On the edge

Here we are, in the sixth week of lock-down in the UK, and the government’s chief scientific officer has gone on record that we will need some form of social distancing regulations till at least the end of the year. I’m sure this wasn’t news anyone wanted to hear – be that personally or professionally – but there it is.

We’re still struggling with the supply of protective equipment, and our testing programme is far from where it needs to be, with critical supplies still in shortage. While a research group at the University of Oxford is shortly to enter the trial phase on a potential vaccine, even a successful and accelerated rate of progression through the stages of the trial won’t alter the fact there’s much work to be done to sort out our supply chain, the manufacturing facilities and processes, as well as the delivery mechanism.

So, even if not in actual lock-down, it looks like we’re all going to be living a very different life for months, rather than weeks, to come. That means we need to adjust our mindsets away from that of short-term emergency coping, to longer-term practices for managing our mental health.

One difficulty in that has been anytime the weather is fair, Himself and I are wont to grab our camera bags and get out & about. We enjoy all aspects of photography – landscapes, seascapes, street photography, portraits, candids, nature, textures, architecture and cityscapes – you name it, we take it! But right now, we can’t. Just to rub it in, the weather in the UK has been unseasonably glorious. Spring has sprung in the most magnificent way. The sun has been shining, the rain has (largely) kept away, the grass is lush and green, and the trees and bushes are heavy with blossom. We’ve managed to do a bit of walking-and-snapping in our local park, while being mindful of selecting a time when it’s quiet, so as not to get in the way of others. Luckily the middle of the day when the park is crowded with people sunbathing or having a picnic isn’t the best light for photography anyway. It has meant one camera + one lens and no tripod for Himself, nevertheless Spring + early evening light has provided some pleasing results …

I’m also especially fortunate in having blogging, writing and reading to provide me with comfort. They satisfy the introverted aspects of my personality, and even though my extroverted side is missing interacting with people, I know I’m not alone in that. Museums and galleries providing virtual tours around their premises have been an absolute boon, and Himself found me a link from the Art Society for a series of art-related lectures. So it looks much like, as in the old normal, I may have a problem finding time to fit things in.

If I was still living alone, I’d probably be tempted to sign up to online study, to learn a language, or undertake some other form of training, for I absolutely loved studying with the Open University and am only seeking an excuse to sign up again.

The downside to all that is we’ve just hit a rash of family birthdays which we’ll not be able to share with loved ones, so I’m actively planning to have as many Unbirthday celebrations as it takes to catch up. For now, we need to stay safe, and do whatever we can to remain sane.

We all have things we need to do to keep an even keel β€” what’s yours?

Β© Debra Carey, 2020

21 thoughts on “On the edge

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  1. I use my crafting. I can get lost in my studio. Our oldest daughter is having the hardest time being alone in her apartment two hours away from us. Our youngest and I are going to take a road trip to visit her this weekend. I think her mental health is worth the risk.

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  2. LA, I shouldn’t … but that made me actually LOL πŸ˜€ I’ve been envious of how much you’ve been reading, but in no way envious about your cramped living experience. Hang on in there …

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  3. Janet, I’ve seen so many people expound on the mental health benefits of various crafts. In many ways, I wonder what direction my life would have taken if I’d indulged in that aspect of creativity instead of writing.

    So sorry to hear that your oldest daughter is struggling. It’s such a difficult time for so many people in so many different circumstances. What’s heaven for one is hell for another. I totally understand the risk you’re taking – hope she feels better for it. Take good care!

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  4. I know. Some days are better than others. Good news …I completed my yearly reading challenge. In other good news, I found the key to the closet….just in case….

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  5. The blogging community has helped me remain sane during all of this. Plus a glass of chilled wine at night doesn’t hurt either. I’d like to get to a park but ours are closed, so I make do with walks around the neighborhood. Your photos are lovely.

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  6. I hadn’t given a thought to what I’d do if I lived alone. I like to think I’d do something along the lines of what you suggested, i.e. perhaps take an online course of some kind. But given that I’m struggling getting through a book at the moment, I wonder if I’d do any better if I was single? We take walks in our development, which is nice up to a certain point anyway. They opened the beaches in our state, but I don’t dare go; for the most part because I opposed the decision to open them! πŸ™‚ Stay safe… – Marty

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  7. I’m still trying to figure out what “normal” was. Except for not entering the inside space of restaurants and wearing a mask while shopping in stores, my world hasn’t changed. Was I ever leading a “normal” life? To be honest, because change is what life is all about anyway, I’m not understanding what all the fuss is about.

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  8. I’m so thankful that I love reading, & blogging, & my crafts consist of cross stitch & some creative drawing type stuff. Several of the people I know who live alone moved in with family prior to the lockdown. I would have been tempted to do that as well.

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  9. Hello Nik, nice to see you & thanks for visiting & commenting. I thought I’d be reading up a storm during the lockdown, but have really struggled to find something I can engage with & I also feel guilty about taking the “me” time instead of calling someone living alone. A first world problem for sure. I’ve seen a number of friends decide to move in together after quarantining for 2 weeks & there’s no doubt it has helped each to avoid feeling lonely.

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  10. That’s a really interesting and through-provoking comment GJ, thank you. I think for introverts especially, life now is not that far different from the one they chose to live before.


  11. Marty, yup, I agree with you on the ability to concentrate on reading as I did before, although part of that is guilt that I *should* be doing something for someone else who does live alone. I’d be with you on the beach opening too, even though I love a beach – it’s just too soon! In the apartment block I live, there’s quite a few who go out multiple (more than 3) times a day. No idea where they go, and they only occasionally return with a shopping bag. I had to decide 1) to disconnect from judging them and 2) to be content in my decision to abide by the lockdown requirements regardless of other’s actions. It’s all we can do after all, isn’t it? You take care too Marty.

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  12. Thanks Ally, there’s a couple there I’m really pleased with. I borrowed Himself’s macro lens & had fun using manual focus (I’ve been using manual settings for about a year now, but focus was a new addition). It was great to tap into that as a form of distraction. I’ve had to work really hard to ward off depression so have avoided drinking, especially wine, but will be indulge in a glass of pink fizz to celebrate my birthday at the weekend. I also find that blogging has been a tremendous help.

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  13. You’ve completed your reading challenge already??!! Now I really am envious πŸ˜€ I actually fell behind and although I’m blaming it on selecting a few chunky books one after the other, I think I’m just struggling with the guilt of indulging in so much “me” time.

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  14. Turning it around…. they could phone you rather than you phoning them. I have no problem taking me time now, I used to though. That’s a whole topic in itself. I used to love buses & trains because that’s time when I didn’t feel like I should be doing something else.

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  15. I always dreamt of having lots of reading time. Now that I have it….I know I’ll never read this much again….so I’m indulging

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  16. Yard work is a distraction I enjoy but also I am trying to burn some calories cycling and walking on trails that overlook the lakes. Happy news is that the hummingbird feeder I hung up two days ago has been discovered and have spotted it being used already. – David

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  17. Hummingbirds? How utterly lively & the perfect distraction. I find watching birds feed really calming, almost like a form of meditation. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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