Lockdown and the lessons learned

A friend of mine suggested somewhat jokingly that I should suggest a new U3A Group that would be fitting for the times in which we are living, writes Caroline Green of Wetherby U3A.

Monday, 14th December 2020, 11:38 am

So many of the groups have ceased to meet and this is causing considerable distress for many people.

Like all the other members of the U3A I have missed the regular get together and have had to draw on my own resources during the months of Lockdown, Tiers 1, 2 and 3 and Lockdown 2. Over the years I have developed the habit of writing down my thoughts, plans and musings and my house is full of half-filled notebooks.

Seeing my thoughts on paper enables me to clarify and process what is going on in my head. This is what I wrote at the end of July when we had already been in Lockdown for four months, and we were just beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

What Lockdown has taught me about myself

Acknowledge what it is that gives me pleasure. It can be as simple as the first cup of tea in the morning or a walk in the rain. I have also found serendipitous chats with people on a daily walk is something I love.

If I have been unable to do something at the first attempt, I need to try again with more effort………like cycling up a hill or playing a song on the piano all the way through without making too many mistakes.

Not to be afraid to change my mind, share my fears and failings. Be honest and say if I do not know the answers.

Be true to myself and not to be afraid to be myself.

What I have learned during Lockdown.

Give others room and space to be themselves.

Support with a light touch those who are dearest to me.

Be kind whenever the opportunity presents itself. I have learnt that kindness is valued higher than as any currency.

Acknowledge my sources, publicly and privately – it is my starting point.

Acknowledge my fears and anxieties even though it is not always appropriate to burden others with them – they dissipate over time once acknowledged.

Realise that my sphere of influence is small and gets smaller as I get older.

I asked the friend who suggested the new U3A group to give me his findings about himself and Lockdown, and his reply was interesting, much wider, and more grounded in the real world than me.

Things I have learned in Lockdown

I have learnt that even in a real national crisis like COVID-19 our country has not been able to pull together as needed - too many opportunists seeking to take advantage of a desperate situation to further their own agenda. I am probably being idealistic, but we should be better than this. I am constantly reminded of my parents’ generation who went through years of real hardship and sacrifice, but today pubs having to close at 10pm is a disaster apparently.

That whilst the internet is a wonderful thing in many respects, it does give a free voice to some quite nasty people out there, including the ‘dark web’. I think what we need is a ‘light web’ focused on positives and what is good in our world.

That much of our media misunderstands/misreads the mood of the country and believes that the constant spreading of doom and gloom is somehow a good thing.

That the NHS, whilst having areas that could improve, I am sure, is a wonderful asset. I am in awe of many of the people I have met doing incredible work with such kindness and caring whilst they also must cope with the difficulties of normal life in times like these.

That grandchildren really are the best thing since sliced bread. Ever.

What Lockdown has taught me about myself

As I have been ill during Lockdown, the main thing is that I have been a little surprised that I have been able to face up to some things head on better than I thought I might. Family support has been so important.

Having a bit less going on in my schedule is no bad thing and maybe this whole time has been an opportunity to consider what is really important and what is perhaps not the best use of time.

So here we have a couple of perspectives on Lockdown. Maybe we have the makings of a new group after all? How has this year been for you?