I am experiencing quite a lot of mixed emotions about the easing of restrictions. It has been just so lovely to see my grand child and my sons and daughter-in-law and even have lunch with some good friends!
On the other hand there is a slight anxiety about mingling with crowds and from what I can see people are not quite so careful about social distancing once they are around the shops or the take away food shop and young people can’t seem to help themselves. They just seem to naturally congregate in groups(at least outside).
Also, the whole idea of winding up our lives again is somewhat confronting. I don’t think I want too! One of my sons has said he doesn’t really want to go back to the way it was. I think a lot of people will be reluctant to get back to the ‘old’ normal. How long we take to return to full employment, working in offices, bustling city streets, theatre performances and cinemas will impact on people’s views on their lives and the world they want to live in. Politics is already starting to slip backwards. I hope all the amazing positive things that have made us warmer and more connected during this time are not just whisked away.
Some of the lovely elements have been the time shared with my son Nick. We have spent time together in the studio with Ziggy; but also out walking together instead of over a hasty meal after work. It has been such a joy to share time as two independent adults, not just mother and son. I had that relationship with my mother too, not only mother daughter but also as adult friends. It is such a gift.
Ziggy has blossomed into a real little artist with his drawings over this period. His choice of colour is good and he works very hard at realising his characters on the paper. He has a vivid imagination and makes up all sorts of stories, albeit heavily influenced by his reading and the movies he watches. His uninhibited drawing makes me so envious.
I am still so constrained with my own art. It is so hard to let go of self judgement as an adult. Still I continue and have finally finished a piece I started last year. I am pleased with it and feel it has benefited by being out of sight for awhile. Fresh eyes helped me see how I could ‘lift’ it and make it more alive.
I have finally gone to a physiotherapist to address a niggle in my groin and upper thigh that has plagued me for a couple of years. He has made a huge improvement already and it barely bothers me now. The disappointing news was that I have some arthritis in the hip. I was appalled! In all honesty it should not be a surprise after all the long walks with backpacks over the last 15 years, but really? How dare my body betray me this way! I am still not convinced the arthritis is the cause of the niggle but attribute it to over tight muscles. I have been going to the gym regularly for years to maintain flexibility and strength and over CoVid I have been doing 5 days a week at least as well as walking the dog. Perhaps I need to mix it up more. I realise that I am a little addicted to the routine. I feel guilty if I miss a session! That feeling should be ridiculous at my age. The truth is I am so afraid of getting feeble both mentally and physically. All the research points to being physically active as a deterrent to dementia and the source of a long and healthy life. Dying isn’t what frightens me but living a compromised life does. Off with these morbid thoughts! What will be will be. We don’t know what the future will bring as CoVid 19 has shown, so taking one day at a time and dealing with that day’s challenges is enough.
Hazel, my niece, who came for three months to mind Alfie is nearing the end of her course, two and a half years later! Soon she will be moving on to share her grandmother’s flat with some friends. It will be nice to have the unit to myself again but I will miss her also. She is a gentle, sweet young woman and we have got on very well. Alfie will have to get used to being on his own a little more again. He is very insistent that he wants to be near you all the time. He will only put up with you working at the table for so long before he wants to sit on my lap. He is such a pest I usually move to the couch where he can curl up beside me happily snoring!
The other day I was over helping Jonathan shift into their new home and Alfie was left on his own. When I returned the bag of plastics destined for the red bin recycling was strewn across the floor. No other damage but a protest none the less. I have since gone to buy a swag of new dog toys to challenge him. It is a bit like being in the Zoo where they have enrichment programs for the animals!
Last week was also the first lunch with friends for weeks. It was so exciting but we were all very careful about not hugging(seemed so odd) and either Namasted or bumped elbows. It was an absolute talk fest and just so very nice to see people and share a meal in person! Zoom has been a useful tool and for those distant relatives a great boon to communication but it isn’t the same as a person to person experience.
The Saturday Zoom with extended family which has been going for several weeks now ( driven by my energetic brother-in-law Gary in Sydney), has been a fabulous innovation that has connected brothers cousins and friends across South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory. We have seen more of each other over these sessions than we have over the last few years! It shows how technology really can be a positive tool.
Tomorrow I embark on my first bushwalk for months. Another restriction removed in Victoria which allows a group of ten to walk with social distance but as a group. It is supposed to be sunny too. The weather has been very changeable and wet so this chance is not to be missed. Other states were able to lift these restrictions sooner but our Premier has been very cautious and waited for the rate of infections to drop to single digits in Victoria. We are all hoping that there is no second wave of pandemic like in the Spanish Flu.
The rate of infection in other countries remains high with the US leading the way in both infections and deaths so Australia’s borders will be effectively closed for some time yet. My travelling is restricted to conversing with Suzanne in Switzerland twice a week. Once in English and once in French. Hopefully my French will take a leap forward!
Life as we knew it begins to resume slowly and we will adjust once again. Football is restarting, local sports are also recommending and the kids are going back to school. A huge sigh of relief tinged with anxiety has been heard. Hygiene is in, hugging is out. A new normal begins.