April 2020. A month of two halves. Or a month of 22/30 and 8/30, if you want to be technical.
It began with lockdown and ended in freedom. It started with grey skies and ended with blue. There have been highs and lows, as I’m sure everyone has experienced. I feel fortunate that Vietnam, currently, seems to have things under control and life seems a bit more normal now. I know that if I was home in the UK that I wouldn’t be writing that right now.
We live in a lovely 6th floor apartment but we have no usable balcony (there is one, but you have to climb through a window, stand on what is essentially thick plastic and it has railings from bottom to top. You couldn’t fit a chair on it. We’ve never even attempted to climb onto it. So no, I’m not classing it as a balcony.) Hanoi restricted trips outside even for walks and exercise, so we spent a lot of time bouncing off the walls and a lot of time lying on the sofa doing sweet FA.
It’s 30th April today and Hanoi’s lockdown ended last Thursday, so we’ve had 8 days of ‘freedom’. I’ll be writing another post over the next few days about life after lockdown, but I’ll tell you this – I’ve developed a fresh view of this city, of being able to come and go places as I like, and realise I took a lot for granted before.
Back in mid-March, I learnt I’d be working from home. The city wasn’t ‘locked down’ but it was beginning to become clear that that would likely happen soon. I wrote a probably too long and definitely too optimistic list of what I wanted to achieve during lockdown. I bloody love putting pressure on myself, I do.
I can guarantee that it didn’t all get done.
I’ll be honest, too, and say that one of the first thoughts that went through my head last Thursday was “The lockdown’s been lifted?! But I haven’t finished my list!!!” which I’m sure you’ll agree is ridiculous.
Looking back at April, though, I can safely say that stuck inside the four walls of our apartment, I did achieve things. I actually kept a little list in my bullet journal to remind me that through it all, there are things I was proud of.
There are many things I wasn’t proud of too, like the days I forgot to get dressed until 6pm, the week we got the same takeaway 3 times (because Sunkats were doing free fries for teachers and do the best vegan burger) and the numerous times I just couldn’t be bothered to do a thing. We’ve all been there. That’s okay. We can remember those too, because maybe those times are what kept us going, gave us motivation when we woke up the next day.
Here they are:
- Fixed my dressing gown (the loop had been broken for ages. It took 2 minutes to fix but I’d been putting it off)
- Went through my finances, cancelled some unnecessary subscriptions and saved money thanks to not going out!
- Had an illustration of mine featured in Hug Magazine (more info here)
- Completed 2 assignments for my journalism course
- Baked chickpea cookies
- Baked vegan banana bread
- Completed a jigsaw
- Redesigned my whole website
- Created a GIF
- Did a 12 hour course on teaching writing
- Marie Kondo’d my wardrobe, did some kitchen DIY and got the apartment sorted
- Overcame lots of low days
- Read some great books
- Enjoyed lots of stacks of pancakes
- Caught up with lots of friends and family that I haven’t spoken to in a while
- Did some workouts (emphasis on ‘some’ tbh) and yoga
- Supported some local business (aka couldn’t be bothered to cook so got a takeaway)
- Completed a 1000 piece jigsaw
Whether you’ve accomplished lots or very little, think about some things you’ve achieved over this strange period of time.
Let me know some in the comments 🙂