It’s now been 319 days since I realised that I would have to self isolate for the duration of covid19. As it’s now been almost a year, I feel that this is as good a time as any to look back at the highlights of a life in isolation.
I’ve said many times that isolation hasn’t been a problem at all for me. In fact, if the pandemic wasn’t such a dreadful thing to have struck us, I would say that I’ve loved this life in lockdown. Admittedly, I haven’t been cooped up in an apartment, or in a house on a small block in town, like many. I’m surrounded by space and bush land, and cope well with having big chunks of time to myself.
Probably the biggest highlight would have be not working, as that affects every area of my life. I haven’t yet retired and until the virus struck, I loved my job. There was quite a bit of stress at work, in the early stages of the virus, so it really was a relief to walk away and take time out. Since then, I haven’t tired of not working at all. I’ve never been bored. I’ve never pined to get back to work. At 67, I did know that I was nearing the end of my working life, but I’m not sure I’m yet ready for retirement. I’ve looked at the the time off work as an opportunity to practice retirement. All I have to do now is make a decision.
I’ve listed, below a few of the benefits I’ve found from not working. The theme that runs through most of the points below is time. Time has been my enemy for years and years. It’s such a relief to no longer have to be fighting that enemy. For now, anyway.
- Time to do whatever it is that I would like to do on any given day
- Not having to be constantly rushing
- Feeling more organised and in control, for the first time in years
- My love of cooking has returned
- My garden is looking half ok, as most days, I have time to get my hands dirty
- Bushwalking has been a highlight, both in our local area, and a little further afield.
- Reading was always a priority for me, but now I have more time and don’t have to stress
A few days ago, we walked in Whroo National Park, which is a very historic area about an hour from our house.
As I mentioned in the points above, reading is a huge priority in my life. Recently, I’ve seen boxes of new books for sale advertised on social media for $100. You’ve probably seen them too. These books are sorted either into categories, or are mystery boxes. This really appealed to me, but I resisted for a few days. Only a few days. I had a $100 gift card given to me for my birthday, so decided to purchase a mystery box of fiction. Once I was on the website, I couldn’t resist the box of historical non-fiction, along with the mystery box of fiction. How could I possibly resist that?
So, last week, was a very exciting day when two boxes of books arrived. Between the two boxes, there was a total of sixty books waiting for me to read. Unpacking the books really did feel like Christmas. I’ve made myself a goal of reading each of these books before the end of the year.
Being an amateur genealogist, the biggest highlight of life in isolation, has been having much more time for my family history and Tracking Down The Family which is my family history blog. Much of that extra time has been spent attending virtual genealogy conferences and seminars, which have become a ‘thing’ in the genie world, during Covid. I’ve attended sessions on a variety of topics, but have specialised in Scottish genealogy, as Scotland has been the focus of my attention during the past year.
The conference of all conferences, RootsTech 2021, is about to start on Wednesday this week. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. Before the pandemic, Rootstech was a three day, in person, global conference, held in Salt Lake City USA, every year, in February. I was able to attend, in 2016, and just being there, I felt like a child in a lolly shop. It was every genealogists dream to be be there amongst so many like minded people.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get there since, even though I promise myself to do so every year This year however, the conference is virtual, so for three days I will be glued to the computer screen, taking in all the latest information and conference action. It’s going to be a busy time for a week or two, as I take in all the notes and re-organise my research around them.
With that in mind I’ve decided to take two weeks away from this blog, so that I can get all the genealogy work done, with no distractions. I’ve realised that this is another benefit of not working. Usually, I would attend a conference, and then file my notes away, with barely a moment to revisit them. Not this year!
See you in two weeks