Experiences of 2020

Sally - Operations Director for Start-Up

I'm Sally. I am 40 and I live in Edinburgh.

I'm lucky enough to be in lockdown with my husband and cat. I work as the Operations Director of a start-up called#ENTRYLEVELBOSS which offers employability training. This has meant I'm experiencing the pandemic through my own eyes as well as those we are coaching, and those we are trying to reach to offer support. My husband and I are on our regular income, although we are constantly reminded how precarious this is.

At the beginning of lockdown I was insistent on keeping to my 'regular' schedule (6am starts, exercising regularly etc). After 3 months, I had to create a more relaxed schedule as the pressure of keeping to it was causing me more harm than good. Now, I get up later, exercise more gently and (try really hard) not to criticise myself when a plan doesn't come off! I've had a consistent meditation practice for 5+ years (20 mins a day, most days) and this has been invaluable to tap into as I see the uncertainty all around me.

I couldn't read a book or watch a movie for the first 2-3 months - sometimes I still go through patches when I can't. I have spent a frankly embarrassing amount of time on computer games (but at least I've got to level 1000 of candy crush 🤦🏻‍♀️) and I have not been outdoors as much as I should have!

Although I am a secret introvert, I have missed meeting new people - my job involves speaking with new people on a daily basis, but there isn't a replacement for a face to face meetings over coffee or drinks and it does seem to take longer to build a relationship online as opposed to in person. That said, when visiting my mother last month, I actually met up with someone (outside I might add!) that I had only met through video calls and it was glorious!

I do have so much anger and despair at the UK government for their continued handling of this situation. But during this time, I have also been reminded about the power of female friendships. In the past I've not been one to think of this much. My online time (social media, work relationships, friends) has primarily been with women and it's been a HUGE reminder of the power we have to support and lift each other up. I never want to forget this and feel like it might be my life’s work to remind the women around me how amazing and capable they are.