A strange week or stranger years?

We have reached that weird in between week, when no one really knows what to do, what day it is or what food we are supposed to be eating.

In the UK, the TV channel Dave summed it up like this

“Welcome to the most confusing week of the year! What day is it? No one cares. Should you have a proper meal? No, there are bits left that need eating. When do the bins go out? No one in the country knows. Let’s figure it out next year.”

If I am honest, that’s pretty much how I have felt for the past two years or so. Living in some sort of post apoplectic daze, unsure what is going on around me.

Work life has been all consuming, leaving little time to navigate the important parts of life – like family and friends. There is no point at all in earning more money because one is working more if there is no time to enjoy its benefits with those that you love. 

I recognise that for some, my experience is different from theirs. Some will have lost jobs or been unable to work. Others will have navigated the tricky working from home option.

As we tried to figure out how to survive in a world that had changed radically and continued to do so just as we thought we had understood the rules it was difficult to then understand someone else’s perspective. Each of us had a unique view. Each of us believed that ours was the only view.

Even as restrictions eased, I dare say that we are all emerging in different ways. All of us will have been changed to one degree or another. Some of us will take longer to emerge than others. I know that for me, work, although not quite so busy still takes up the majority of my time. Working every other weekend (in one way or another) means time at home is precious. Staff shortages due to illness and others leaving to pursue different paths have put additional pressures on work. Qualified staff don’t grow on trees unfortunately so it can take months to get someone to a level that is useful. 

While the world is worried about Omicron, the fact is that this is just another variant of a horrible virus. There will be others. Some will be worse, some milder – all will need someone in a laboratory to test for it.

I seem to remember way back at the beginning of the pandemic, that many were taking stock, revaluating their priorities, considering what was important to them. All of us promised that this was going to be long term, that the change we made were going to be permanent. Whether this was eating more healthily, exercising more, or connecting with those that matter more frequently, we were sure that this was a chance to reset and that it was going to stick.

Restrictions eased and people seemed to forget what they had so recently promised themselves. When you don’t have to queue for hours at the supermarket to find empty shelves, healthy eating isn’t such a priority. When it is possible for you to leave the house and visit the seaside, phoning that friend or relative who can’t get out because they are still on the vulnerable list seems to have taken a back seat. 

I know that I for one have struggled to find the impetuous to keep going, to keep trying to connect. Frequently, it was that I felt that I needed to protect my mind. I was (and sometimes still am) quite close to breaking. The demands placed on me can seem overwhelming, so connecting with others who feel similarly would simply be too much. At times like that, I need to withdraw, to collect my thoughts and feelings and be alone. 

I am pleased to say that in recognising this about me, these times are becoming further apart. Simply getting out of the hospital at lunch time for a walk helps enormously. The appearance of a health scare a month or so back has resulted in more exercise and a significantly better diet. This has added to the wellbeing that I feel.

In many of my previous posts there has been a big punch at the end, a point to make, something to encourage. I’m not sure that there is one this time. This is more of an observation and a rant about how I feel at the moment. If I were to offer any encouragement at all it would be that getting outside helps. You don’t have to go far, but the change of scenery really is as good as a holiday.

Finally, (as this has not been the most uplifting of posts) someone once said “this too will pass – it might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.”

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