Monday Miscellany: Three weeks in

Over 10,000 people have died in hospital from COVID-19, goodness knows what the number will be when home and care home deaths are added in. We are getting to the hardest part of lockdown now, it’s not a novelty and we’re not fully adjusted to it, we will get more used to it.

However, we’re all at the stage where we’re bored and irritable, you can see it in how outraged everyone is by people who they think are flouting the rules, with how judgemental we’re all being.

There’s a quote I’m fond of about how privation can refine the soul but preferring to refine the soul when the the body has no other choice. But right now we have no other choice so we can choose to nurture the good in us or we can choose to give in to the destructive part of our natures.

I’m obviously going to try and choose the better parts of me. This time is really hard for everyone, I haven’t touched another human being since Mother’s Day, but I’m not cooped up in a too small flat with someone I don’t like (just trying to imagine what this would be like 30 years ago in a house with my dad gives me nightmares.) I’m alone but I’m an introvert, so goodness only knows how difficult extroverts are finding it. I’m in the flat a lot and I have no garden but I have the plot just around the corner. I miss my friends but on Friday, some allotment friends, gave me some lettuces and flowers to plant and I’ve been talking to friends a lot more than usual. I’m finding it hard to work from home but I still have a job and I have no new money worries. I’m irritated by the noise next door from the loud children but at the same time, I’m not trying to entertain and educate distressed children who don’t understand what the hell is going on and yes they are loud but they are also having fun and that’s a good thing – I went and had a nap in the living room where I couldn’t hear them! I’m going to carry on donating to the food bank, I’m going to try and use this time productively, I’m not going to pretend it’s not rubbish but it’s not the disaster it could be. I’m going to help if I can and if the only way I can help is to give a friend a food parcel, then I’m going to do that.

I’m not going to tell anyone to be grateful for this time, I’m not at grateful for it, it’s bloody awful. I’m not going to minimise anyone else’s pain or distress right now by telling them to be thankful. I really feel for people having a bad time during all of this and if you are finding this hard, I’m so sorry, I hope it gets better for you soon.

I’m just telling you about how I’m trying to get through this. When things are hard for me, I’ve always tried to be thankful for the good things in my life, to remember that however bad it is, it could be worse and that it will get better. Nothing lasts forever. That has been the key to my resilience. Yesterday, I saw Sarah and she hasn’t been home or seen her husband, her dog, her son or (more importantly!) her grandson for three weeks. The B&B her husband runs is shut down and she’s working in the NHS in London not in her new job because that is a community job and she’s really needed here, she told me that she felt so lucky to have a routine of work to help manage.

That’s what I mean, about gratitude, I have trained myself to find it because it helps me manage. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t burst into tears on Saturday because I miss my people or that the best part of my weekend was, Sarah, the allotment and face timing my mum and then my brother and actually seeing their faces (and watch the nephews show me their Easter Egg hauls!). There’s always light if we look for it, but sometimes we really have to look for it.

So this week, because I’m on leave until Wednesday, I really need to spend some time today and tomorrow cleaning. The flat is tidy but things (like the kitchen floor) need attending to. I need to clean the oven again (once last week wasn’t enough, it was that bad!). I’ll come out of this maybe with a drink problem but also with a very clean living space! I will come out of it though and I hope you all will too….

About nicdempsey

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