March 2020 Gratitude List - Online Friends & Furlough Life

2 Apr 2020

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Since my last gratitude list, my life has been kind of tipped on its head - so much so that I have struggled to find the motivation to write this gratitude list. Everything has been and is very much still up in the air, and I've found it difficult to have direction. It's been a pretty tough time and there isn't much of a light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I'm trying my absolute hardest to still be upbeat. It's just that some days are better than others, but I'm here and I'm committing to writing this gratitude list, even if it completely wipes me of energy!

So I guess the most major thing that's happened to cause this massive rollercoaster of emotions is that I was furloughed from work because the pandemic. That means that I'm to stay at home, not work and receive reduced pay, and it's been difficult for me to adjust. However, I suppose in this massive life shift, I've had to really evaluate what is important to me and what I value, and that's aided me a lot in writing this post.

  1. My birthday celebrations at home - at the end of March, it was my 26th birthday (ugh, I hate that number) and by that point, I had come to terms with the fact that I'd need to have some isolated celebrations. Matthew did all he could to make it lovely and it really was a perfect day. We baked with my new donut tin, we made a three course Mexican meal together and my family did a group Zoom to sing happy birthday to me. It wasn't what I'd originally planned, but we all made the best of the situation and it was a really sweet way to celebrate. At least it was a memorable one!
  2. Animal Crossing New Horizons - I'm not a video game person by any standard, but when the new Animal Crossing was released, I was watching everyone talk about it like a hawk. It made me want to buy into it so badly, but Matthew was one step ahead. After a little 'I'm just at the shop, won't be long' white lie, he returned with the new game and the fancy themed Nintendo Switch! It's been a total godsend for the time where I'm home alone and I'm finding it all too easy to get sucked into my island for hours at a time. Oops! If you've got the game, give me your Friend Code and let's trade!
  3. Online pals - because a lot of my week is now spent at home on my own, I've been a lot more active on social media, which means that I've been re-connecting with lots of my online chums. There's quite like an online friend, is there? Amongst the birthday wishes, the corona chat and the 'what have you been doing to pass the time?', I've been so grateful to have these people to reach out to. It's been lovely to feel less alone and like there are others in the same boat. We're totally in this thing together and it's been brilliant to realise that through the help of my online pals.
  4. Having time to focus on me - like I mentioned, some days are much better than others in this furlough life, but I'm grateful to have more time to focus on myself. It was no secret that I found work life difficult to balance with non-work life - I was exhausted every day, I wasn't motivated to do any of my hobbies, I was stressed a lot and I basically just needed to slow down. Well, instead of slowing down, my work life just suddenly halted, which was a shock to the system, but it has meant that I've got a lot of time on my hands. I've been having long baths, I've poured myself into my blog and social media, I've started reading again, I'm slowly picking Grow & Glow back up and I'm generally just spending more time on myself.
  5. Making plans - despite not having a clue when this thing is going to be over, one thing that's getting me through is making plans for when it is. I'm determined to never take leaving the house for granted again, so I want to explore new places and really fall in love with the places that I've explored before. I want to go on dates, see films and eat at new restaurants. I want to walk more and breathe in fresh air, and hold hands and hug my family again. It's a really weird time to be living in, but I'm taking it one day at a time and trying to look forward to better things.

Yeah, this gratitude list was a little bit different from my usual content, but hey, we're making the most of a rubbish situation! I would love to know what you've all been getting up to in this weird, quarantine-y time - extra points for pictures of your home baking. Let's hope that April is a bit better and that we finally start to see a way out of this mess.

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@thenorthernist