Is it O.K. to admit…

…that I like the quiet a Lockdown brings?

The English newspapers want me to believe that our current (very light, food shops open, schools open, garden centres open, take-away food open, off-license sales of alcohol open) Lockdown is breaking the mental health of the nation because they can’t go to a pub, café or restaurant or go shopping for clothes.

I don’t think that’s true. At least, not where I live. What I see is people out walking in pairs or small family groups, enjoying the footpaths, canal paths and parks, giving one another space but being friendly and cheerful.

I know I’m seeing a skewed sample. The income in my town is thirty per cent above the national average. There are a lot of retired people. The countryside or riverside is seldom more than a twenty minute walk away.

I understand and sympathise with the large number of people under stress from not knowing if COVID will cost them their job or their home or their business and the pressure of being locked together in a crowded house or flat in a city. or being barracked in Halls of Residence in your University.

Yet my own experience of Lockdown is mostly a quiet relief.

I enjoy being able to walk quiet streets in town…

…and walking the paths of the parks, rivers and canals.

I hope that as many people as possible find some pleasure during Lockdown from the freedom to walk in pleasant places.

12 thoughts on “Is it O.K. to admit…

  1. Yes,but you are not living in a crowded, noisy appartement block surrounded by concrete and a lot of fellow humans.
    I realise that I’m ” lucky” as well,I have a garden and the fields are a 5 minute walk from the house but unfortunately….

    Liked by 2 people

    • True, but I would not begrudge anyone finding something that they enjoy in these times. Especially not when it is increasing our appreciation how important access to outside space and green space is for probably all of us.

      Liked by 2 people

      • It would be nice if we came out of this pandemic with more people having discovered the pleasure our open spaces give them. even when there’s nowhere to spend any money.

        My wife pointed out to me that there are many more people on the footpaths and canal paths than usual and that most of them seem happy to be there. We’re seeing lots of couples, of all ages, holding hands and family groups where the mother and father seem to be having a good time walking with their young children. Who knew that pushchairs are now all terrain vehicles?

        Liked by 2 people

        • We’ve seen the same up here. Our beach front has always been busy on sunny days but these days it is busier in general, too. The same with parks. And those are just the places within the city.

          Liked by 1 person

    • II know what you mean. It’s partly why I wrote this post.

      I know I’m fortunate. That’s true of my life when there’s no lockdown too.

      We have millions of children with not enough to eat, millions of working people dependant on foodbanks and a government that not only doesn’t care but is pushing us off the Brexit cliff in a way that will increase those numbers and do harm for decades.

      I can and do get angry about that. I vent. I even marched. I do what I can to help (although the pandemic has gotten in the way of most contributions I could make).. I also accept that I have no power to change any of it.

      It feels a little odd to say ‘there are lots of things about lockdown that I enjoy’ but it’s true. The lockdown in March brought us clear skies, less road noise and a slower, friendlier pace of life.

      My enjoyment doesn’t invalidate other people’s stress but it seems a little tacky to maintain a guilty silence about it.

      I’m glad that you’re also lucky. We need to take our pleasures where we can. Stay safe and have as good a lockdown as you can.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I’ve always loved the way this place looks. My wife and I came here on holiday, way back in the eighties, and decided to move here. We’d been living in London for five years and were ready for a slower pace of life. Returning here after nearly two decades away, we’re enjoying rediscovering what attracted us all those years ago.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi, Mike,

    I’ve been admitting it, unabashedly, since we were advised that we were going to be working from home, until further notice. That was at the end of March, when I was actually taking a few days of vacation time and had to go back to the office to collect up all my stuff — including an approved, encrypted laptop to use, since I had only a desktop PC at the office — and set up shop at home, instead. Now, for me, this was no hardship, since my home sits on 66 acres in the woods of Vermont and I always love simply being here, under any and all circumstances.

    Of course, it took a bit of adjustment, since the internet, where I live, is tortoise-speed here in the boonies, as opposed to hare-speed at the office, because broadband is there, but not here. Things I took for granted at the office — a fast printer, scanner, talking office issues with or asking questions of my colleague just across the room — required a bit more planning. As one of the “essential” employees, I was permitted to make office visits to help maintain as seamless a workflow as possible, so I had to plan ahead for what I’d need to do during my once-a-week office day.

    But that bit of “inconvenience” pales into insignificance, by comparison, to the opportunity to enjoy my home, to be surrounded by the woods and wildlife I love so much, to play with my dog and go for walks with him, pretty much whenever we feel like it. My “loft office” is only 20 seconds away, instead of 30 miles. I love that at the end of the workday (4:00 p.m.), I can “leave work” and be sitting down to a scrumptious dinner, which I’ve made, by 5:00 p.m. and then enjoy a much longer evening relaxing. And now, with winter on its way, I won’t have to negotiate snowy, slushy, icy roads, an especial problematic issue after dark.

    As an unapologetic introvert, spending more time in solitude — away from the noise of office machinery, colleagues having conversations three feet away from my desk, while I’m trying to talk on the phone, or to focus on something involving calculating or creating coherent text, and then interrupting my own work to answer the phone — is total respite. I have no problem with not seeing people for days on end. I mean if a neighbour drops in to check on me (make sure I’m still alive and bring bring me a half gallon of milk — they have a dairy farm), every few days, that’s fine with me, but I don’t *crave* social interaction. I’m not sitting here alone in my abode being lonely. I have the company of Jasper the dog; I have books, music, my art, puzzles, my computer, my TV and hundreds (yes, hundreds) of my favourite movies/shows on DVD. I can keep in touch, via email, with people I know. I can birdwatch to my heart’s content. Or I can sit and do absolutely nothing. It’s all good…there is no downside for me.

    Walking in the woods, making the quarter-mile jaunt to the mailbox, feeling the wind, watching the crows swooping, hearing them call, standing at the crest of the drive and gazing out across the valley to the old mountains…what could possibly be better? (Well, the one thing that could make it better would be if my husband were still alive to enjoy this solitude with me. We were loners together and that would have made this self-isolation perfect, but I’m not grumbling, because he built this house for us and his energy surrounds me still. Because of him, I am where I am and that is no small thing.)

    It isn’t that I don’t feel bad for the people who are *truly* suffering during this pandemic, the ones who have lost their jobs, and worse, have lost loved family or friends to the pandemic, but I feel grateful that I can still make ends meet, have enough to eat, and the company of a dog who never ceases to make me smile, no matter how sad I may feel at times. I’m grateful that my genes made me an introvert and, therefore, I enjoy my own company. And I’m grateful that, even though they’re at a distance, I have loved ones with whom I can talk just by picking up the phone and calling them (especially my sister, out in Western Canada, who had to forego her annual six-week holiday in Oxford, England, this year, and put on hold, for now, her plans to move there permanently).

    So, is it okay to admit that I like the quiet the lockdown brings? I honestly don’t care if it is okay with anyone else or not. It sits just fine with me.

    (Sorry this was so long…but you know me…Rambling Rose.)

    Rose

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Rose,

      It’s good to hear from you. Thank you for sharing this. It makes me feel less like I’m indulging in a guilty pleasure.

      Where you live sounds wonderful, all the more so because it holds good memories for you.

      I think there are a lot more of us introverts out there then people realise but we live in a world that applauds and often demands extroversion. I grew up in a town where football (soccer) was a big thing. Which of our two teams you supported was a sign of tribal affiliation. Knowing the names of the players, the performance stats and current and future fixtures wasn’t just a religious observance, it was a true source of pleasure to most of the people around me. I joined in, as a child. I went to a couple of matches with my father and had a good time but I knew I wasn’t a real fan. I feel like that about extroverts. I often enjoy watching what they do and I can admire the passion the do it with but I don’t share it. I doubt that extroverts spend much time considering the pleasures that introverts take.

      So, while I know that for many people the Lockdown is a source of hardship and that, for extroverts, in particular, it’s a denial of the things that enrich their lives, I’m not going to pretend that it affects me in the same way.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing your experience. I hope the rest of lockdown goes well for you.

      Like

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