September – sunflowers and shielding birthday
I was debating whether to write this post at all. Our household is still shielding, so I don’t have posts about the places we went or the things we did on our week off.
But the thing is, even though many people around us are going out and doing all the things, which is allowed now as we’re not under local lockdown, There are plenty of us who aren’t. It feels like we’re kind of under the radar now we’re in the minority, but we still have something to say. We’re still learning things, making connections, and enjoying the good things – even if that doesn’t involve going out, meeting up with people in person, and doing all the things we may have taken for granted before.
We’re still here. If you look in the right places, you can find that there are more of us. Doing that actually did me good, as did having a spring-clean of my feeds to remove people who think that the virus isn’t real, who believe their individual rights to do what they want are more important than helping to keep others safe, or who want to try and convince us that making informed choices about staying safe is just succumbing to fear and oppression.
I don’t want echo chambers, but neither do I want to see people promoting illegal gatherings, encouraging others to ignore measures to stop the spread of the virus, or behaving as though the lives of anyone who is not “fit and healthy” don’t matter. That’s offensive.
My not writing as often because we’re not going out and about this year just pushes us under the radar even more. So here’s my good things in September post!
The beginning of Autumn
I love Autumn. You won’t see me crying that Summer is over! I love it when the air is cold and fresh in the morning and you can get out the snuggly, fluffy things. I love the crisp leaves and the idea of new beginnings, that began as a child with the new school year, but has somehow followed mi into adulthood too. Ok, September is also my birthday month, so that’s a reason to like it, even if this year was a bit different.
There are still places to go where you can enjoy the nature – as far away from other people as possible, because sadly some people don’t understand about social distancing, or respect others who are clearly choosing to do it.
The birds don’t know what’s going on in the human world. They just carry on as they had before – in fact, studies have shown that some are singing more interesting songs now that they don’t have to compete with as much traffic noise.
I know some people have had real problems with online grocery deliveries, especially during lockdown times. But Ocado has served us well. In September, they stopped selling Waitrose products, but at the same time started stocking M&S goods, which has been really good. I never shopped there before because they didn’t deliver. There are new foods to try, and I also ventured down the beauty and skincare isle!
And then of course there are Percy pigs and Colin the caterpillar!
I made the dangerous discovery that the Boots app works quite well with VoiceOver, and I prefer it to the web version with my screenreader. I may have got a little carried away, but fortunately I had the generous treat of some birthday money too! I stocked up on a few essentials, bought some new skincare to try, and treated myself to some makeup, including a Fenty cream highlighter, and some liquid eye shadows from Pixi and Too Faced.
The Body Shop brought back their vanilla pumpkin range, which I discovered last year that I actually liked! Usually I avoid everything with vanilla because it’s too sweet, but I like this fragrance and have already used up the hand cream! I still have a body butter and a shower gel on the go! I would link them, but they’ve sold out all ready. I’ll have another post soon about the Christmas ranges though.
It was an interesting month at work because I pushed my boundaries and did a couple of new things. I was asked to speak about accessibility at a virtual meeting for local business owners, and I did a live interview on YouTube about my online English lessons for adults. The latter was new for me – the public speaking part of it wasn’t as scary as the fact that I didn’t know how many of the host’s rather large following would be there or watch later.
I’m really glad I did it though and it reminded me how sometimes it’s good to do things that make you feel a bit nervous or uncomfortable, because these things can help us to grow.
I also held my first paid webinar about helping businesses to make their Facebook posts more accessible to visually impaired customers. I hadn’t thought of doing one-off events like that, but I went with the suggestion and it worked out well, so I’m thinking about other topics for the future.
Week off and birthday
I didn’t tell many people about our week off because I didn’t want to answer the “where are you going” question for the millionth time. We had a week off at home. We didn’t do any work. We spent time together, cooked, read books, had time for hobbies, relaxed and recharged.
Yes, I see people doing things that we would like to do, but each household has to do their own risk assessment. Sometimes just enjoying what you have and what’s going well is a choice, and I have a lot to be grateful for.
I chose to enjoy our time off and my shielding birthday, which involved flowers (sunflowers are my favourite), a home-cooked meal, messages from friends and family, presents, and chocolate cake!
How was September for you?
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