Amanda Cade

Worth It! (Things to try, read, watch, hear, and discuss)

By this point, most of the world has spent some time under stay at home orders, and many people (myself included) are still staying at home even though restrictions have been lifted. There are also speculations here in the United States that there may be more stay at home orders in the future (but that’s another topic entirely). A few days ago, I had a conversation with a friend about what life is going to look like in the future, speculating on that hoped-for time when we have a vaccine and people are able to move about and interact in ways that closely resemble life before.

That conversation led to a discussion of how the extreme situation of being locked down had led both of us to realize some important things about our lives, and how we wanted to make sure that we incorporated them into that future “new normal”. Today, I’d like to propose that we could all use a little reflection about personal takeaways.

I want to start with two things to consider, and there are a few more coming next week.

Connections

video chatI think that being in isolation made a lot of us realize how much we value seeing and interacting with others. I’ve made strong efforts to stay connected to friends, family, and coworkers, and look forward to the time when I can see and spend time with them. However, I’ve also come to understand that I wasn’t fully taking advantage of these opportunities before. During lockdown, I was able to strengthen relationships that had been falling by the wayside, because I’ve been distracted by other things and haven’t put time and energy into staying in touch. I had gotten into the habit of declining a lot of social invitations because I was focused on work, and hadn’t really noticed that I was losing touch with some people. Lockdown gave me the time to reach out, but I know, upon reflection, that I can make the time moving forward, and I plan to do that.

I think that this experience has given all of us the chance to think about the people and activities that are really important to us, and to commit to prioritizing them in the future.

Work/Life Balance

overworkedI’ve mentioned many times that I love my job, and I generally don’t mind my 55-70 hour work weeks (yes, 55 hours really is how much time I work in a typical week, and there’s usually at least one week a month where I hit the 60-70 range). However, for a variety of reasons the fact that we’re all working from home has ended up cutting down on the work time. I’ve been working 40-45 hours pretty consistently these past few months, and I’ve discovered that as much as I like to work, I also like having more free time. Many of my coworkers have talked about appreciating the surprising shift we’ve experienced. On the other hand, I’ve talked to a lot of people whose work hours have increased because of working from home. It’s really dependent on the industry, the specific job, and the actions of leadership.

There are starting to be some indications from my job that expectations and workload are going to increase soon, and I’ve realized that (somewhat surprisingly), I’m not 100% ok with that. I haven’t yet figured out what I’m going to do about that, but I’m doing some serious thinking and analysis (I might post about that in the future) about what I’ve suddenly decided is a problem.

So that’s the second thing I believe it would be good for everyone to consider. And if you aren’t currently employed (retired, family caregiver, etc.), I’d still suggest evaluating your commitments and regular activities. If you don’t want to go back to the old model, now is the time to think about how to make changes.

Thought Bubble

What has lockdown taught you about your own life and priorities? What are other things to consider?

35 thoughts on “What have we learned in lockdown? (Part One)

  1. J Balconi says:

    My workload went up immediately, and then down – but still higher than I imagined. I have heard a few second-income earners talk about not going back to work because, with the cost of childcare and eating out removed from the equation, they’re seeing that their salaries were eaten up by discretionary expenses.

    Probably the biggest change around here is that commuters saved gas money and received rebates from their car insurance. (Mine amounted to less than $25.) So white-collar workers are asking how they can work at home more or change to four-day workweeks (which isn’t that uncommon).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      There’s definitely a lot to consider, and I think a lot of people are taking a serious look at their priorities and options.

      Like

  2. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

    I appreciate your love for your job. But don’t you have hobbies? Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Yes, I do have hobbies. I’ve fit them in around other things. Lol. Essentially, I live a life where I’m doing something practically every waking moment (working, reading, talking to someone, writing, watching something on TV-often while multitasking). The constant activity works for me, but I’m really thinking hard about the way I allocate the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        You do seem like a very busy person.

        I think I spend too much time being goofy..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Amanda Cade says:

        Goofiness is valuable. It’s one of the defining traits of my family. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Eclectic Contrarian says:

        In that case I’m wealthy, cuz! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ladysag77 says:

    I can definitely say my current life is not recognizable in comparison to my pre-lockdown life. I have had to do a complete change in working and living. I am used to change, in the 10 years I have been divorced, I’ve moved around A LOT. In one year i moved 4 times. These changes were long overdue and also quite jarring. I realized 6 wks into the most recent change which was my living situation, I was white knuckling it and not allowing myself to grieve. I miss my old city, job and friends plus leaving my partner behind temporarily has been the biggest challenge and heartbreak. Change keeps us resilient however and able to be grateful what I do have which is my health and a lot of loving support. It’s allowed me all the time I want to sit with myself, write, paint, cook, watch movies and enjoy the stuff my soul needs. That’s what I really hope each and everyone of us has done to some degree. Better ourselves so we can better love one another. Humanity needed a wake up call. We aren’t as separate as societal conditioning would have us believe. We are all in this world together and the only way out of this situation is together. I hope people realize that. I know where my priorities lie❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It sounds like you’ve done a lot of reflection, and you’re so right about how we aren’t as separate as we might have thought. That has definitely been driven home to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ladysag77 says:

        Yes my friend YES🙌💜🙌💜🙌💜

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good afternoon.

    Here, in Madrid, it’s 18,30h. Weather outside about 35 Degrees celsious.

    What I learned during COVID Lockdown is to write my blog more often and with a variety of themes. I am more curious about more other’s people reflexions that make me think about what I need or I miss in my life.

    What do you miss in your Life?

    Happy to know about your thoughts.

    Best regards

    Luis Emilio Sáez

    T. 34626665648 MADRID – SPAIN https://marketeca.wordpress.com/

    El dom., 28 jun. 2020 14:26, Amanda Cade escribió:

    > Amanda Cade posted: “By this point, most of the world has spent some time > under stay at home orders, and many people (myself included) are still > staying at home even though restrictions have been lifted. There are also > speculations here in the United States that there may be ” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It’s funny-I thought I would blog more during lockdown, but I didn’t end up doing so. Looks like once a week is still the right pace for me.
      I miss seeing my friends and family regularly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This new reality, is stimulating the creativity. Maybe, is truth, when Budha and other religous leaders after isolation, were more mysthic and productive for their philosophy
        In my country we are now starting a new normal life.
        Regards

        Liked by 1 person

  5. kagould17 says:

    Hi Amanda. I am with you on the connections and work/life balance. In the absence pf face to face and hugs, we have been waving, Zooming and Skyping where possible and telephoning where not. Humans are meant to be social, not solitary, but social is what the virus is counting on right now. So glad I have been retired now for 5 1/2 years. I do not miss my 55 to 90 hour weeks. Lets just say my employer got everything I could give and now it is the turn of me and my family. The third thing that lockdown has taught me is to appreciate outings, no matter how small or how insignificant. Even a walk to the mailbox can be enjoyable. The fourth thing is the value of having a back deck and yard to enjoy. Being in lockdown in a house is better than being in lockdown in a tiny apartment, I am sure. Stay well Amanda. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve definitely gained an appreciation for getting out. I used to frequently avoid leaving the house, and now I miss it. I’m going to remember that. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. fakeflamenco says:

    Sounds like this has been a time of growth for you helping to clarify how you’d like your life to be. Happy to hear about these positives.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve definitely recognized things I need to prioritize when we come out the other side of all this. The next step is figuring out how to make that happen. Working on that one…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. fakeflamenco says:

        Great starting point to realize the priorities. With time you’ll figure out how to rearrange your time to match it.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My work load has increased dramatically. I’ve been working through lunch and later in the evenings just to keep my head above water. This means by the time I finish work, my eyes havent had much time away from the screen, by body hasn’t been overly active, and I’m too tired to work out, and want food for convenience (I’m a foodie and emotional eater anyways). I feel unmotivated and sluggish. I know something has to change and from tomorrow it will. Yes the same as you I have been reaching out and have strengthened some friendships xxx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      It seems to be one extreme or the other: either work got easier or way harder. I’m sorry you’re in the second group.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Its frustrating when people say ‘you can only do what you can do’, but it’s true. I want to show thay I care for my job, put in the extra effort and am a good employee, but at the same time, mental health, time to care for yourself and rest, especially with everything else happening is important. Xxx

        Liked by 3 people

  8. Josh Gross says:

    Lockdown served as a great time for me to take a break and refocus my goals, at least temporarily. I’ve got a new direction that I’ll be writing about shortly, which might just be a short-term thing, but should be fun while it lasts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Looking forward to seeing it.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Like you said, lockdown has made me consider how much more present I need to be in my relationships. On the other hand, I really desire and enjoy the agency that the college life brings me and living at home has made me realize how freeing it was to be at school and choose what I wanted to do with my own time.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      You got hit with two serious changes at once.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep! Being a student in a global pandemic is a strange thing.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I can absolutely relate 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I hope things are going well for you now!

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Great post!
    For me, this time period has encouraged me to have conversations with my negative emotions and understand the whys behind them. It’s also made me embrace uncertainty and better understand my priorities.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      Those are definitely silver linings.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Keerthana says:

    Great article Amanda…btw, I have nominated you for the liebster Award.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. KENDI KARIMI says:

    Lock down has taught me that social media really isn’t as important as I previously thought for me. I love WordPress and I’m here all the time but Instagram and the like don’t add any real value to my life hence, I have reduced my social media time to around two hours a week. I barely remember to log in. And I thank God for it because, weirdly enough, I’m writing more and much better material now.

    Love this post. 💯

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amanda Cade says:

      I’ve also found that the more I moved away from certain things, the better other things became. This whole experience has really changed a lot of my priorities.

      Liked by 1 person

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