walks from our own doorstep keeping ourselves to ourselves. For 10 weeks we've filled our days with playing in the garden, watching Peppa Pig and Topsy and Tim, having tea breaks and finding the quietest routes to walk.
Through it all I've tried to keep as positive as I can, because although I've been missing my family and friends I know that really, I have it good. We're healthy, we have a garden and some beautiful walks on our doorstep. Other than wishing I'd been in touch with more people, energy levels saw my grand plan of reconnecting with people head right out of the window, I can't really complain. Life has been relatively uneventful outside of toddler challenges.
These latest steps in easing lockdown have made me feel nervous though and a little afraid because we've been lucky enough to be able to stay home. In staying home we've spent weeks building our little bubble and slowly but surely I've changed from being someone desperate to get out and about, to being someone who just wants to stay in. Wanting to stay in the space where I feel I have control, wanting to build on the routines that have seen us through, because as and when we do go out again, that full control is gone and we're putting our trust in others and they're trusting in us.
I know that lockdown has to ease, that we need to find a way to get back to normal life, but I've almost been dreading this step because keeping safe isn't about me, it's about my family. Not just the wider family who we hope to see, but my little family at home who need to keep well to look after each other. My toddler who is missing the busy life I once built him and now can't fully embrace the new guidance because he's too little to understand.
However we cope, whatever the guidelines give us, I know that one day we'll be able embrace changes though. That we'll welcome as much of our old normality as guidance allows, but for now, we'll be sticking to baby steps. We'll be taking the days one at a time, getting out bit by bit and remaining ever thankful to the key workers out there, those who've kept the country going while others stay home. I can't even imagine what going to work has been like in a pandemic, but they've kept going to keep us going.
COVID-19 might have made the world a lonely place, kept our family away, our friends away, left our classrooms and offices empty, but for us it's taught us to enjoy the small things. It's made us learn how to be comfortable in our own company, how to make the most of weekends at home and how to be just us again. Then when it all gets too much we have an ice cream break. So, while some are rushing out grabbing every chance of normality they can, we'll be right here continuing to embrace our COVID-19 lessons and maybe seeing a few we love.