So, here we are again. For those reading who aren’t au fait with the state of things in the UK (and I can’t imagine why – it’s not like there’s much else going on…) we have just been put back in a country-wide lockdown, for the third time now.
It’s hard not to feel some degree of frustration (to put it mildly) that we are still in such a difficult and troubling state after what is coming up to a full year living in a Covid-world. Even though I fully expected this lockdown (which given the increasing case numbers seemed unavoidable) when it was announced, my heart still sank. But, once I’d had a fortifying cup of coffee, a walk around the garden, and a few deep breaths, I could see the reasons to be cheerful.
We are resilient. When things are difficult, there are always examples of the best of us finding the courage and the optimism to pull the rest of us along. For instance, I have family members who work within the NHS – possibly the greatest institution our country has ever produced. In addition to hearing from those family members, I was also able to experience this first-hand over Christmas, with a close family member in a terrible and worrying state with illness (non-Covid). Seeing how the staff operated in a hospital under great stress with Covid, plus all the usual winter pressures, was inspiring. I’m not sure I have the force of will that those staff had on display to deal with what they deal with, day after day, in extremis.
And then, beyond that, I have been able to appreciate my own position – I am immensely fortunate to do what I do, but more even than that, to have the readers that I have. I can’t tell you often a kind message or a positive comment regarding one of my stories has given me a real boost (I would’ve said “shot in the arm”, but that seemed a little bit too obvious…) and helped me get back into the worlds of Milton, Beatrix, Atticus et al, with renewed enthusiasm. You’ve seen me write about what I have planned for 2021, and I am excited to get down to work. Let’s be glass-half-full and say that at least distractions will be few and far between in the near future.
Thanks for sticking around. If I have any advice to share, it would be “find your own joy” whatever that might be, and definitely don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day, week, whatever. We are going to get through this, and when we do, maybe I might even appreciate going to watch West Ham play, rather than treating it like the ninety minutes of self flagellation that it usually is.
Actually, let’s not go mad. Baby steps.