Charlotte and John

Charlotte MacKenzie in conversation with
John MacKenzie

Charlotte’s father, John, is a retired Doctor who lives in Cyprus. She chose him as a conversation partner not only because she misses him, but because his usually hectic social schedule appears to have resulted in him contracting COVID-19.

26 weeks – final summary

This year has changed how all of us approach all aspects of our lives this year, with usually small and fairly easy tasks seemingly becoming insurmountable. I was fairly surprised as to how I reacted during strict lockdown earlier this year, when only being able to leave the house once a day soon made our tiny one-bed flat start to feel like a prison. However, juggling a new full-time job and boss, my husband being made redundant and looking after my Mum, who was shielding at the time, has made me realize I am a lot stronger than I think – and how lucky I am to have such loving family around me.

Getting out for a daily run or walk has really helped me keep a sense of balance and perspective. Just even looking upwards and enjoying the leaves on the trees or spotting a flock of birds has given me a chance to diffuse my mood – when I may previously have got irritated or upset quickly. Not being able to travel to visit my husband’s family in Colombia as planned, or visiting my Dad in Cyprus has been incredibly upsetting, however, we have all begun to embrace tech and catch up a lot more frequently.

Going back to working from home full-time was also a challenge. I didn’t fully grasp how much I enjoyed spending time with colleagues or bouncing ideas around. I think that keeping some element of normality and a routine during such testing time is what I am most proud of, as there were definitely times when I didn’t feel that it would be possible.

One of my most lasting memories is completing a running challenge, when we pounded 200 kilometres of pavements over the course of a month. Having the chance to spend so much more time with Richie definitely was a period of adjustment for the both of us, but now that feeling of togetherness and working even better together as our own ‘team’ is something that I am truly grateful for. Love really does conquer all.

I hope that we begin to see a shirt in our society towards being aware of the most vulnerable. Certainly, connectivity and communication has been key for me to getting through this pandemic – with Zoom Pub quizzes and chats with long-lost friends making me truly appreciate how important words are.

My approach to work has also changed too – from moving to a job outside of London and no longer having a three hour commute each day, I have been able to appreciate how much more time I actually have. Something I have truly embraced, by taking part in even more 26 projects over the course of the year.

Charlotte MacKenzie

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