Missing Lockdown

Finding a new balnce in a time of Covid 19.

Covid 19 representation by Felipe Esquivel Reed

“Are you out of your mind?” This from an affronted friend to whom I had dared suggest in an e-mail that I thought, when the day came, I might actually miss aspects of being in lockdown.

Having spent most of my pre Covid19 life in overdrive, it’s been a revelation to discover a more patient, reflective side to my personality.  Whereas I used to view suspending time as somehow sinful, now I’m slowly learning how to let it just be. 

Of course, without relatively good health and stable finances, I probably wouldn’t have been able to have even begun this journey.

Nature, impervious to the pandemic, has provided an unrivalled backdrop to nurture my new-found state.  I’ve watched Spring turn to Summer through the magnifying glass of our small garden allowing me to observe nature’s daily growth in real time.  Only yesterday four self- seeded foxgloves clung to their closed buds.  Today, columns of pale mauve bells are opening up.  Bird song has been my daily accompaniment as have vapour trail free skies and Constable clouds.  My secateurs have become an extension of my right hand, and a battered sun hat my default head gear. 

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But the most rewarding aspect of this new-found state is permission to drop the rucksack of guilt that has weighed me down since childhood.  ‘Don’t waste time.’  ‘Keep up.’ ‘know your place.’  Suddenly, none of this matters any more. Through imposed isolation, I’ve found a new guilt-free existence.

I haven’t checked my diary for weeks.  No need.  No hair appointments, business meetings or supper invitations.

Nor have I had to feed that neurosis to ‘be in the swim.’  I don’t have to fret about having not seen ‘that play’, ‘that film’, ‘that gallery opening’, because none of us have.  Nor do I need to bother about trying to mimic Anna Wintour’s topiarian haircut, or dress a la mode.

And I haven’t had to invent excuses to do something I don’t want to do. 

Shopping on line, even though you know you’re the one paying, feels like a gift when the package arrives. The sense of exclusivity created by the many personalised e-mails tracking your delivery and the excitement when you see your name in bold print on the box.

And I’ve found out who my true friends are.

But.  There’s always a ‘but.’  Although I know I shall miss all of the above, there’s part of me that longs to get back to reality.  To re-experience that smell of Soho drains after a downpour.  To be part of an anonymous crowd queuing for tickets for a new play or sitting outside at Kenwood with a coffee and croissant.  And most of all to be re-united with my family who have selflessly been shielding me from Covid19. 

Maybe I can reorganise my life to find a new balance and a lighter rucksack? 

If you ask my husband, he’ll probably smile and shake his head very slightly.

Buy Plenty Mango – Postcards from the Caribbean in paperback, eBook or audio formats from any of the links below.

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