We’re now over 8 months into the coronavirus pandemic in the UK and adapting to the ‘new normal’ isn’t getting any easier. We therefore wanted to produce a series of blogs where we addressed some of those difficulties and gave space for all the things we aren’t meant to say – those taboo COVID thoughts.
Celebrating during a pandemic
This month, I welcomed in another birthday, something I’ve become accustomed to every year however this was my first Lockdown Birthday and that didn’t go unnoticed. Great thought had gone into how to make the day feel special – my husband baked me a cake, he prepared a picnic, we took our campervan and our puppy to a local beauty spot and then went for a brisk walk and a takeaway coffee. With the current restrictions that are in place, I was extremely grateful for the change of pace and the effort my husband had put into the day.
However, when it came to bedtime, and reflecting on the day that had been, I felt incredibly guilty having to acknowledge a sense of disappointment about this year’s celebrations. Whilst many people went out of their way to make my day a special one (with all sorts arriving through my letterbox – cards, parcels, flowers, cake!), it just hadn’t felt like my usual over-the-top, draw-out-the-celebrations-as-long-as-possible birthday.
And at this point, I realised that this was a taboo COVID thought. We are currently putting so much effort into carrying on and making the best of the situation, that we aren’t setting aside the necessary time to reflect and to express that actually, this is all a bit rubbish right now! And it’s OK for feel like that. Already coping with such stress and uncertainty, we do ourselves no favours in adding ‘guilt’ onto our list of emotions.
What I have taken away from my birthday this year is that looking for those small ‘glimmers’ in my day (the moment the puppy photobombed our picture; reminiscing about previous campervan holidays; the power of social media in maintaining connection whilst physically distanced) is not a cure for the pressures we are experiencing, and that that is OK. However, it is helping me keep going from one day to the next.