Friday 10 April 2020

Am I the only one who isn't totally hating isolation?

Let me be completely clear here; before you freak out and think I've gone mad from a lack of human contact, I'm not saying I'm enjoying isolation. I'm just saying that I'm not totally hating it.

I've learned so far in all of this, I'm just not a motivated person. I'll level with you, it's something I have always known but definitely tried to put down to never having 'time' to do anything 'productive'. I don't really have a hobby or a skill or even a talent to be completely honest. I dread the conversation every goddam Monday morning in the office, when people chat about their weekends and all the StUFf they got up to, you know the one:

"How was your weekend?"

"Oh, you know, quite quiet really - just painted the entire house, walked the dog for 12 hours, went on a pub crawl across Europe, climbed a mountain, cured world hunger, solved the Da Vinci code blah blah blah-blah-blah. You?"

Me? I probably just laid in bed and binge watched Ru Paul's drag race, ordered a pizza, ate said pizza in bed, to later emerge from bed around 7pm because I fancied a change in scenery - only to return to bed around 12am because I have the cheek to be yawning after doing fuck all for the day. Repeat on Sunday, switching out the pizza for a half arsed attempt at cooking; spinach and ricotta tortellini that takes 5 minutes to soften in boiling water, but I probably only gave it 4 so it was slightly underdone, or 7 and now the filling is spilling out into the pan. 

Will I admit those details to my co-workers? Absolutely not. I'll either try to dodge the question or just quietly say 'yeah it was pretty chilled, thanks'. 

That's not every weekend, to be clear. I do occasionally have a life. But after a long week of work, why is it not socially acceptable for me to just be honest and say I was a sloth all weekend? Why should anyone even care if I didn't get dressed or showered for two days? I'm at work now aren't I, semi-presentable, showered, hair brushed, make up on and dressed? (Well no, right now in this moment I'm on my parents sofa, still in my pyjamas at 2pm typing my first blog post in 2 years telling myself this is productivity). 

But now? Oh, now the whole world has stopped. Influencers whose lives I weirdly follow (it is weird really when you break it down isn't it) on social media with glamorous and busy social lives are sharing how they've not showered, brushed their hair, slapped any make up on or gotten dressed for however many days. And suddenly that makes it all okay. Has this always been the way that people have secretly spent their free time or has it only now become a trend and therefore acceptable to share? Perhaps it comes under 'self care'. 

But I'm not mad about it. It's nice to have some honesty for once. Real life relatable content. And seeing that content on the days I've gotten dressed and put my face on (which is most days during isolation I'll have you know), it makes me feel put together for once. It's great!! 

Oh, and I exercise now! Well, sort of. Don't panic, I'm not a runner - but I have found a new love for the outdoors. We've each been issued a government mandated outing to exercise for once a day, and doesn't it feel such a privilege? Imagine for the rest of your life being told you're only allowed outside once a day; where would you want to exist? 

Maybe it's because I'm back in my childhood hometown, but for me there's a real comfort that comes with being outside now. Perhaps it's nostalgia. Each day I explore the area in which I grew up, breathing in the seaside air, letting it fill my lungs and like the waves I know so well, wash a sea of calm over me. Who knew fresh air could feel so good? Does everyone feel like this in their daily outing? Anyone?

There's something truly wonderful in the genuine feeling of we're all in this together, a global community spirit if you will. I'm not sure if in our lifetime we have ever experienced something close to this, and hopefully we won't ever need to again - but I can't help but feel that in amongst all the fear that plagues us everyday from the world outside the four walls we're fortunate to have to keep us safe, we've seen the best of humanity shine.

Whilst many of us take pride in knowing we're contributing to saving the world by literally doing nothing (and I'm with you party people, I see you doing your bit), others are bravely facing the problem head on, literally saving lives on the front line, or helping us live ours quietly and out the way by providing our food, stacking shelves, transporting goods and caring for neighbours. So many heroes. We applaud you, and I hope your heroism and generosity is remembered when this passes.

It feels as though we're all learning to appreciate the mundane. The gratitude I now feel from simple pleasures of food, family and familiarity, and favours of unsung heroes. How grateful I feel to be able to ask my mum how her day was when she returns home from a long day at the hospital. How thankful I am for the internet and social media keeping us as connected as can be.

I hope that doesn't fade once we're free again.

And instead of concentrating on how alone I can feel at times, how useless, how lost I feel, I'll concentrate on what I look forward to:

Spending longer than an hour a day outside, feeling the wind in my hair.
Holding those I love close.
Getting dressed up to sing and dance my way into the early hours, in a bar surrounded by healthy people, who I shared a moment in time with in isolation without saying a word to one another and just knowing how damn lucky we are to have what we have.

Until then, stay safe indoors dear reader, and enjoy the sun x

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