Life in lockdown and beyond

So this is the abridged version of my lockdown reflections/antics. After 4 full pages I decided it was a little over the top!! So you will be pleased to hear I opted instead for quick snippets…

  • From total sceptic to anxious shopper!
  • Schools closed – one happy 9 year old!
  • McDonalds closed – one devastated 9 year old!
  • Parks and play centres closed – one confused 3 year old!
  • The ‘cough cough’ – only way to explain the lockdown restrictions to my 3 year old (invented by my 9 year old).
  • Sunday dinners at my mum’s on hold – A 20 year routine!
  • Weekly shopping delivered to my mum’s in exchange for her amazing homemade cakes.
  • Virtual fitness sessions with friends – I have been running Monday workouts via Zoom with 3 of my mates to make sure we stay physically and mentally fit! Wasn’t sure it would last beyond a couple of weeks – 15 weeks later still going strong (pardon the pun!)
  • #DrawwithRob – remembering I love to draw! And inspiring my 9 year to pick up a pencil.
  • #PEwithJoe – attempt to get my 9 year old moving! Giving him a score out of 10 based on how much effort he puts in.
  • Family walks – exploring the local countryside with the family that ‘don’t walk’! They do now! Simple joys are finding a stream to throw rocks in – who needs play centres!?!
  • Growing veg – mum buys seeds for the kids to grow…they weren’t interested luckily I embraced the challenge and now eagerly waiting for my first batch of carrots and sweet peppers!
  • Home schooling – 2 weeks of a painful rota replaced by a bit of online learning and virtual math’s lessons from Grandma (thanks Mum!)
  • Family quiz night – 7 houses and lots of technical challenges, rotating the quiz master with my 8 year nephew absolutely bossing it!
  • Losing myself in boxsets – currently binge watching Peaky Blinders (love it!)
  • Clapping for the NHS, carers and keyworkers every Thursday – proud to work for the NHS
  • Working from home:
    • Camping table squeezed into bedroom to create home office space
    • Using old TVs for second monitors
    • Using toy box to raise my laptop for stand-up meetings
    • Hiding in the bedroom every Tuesday when my 3 year old thinks I have gone out to work! Please don’t tell him (oh and don’t worry my other half is looking after him!)
    • Realising after 10 weeks that we should buy an office chair rather than struggle using a dining room chair and lugging it up and down the stairs!
  • Virtual huddles – implementing virtual daily huddles with the team to keep us all connected and engaged.
  • Virtual huddle daily questions – introducing a daily ‘question’ to get everyone talking = positive start to the day; “what superpower would you have?”
  • Virtual meetings – the new norm, new buzz words (“you are on mute!”), regular interruptions (kids, cats and the delivery person)
  • New tech – embracing new tech like never before…Zoom, MS teams, Remo…bring it all on! Finding the best tools to collaborate and connect!
  • New priorities – sudden shift in the priorities to support the response to COVID19 (we need data and we need it now….stepping up to the new challenges)
  • Data driven – supporting the need to use data to help inform the ‘bring back better’ – embracing the opportunity to sit on the Recovery Board
  • Discovering that I quite like working from home!
  • Not missing the daily commutes!!
  • Tableau user groups – successfully transitioning to virtual Tableau users groups (Northwest and UK Healthcare group).
  • Indian Tableau Healthcare user group – opportunity to “attend” and present at other user groups despite them being on the other side of the world!
  • Attending and taking part in Tableau live – Tableau’s first virtual conference (ok so not quite Vegas but still cool!)
  • Presenting on webinars – wondering if this will ever feel ‘normal’
  • 1 virtual roundtable chat with other NHS leaders – sharing our challenges
  • Coaching qualification – lockdown whilst working towards my ILM level 5 meant quickly adapting to virtual coaching! 18 hours of coaching done – 3 pieces of course work to go – wish me luck, deadline looming…!!
  • Being coached – sitting on the other side and challenging myself to dig deep.
  • The weather – so many amazing days of sunshine; grateful for having a lovely garden and countryside on my doorstep
  • Wow…what a list

It’s July and the year is flying by considering how much of life has been paused. This pause has given me lots of time to reflect on life and appreciate the simple things. There are so many things to feel grateful for. I wonder what life will be like in a year from now?!

Thanks for reading. Ella

Stay Safe and keep talking!

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