So for the first time since this crisis started Zuzi and I are getting a bit nervous from having way more limited options to do stuff. We would like to go to the theatre for example. Or go and sin and eat French fries in town. Or catch a movie. Or just browse a brick and mortar book store.
I am an only child. I am extremely adept at keeping myself busy. As you can read in a previous post I find it fantastic to play boardgames against myself. Axis & Allies. I play five different players and do my very best with each one of them. The same for Civilization. Four players. I just do whatever is best for each player. I can do this for days and days while listening to audiobooks. It doesn’t cost anything. It just takes up space. You need a big table for these games. Because I can’t hog one of our tables for that long I just play it on my bed. Or I put two small coffee tables together and I play it on those.
I am lucky that I have a lot of social contact. I have a lot of private lessons with many different students. I do get to talk a lot about cool stuff. So much that I am actually a bit tired of talking and listening sometimes. So that’s certainly not the problem. I miss little things. I don’t mind wearing a mask. I don’t mind not travelling. Even though I am an expat who left his home country I have never been a fan of travelling. I see travelling as trying to escape yourself, but I have found that you take yourself with you wherever you go. I am bit more positive about the idea of travel than I used to be. I admit that it can add a lot of useful things to your life.
What I miss is just hanging out with people. I do miss going to Belgium from time to time or to have visitors from Belgium.
Again, all in all, Zuzi and I are natural born lockdown survivors. We are GOOD at being alone. We always find something to do. I’ve already read 7 books in 2021. My goal is to get to 100 this year. Deleting Facebook and quitting coffee has really helped to boost my focus.
Other stuff I do:
- I pay a German lady to have two hour long conversations with me on a weekly basis to keep my German up to speed and to hear different perspectives. Slovaks are very… Slovak. It’s nice to talk to someone from a different culture and at the same time do something useful (learn German).
- I work out with weights and daily go on my hometrainer
- Audiobooks, audiobooks, audiobooks!
- I blog. Obviously.
- I do more stuff to get more students. I am pretty much fully booked at the moment. I teach every single day of the week, including Saturday and Sunday, but I want to be sure I have a steady stream of new students, because from time to time a student does not need lessons anymore and needs to be replaced. They find a job, they become fluent, they start using the language at work, etc. This is of course precisely the task of a teacher: free the student from the teacher.
- I play boardgames against myself. I am itching to start a new round of Axis and Allies, although when I think about how much time it usually takes me to wrap one up, I may reconsider.
- There is sex, of course, to spend several fun hours.
- I play with my son a lot. He is a whirlwind so that is quite challenging and exhausting, but a lot of fun too.
- I download a lot of movies, documentaries and series
- I teach. A lot. On many days I teach from 8 am to 8 or 9 pm and in breaks am preparing for my next class. I can’t say there is much time to be bored.
- I’ve gone on a diet so I read a lot about food and what to eat and what not to eat
- Am considering finding myself a tutor for Arab or some other language I know less than 10 words in… Or maybe tutors for two languages.
- Via this site people often contact me for advice – usually paid – so that takes up some time as well
So what do I really miss? Like I said. The theatre. The cinema. Shopping in Belgium. Seeing a few people back in Belgium. Hanging out in bars with the people I like. Organizing parties. I organized one in November, but I could invite only 5 people.
Honestly, to anyone reading this: take this lockdown situation as an opportunity to work on some skills, get your life in order, organize your house, discover new food, exercise, try audiobooks, experiment, accept that this is the way things are for now and make the best of it.