Lockdown week 20: has lockdown made me selfish?

‘I’m so weak at saying no’ – Richard Burton

Being a creature of habit, the way our lives changed drastically back in March threw me into a bit of a tailspin. I’m not adverse to working from home, it’s something I was able to do as needed before lockdown, but being the social butterfly that I am, staying at home 24/7 was my worse nightmare.

Fast forward, what is it, over 4 months now? I’m actually pretty settled at home, to the point where I’m actually starting to get concerned that it’s changed me so much that I’ve gone from being an extrovert to an introvert. And that’s not a change I’m completely sure I’m comfortable with.

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The problem I have is that once I’m in a routine, it’s really hard for me to break that habit. So now that Dave and I are in our little lockdown bubble, some of the lockdown easements weren’t as welcome for us as we may have originally thought. We didn’t rush out to the local pub on ‘super Saturday’ and I still haven’t set foot inside a clothes shop yet. When friends would suggest getting together to sit in the park or a socially distanced walk, I was unsure, because it was breaking my routine again. And (Carrie Bradshaw voice) I couldn’t help but wonder, has lockdown made me selfish?

I’ve been seeing this meme shared a lot:

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Which I love, because I strongly believe that some good needs to come out of all this madness. And whereas it may not be that you’ve lost the weight you wanted to or learning a new language, I think it has been a good opportunity to have a rethink about what you used to prioritise and what you’re happy to let go of. Of course I miss my friends and hugging my mum, and having BBQs with the family but there is lots that I don’t miss; like the commute to work on the metro, or queuing for lunch at Naked Deli, or big  nights out where I only knew a handful of people and would stress for a week about what to wear. I mean yes, I would always have a good time, but the juice wasn’t always worth the squeeze for me and I often felt stretched trying to be all things to all people all the time.

So were does ‘self care’ end and being selfish begin? Because I’ve always been one of those people who have struggled saying no, or gone along with things just because it’s what the majority have decided. I feel like this has finally given me the opportunity to have a think about what I’ve missed, therefore what I’m making a priority when things get ‘back to normal’ should that ever happen.

I do worry that prioritising what I want to to do and what makes me feel happy makes me selfish; we all have things in life that we probably wouldn’t necessarily say yes to if it were entirely up to us. But we do things because they’re important; for our health or our careers or to other people. So I guess like everything it’s all about balance.

It’s super important to put your happiest first, especially if you’re a people pleaser like me. But that doesn’t necessarily mean at the expense of someone elses happiness. There has to be a happy medium. I have been much happier and comfortable saying no to things that I’m not all that amped about doing, and I hope that I remember that when I don’t have the excuse of a global pandemic to fall back on.

But I think I also need to remember, as is reminded to be me often by Dave, that the world, in fact does not revolve around me. Boo.

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