I failed at lockdown.
At Barti we like to be optimistic. We like to wang on about getting out there and doing your absolute best, striving all you can to achieve your goals and reach your dreams. Seizing the moment! We tend to champion the creatives and the entrepreneurs. Well. If you’re reading this and you feel less adequate with every written word, don’t pack your bags in favour of going off to follow Captain Morgan instead just yet.
We take it back. Well I do, somewhat.
It’s been over six weeks since the lockdown due to covid19 was announced and put into force in the UK. If in that time you are half way to being fluent in Spanish, have sculpted a life size model of Chris Whitty and have started a side hustle selling organic garden veg alongside working full time from home then well done that’s great. But really that’s as much enthusiasm as I can muster right now. Right now my personal solidarity (me being Fran, one half of the Barti Rum partnership) is with the sofa soldiers.
At the beginning of lockdown I was pretty psyched. I’ve been known to only semi commit to some creative passions in the past because of time, I saw lockdown as an opportunity to really get stuck in and allow my inner artist to blossom. I was going to get my screen printing kit out, I was going to improve my drawing, don’t get me started on the list of ideas I had lined up on Pinterest I wanted to try.
However. I can hand on heart tell you that right now, 46 days, 13 hours and one minute into lockdown, I haven’t done any of it. I’ve not even bothered to bake a banana loaf which is pretty much obligatory.
Pre lockdown me would not be impressed. In fact I’d be close to losing it in the wake of this sheer volume of failure. “You’ve had how long? And you’ve done how much?!” Normally if I set a goal I need some resemblance of resolve to be satisfied before I can move on. As an example of my usual slightly obsessive frame of mind, one day, mid-afternoon new years eve 2018 in fact, with little budget and no real plan, I started taking the kitchen floor tiles up in my house. I didn’t stop YouTubing my way through redecorating the entire room, including moving a wall to facilitate a new small utility space, until April. Once I have an idea in mind, my boyfriend would likely describe my attitude as possessed and that’s justified. Every single evening was spent plastering, filling concrete holes in the floor, tiling, painting cupboards, sanding and fixing shelving, normally after figuring out how to do those things only an hour before. As you can imagine my kitchen isn’t as polished as some, but oh boy was I driven to do the best I could.
Fast forward to now and that driven bit of me simply does not exist. But do you know what something strange has happened. Lockdown me has made peace with it.
Lockdown me doesn’t feel like starting a project. Lockdown me isn’t interested in any of the stuff pre lockdown me thought she needed time to do. It turns out time wasn’t the problem. The problem was motivation, and frankly, for the time being, I just don’t have any. I could very easily beat myself up about it. When I was waning during the DIY kitchen saga I’d give myself a kick, I couldn’t stay idle for longer than a couple of hours. But I’m not interested in scolding unmotivated me this time. What’s the point in the additional stress? Don’t get me wrong I will have a word if it’s nearly midday and I haven’t hit the shower yet, there are limits. But as for cramming in the extra curriculars. I’m not feeling it. It doesn’t change anything. Me being hard on myself because I haven’t written the first chapter of a novel yet versus me not being hard on myself and eating Ben and Jerrys in front of Netflix bare very little weight in the big picture of the coronavirus crisis. And it’s that perspective that we all need to remember.
I haven’t achieved anything during lockdown. I know that my motivation won’t be gone forever. It is and it will be, ok.
Ps. if this doesn’t resonate whatsoever it means you’re more of a Jonathan (Barti Rum founder). While I have been on this journey of lazy self acceptance, he has been knees deep in homemade seaweed saukerkrat, constructing some elaborate pallet furniture, home schooling two children, composing pop songs, fermenting gorse flower wine and doing online business courses.
I feel tired thinking about it.
Stay safe everyone. x