At the end of 2019 I took a step back from writing because I didn’t have much creative or spare energy. Little did I know that personal plans would get more complicated and world events much more worrying. With March almost through, I figure if I don’t pick this up now I never will.
Perhaps blogs are over. They probably are. But I can at least use this as a space to set out my thoughts and possibly help or interest other people at the same time. I’ve paid my annual subscription, after all.
I’m sitting at a second-hand desk in our second-floor home. I can see rows of red-tiled roofs and hills behind. We’re in a quiet part of town. The main noticeable difference this week has been the absence of teenagers walking in clusters and riding their bikes to the school a few roads away. I kind of miss their yelling.
I’m feeling flat, though it comes and goes. I appreciate being able to do my job from home and having a job at all. Getting dressed (not jeans if I can help it), regular mealtimes, team video calls and a brief socially-distanced walk provide scaffolding for each day.
In the evenings we make dinner, chat to friends and family, watch Malcolm in the Middle and play Animal Crossing. I read when I can focus. Part of me feels twelve again – except I’m sitting with my husband instead of arguing over the best spot on the sofa with my sister (who, in 2020, has just had a baby boy).
Since June we’ve been in the process of buying a house. Stressful at the best of times, even more so when it involves a lengthy chain, poor communication, a lease extension on another property, multiple mortgage extensions and a new mortgage application. Then, on the verge of exchange (that very hour), being told that the person we’re buying from has gone into 14-day self-isolation and won’t progress. And then there’s a lockdown.
We weren’t wide-eyed newlyweds going into this situation, but we didn’t expect all this.
Last summer we also booked flights for two weeks in Canada (Montreal and Quebec City) in May. We were looking forward to visiting friends and getting some space from the day-to-day. Until this month the thought of that was keeping me going.
I’m trying to have hope – for us, for our community, for the world – while letting go of expectations. We might not move until later this year, or at all, and we’re pretty certain we won’t be travelling any time soon. Our longer-term life plans and ideas might get pushed back. In the middle of all this, we are still so fortunate.
It seems like every one of us is experiencing disappointment, stress, sadness and worry on varying levels and it’s all valid. Holding tight to relationships and health is what matters most. I think we have to trust that the rest will fall into place, maybe in unexpected ways.
No one knows how this pandemic is going to play out and what life will look or feel like afterwards. Take care, stay at home as much as possible, look after yourself and your loved ones. We’ll find new ways to keep going.