I think it’s safe to say, COVID-19 has effected us all. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t talk about Corona-the-virus instead of Corona-the-beer. When it all started I had no idea a virus could disrupt the world this much. And even us Brits have forgotten what Brexit feels like. Who knows when flour will be back on the shelves or if we will shop for food in the same way again?
I was three weeks into WFH when I got a call from the ‘big cheese’ at the company I worked for. In times like these, this is never a good sign. He told me I was being furloughed for six weeks and my employment with them would end in May.
My whole body sank and I started to feel sick.
I nodded and said, “OK. Thanks for telling me.” Hiding my true feelings. Inside I was screaming. Since the lockdown, my workload suddenly increased and I was busier than ever. So this news came as a shock. Two days later, I held back the tears as I said goodbye to my team.
I’ve been on furlough for a week now. I’m lucky I have a spacious garden and next-doors dog to walk, otherwise I would be rocking in a corner by now.
With a week to reflect, I’ve come to a huge revelation.
This isn’t the worst thing in the world.
I spent the first few days feeling like a wounded animal. I felt hard-done-by and like it wasn’t fair. This all sounds selfish when there are people out there in a worse situation that me, but I missed my team and the work. I enjoyed what I did and felt like I was starting to really get the hang of it.
My whole life I’ve been conditioned to believe that getting a job is the meaning of life. I went to school in order to go to university. To get a degree and be propelled into a job. Once I had a job, I’m happy; laughing and have (in the words of my boyfriend) ‘made it’… Right? That job is the start of adult life. Next I would be set to fly the nest, move in with someone, get married, have kids… etc etc. A job felt like the ‘be-all and end-all‘ before all this.
You would think, with my track record, I would have a different mindset. My health will always be no.1 but as I was progressing in the workplace I felt like I was starting to find my feet as an adult in this crazy world!
After throwing my toys out the pram for 48 hours, I realised this is the first time I’ve had a break in four years.
I went from school to university, to being diagnosed with IBD and undergoing surgery; back to uni and straight into this job (breathe). Even at my worst with Ulcerative Colitis I was still writing essays from a hospital bed. I couldn’t stand to make a cup of tea, yet I was determined to finish my second year – even if I was attached to an IV drip to do it.
And it didn’t stop there. I gave myself seven months to recover from surgery and went back to university early for the final year. I steamed through the last year of my degree and started this job three weeks after I graduated. Since then, I’ve been commuting into London every day, trying to manage an iron deficiency; sharing it all on social media and attempting a social life; seeing family, as well as having the occasional moment of downtime.
After all that and looking back at the last four years, I realise I need to give myself a second to breathe.
I’m not good at ‘doing nothing’. Having nothing to do reminds me of being too sick to move. So while I’m healthy, while I can walk and do things for myself, I have to make the most of it! A job is a job and hopefully I get another one. For now, I’ve decided to use this time to continue writing for my blog, get fit and read. As well as the occasional baking session.
It might not be ideal and I loved my job, but these things happen and I’m keen to make the best of it. I will revisit the CV and start the job search all over again, but for now if you need me, I’ll be enjoying the sunshine with my partner in crime…