Less Lonely in Lockdown
How moving house prepared me for dealing with lockdown loneliness, and the unifying nature of everyone being in the same situation.
Over the last few years my husband and I have moved home quite a few times. One was a big international move for two years and the others have been within the UK.
I think maybe its due to these recent moves that lockdown has felt oddly familiar to me.
When moving to a new house in a new area I find it very isolating initially. Yes it’s still possible to visit family at weekends or have friends to stay and there’s always exciting new things to explore, and lots of unpacking (oh god the endless unpacking!) but still, I end up spending a lot of time by myself or just with my husband.
Moving to Aberdeen
We moved to Scotland in July last year, I can’t believe that’s nearly a year ago. This is the first move we’ve done since being a family of three, which certainly made it a little more tricky!
I know that for me one of the best ways to start making a new town/city feel like home is to explore the roads and start trying to make friends. I would say I’m a fairly sociable person but I definitely prefer spending time with people I know. I’ve always worried when meeting new people about the impression I’m making or if they’re one of ‘my’ people.
I found this time having Hugo made it much easier. When you have a baby in tow there are the obvious baby groups you can go to, where it’s the norm to go along by yourself with your baby, as that’s what they’re designed for. The disadvantage is trying to keep your normal routine, and working round naps and meals (for the baby and myself!) means you have less time for exploring and unpacking.
Eight months later, the relief of lockdown!
After eight months in Aberdeen and beginning to settle in, lockdown began. Somehow once we’d got over the initial shock and concern with the situation it actually started to feel like a little a bit of a break! I no longer had to try and make new friends, suddenly it was ok to just really like the neighbours next door!
It was ok to change the pace of life and be satisfied with achieving a bit less (although I’m now aware I have actually become much more productive since doing this!)
Hugo and I took our daily exercise in the woods nearby and spent an hour collecting sticks and pine cones with the joy of knowing there there was nowhere else we were supposed to be!
It also felt ok to be lonely or homesick or miss your family, because everyone was feeling the same. I felt such a unity of being in the same boat as everyone else. Good friends who I don’t see often enough also started regularly FaceTiming, people who I haven’t seen for years got in touch, and on top of all of this the support from the creative community was amazing
I was lonely before lockdown and now somehow I think I might be less lonely!
I’ve been doing an online digital marketing course which has been so so helpful, and free! I’ve also been taking free geometry drawing lessons every Thursday, which I feel is really helping me hone in on my passion for carving geometric designs.
I’ve built this new shiny website and I’ve carved more than I have in ages! So all in all it’s not really been a bad couple of months. Strangely quite nice and certainly hugely productive!
I wonder how we’ll look back on this in years to come!