Since I wrote part one of “What I did when I was furloughed” I have been through different emotions. These range from the feeling of “loneliness ” to “relaxed to the extent of being horizontal.”
I have written this blog and have to start by writing that my heart goes out to the over 40000 people that lost their lives and many families that had suffered.
The following chapter is based on the following thought.
My brief summary is: I would not volunteer to be part of it. I definitely do not wish to apply for early retirement and if I was to win the Lotto ‘£30k a month of life’ I would not opt for sitting at home.
For myself I would say the time has been a life changing experiment with changes in so many different ways. I just hope that when the world starts to go back to normal we can forgive and forget our old ways.
The next part of this blog are my observations and written in my final weeks of being on long term furlough.
I intend to write two more chapters to this part of my journey in my life. One of the ‘Projects’, in total i completed 9 projects which took over the long days and my money reserves.
The final chapter will be in 2021 when I can reflect on the previous year. I hope I can write in more detail about my journey back into work and integrated into social situations.
The Emotions of Lock Down and Furlough.
The “lonely ” part is not simple to explain in written words and I have spent hours choosing what to write and can explain better over a cuppa.
On the 6th May I started my furlough from a job I not only loved but was a big part of who I am. I had signed a document starting what I would and wouldn’t do whilst not in work.
The ‘not working‘ part of furlough initially meant that I was not in contact with my work colleagues, attending meetings, seminars and speaking with the employers that I had been supporting for over a decade.
Another part was to stop reading and answering all the various ways that employers and stakeholder contacts contacted me i.e emails, social media and the telephone. I simple put my devices away. I borrowed a laptop and started a project based on social media. Plus start to write this blog.
The non-communication part is really hard to deal with amd explain. In brief I have spent the majority of my life speaking and engaging with people.
With this in mind to simple stop on the 7th May went against all my working behaviours and where I had worked hard to grow an audience on social media and get involved with work related conversations.
I had also been working with several projects that continued and progressed without me. According to the furlough agreement I had to simple disappear and leave the communication to the evolving work rota by my colleagues.
In a previous job at North Devon College, I resigned and moved on from yet I had gone through the grieving process for the similar elements. Somehow being on furloughed initially felt different with a more negative feeling.
To help continue to paint the picture of emotions and add to this description of what the feeling felt like, is too imagine being transported to a new world.
In this new world you behaved like you do not know anyone plus ignore and avoid any contact with them.
When you visit the local supermarket you are not allowed to stop and chat either on the way or when your inside.
The only time you can go outside is with a dog, then you can only go out for an hour. My dog went out three or four times a day as we all took our hour on rotation basis.
The roads were empty with next to no cars and after a couple of months people were taking their cars off the road and saving money on taxing and insuring them as there was no need to drive as only supermarkets were open.
It was very quiet and peaceful a beautiful place to be. You could sit in your garden and not hear a car for hours.
This new world changed as time moved on and by July more shops opened with the first being the DIY chain stores followed by the out of town shopping stores. People simple stood with social distancing and cued to enter the shops. Again peaceful and relaxed.
By month five i.e August you were not only allowed to go out but encouraged to eat out as the UK’s Government basically paid the restaurant industry to feed its patrons for a £10.
These steps helped people reintroduce themselves again to other people and start to become civilised.
I am sure that other people from around the world agreed to similar conditions and felt exactly the same.
I do wonder if we go into another national ‘Lockdown’ we would accept the conditions without any civil unrest.
I have to add again I do miss having “work” in my life. This is where the quoted comments at the top of this blog relate too.
Relaxed and Laid Back
The ‘Relaxed and laid back‘ part seemed to of happen after six weeks of not having ‘work‘ in your life. You start to wake up and feel awake, stress free and looking for your first thing to do.
The restless nights where you wake up worrying about work and the related life stuff simple disappear.
You seem to not wish to jump into your social media sites looking for the rage and gossip. The urge to open Outlook goes and the simple art of conversing changes and you stopping to talking about topics that you had found interesting before the Lockdown and being furloughed.
This doesn’t mean you are not looking for a routine or a constant thing like stopping at 1000 looking for a hot drink and slice of something sugar based.
You are simple “at one” and emotionally in this new world a type of stress free freedom. The downside is your money reserves start to disappear and your future plans start to move on by years. Plus I am not sure I wish to go abroad again!
One random new thing that was an amazing and emotional at the same time, this was on a Thursday evening at 1900 you went and stood on your front door and either clapped or banged a pan. initially you would see your neighbours for the first time or in a long time. After a week or so you would see the numbers drop as people and after seven weeks the trend stopped.
I kept a good routine of getting up putting on my gym gear and stepping outside into my back yard/garden to carry out a 20 minute workout. By June I had mastered Mr Wicks, You Tube routines and chopped him out and started Mr I’s sweaty workouts. These helped get me moving and bounced around to the amusement of my neighbours and the cyclists that peddled past my home. My house is on the 21 cycle path that stretches from Ilfracombe to Braunton.
Once finished and still in my gym gear I would devour a oat based breakfast with a cup of caffeine free tea. Then shower and go for a walk with my black Labrador guide dog for a walk nicked named “ground Hog” Walk.
This Ground Hog Walk simple was a 5k walk through my home town sites aiding Teal to work as a guide dog followed by a free walking or as I call this time it her chance to behave like a Labrador on food hunt. By July I had lost some weight and started to feel so much more healthier.
Once home I would make lunch for everyone and then attack my “furloughed to-do” list. This list had been created between Mrs I’ and myself and grew rather than shrinking. The furloughed to-do list, was to improve my loved yet neglected Victorian home. In total I had 10 projects to complete with the majority of them linked to painting. I have written a separate blog and the link will follow shortly.
Our Victorian Home
The “ Generation X” 50/50 split.
Most people born in the late 60’s the generation X people, will agree that the idea of owning your own home, one that you stay in through your life. The home for life idea is split 50/50 with the couples that simple kept flipping properties moving every few years increasing the value of the house each time.
Mrs I’ and I bought the house when prices where under £50k and you didn’t need to murder a relative to gain an inheritance to put down as a deposit. With this in mind we both decided that we would stay here and bring our children up and when the time is good we would look at selling.
Who knows who got it his correct and who didn’t. What I do know is that for my family and I, we made the correct decision and made do with our Victorian home. Although it was becoming knackered the time off was put to advantage.
I only have a few words to write on spending over 12 weeks within our home eating, sleeping and exercising together.
It was the best time of my life, time I would spend over and over again. I am a family man and over the years I have spent as much time as I could and going forward I hope to have regular holidays whether its for an overnight or longer holiday.
Whilst on my initial seven weeks of being on furlough I received a call from my team leader. My team leader had been in regular contact and was effected by the furlough agreements.
This call was to highlight that the pandemic had caused further financial concerns. My employer was looking at extending the time on furlough till November. They were looking at different timelines and compassion to finical implications were considered. We could use holiday entitlements to counter act the loss of income.
This extension was going to effect 75% of the company. Precautions to make sure the industry was supported were put into place.
In sort I was going to be without “work” for a further four months.
I then received a further call that came without a surprise that my current job role was to be no longer and within time the role would become redundant.
As I write this post, late September 2020 the above is all I can publish.
I have been involved within the construction sector for over 25 years. I have learnt many skills that I can use either as a change with my current employer or seek a new employer or to become self employed. I am open to ideas and offers.
Going forward can be challenging but as long as we have family, health and a willing mind anything is possible.
Thank you for reading this post, I hope it is read with an understanding of my personality and humor. Please contact me with your thoughts and if your wish to join me on a podcast recording drop your details.
Do what you love and you will find work for the rest of your life’Quote by Helen Anne Patersen from her book Burnout Millenniums
Helen Anne Peterson, wrote a blog based on her findings on millennials and it went viral. She has since written a book. Please click on the link below for the article. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/annehelenpetersen/millennials-burnout-generation-debt-work