Struggling with F.O.L A? Let it Be

Photo by Rami Al-zayat on Unsplash

Tick follows tock …

This lockdown is going on, and on … and some.

Everyone is dealing with it in their own way. Context makes a heck of a difference. An inner city home presents different challenges to a place in the country or a detached house in a purpose-built new estate. Having youngsters at home with parents who work is a world away from sharing a space with house mates who are all suddenly working from home. Living in a care home or a supported community is nothing like living independently in the family home with a network of neighbours looking out for you.

All have their own pressures. Overcrowding or isolation? Both tough to deal with. Overwhelmed by a multi-generational melting pot or lonely and cut off from your social circle? No choices, just the way the cards were dealt when the clock struck ‘Lockdown’.

Everyone is coping differently. We’re all individuals. Of course we respond differently. And on one day we might be great, the next we’re struggling. All week we’re perky, then Thursdays turn out to be the tough day. No rhyme or reason … or maybe it’s the day you used to do ‘your thing’.

The most upbeat folk will have downbeat days too.

So how is everyone else doing? If you look too long on social media, they all seem to be doing pretty well, if you must ask?

Perfect sourdough loaves. Tick. Dog walks by the nearby river. Check. Amusing cat videos. Purr-fect. Restaurant-standard meals. Yes, Chef. New design on pristine sketch pad. Oh, this old thing; I haven’t picked up a pencil since Art College. Gosh, I only managed to read the 5 books this week; two others on the go though. Lucky first attempt at barbering — not bad layering really; came within a hairsbreadth of going back to my roots.

All high achievers. All playing out their lockdown tales in beautifully edited images and carefully chosen words. 240 characters of perfectness taunting you as your kids walk into Zoom shot wearing your pants outside their superhero costume just as you’re reassuring the boss that you are all over that assignment and you can’t understand why the internet keeps crashing. That chocolate smeared lens on your camera phone adding inadvertent bokeh to your own images. Maybe you’ll just post something next week.

Or maybe not.

Even if the kids want to stay in their superhero costumes for the whole of lockdown (forever, I think they said), it doesn’t mean you have to join their Fantastic Foursome.

You are allowed to just get through it.

We’re known as human beings, not human doings … or human showings.

Listen very carefully, I will say this only once … “you do NOT have to post anything on social media”.

Oh, and by the by … those folk. Yep, the high achievers playing out their perfect lives and creating your Fear Of Lockdown Achievement.

They’re flying by the seat of their superhero pants too.

They just somehow squeezed out five minutes to dig up an archive picture of sourdough magic. Or they locked themselves in the shed while their ageing aunt dozed in the sunshine on the patio having eaten too much soup (there is no way they made yesterday’s exquisite asparagus tart). Or they stayed up late when the feral family had retreated to their lego-strewn bedrooms.


You don’t have to DO lockdown. Just be. Just get through it your way.



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A life well-lived; celebrating people, places and purpose; an encouragement to stay curious, optimistic and adventurous. Newsletter, every Sunday, 6pm sharp.