All or Nothing
As we approach Covid’s first anniversary, one that NO ONE will be celebrating, I’ve been taking stock of the many changes this past 11 months have so kindly delivered.
This time last year, I was starting to think about half term plans for my boys (then 7 and 11), organising day trips and if I’m honest, probably begrudging the interruption to my usual routine and space. Oh, how I wish I could go back and slap pre-covid me in the face… or perhaps shake my (unsanitised) hand to wish myself good luck.
Back in February 2020, we had zero idea of what was about to happen. And maybe that’s for the best. If you had known, what would you have done differently? Stocked up on loo roll, puzzles and printer cartridges? Selfish pricks.
Without a doubt, we would all have made sure to cuddle and kiss those most important in our lives. Like a billion times. Little did we know what was around the corner, and what we were all about to lose.
Fast forward to today, and well, any shred of patience we may have had left, is wearing very thin. Looking at my friends and family, we seem to be split quite neatly into two groups – there’s the Alls and the Nothings.
For the Nothings, there is quite literally nothing to do. Whether that’s due to furlough, loss of job, shielding or otherwise, for some people the day stretches out before them, with little but radio music quizzes and The Chase set in stone. Perhaps a little walk or a book to read, after all, they’ve watched everything Netflix has to offer. The Nothings may have faced a massive cut in income due to covid, so try hard to live within their new means.
For the Alls, the tables are completely flipped. Trying to work full time, juggling home schooling and zoom meetings, is an absolute nightmare. In fact, it’s an insane amount of pressure to place on anyone for a few days, let alone weeks or months.
And the saddest part is that due to covid restrictions, the Nothings can’t easily help the Alls to reduce the load. In fact, on so many levels, we have been stripped of our ability to pick up the pieces that are inevitably being dropped, which makes us feel even more helpless.
What rings true for everyone, wherever you find yourself, is that now more than ever, the smallest of gestures means the world.
A quick text, a random chocolate delivery on your doorstep, a walk by wave, might seem minuscule in themselves, but they are serious highlights, to what is otherwise Groundhog Day.
I miss so many things I took for granted (and actually thought I didn’t like) pre-covid – whether it’s walking to school with my youngest, standing in the rain to watch a football match or even arguing with my pre-teen about not telling me where he’s going after school (ahh school…!)
And don’t get me started on meals out and the pub…
None of us know, when we will get back to whatever ‘normal’ will be. And that level of uncertainty is bloody scary. But I wonder whether it is teaching us to expect less, be more present in the day, as well as reminding us to not look too far forward, because really, what’s the point? All we have is now. Tomorrow is tomorrow’s business. Let the future you, deal with that.
That being said, if dreaming about the future is all that’s keeping you going, don’t let me stop you. Visualisation is incredibly powerful if you can muster it. For me, I’m looking forward to escaping to the seaside this summer, even if it’s just to dip my toes in and smell the fresh sea air.
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