I’m sure you have had quite enough of people talking about the thing which shall not be named but, in a roundabout way, I am going to talk about the current state of the world, or more particularly, the current state of my corner of the world. The forced upheaval to all of our lives has seen my usual routine change massively, with new demands and responsibilities, but, even with the pressures of change there have been some silver linings that are helping me through this most challenging of times.
Of course, these changes are small beer compared to the pressures that those working in our health services are facing, and being asked to stay home and stay away from our friends and family are a sacrifice that all of us should be comfortable making, given the context. But from these changes, I’ve found some benefits that, dare I say it, I hope I can continue when the world opens up again.
I’m still working. Writers can’t just stop writing, and, to be honest, escaping into the world of my characters has been something of a relief. However, I’ve had to make changes to my usual schedule, as expecting anything approaching peace and quiet is a pipe dream with two energetic kids in the house, so I fit my writing around keeping them entertained, which is no mean feat.
One of the things I have particularly enjoyed is taking time outside. I am out in the fields every day walking my dog Scout, but recently, I’ve been taking my kids out with me and exploring new footpaths and walking routes as part of our daily exercise. We’ve had some wonderful weather lately, and it’s been a real pleasure to take long walks surrounded by nature, the world waking up after winter as the green of spring returns. I think the lockdown has just emphasised the good things available to me – with my exposure to the green fields and woodland walks being limited, for good reason, when I am allowed to be amongst it, I really appreciate the beauty and comfort that it offers. Walking down deserted footpaths as the birds chirrup and sing has helped me forget, even if only temporarily, the worries of the world.
I know how lucky I am. I rarely see another soul when I go out on my walks. I hope, wherever you are, there is somewhere you can go to to find a similar solace. In these tough times, I know how much of a tonic I’ve found it, and I hope you are also able to find somewhere that helps you forget about your worries, even if just for a short while.