Everyone seems to be reflecting on the past year. For me, it has been a year in lockdown and on furlough. A year of being alone. It is a year I have spent mainly on my own, waiting for things to return to normal. The year that COVID-19 changed everything, is not over for me. The positives are few and far between.
So, you may or may not have noticed that I haven’t been present for some time. I haven’t written a piece for House 21 this year, unless you count my contribution to the spring magazine ‘Hopes for House 21 in 2021’. That was at the beginning of February.
Waiting for the return to normal
My busy days and well organised social life were stripped away from me a year ago. I went from a packed diary of dates to look forward to, to uncertainty. I’ve previously written a letter to furlough and talked about the things I miss from the office. Furlough is something I am incredibly grateful for. It has taken the worry of paying my mortgage and other bills.
My friends have families or work different hours to me, or live in other countries. It’s one of the reasons I started attending the House 21 Brunches. I need to have things to do, exciting places to visit, good food to try and like-minded people to talk to. We keep being given false hope about the end in sight, especially hearing that numbers are reducing and the vaccine program. However, furlough is now until the end of September. I’ll be stuck in my house on my own until then.
You live with your partner; how can you be alone?
When I say alone, I don’t mean unable to function or depressed. It’s a type of loneliness that can’t be expressed, that makes no sense. It is possibly grieving or a sense of loss. I have people around me, and friends I can call, but what’s the point? They and I have no news to share, just continued babble of what we are looking forward to. Or drivel from our monotonous lives.
I spend most of my days on my own, as my partner Mike is a front line worker. He’s gone for at least 12 hours, depending on his shift pattern. Lockdown life is like being a 50s housewife. Occasionally, I do a few hours of work, cook, clean and wait for my man to come home.
I can’t be bothered
I’ve had to limit my time on social media because it has made me angry – or jealous – I can’t decide. Everyone seems to be going on adventures miles from home. Mixing with people they shouldn’t be. Or having the cash and an unworried waistline to get an indulgent takeaway every day.
It has got to the point where I don’t have the energy or drive to work on my own blog, or create content for social media. I also find it an effort to clean the house and develop creative recipes (something I love to do). TV is boring. I’m fed up with reading, and I certainly don’t want to enhance any more of my skills.
A year of being alone
This article has not been written looking for sympathy. I just wanted to explain that some people are not back in work, are not going further than their local area, don’t get to meet up with friends and family, or eat incredible food they haven’t had to make themselves.
For some, life is not going back to normal, far from it. When I talk to future generations about the lockdown, I will be telling them how boring and isolating it was. A year of being alone.