I was asked to fill in a survey this week by a local one-woman firm whose clothing I just love. And the final question was ‘What do you love to do in your spare time?’.
And this question threw me and has given me food for thought about how my life has changed.
I have always identified as an extroverted, people-person who loves to socialise and hang out with family and friends. This would always have been my stock-standard response to said question.
But we are now in January 2022. In the past 2 years, I can count the number of social activities I have been to on two hands. We watch a number of streaming channels in the evening, and on weekends I walk along the beach where I live and read … a lot. I scroll social media and watch make-up tutorials on YouTube.
I now follow 200 accounts on Instagram! I do daily yoga and Pilates. And I am very fortunate to have a great relationship with my husband and we love each other’s company. In fact, one daughter stated recently that we were each other’s ‘ride or die’ – and I took that as a great tribute.
Do I have no friends? Absolutely the opposite. I still have many friends that I went to both primary and secondary school with and others that I have worked with in the past. But I hardly ever see them.
So what has changed? I had to ask myself if I was just overly anxious about COVID, and the answer is no. I just want to be sensible. I don’t want to be sick, and I don’t want to possibly infect others either. I think it’s time now time to re-evaluate my priorities.
My health is great. My family’s health is great. I’m fitter than I’ve been in years. I’ve got 2 years of internet shopping that needs a fun occasion to go to. And I feel it’s time to find some middle-ground between the person who loves to catch up with friends, and the person who finds it easier to stay home all weekend because it’s safe.
The authorities are saying we’re at the peak. Whilst that may be true, I think many of us have nervous systems that are at the bottom of the trough, and it’s time to change that.
It’s not going to be easy – but nothing worthwhile ever is. I’m going to reach out to friends and make some dates to catch up. Nothing too much at first. It’s time we started to plan what our new normal is and to strike a happy medium between hermit and social butterfly.
We don’t want children and grandchildren growing up fearful and missing out on some of the fabulous experiences that growing up allows. We can achieve this if we try.
Is there anyone that you need to contact and catch up with?