We’re still here, still happy, still keeping healthy, still working from home during a lockdown and luckily still really busy with the day to day running of the company here at Impact. We all miss very much our face to face interactions and local coffee runs! Although at times it can feel like we are living in a surreal virtual film, for me right now my work is the main thing that is keeping me ticking over with normality and routine while in isolation. Have a read over the Impact Teachers team’s reflections about what they are missing the most while in isolation…
It’s fair to say I miss a lot of things while isolating from getting a soya latte on my way to work from my local coffee shop, to meeting up with friends on the weekends for brunch and a yarn, but the main thing I am missing during these weird times is most definitely my family. My parents are in Ireland, my sister Caitriona is in Boston and my other sister Eibhlin, brother Damo and niece Ava are here in London. Even though FaceTime/WhatsApp video calling is great, there’s nothing really like a big hug and kiss from your loved ones is there? It was my niece Ava’s first birthday on the 26th of March. We had a big party planned, my family were coming over from all parts of the world and it would have been the first time all of us would have been together under one roof in 2 years. We had been looking forward to this for months and months, so when everything got cancelled, and I realized I wouldn’t get to see my family for a while, all of our emotions were high. The only thing keeping us positive is when all this is over, my family and I are going to throw the biggest soirée ever. Lockdown isn’t forever, losing someone you love is, so stay home stay safe and save lives <3
The hardest thing about being in isolation is not being able to see my family every day. I’m really close to my parents and sister and not having seen them for over two weeks is emotionally very hard. Our new normal is daily FaceTime, House Party and Zoom chats. The biggest adjustment for our whole family is that usually my parents look after my daughter while I’m at work. Now that I’m at home, I get to catch up on all the cheekiness I have missed out on since going back to work after having her. But I am saddened as my parents are missing out on these moments with their granddaughter. To some grandparents, isolation may feel like an extended holiday of rest but to mine, it’s just time being missed out to see their only grandchild grow. Another hard part about isolation is missing my sister for our weekly girly Saturdays out, doing things such as having our nails done or just going shopping for things we don’t need. For now, seeing my family with a distant wave from afar while we take our daily exercise allowance will have to do. Kisses and cuddles have to wait for now.
Definitely not being able to meet up with my friends. Video calls to your mates after work and during weekends are great but it’s still not the same as actually being in their presence. I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted the opportunities we have to go for drinks on a Friday or Saturday evening ever again! Even though they seem to think it’s fun pulling my ear every time we meet up, I miss them but more to the point, they miss me!!
The craziness of the last few weeks has thrown up so many challenges for all of us. We have had to deal with the fear of this outbreak, the restrictions of our movements, the threat to our businesses and livelihood, and the whole new concept of being forced to stay at home disconnected from the physical contact with colleagues, friends, and family. All of our lifestyles have been forced to change and when I take stock of this new environment and think about what I miss most from the pre-COVID-19 world I can go no further than sport! I am a huge sports fan – particularly Rugby, and in my normal life I spend hours watching sport, talking about sport, and playing sport. A huge amount of my social interactions are in fact based around sport. I love nothing more than meeting up with a group of mates for a few pints to watch a good game of Rugby. That could be down at the local pub for a 6 Nations match, or it could be in the early hours of the morning to pick up an International Test match being played on the other side of the world. As a Kiwi living in London with lots of friends who have travelled, I have ended up with mates living all over the world. The one thing that has always kept us connected is our love for sport, and we have set up group chats where we talk about games and results, have competitions on the outcomes of matches or competitions, and share banter about our favorite teams and players. To be honest, I think I love the banter amongst the lads as much as the sport itself! The one good thing to come out of all of this though is that we have now converted these international group chats into general catch up chats and have used them as a way to stay connected. As nice as that is though, I will still be much happier when things go back to normal, sport comes back, and we can pick up that banter where we left off.
One thing I’m definitely missing is pub quiz night with friends. Every Wednesday evening we’d meet in Islington and catch up over a pint and wood-fired pizza at our favorite local. This mid-week tradition has always been a great opportunity to share some laughs and bond over a bit of friendly competition. I’m looking forward to getting my team back together in the future!
For the past two years, I’ve had a routine very much suited to a lockdown situation; I work from home and exercise on my break. The one BIG change is my weekly Wednesday commute to the London office – Impact HQ. Sounds crazy I know; waking up at 5.30am to get the 6.20am train from Hastings to be in the office before 9am, coffee in hand of course. However, I absolutely loved it. To be fair, if I had to do it more than once a week like most of my fellow passengers it would be a different story. Milo (the best commuter dog ever) would accompany me (sleeping through the whole thing on my lap) and I would plug into my Netflix on my phone for the 1hr50 journeys. I would get to the office, catch up with colleagues, share banter and work just as I would at home, but with the hustle and bustle of the team vibes. I’m a veteran at working remotely, and appreciate it. Without the distractions I can get a lot done. But the social distractions are healthy and valuable and something we shouldn’t take for granted. You’ve instantly got someone there you can bounce ideas off, share funny or frustrating moments with. Remotely, you have to call or message and hope that they’re available to chat at the same time. I miss all my colleagues and appreciate that we live in such a world where social distancing and isolation is made easier through apps like Zoom.
Being on lock down has not presented a huge challenge for me. Controversial outlook, I know. Don’t get me wrong, this whole situation is a total nightmare that I wish we could all wake up from but I’ve never been one to complain about additional personal space and staying in. With that said, this time has definitely highlighted two activities in particular that I’ve clearly been taking for granted: 1. Televised sport and 2. Friends who you can do nothing with. Firstly, if you’re a sports widow, like me, that means you likely live with someone who is obsessed with professional sports and watching said sports with friends at the pub. That’s at least two evenings a week with the flat all to myself! So, those guilt-free catchups of [insert embarrassing reality TV show here] and self-care rituals are on sadly pause for now. Secondly, while I’m not one for making plans, I’m really missing the option! I miss being with girlfriends who you can count on to talk for hours about silly things like whether or not peoples’ first names determine their character. Ultimately, there’s been a lot of adjustments made to help make this bizarre way of living a new normal but I’m really looking forward to Arsenal getting on the field again and sharing roasts with friends over conversations about not much at all.
Acetone nail varnish remover ‘they’ say? Takes off your acrylics after soaking ‘they’ say? The last week has proven that ‘they’ are wrong! And nothing I have tried has worked at removing these claws I’ve developed on my finger nail bed. So although there is a list of far more serious things that I am missing; right now I miss my nail technician the most!
What is it that you are missing the most? Please share your stories.
Jane at Impact Teachers