It feels like there’s no escaping the COVID-19 coverage, with our media and social feeds inundated with Coronavirus content. Just a couple of weeks ago, workers were still making their way into the office, a welcome respite from the media and a chance to put our heads in the sand. But now, as the majority of Australians are working from home and the stakes are growing higher, it’s no longer easy – or responsible – to ignore our new reality.
But this does not necessarily mean doom or gloom. Following our 32 competitors being announced, we’ve found 32 reasons to celebrate. Why not embrace the social distancing and/or working from home life by finding 32 of your own reasons to celebrate. Grab a paper and a pen or download the challenge at the end of the post.
Our Marketing and Administration Coordinator, Kate Murphy, shares her 32 reasons:
- Commute Time:
Before working from home (WFH), I commuted 2.5 hours every day between getting to and from the office. 70% of that time was sitting in standstill traffic. Since January, that’s a total of 125 hours sitting in traffic. By WFH, my commute time is now 3 minutes getting to and from my workspace!
- A chance to get off the treadmill of life:
This is an opportunity to embrace the fact that the masses are being forced to get off the treadmill of life and take stock of what’s important. We get so caught up in the commercialism of the world around us and forget what’s important… our health and those around us that we rely on.
- My Health:
I am celebrating the fact that I am healthy. The age-old saying ‘Your health is your wealth’ has never been truer and I am thankful to have such wealth.
I can start work when I’m ready to go, not when the traffic dictates.
My hour lunch break is no longer for queuing in the nearest food court for a sandwich. The chores that usually get put off till the weekend are peppered through my workday, meaning less time on a Saturday hanging out the washing. #win
Create, Don’t Contaminate has been one of my favourite ‘trends’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It speaks for itself, use this time to get your creative juices flowing! I’ve upcycled some furniture, returned to my sketchbook and… Check out #9
- An endless supply of Irish tea
I’m from Ireland where we have tea in our veins! (No, not Guinness). Care packages have arrived from my lovely friends and family with enough Irish tea to get us through three pandemics, don’t mind this one, so I have the kettle continuously boiled and my favourite mug is always filled.
- Hand soap
This might be a silly one to celebrate, but… WFH means no more washing hands in public loos with bought-in-bulk soap. This and hand sanitizer has been putting my hands through the wars with all the extra handwashing. So, while WFH, I’m treating my hands to Aesop!
- Musical Instrument
I studied the flute for years growing up but lately my practice has fallen by the wayside as I got caught up with everything else. I’ve taken this time to re-introduce myself to my musical instrument and am remembering why I loved to play.
- Social Media
Although social media is inundated with COVID19 coverage and often #FakeNews, I’ve been highly entertained and rejuvenated by those sharing their experiences of social distancing which has kept me motivated to follow the new recommendations.
- Time zones
As I mentioned, I’m from Ireland so a whole host of my cohort are 11 hours behind me, or is it 12? With no early starts for either country these days, it’s much easier to stay in touch.
- Contact with family
I have introduced my 85+ year old granny in rural Ireland to video calls. I’ve spoke to her more in the last few weeks than I have in months.
- Sleep ins
No commute = Extra time in the morning. For some that means getting up early and seizing the day but for night owls like me it’s an opportunity to catch up on my ZZZ’s in the morning.
- Community Feeling
Ironically, social distancing has developed a warmer community feel. It’s lovely to hear of people offering to deliver groceries for those at risk and to see the concerted effort of so many to social distance for the benefit of others.
WFH means comfort over style when deciding what to wear in the morning.
I love cooking but after being stuck on a bus for over an hour in the evenings I usually just threw on whatever was handiest. With all this free time, I’m fishing out my favourite recipes and spending time to prepare delicious meals.
- TV shows
I’ve got a list of TV shows and films the length of my arm that people have recommended I watch. No time like the present.
With a little bit more time to spare before the 12th Sydney International Piano Competition, I’m giving the repertoires of our 32 competitors a listen and getting familiar with what to expect. Explore that here: thesydney.com.au/competitors
- New Office Colleagues
Although I miss the gang in The Sydney office, I’m celebrating having some new colleagues by working from home: my housemate works in Solar Engineering and my partner works in IT so I’m learning about two whole new industries on my coffee (/tea) breaks.
- Appreciating the outdoors
High on my list is appreciating the beautiful outdoors here in Australia. I make sure to go for a long walk after work, enjoying the views, the weather and trying to find new, less popular places to explore in order to avoid crowds.
- Bird Song
I am fortunate to live nearby the sea in Sydney, surrounded by nature. Sitting at my desk every day, I’m entertained by the birds’ songs, the likes of which I’d never have heard in the office. (Although the odd crow could do with being put on mute…)
- Health Care Workers
Celebrating the hard work of the healthcare workers who don’t have the luxury of WFH and counting myself lucky that I do have this luxury. “We’re staying at work for you. You stay at home for us”
- Getting more value for my rent
Before WFH, I only spent about 20% of my waking hours in my rental. WFH, I’ve reversed it and only spend 20% of my hours out of the house – value for money!
I have a stack of books that I’ve been meaning to read. I’ve just finished She by H.R Haggard and I’m now getting stuck into Three Women by Lisa Taddeo.
I’m thanking our lucky stars for technology. I’ve never relied on it so much – to be able to work remotely, keep in touch with friends and family, keep entertained and stay informed.
- Self Sufficient
With some ingredients and items in short supply in the shops, I’ve gone back to basics, baking bread and growing some of my own fruit and veg and feeling very empowered by being self-sufficient.
- Neighbors and Housemates
Spending all this time at home, I’m getting to know my neighbours (from a safe distance!) and my housemates a lot better.
- Waste not, want not
In the same vein as #26, I’m not wasting a crumb, using everything that’s been in the back of the pantry and making sure to be conscious of wastage.
- Flattening the curve
I’m glad I can make a direct impact in the global pandemic so simply. Not leaving my house feels like a simple ask and manageable task in a global crisis.
- The Arts Online
I am thoroughly enjoying the online broadcasts from our arts colleagues across Australia and the industry on a global level in response to the pandemic. Their resilience and ability to adapt has been inspiring and I’ve tuned in every day to live feeds of some of our best musicians performing in their homes.
- Environmental impacts
Although it is devastating for so many airlines, staff and individuals that borders have closed, one silver lining is that air quality has improved since so many less are travelling. I can only imagine the rest of the environmental impacts we’re going to see throughout this time.
- The show must go on
Despite the very difficult decision Sydney International Piano Competition made to not go ahead with the competition in July, I am celebrating that we are working to reschedule it for a later date. With so many loyal supporters, many of whom have never missed a competition since 1977, and of course, the fantastic 32 competitors, I am so glad we don’t have to cancel the event outright.
Now’s your turn: download our handy document here to get you started or simply grab a pen and paper. Let us know how you do.