Reflections from the Couch 8 – Don’t worry about what we haven’t done!

So we are opening up things! Little by little, we can go and have a coffee, or dinner with a few people, go for a swim or into the gym for the first time in ages.

Where does that leave those who are still on the couch!!!

Well, when I look back at the last month, I realise I haven’t been on the couch all that often. Most of my work has continued, but using an online platform, zoom, or YouTube or communicating via email and text, or even the good old phone.

In fact, I have been busier work wise than I was when we weren’t locked down.

So I was a bit envious to see what people were trying to do when they were supposedly not able to go anywhere.  I read that lots of people wanted to learn a musical instrument, a new language, to garden more, cook more, renovate more, in fact just do more of everything.

Self-improvement, house improvement, relationship improvement were all on the agenda.

Yet here we are, about to come out of our isolation and suddenly people are asking, what have I done! Because I also read the other day that as we move back into our normal  or slightly normal routines we might have to face isolation regret.


Ah the regret that comes from not doing what we thought we might, while locked down. In  fact, we may realize,  we still can’t play that guitar, speak Spanish apart from Ola and still haven’t yet written the first page of the novel we had an urge to write! And what about the spring cleaning of the whole house, and decluttering! Even while working at home I had high hopes of doing this.

While I am sure some people have achieved amazing things, what about the rest of us. Crap, I need more time!

But isn’t life that like, that we aim high, but often fall flat.  We image ourselves as something that we aren’t, make lists of things we are going to do, attempt to achieve those things, those changes, and then are surprised when our lofty ambitions, remain just that, lofty ambitions.

I have suffered from this as much as anyone else.  For many years I was known as “Gunna Dutton”, as I had so many things I wanted to do, like run a marathon, be a world leading scientist, write a novel, become organised, with only a quarter getting done.  Actually I haven’t done any of these things!

But as I get older, and hopefully a little bit wiser, maybe it the things we have done that count, not what we haven’t.

So if you have spent time with the kids playing ball, watching crazy movies or cooking pancakes, give yourself a tick.

If you have read one book, trashy or not, give yourself a tick.

If you have tried one new recipe, or in fact just been cooking at home rather than going out, give yourself a tick.

If you have taken a walk, even to the letterbox (hopefully a bit further), give yourself a tick.

If you have rung someone, texted a friend, emailed or in any way communicated with people outside your house, give yourself a tick.

If you have felt gratitude to the life we have, and the people who serve us either in government , health, school or in the supermarket, or anywhere, give yourself a tick.

If you have managed to clean one cupboard or small space, give yourself a tick.

If you have managed to get off the couch sometime during the day, give yourself a tick.

Sometimes when we aim high, we miss the gifts we already have and are exercising.

Don’t fall for isolation regret, instead we should cut ourselves some slack.   Life is a journey, and it’s the journey and the people in it that gives us life, not what we have achieved along the way. Particularly in a Covid-19 pandemic!





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