Time is strange at the moment. It goes fast, but feels slow. Days take ages, but are over before you know it. This strange coronavirus limbo is warping things. It’s so quiet outside, it’s unreal. Eerie. Spooky. It feels like the entire world has been paused.

I didn’t get a rowing machine in the end, I’m ashamed to say the weight limits on most of them were not suitable. I’m exercising a few times a week, but I so often feel directionless when it comes to home workouts. I’ve unsuccessfully tried following some routines, where I have some of the equipment but not all of it, so I combine two routines to work with what I have, but I’m not sure what can be replaced by what, and it just feels ineffective. So anyway, no rowing machine, but we do have an exercise bike on the way. I’d like to do one hour a day as I have put some weight on with all the quarantine induced inactivity.

I’m really getting stuff done in terms of little jobs here and there – I’ve uploaded a bunch of things to YouTube that I’d been meaning to do for ages, put a big batch of junk on eBay (to generate money for a car), and updated this website to be be https rather than regular old http. The thing with the website… I foolishly chose unsecured when I was setting it up and I have no idea why I chose that option to be honest. It was getting quite annoying noticing the “THIS SITE IS NOT SECURE” notice up in the address bar every time I was on my own website. But yes, that’s sorted.

The college work is coming on nicely, I’m up to date in terms of what has been issued, and I’m just waiting on access to the Google Classroom that will have the study materials for what’s left to do. I have taken a little break from it for a week or two, but plan to smash it once I know for sure what is left. I’ve also been looking into the next step – the CPCAB Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. It’s a two year course, but when I’ve completed it I’ll be able to work in an agency, and after a bit of experience, go on to create my own private practise. I just need to sort out the learning loan and decide which college would be best to go to.

I may not be at work at the moment, but I am keeping in contact with some of my colleagues. It’s disheartening, but I’ve heard that some people think I’m pulling a fast one. That I’m using the coronavirus as an excuse to have a paid holiday. This is no holiday – my mental health, at points, has been quite poor, I was not coping with the strange circumstances very well a couple of weeks ago. I would not voluntarily put myself at risk like this if it weren’t the lesser of two evils.

I can understand why some of them think that to be honest, as I do know them, and that’s just their attitude. One of the other ladies that is in shielding went into it the week before I did and some of my colleagues that I class as “friends” were badmouthing her, saying she was lazy and using it as an excuse to have a paid holiday. I thought that was unfair of them to say, and now they are saying it about me. I’m not surprised to be honest, and it just makes me more determined to get out of that place. It’s not just colleagues though, I’ve overheard some family members saying stuff to this effect too. It’s disheartening.

Sure, it stings a little when I hear people say hurtful things behind my back that they would not dare say to my face. But I reframe it. I have to. They don’t really know me at all, they’ve never taken the time to actually get to know me – some of them had made up their minds about me before they’d even met me. They’d rather decide things for themselves rather than ask me. They’d rather gossip behind my back and make rash judgements about me that are so off the mark it’s unreal.

And you know what? It’s not my problem. I do not have to explain myself to them. They are projecting their own insecurities onto me. Their judgements say more about them than they do about me. As I said, it hurts, but I can’t dwell on it. This crisis has aggravated my anxiety, inflamed it, and their words will only fuel it more if I let them affect me.

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