21 days of furlough….

oh my fucking god!

I appreciate that people are worried for their future, and struggling on reduced incomes (I have had my salary cut by 20% too) and that people don’t know if they will be made redundant at the end of this…. and I get how worrying that is.

I appreciate that many people (I was one of them for 5 weeks) are working their arses off covering other roles for furloughed staff, doing 3 or more people’s jobs and/or longer hours, or working from home & home schooling as well …. (thank fuck my kids are no longer kids or they WOULD be dead and I would have taken great pleasure in thinking up a different and fitting way to finish each of them off)

But …. I am genuinely loving my furlough. I am not thinking about what if I get made redundant, (probably because I don’t have a family or a mortgage to pay for) and I have confidence in the company I now work for that they are doing everything they can to survive. I am not thinking about what if I have to do reduced hours, I am just thinking – what am I going to do today that I wouldn’t or couldn’t have done if I was working.

I have started having guided (on line) painting sessions through a company called “something less boring”, I’m no artist but I am thoroughly enjoying them, priced reasonably and they do evenings or day time sessions. I have read my favourite book (clan of the cave bear by Jean M Aurel ) and am about to read the next in her series (i have the whole set)

I am on a couch to 5k running programme through Garmin, doing 3 runs a week so I’m actually doing some running

And I’m decluttering (basically getting rid of many years worth of hoarding) my house ready for what is hopefully a house move and a next step in my adventures. I am particularly enjoying giving away some of my clutter to people who need it, it feels like I’m paying it forward for all the years I struggled to make ends meet when people gave me stuff for nothing just to help out.

I had big plans to continue my study for my Nebosh Fire certification but I actually need to be at work for the next bit so I haven’t even opened the books!! Do I feel bad? Not one bit.

I am relaxed and happy, yes the virus means lots of things are different, but for me, and I hope for many other people it has given us an incredible opportunity.

I appreciate my friends and family much more now, I appreciate simple things like fresh eggs, and bread. I consider coffee from a coffee shop to be an absolute luxury (when did it become normal to spend £4 on a cup of warm milky coffee?)

Eating out has been returned to its proper place of being “a treat” and home cooking / baking is becoming more normal

I am spending more time with my grandchildren, previously FaceTime/Houseparty reading and spelling, we even managed a game of 5 second rule, and since lockdown restrictions have lifted a little, I have managed to take each of them out for a a couple of hours for some socially distant “granny time”

If (and it’s a HUGE if ) I can get myself rent/mortgage free…… I am retiring! I have a 5-10 year plan and I’m going for it. Furlough has shown me what I am capable of and I am going to enjoy my last quarter. More importantly Furlough has also shown me what is important, what I actually need, what I should be spending my money on and reminded me what “luxuries” really are.

I have had 21 days of furlough, 21 days of reflecting, restructuring, reconsidering. I don’t know if I have had Covid-19 (I suspect not) I don’t know if I will get it….. but covid-19 has changed my life and my perspective on life, and I am thankful for that.

I am moving forward in a new direction, with renewed passion and enthusiasm

But…. I still fucking hate running