The world doesn’t let up, does it? It keeps on doing its thing as we lurch from one failure of leadership to another, but with added pandemic. At the weekend I saw lambs and primroses, my annual cause for good cheer. We had fresh air, waves and sunshine, and we will have again. But not just yet.
Two of us are ‘essential workers’ and get to leave the house to gather up germs and ick. Both girls are experiencing remote learning. Spurs Fan is a revelation. Traditionally a technophobe, he’s actually having fun, learning new things daily, and embracing them as the way forward. While he is teaching remotely, school is still open also (for the children of other essential workers) and the number attending has been very small- freed from crowd control and behaviour management, its a whole new experience.
I spend a lot of time home alone normally, so my biggest change is having people around all the time. Luckily, they are grown ups and don’t need entertained from 6am. Harry is very happy with the company, and shows it by sleeping on all the beds.
There are many instructions and videos about staying in, hand washing, social distancing etc. People are taking this seriously. But one video isn’t about the scare. It’s about acknowledging what we can all do, and it gives me goosebumps.
It’s been an odd week. Lots of resting & very little thinking. I’ve been reading fun things or browsing social media. But when I went to read some non fiction, I didn’t get through the first chapter. The latest in the Scottish crime series I’m enjoying doesn’t seem as gripping. I’m not interested in anything.
I don’t watch the news; that’s what Twitter is for. But I keep seeing awful, embarrassing things. I’m numb, yet horrified. I have no idea where the anger has gone. Am I right back at simple denial?
I think, in my own ridiculous way, I’m grieving. For hope, community, shared values & mutual learning. For the opportunities my children won’t have, and for the US chickens we’re going to be stuck with.
Brexit is happening & I’m still not happy about it.
I did my talk to students yesterday and it was grand. I can do the talking. But the content matter hit me, all that revealing of vulnerability. Alternatively, I drove there and back and I talked to 150 medical students. I’m amazing. Go me.
When I came home I was jittery and unsettled, a bit removed from the world, so I took the trusty hot water bottle and headed to bed. Then a phone call from the office of the glass repair people. “You’re wanting the glass in your door fixed? We have someone outside number 11, is that not you?” “No, but I’ll stick my head out the door and find him.” The chap did the measuring he needed to do and my fetching pjs were not mentioned.
I wasn’t meant to be here today, but the spinning head and exhaustion meant that I turned off the alarm, just remembering to send apologies. I slept and slept. Some time after waking up I began to feel human again. At one with the world. Ready for a shower, and even a hair mask. No, not a woolly number, a purple coating/ thick shampoo like substance that stays on for a while to get rid of the grubby looking yellow / enhance the natural beauty of my shining white hair. I applied plenty of gunge.
And then the door bell rang.
The self same unexpected glass man. Yesterday he got me in my seasonal pyjamas; today, a purple dressing gown and matching hair.
As he left, I promised to be dressed the next time he comes back. I’m really not sure that helped the situation.
I’m prepping a talk on living with a chronic illness for medical students. I’ve been doing this for some years, updating annually. It’s a completely different experience from applying for welfare ‘benefits’, but it has the similarity of making me stop to think about my health, what I can do and what I struggle with. And how my normality has changed significantly since 2006.
I bet your life has changed a bit too. The medical students are in their first year- many of them will have been in their first year of primary school in 2006. Nothing remains unchanged. Except, it seems, my ability to be surprised by my ME. It’s unpredictable and inconsistent, and I am still surprised by that.
A few not busy weeks, some dry, bright days & a family keen to spend time together doing wee walks had me feeling like an outdoors sort. The walking boots saw action in the local forest, by the river and a new to us park. What fun! This is the sort of thing normal folk do! Teenagers, voluntarily walking with their parents! What’s not to like?
Now it’s a dry bright Sunday afternoon and I am home alone. My people and the bouncy dog are out without me, because today my legs aren’t up to much. This entirely predictable normality is a surprise (you know about my cognitive problems, right?) and a disappointment. I wasn’t thinking I was ‘better’; I was beginning to hope that I could do things without ridiculous pay back. I wasn’t foolhardy, I was resting before during and after, but still I had hope.
I should have known better. The football fan in our house always says it: it’s the hope that kills you. Time to lower my expectations again.