31st March 2020
Whilst in ‘lockdown’ most of us have a lot more spare time to slow down and reflect on what is really important; to take stock and be grateful for what we have. For me, there are a few key things that stand above the rest that I will never take for granted again. Some of the things I’ve listed came more quickly to me, and will be obvious to you, however others are more mundane and I think I would never have truly appreciated them should we have not been in this situation.
After reading this, I challenge you to write a list of between five and ten things that you will never take for granted again. Keep your list for when we’re out the other side, when life inevitably speeds up. Use it to give some perspective and to help realign what’s really important.
Without further ado, here are the things that I will never take for granted again…
1. Being ‘Busy’
As a self-professed social planner, around work my weeks are often full of evening and weekend plans. With all social plans for the foreseeable future cancelled I am quickly realising how lucky I am to be “busy” – I will try my hardest to not complain about being busy again. Busy is social, busy is fun, busy is freedom.
An obvious one I know, but when you’re ‘busy’ you can often lose sight of who the most important individuals in your life are. Technology is incredible, and being able to video call everyone instantly is remarkable. However, it’s not quite the same as spending quality time with loved ones. When this is over, I will prioritise making time for loved ones in my busy schedule and never will I cherish their hugs more.
3. My Commute
Whilst I’ve always been grateful for the stunning surroundings we live in, I never thought I would miss the routine of my commute. Whether it be a lift share with colleagues or listening to my favourite podcast on my own, there’s something reassuring about following a familiar route on the same schedule.
4. My Colleagues
Luckier than most, I absolutely love the people I work with. Never again will I forget to appreciate the simple things… the office jokes, the uplifting chit chat, the team lunches, the office dogs, the postman, the laughter and kindness.
5. Fresh Produce
Life has become simpler the past few weeks and mealtimes have become something we look forward to (even more than usual!). They are a chance to be away from our screens, enjoying cooking and quality time with my boyfriend. Shamefully before Covid-19 we didn’t often stray from the ease of shopping at Tesco or Sainsburys, but with delivery slots booked up and trying to avoid leaving the house we have looked at alternative ways to shop for our food.
Our local farm shops have been fantastic, with different fresh produce delivered each week. Whilst I know it’s a great privilege to be able to afford the farm shop prices, we think it’s really important to support local businesses and farmers in this time of crisis. Additionally, we are enjoying being inspired to cook new recipes with each veg box bringing a new surprise!
6. The NHS
Having parents and parents in law, as well as other friends and family who work or have worked for the NHS, always makes me grateful for the healthcare services we are fortunate to have access to here in the UK. Nevertheless, seeing the incredible staff working on the frontline bravely go back day after day has heightened my feeling of being indebted to those who work in the NHS.
Watching the news from across the pond makes me realise how unbelievably lucky we are for our free healthcare provision. I cannot imagine what the additional financial burden must feel like when you or a loved one is ill, particularly during a global pandemic.
7. The Great Outdoors
‘One piece of exercise a day’ – the antidote to cabin fever! I don’t know about you but I’ve never appreciated being able to put one foot in front of the other more. Our daily run or bike ride seems like a lifeline to normality. My senses are on overdrive, I can feel my body craving the fresh air and sunlight. I am noticing so much more than I usually would – the blossom, the wildlife, the sea views, the sunrise, the sunset. I’m even grateful for the hills!
For anyone that knows me, they know that dogs are one of my greatest joys in life. We don’t own one (yet!) but not being able to stroke the dogs we meet on our daily piece of exercise has been very challenging! Never again will I take for granted being able to stroke and cuddle every dog I meet – apologies in advance to all of my friends and family who will have to tolerate my intensified obsession when this is all over!
9. My Boyfriend
I’ll end on a cheesy but very true one. It’s fair to say I’ve had my up and down days over the past few weeks. My boyfriend has been there supporting me through it all. There’s nothing like being stuck in isolation with one person to really get to know them! I can imagine these testing times will be the make or break of many couples but I am grateful to say that it’s (currently!) proving to make us stronger. We’re learning about how to live in a relatively small space 24/7 as well as picking each other’s spirits up. I am eternally grateful to be going through this together.
I would really recommend writing down a list of what you won’t take for granted when we are out the other side of this. If anything, it’s cathartic and perhaps it’ll help remind you of what’s truly important when life gathers momentum again.
Thank you for sticking with my ramblings thus far. It’s always nerve-wracking sharing your personal thoughts with the world so remember to be kind. Everyone is different and that’s what makes the world such a diverse, wonderful place to live.
I’ll finish with my late grandfather’s favourite adage because it seems more poignant than ever before…
Life’s about wanting what you have, not having what you want.
Photo credits: Charlie Mackesy (For the above & NHS image)