Follow Me To: My Lockdown Birthday

Birthday in COVID Lockdown Experience

Hey Owlets,

In case you didn't see my previous post where I pretty much had a meltdown about feeling old, it was my birthday last week. I know I'm not the only person that had a birthday in lockdown, but it's one of those weird situations that not everyone has experienced, so I got a lot of questions about what it was like. So many, in fact, that I thought I'd go back to "old Owlet" style with a follow me to post. It feels weird writing one of these, but the whole world is weird right now so I feel like that makes it OK.

I can't lie, I was dreading my birthday this year - partly because the thought of being in my mid-twenties was terrifying, but also because I was prepared for a lockdown birthday to be totally miserable. From the start of lockdown I was hoping the world would pick up on my thoughts and ease lockdown before my birthday - it kind of happened, but not really. I'd pretty much decided that I was going to cancel my birthday and have another year of being 23, but the boyfriend talked me into accepting my fate, and between him and my parents they were determined to make it special.
My birthday actually started a day early, as Jack made dinner, bought my favourite wine and treated my to my favourite dessert ever- a gluten free chocolate pot from Sainsburys. He'd been planning to surprise me by making a cake but being locked in a house together ruined that plan, so we made the cake together and went for an extra long walk while it baked. The best birthday present, however, was the Prime Minister's speech the day before in which he announced a slight ease of lockdown, meaning we were able to meet someone we didn't live with as long as we kept our distance, meaning I could actually sort of celebrate.

Birthday in COVID Lockdown Experience

I really didn't expect to enjoy my birthday, but my family were incredibly stubborn. My parents called me at 12:01am to sing happy birthday, and the next morning Jack brought me my favourite ever breakfast in bed. Our original plan was to spend my birthday with my family then go away for a few days,  but this more than made up for it. I opened my presents from Jack, then we got ready ( I wore my favourite dress, did my hair and put makeup on for the first time in months!) and headed over to see my parents. I can't lie, it was a bit weird to start with. We went in through the back gate and sat on one end of the garden so we were nowhere near my parents, then they came outside to join us and sat on the other end. It wasn't quite "meeting in public" as the government had suggested, but with my parents' health issues this was definitely the safer option. It was lovely, but a little surreal. We had a system where we sat 5 metres apart, we would sanitise our hands, put something in the middle of us and then they would go and pick it up, so we remained safe at all times. Despite all of the measures in place to keep us safe, we had a lovely day. In "normal times" the person who's birthday it is would choose something to do on the day, then we'd do that activity as a family, but having only seen my parents from the end of the driveway when delivering groceries for the last two months, being able to sit down and talk to them was a gift in itself. I can't lie though, the best birthday present I could've had is currently totally impossible, but being able to actually hug my parents would've been the perfect gift. We ended up sat in the garden for almost 9 hours just chatting, and listening to music, before we had to go home ready for birthday day 3.

Birthday in COVID Lockdown Experience

Day 3 was also amazing, thanks to the new lockdown rules. I was sat on our bed doing some work when I got a text from my friend telling me to come to the door. When we went downstairs there was a balloon tied to a bag with some bottles of gin and a card inside, and I genuinely nearly cried because I never expected my friends to be so incredibly thoughtful, and to go so out of their way to make the day I dreaded feel special. Later on that evening, we sat socially distanced in an empty field, having all brought our own drinks of choice. Just being able to spend time with people in person was amazing - I know that sitting far apart and shouting across at each other is probably more of a hassle than simply FaceTiming them, but actually seeing another human in person rather than through a screen felt so special, although it was a little weird thinking about how much we all appreciated it - as much as I'm an introvert it turns out we all need a little human interaction sometimes.

Day 4 rolled around (I know, this is getting a bit ridiculous!) and with lockdown being lifted to the extent of being able to sit down instead of just exercising, we made the most of it. We met another friend on our favourite beach; we both brought our own blankets and picnics, sat across from each other, turned the music up and chatted for hours while soaking up the wine and sunshine. I know it was pretty much a repeat of the previous day, but having not seen anyone for two months I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed it.

Birthday in COVID Lockdown Experience

After my 4-day birthday celebrations I spent the entirety of the rest of the week catching up on the work I'd missed with my birthday taking up most of the working week. Considering how much I was dreading my birthday, I had the best time. Even now I can't get over how incredibly lucky I am to have the most thoughtful friends and family. I thought that a lockdown birthday was going to be sad and lonely, but in reality I felt incredibly loved and it's one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time. I know that I'm lucky in that I sort of got what I wished for - lockdown wasn't over, but it was lifted just enough for me to see the people I care about. Having spoken to a few of you on Twitter, I know that April birthdays were hit hardest, but I loved hearing your stories of FaceTime celebrations, virtual birthdays and how you made the best of a bad situation.

Birthday in COVID Lockdown Experience

Finally, I know I've said how grateful I am for my family and friends, but I also need to say the hugest thanks to you. I had so many messages on my birthday it took me 4 days to reply - my inbox was flooded with E-cards, I saw so many Instagram story shoutouts that I'm sure I missed some, and I had so many kind tweets filling my notifications that I couldn't keep up. One of the things I've learnt in my 4 years online is that even though you'll always come across the odd idiot 99% of the internet, and in particular the blogging community, will always do their best to make you happy and send total strangers a little love and cheer to make their day better.

 To respond to some of the most common languages I saw on my birthday I have to say thankyou, merci, gracias & obrigada - but I could be Google translating all day to thank every one of you, but I genuinely can't say thank you enough. You're the best and I'm so lucky to have the most supportive readers in the blogging community.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

No comments:

Post a comment

Have your say; it's a hoot!