We’re in lock down! It’s been two weeks and all restaurants, schools and public gatherings have been closed or prohibited. Very few call centres are operating and going out is limited to exercise, dog walking and essential food shopping. We’ve just got back from a bike ride around our local Royal park. Someone there said they may well be closing those next. Stay at home and stay isolated; these are the new rules.
Having had a career where those rules have been the default, more out of choice than anything else, despite it feeling like Groundhog Day, I’m not finding this particularly difficult. But I can also appreciate that this does present serious problems for those who can’t work, those with health problems, kids at home and everyone who has never had to deal with working from home. Perhaps this will present new and difficult challenges for many people. Social networks are busy with activities, games and movies, offering moment by moment ideas to stop you from going stir crazy. But eventually, you’ll have to sit down and ask the question; ‘How can I best use my time, especially if I’m self-isolating?’
I made a list; a reasonable start. I discovered that my list includes quite a few things I’ve been previously putting off. Never mind the tidying, clearing shelves and cupboards, but concentrating on the creative things I should do, I need to do, I’ve been wanting to do and possibly dreaming of doing. Goodness knows, we’ve now got the time and no one really knows how long this will last. So, this list of mine involves a full week of writing, studio maintenance, music copying, mixing, mastering and sending out the produce from said list. Then, if I manage to get through my list, I’ll make another one and start again. This silly activity has generally got me through many years and I will rely on it to get me through more in the future.
What scares me the most is the thought that I have to learn new stuff and understand how something might work. Reading an instruction manual for example can put me into a coma. Attempting to understand patiently a complex piece of software is definitely not in my DNA; I’m more in favour of the ‘shouting at the computer and throwing the mouse across the room’ approach. But those are on the list too. I totally appreciate that I am in a very privileged place. My lovely girls have grown up and have homes, husbands and children of their own. I have a very understanding and patient wife of many decades. I have the time to explore, experiment and play and I am more familiar with this process that has now been forced onto the entire country, if not the world!
Look forward, enjoy the days, be creative, be scared and wonder at the miracle of new things, some of which don’t even exist yet.
Don’t look down or stop in your tracks. Treat this as a gift rather than a curse. And finally; Build a bridge, and get over it!’