Posted in My Planet

Social Distancing Diary – Week 8

white and brown wooden tiles
Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

I am not including the Covid-19 numbers here every week now. I decided not to track them every day, but at the end of the month instead. I think I’ve lost interest, I’m not sure why, maybe it’s been too long now on this situation. I’m afraid to say it seems to have lost its novelty effect. I still enjoy having the power to do what I want with my time and to spend time with my family, but I feel like I’ve lost the sparkle I had a few weeks ago. It could also be due to the pressure of finishing all my assignments to complete my PGCE. I don’t know.

PGCE

The highlight of the week was my lecture for the last module of the course, Literacy ESOL Theories and Frameworks. This was on Wednesday and it was really good seeing other people and having some interaction outside this house and this neighbourhood. That definitely gave me a sense of normality, for lack of a better word. Gave me a little structure to the day and purpose, such a shame there’s only one more left. In two weeks there is a presentation, which I already did, so I have the week off. But I still have to do a few tasks and the assignment is 3000 words. I think I am freaking out a little with the work load. All I need is a plan and to stick to the plan. I made a list of what I need doing until the 6th of June:

  • Lesson Plan
  • Teach Lesson
  • 10 Evaluations
  • 1 Reflective Post (1, 500 words
  • Level 7 Research Project (1, 000 words)
  • Viva for above project (10 minutes)
  • Assignment (3, 000 words)
  • Finish Professional Practice Portfolio

‘To Do’ Lists

It seems very daunting when I look at the list like this, but I need to break it down into smaller tasks and assign each day to each of the tasks. I just need to make sure I do something each day to give me a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue working. I normally tend to make long ‘to do’ lists and never manage to complete every task in the list. So, from now on, I will chose 3 tasks to do every day. This is better to keep me focused because with a long list, my mind is easily distracted as I might start working on one things and then leave it to do something else. whereas with only 3 main tasks, I will start with one and finish it before moving on to the next. This will give me a sense of achievement and will make me feel more productive. I have started using the Fabulous app and the ‘Deep Work’ feature in it, which also helps to keeps me focused and to know exactly how much time I spend on each task. Also helps dividing the work in chunks, even if it’s only 25 or 45 minutes chunks. At least I know that I will be doing something for 25 minutes and won’t stop until I finish it, for example. I found that this is very helpful to reduce distraction time. I always take a little break in between chunks of deep work, which helps to stay alert and focused.

Creative Writing in Lockdown

I didn’t write anything new this week, but I edited a poem I’d been working on for about a year and I think I finally got it right, I published it in the Facebook group and got really good feedback, so that was good. There was some work published in the group and I am really enjoying reading everyone’s contributions.

Family Time

Phil made Costa ginger biscuits and a pineapple upside down cake this week and we had a BBQ on Thursday and another one on Saturday, that will show on the scales for sure! I don’t care because we enjoyed ourselves.

We played Uno this week, Sunday evening as we didn’t have a roast dinner for lunch after a BBQ the day before, it was fun.

Saturday evening Romina and I did some gardening and that was really good, the garden is looking better, but not good enough to display pictures yet, hopefully soon.

Stay Alert

The week ended with an announcement from the Prime Minister about the next stage of the lockdown. He changed the slogan to ‘Stay Alert’ instead of ‘Stay Home’. But he’s been highly criticised for this message as it is not as clear as the previous message, I think he’s appealing to common sense of the population, which I think it’s a risk as common sense is not a flower that grows in everyone’s garden, unfortunately. Sunday night, we were all waiting to hear his message, but for me, it was a bit of an anti-climax. I expected more details and maybe more specifics and there weren’t many. The construction and the manufacture are the industries which are allowed back to work first, which makes sense as they not in contact with the public and they’re easy to keep safe. And it’s good to start doing something for the benefit of the economy. But, the message is very vague and therefore not as effective as saying ‘Stay at Home’, that worries me a little.

 

Posted in My Planet

How Do I Feel About Self-Isolation

So, after a long period of being absent from the world of WordPress, I decided to return. Better later then never. My last post dates September 2017, over two years ago – I can’t believe it.

Firstly, let me tell you the reasons for my absence:

  • I was very busy with studies, work and moving house.
  • I was struggling with mental health, grieving the loss of my mum and my dad’s illness.
  • I was questioning the route I wanted this blog to take.
  • Maybe, I also lost confidence in my writing.

It has been a long battle, I won’t lie. But, there have been a lot of wins. I managed to complete my degree and was accepted to the PGCE programme. This is a huge win as there were times when I didn’t think I would ever be able to finish my degree. Mostly, I felt overwhelmed by the amount of work and the complexity of student life, time management, work and family commitments, leisure, etc.

I have also managed to quit the job that was making me ill and bringing out the worst in me. It was really good for a period of time and I am truly grateful for that job, but it came a time when I had to let go and move on. Thankfully, we have managed without that income just fine. It just goes to show that when you’re brave enough to follow your dreams, the universe will provide for you – but that’s for another blog post.

My mental health has been up and down and I have been having counselling for a while now. It has helped immensely and I will also expand on that on a future post. I have also lost my dad just over a year ago and although it wasn’t unexpected, it was a shock and it has been hard to deal with. I ended up getting behind with the course work and  my transferred my PGCE to part-time study, therefore I am still a student.

I have been thinking on what route to take with this blog. When I started it, it was a mixture of everything, but I have been thinking that it might be better to separate the different sections. So in the future, this will be my personal blog and I might start a professional one for my teaching practice and maybe another for my creative writing. Depending on how things go, or how long I will be in isolation.

This brings me to the title of this post. So, I have been in self-isolation since Monday due to the Corona virus Covid-19. I am not infected, but because I am asthmatic and have high blood pressure, I decided to self-isolate to reduce the risk of infection and consequently putting extra pressure on the health services. Apparently, people with asthma should self-isolate for 12 weeks. Luckily, I am able to self-isolate without it affecting the income of my family or my contribution to the community; so I decided to do it and reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

How do I feel about it?

On Monday I felt very anxious and scared. I felt like the world as I know it was about to collapse and was overwhelmed with a sense of impotence and disbelief. This really feels like reality imitating fiction and I never thought I’d see anything like this in my lifetime. I confess that in the past, I had thought about something like this happening, but always shoved the thought somewhere in the back of my mind. Now this is really happening.

By Tuesday, I was feeling a bit more positive. Excited even. I thought, well I will have to stay at home for a while; how many times have I wished for it? Is this a case of ‘be careful what you wish for’ or what? So, I started feeling quite excited thinking about all the things I can do now that I didn’t have time for before. So far, I have been binge watching Netflix and Amazon Prime without any feelings of guilt. Why the hell not?

Today, after three days of not doing much other than watching TV and checking the news on Covid-19 situation, I decided to start a more productive strike. I make a list of all the things I want to do while at home:

  1. Bring my course work all up to date.
  2. Read more books
  3. Write more
  4. Reactivate this blog
  5. Start a new blog
  6. Exercise
  7. Deep clean the house and organise my office
  8. Do more things with my family in the house
  9. Do more crafts
  10. Study and learn more

Today, I feel very positive and excited about being able to do all these things and maybe more. But this is only day 4. Today, my husband has started working from home as well. It’s all very good and well so far – he just brought me a cup of tea and chocolates. How long before we want to kill each other, God knows. We had breakfast and lunch together, we went to walk the dog together mid morning, and the rest of the time I have been here in my office and he has been downstairs. We will just try and stay out of each other’s way as much as possible and hope for the best. I don’t know how long he will be working from home, it seems like this whole thing is only just starting; but I feel that this will be a really good opportunity to test our marriage.