Finding Inspiration in Lockdown

May 1 2020 Charley Cooke Conlon 5th Year

Here we are heading into our eighth week of this new way of living, a day many of us never imagined would come. These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of different emotions and experiences. We’ve learned to adapt to new ways of living and learning, while all the time staying inside and keeping ourselves safe. I still remember hearing the news that we would be at home and smiling immediately. I thought that this wouldn’t affect us as horribly as other countries had been affected. I was slightly naive thinking back on that day: I believed that we would return to school as normal after two weeks.  I have to admit, at the beginning of this whole experience I was excited at the prospect of two weeks at home, having time to catch up on school work, organise myself and watch a few different TV series I had in my watchlist on Netflix. I had a plan to sort out different things and then I would be ready to come back to school and continue as normal, preparing to study for Summer exams and spending time with friends. I never took into account that my bus journey home that day would be my last outing for quite a while.

It was during the second week that I came to the realisation that this might take much longer than two weeks. From hearing numbers rising in neighbouring countries, to listening to the unforgettable speech from Leo Varadkar, it hit me that life was going to change for potentially a long period of time. March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, was when the whole country watched as we saw our Taoiseach say that even he did not know when this would end. It became clear then that I would have to think of ways to keep busy and distracted over the coming weeks.

I started with tidying up my room and reorganising it to give a different feel, knowing I would be spending a significant amount of time in there. I tidied up my study space, ready for classes that week, and took out some books I had meant to read previously. This clean study space gave me some of the motivation I needed to continue on doing school work. This kept me busy for another week, but I was still left with free time after, so I decided to search for the New Year’s resolutions list I had abandoned in the second week of January and get to work on them. I started with an attempt at improving my baking skills. This was always on my resolutions list throughout the years, as baking isn’t exactly a skill I have! I enlisted the help of my three-year-old sister and we attempted some berry muffins. After losing half of the flour, eating most of the berries and the muffins not rising, we decided that it was best to stick to Rice Krispie cakes, something we haven’t yet ruined.

Next on my list was clearing out my wardrobe and getting rid of some clothes I have not worn in quite a while. This soon became very beneficial as it gave me some inspiration for a feature article I had to write for English class that week. I decided to write an article about Fast Fashion and the impact it has on our lives. Inspiration really does come from the strangest of places sometimes!

Since then I have been busy with various other things, including watching maybe too much Netflix, spending more time with my family and staying in touch with my friends on FaceTime. Despite still not knowing what the future holds for us, I know that I still have many more ideas to make this time beneficial, while also taking some time for myself to enjoy the things I usually don’t get enough time to do.