During lockdown there's a lot of talk on Social Media about taking this time to learn a new skill and if you don't then it's discipline you lack, not time.
Well that works fine for me. I'm on my own during lockdown. I don't work, all my kids have flown the nest, so I have plenty of time on my hands to learn something new.
But I haven't been learning anything new, I've been gardening, decorating, watching TV, reading, cooking, cleaning and mostly just staring into the abyss.
Whilst I spend a lot of time on my own living as an expat for the last 9 years, the last 5 years without kids, I don't really like being on my own, I'm just used to it.
I'm grateful I'm in the UK and back in our family home, even though I'm rattling around in it, with only the furniture from our one bed flat. I have a garden and a couple of camping chairs. I've ordered food online for my mum and I shop around every 7-10 days for myself. I walk the dog daily and I have a good friend and neighbour who picks up dog food for me as I don't have a car and we have regular door step (maintaining social distancing) chats.
Being on my own as I'm used to, is a very different experience to being in isolation. When I'm in Dubai and my husband isn't working away, I only have to entertain myself during the day and I go out to malls, the dog park, for a walk, coffee and the opportunity to meet other people to chat with.
In the UK I'm usually running around visiting family, sorting out finances, bills, banking. I rarely stop and I get little chance to rest. It's always all or nothing in my life.
So in an effort to keep myself occupied and learn something new, I've investigated learning a new language, free online courses, returning to the OU to finish the final unit for my degree I had to give up 9 years ago when we moved abroad, but that's all I've done, look into it. I get distracted with searching for our dream home and cat videos on youtube.
So what have I been learning?
I've decided I'm a creature of habit, I miss my trips out for coffees, but I've learnt how to use the coffee machine we have at home, putting £3 in a pot every time I have one and so far saving £99.
I've been learning how to occupy my time, all 16 hours of it, every single day. By pacing myself, setting a time limit to the decorating and gardening, ensuring I put everything away after each activity and keep up with the washing up after each meal, read 2 chapters of a book at a time, alternating activities from just sitting to moving around the house, ensuring I eat healthy and have regular meal times.
I'm learning I don't have the patience for activities that serve no purpose.