‘What have you learned about yourself SINCE lockdown?’

As a follow-up piece to my post from June 2020 – ‘What have you learned about yourself during lockdown?’ – it’s interesting to hear what people have learned about themselves SINCE lockdown.

This original article was written partly as a reflective piece but also as this was a question I used in interviews last year. At the time we were 14 weeks into the original (and totally new experience for us all) lockdown, it was a time when we were all trying to find a new pace and arrangement for our lives:

“I wanted to ask something relevant and interesting, something that would give the candidate the opportunity to show something of themselves to the interview panel, something more than aspects of their work experience or history.”

In the 17 or so months since asking that question, and writing about it, what have I (you) learned since lockdown?

Whilst I originally learned I had more tolerance than I thought I had, I’ve since learned I actually have a whole lot less now. Whether it’s because of the level of stupidity some people show to basic common sense (if a mask can reduce the threat of infection, or spreading it … ahh, don’t get me started again) or the wanton disregard to life shown by government or people in authority … you get the picture. People complaining about a vaccine that will keep them or their loved ones alive in a time where this coronavirus hits even the fittest and apparently hardiest of us all really hard, or complaining about not going on their holiday …

I have had periods in the last year or more when I’ve just had to stay away from all forms of social media. It just isn’t worth the stress and anxiety to see in detail the news, or fake news, or just plain dumb news.

“I’ve learned I worry far more than I ever thought I did. I’m learning to compartmentalise the things I can control, the things I can’t control but can influence, and the things I can directly influence or control. Its hard and never a consistent result, but re-reading Mark Manson’s book recently helped me here again.”

So, have I learned to worry less, to be better at identifying when I need a break from social media, the news, or people? Nah, don’t be silly. My tolerance for others is at an all-time low or it just doesn’t exist. I find myself quick to anger and quicker to criticise. I am spending more energy at keeping a calm exterior, either for family or colleagues (they don’t deserve to suffer because of my moods) as well as thinking long and hard before I say or do anything.

Yes, we’ve all suffered due to Covid, some a lot more than others. But each of us has a part to play to ensure we protect the vulnerable, the old, the young, the workers, the support staff … everyone. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones or friends – please know that some of us do care and are doing what we can to protect you. Despite the (deliberate?) confusing messages from authority and government, some of us do know the difference between safe and unsafe/less-safe behaviour and will continue to moderate our actions to ensure we minimise infection.

We can get through this, but it isn’t and was never going to be a quick or easy fix. The more we ignore the science now, the longer it’ll take and the more restrictions we’ll have to put up with for longer.

As the image chosen for this post says, “you didn’t come this far to only come this far’. Wise words.