One month on from my last post, and to be very honest, not much has changed. We are still in semi-isolation, still working from home, still very much locked to this large island on the other side of the world from our families.
Isolation, quarantine, whatever you want to call it, has brought up a lot. I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think I’m amongst those who are reverse coping, slowly finding the dull weight of this imposed introversion heavier and heavier to bear. For me, daily routines are the key in managing this: online yoga tutorials, virtual book clubs with friends, regular walks along the river (which are now sans the gorgeous Henry, who has been adopted… sadly for us, and fantastic for him. I do not like spending so much time in my house without a dog).
My work heels are gathering dust; they haven’t been worn since late last year, given my #funemployment stint for the first few months of 2020, which now seems like an incredibly distant memory. I am now impeccably regular with a skincare routine. We (read: Jonathan) have nearly exhausted the list of DIY home improvement projects- although there are quite likely many, many more he’s cooked up for his van. Weeknight cooked dinners are the norm, with takeaway a rarity.
We are trying, trying to manage this abundance of time with responsibility. Trying to “make the most of it,” whatever that means, and view it as an opportunity for self-improvement, quietly fostering projects or endeavours long left on some aspirational list.
But still, it all feels a bit empty. I will not indulge myself in a list of things I miss, because that helps no one and we all have our own version of that list. But that list is very much there (entertaining for large parties and going to live music gigs are at the top of the list, if you were wondering), despite these feeble attempts to quash those longings in a surge of furious productivity.
So we wait. Because what else can we do? I have found a local charity to donate to. I’m working on my Spanish, a reawakened relic brought up by my Costa Rica trip. I’m cycling more regularly than I have in years. Again, I am painfully aware of just how much privilege marks my experience of isolation- see the ‘disclaimers’ from my previous post. But it’s all starting to feel a bit tedious, an endless tunnel of days working from home, featuring pants without waistbands and comfy socks.
There are things I will miss about this time. But moreso there are so many things I now have a deeper sense of gratitude for. Time with a group of friends in one place. Performing in a concert hall. Enjoying live music in a packed venue. The freedom to book flights. Knowing that, although across the globe, I could see my family in a few days’ time if I wanted/needed to.
We will get back there, in some shape or form. But for now, we’ll continue to wait. Still waiting, still here. Still very much, at home.