My walking buddy Pam and I see each other every day. I've been chatting with my next door neighbour as he's been out working on his property the last few days. I 'see' friends too, online, or we talk on the phone and a common theme seems to be emerging.
We're all getting tired. Are you?
And it's a funny kind of tired. My neighbour next door said he usually gets up at 6am every morning for work and now he's struggling to get out of bed before 11am. Another friend I spoke to yesterday said he feels 'lost', wandering through the days like a 'wraith, a shadow of myself'. A writing colleague and I shared an online whiskey last night and she said she feels just exhausted.
I have this increasing need that I am trying to suppress: I want to lie down, read a book, and fall asleep on my fainting couch (yes, there is indeed such a thing, a couch for ladies to recline when feeling faint, has a high back at one end, as you can see in this painting).
Betsy cat has now adjusted to the time change ( we went off daylight saving over the weekend) and she now starts her wailing wake-up call right on time at 6am. Usually her howling is something no sane person can sleep through but now, I just turn over and go back to snoozing. She eventually goes away but always returns about half an hour later with increased vigour.
So I am running late for work.
On our walk yesterday, Pam and I were keeping our social distance and having our conversation. At one point she stopped and said, 'Do you think people aren't smiling as much?' Indeed, some of the people we passed did not say hi like they used to. The exuberance and chattiness so apparent shortly after the lockdown is dissipating. The weather has turned grey too. Some rain, heavy clouds, a cold southwesterly wind.
Are the cracks starting to show? Is this fatigue the result of a 'slowing-down' of lives that were going full speed ahead? The brakes have been applied and we must now stop, breathe, take time to walk and think and pause? Anxiety can be exhausting and we've had plenty of that lately. Will we all come out of this refreshed, rested, relaxed, ready to go again? Or mentally depleted?
I don't know.
I do know that I am glad of Betsy's relentless routine. There's nothing quite like kids and hungry pets to spur us into action every morning when our own internal structures are slipping a bit.
The lure of my fainting couch is strong and I know I have to devise strategies to stay awake, alert, onto it because we are only halfway through our four-week isolation time.
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These are extraordinary times..
I'm writing about our