|Image by Lynette Coulston from Pixabay|
I believe we are all getting just a little bored with the restrictions on our lives emanating from Covid-19. I'm certainly fed up with attending meetings on Zoom rather than in person and no, it has nothing whatsoever to do with my lack of photogenicity. I think what I miss the most though, are the casual face to face interactions with strangers and acquaintances; everyone seems so stressed at present that few wish to linger and chat, with or without a face mask.
It was certainly a bit rough of Kim Kardashian West to rub it in, however, with her insensitive viral tweet: "After 2 weeks of multiple health screenings and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time."
Mind, I'm not sure which I'm more jealous of: a trip to a private island or the multiple health screenings. Neither are readily available to us mere non-celebrity types even if there is quarantine aplenty, self-imposed or otherwise. I confess, however, that in recent months the one place I've been able to strike up that transient verbal exchange that I'm missing so much has probably been at routine medical appointments. So, forget the private island (I can still relate to family and friends by phone or in person, even if in some cases it has to be outdoors) and get me into hospital, or, on second thoughts, maybe not. What I'd give for the resumption of various classes and social undistancing, however, is another matter.
Still, trying to be positive about the situation, I have to say that spending more time at home has certainly had its benefits, even if we still haven't got the painbrushes out to catch up on the decorating that we saved for our retirement.
Instead, however, I can proudly say that I am now very nearly on top of all those awful administrative tasks and household chores like ironing that I tend to save for a rainy day and then always find something better to do. I've completed some online courses and am continuing to follow one on
photography and editing. I've acquired a new sewing machine and am
making use of it. I've digitalised old photographs and condensed the voluminous collection of photograph albums. Recently I've even got back into reading some real literature, rather than
light-hearted chicklits and murder mysteries which seemed to be the
most I could handle at the beginning of the epidemic when my book
consumption slumped considerably. I've also learnt to enjoy watching television from time to time, something that for me is a bizarrely novel experience.
Outdoors, this year's vegetable crop was an outstanding success
and we are now working hard on clearing and replanting the flower
borders. We've managed a couple of weeks away when long days were filled with long walks whilst meet-ups with friends have involved walking and the open air too.
The countryside is a great place for healing and being at one with nature, and I've certainly had no excuses this year for not being able to find that simple life I keep yearning for. Without pressure to shop, dress-up, or indeed do anything, some might even describe 2020 as a bonus. I can't help thinking, however, that living sustainably feels better with society in the mix.
Living and learning, innate curiosity, exploring and trying new things: so much of this would often be fulfilled by opportunities for distant travels and that's definitely not been on the agenda since March. Our planned journeys have one by one been abandoned and forsaken for a life of domesticity. When your wanderlust is unfulfilled and the conviviality of conversation with strangers is suspended, is it even possible to find the sparks that kindle excitement in daily life?
Don't laugh and I know that it won't work for everyone but I am currently finding my dynamism not only by getting to grips again with my local family history but also through the process of writing a book based on my findings and with all the associated research that entails. Like most of my projects it will probably lie neglected once something else catches my attention. For the moment, however, it is providing frenzied stimulation and elation as more and more knowledge is gained and understanding acquired. I can no longer fly or sail across oceans to far flung and unknown destinations but I am travelling through history and there is so much to discover and all of it is on the doorstep.