HOW AUTISTIC NICK PREPARED FOR HIS FOUR DAY LOCKDOWN
This week I along with others in Perth entered into a four-day lockdown. The announcement came late Sunday afternoon and whilst it wasn’t the most welcomed of news, I just had to accept that this was occurring.
So, unlike last time when both my mental health, my anxiety and my Autism limits were tested I formulated a plan whereby I was occupied and focused for the four days that we would be in lockdown for.
So, this is what I had planned for my week ahead.
A cup of tea sits on my office desk, my computer is fired up and I’m ready to start making phone calls and send emails and plan for the week ahead. I first begin to check that appointments that I had made previously before a lockdown was announced are able to take place via Zoom and if not then they are cancelled and rescheduled for another time/date. I make a word document eventually of all my appointments because I like to be organised like that! With these appointments in place, I now have some structure in place. I also am sticking to working out on a daily basis as I find that this helps with my mental wellbeing.
I have a telehealth appointment booked with my OT for 11am. I’m happy that this is able to take place over a Zoom meeting. What did we do before Zoom came into our lives? Anyway, this now appears to be the norm, “Oh can I do a Zoom meeting with you?”. And so, my OT and I work on areas that I feel need improving upon for 1 hour.
I’m back on my computer working on my homework from my Screen writing mentor before our Zoom meeting on Thursday. I work hard up until lunchtime comes or my stomach growls hungry for food! And I take a much-needed break. My eyes were beginning to get sore from staring at the screen for such a long time! I also sent work an email to ask if I could work from home on Friday as it was a lockdown and I want to stay safe, and they agreed that it would be ok.
Another day another Zoom! That could potentially be a title for the next James Bond movie – James Bond Another day another Zoom? It’s a working title right now! Anyway, the meeting goes well and for a laugh on the Zoom call you can change the background, so I chose a character from the TV show Fleabag as my background and made my mentor laugh which I felt was needed. Also, I began to write down my next story pitch ideas for up coming articles. I always want to be prepared for work as I don’t like to be unprepared and have a blank expression on my face trying to come up with ideas in that moment.
I log into my work emails and start to check through to see if any of the people that I reached out to the previous week have gotten back to me or if I need to chase them up as a deadline could be pending! I then get a work Zoom link and I chat with my editor, and we discuss any issues, any difficulties that I’ve had or anything else. We then discuss my ideas in our pitch meeting. I bring four to the table and we decide on the two strongest for our audience. I then go away and begin to research, googling organisations, and reaching out to potential people that I feel could contribute to my article. It’s a busy four hours during this process. At lunchtime, a press conference is announced, and our lockdown is coming to an end on Saturday at midnight. There is for me a sense of relief. Masks are still mandatory which aren’t a great experience for me as readers of this blog know. This is in place for the next ten days and I feel that I will work from home this coming Friday.
I went for a walk just to get some fresh air after being inside for a week! (Yes, it was four days, but it felt like a week!) I had to wear a mask and as much as it was uncomfortable I did it anyway. It was cold out (it is winter after all) I come back and work on my mentoring screen writing homework because I am a gluten for punishment and clearly, I don’t want to do or go anywhere on a Saturday!!
I am woken by heavy rain and thunderstorms! Welcome to Sunday! It’s cold and grey and I’m writing this as lightening strikes, heavy rain comes down and lashes against my window!
CARRY ON THE CONVERSATION
Thank you for reading and I will see you next time for more thoughts from across the spectrum.