Across social media it seems it’s not just me that’s currently seeking an end to this fairly dark and gloomy tunnel we all seem to be stuck in. Battling the wind & mud tramping across my neighbours farmland we explored the slightly bizarre feelings of ‘mental claustrophobia’ that we seemed to be suffering from. Before all the lockdowns & tiers were even thought of our lives were filled with a heady mixture of travel, exercise classes & all manner of other interesting projects & interests. Most of these it has to be said coming to an abrupt end as the shutters came down collectively on our personal freedom. Leaving even those of us who despite considering ourselves to be very fortunate feeling trapped & really fed up.
For me it has manifested itself in the wearing of skirts & tights to do the shopping rather than jeans to give a sense of ‘getting dressed up to go out’ to trying to wring out a sense of pleasure & satisfaction in completing the most mundane of tasks.
Highlight of the week was to put my new motorbike helmet through its paces. Streaming music & enabling conversation between rider & pillion whilst breezing along was great. However I couldn’t remember how to take a call & possibly wisely decided that the perfect learning opportunity was not whilst we were screaming down the motorway.
Given the plans for Christmas were mutating faster than the corona virus seems to be, we abandoned the concept of a traditional roast. Mindful of not wanting to purchase food that potentially could be wasted we opted a ‘Tex Mex’ meal with my creative daughter making funky tree decorations. It was a ‘good call’ as the latest rules did impact our modest plans forcing us to revise the shopping list again as the guest list shrank further.
So in the meantime I get to plod on with what has become the daily mix of guitar practice, conference calls & other computer related tasks. To give me a break from the tv I have watched a few streamed music gigs which were fun. It feels that in the last few months, I have watched more television than in my entire life (or so it feels). I was shocked to see I had registered at least 300 home workouts too which doesn’t include the zoom yoga classes either. I have taken the plunge and posted one of my short stories on this site and possibly will add some other things too. if i am feeling really brave the song I have written but I might have to issue a warning before listening notice if I do.
As I write this it is actually what is known as the ‘shortest day’ so that means the evenings will start to get a little lighter by a few minutes each day. So maybe there will sort of be some light after all? I certainly hope so.
Wishing all who read this a very safe time as the end of 2020 approaches & if you normally celebrate Christmas the best you can achieve in the circumstances. Lets hope that 2021 is a whole lot brighter.
Is it just me or am I the only one to have been engaged in increasingly odd number of conversations involving topics that would formally been considered taboo?
Chatting casually about an article claiming there are now 52 gender options for example felt quite normal. Previously such a conversation would not have been feasible as for starters more than two genders would not have been recognised & if discussed would have been accompanied by much tutting in hushed tones in a secluded corner. Leading me to conclude that the tectonic plates of social change have indeed been shifting.
Warranted these changes may be judged as glacially slow in some quarters but at least there has been change. Reflecting how much the world seems so different now to when I was younger where strict, hierarchical norms were once the accepted ways. Work place bullying was rife with confidence sapping, sarcastic comments from dragon like senior nursing staff who thought nothing of humiliating their junior colleagues. I sincerely hope that level of institutional bullying is declining but sadly fear there are pockets that stubbornly remain. Whilst the burden of social change probably remains largely with the young I feel that older generations should not shirk their responsibilities either.
I have previously alluded to the fact that I have been the recipient of a number of compliments. Recently these included comments to the colour of my hair, shoes & choice of zoom background. Coming from young people whom I did not know & had nothing to gain from the exchange I can only surmise their motive was just to be nice. This level of generosity to others is a lesson that I feel older generations could do well to follow. As sadly the judgmental looks, snide comments flung my way recently have come from contemporaries or older.
Being complimented on my zoom background was slightly weird yet oddly gratifying given that it came from the lead singer of a band I like. Perhaps another example of how much things have changed? When I was growing up the best you could hope for was hanging a cherished poster on the wall, saving enough money to buy the album hoping you liked all the tracks & perhaps hand writing a letter to the fan club. Not so today. For the price of a ticket pre order I got the digital & vinyl album plus an invite to a pre listen Q & A Zoom call where the band even answered one of my questions!
I could probably cite many examples of where communication between generations is so important as often the two groups can both surprise & inform one another. The one that springs most readily to mind occurred when the assistant offered to pair my new motorbike helmet to Spotify on my phone. Not sure what music he thought I would have been listening to but he clearly wasn’t expecting what started to emanate from the device. Turns out the track playing featured a favourite drummer of his with a band he had never heard before. You could almost see his initial opinion of the old woman he probably first drew being rewritten as he grilled me for information about the music & then shared his views on the psychological benefits of playing musical instruments & tattoos. Proving perhaps the old adage of not judging books by their covers & all that but only if you accept that it cuts both ways.
Living in what I shall now dub ‘Corona Times’ you realise the world is really tipping on its axis when you find yourself watching a live stream concert in the early hours because it was broadcast in a different time zone than your own. Not touring has, as the lead singer summed up neatly has forced us all to think more quickly & creatively about many things. So maybe something positive can come out of the chaos that seems to have engulfed the planet after all. Meanwhile I continue to work on a charity music project with my Tagaband co partner Sandra. It won’t be for the want of trying as we have had to overcome many obstacles to reach this point where even now despite all the effort it could still be scuppered. One of the advantages of my blackbelt training is that you know the value of perseverance! Meanwhile if anyone wants me I am hiding in my office with my guitars for comfort.
Stay safe where ever you are & what ever you are doing.