I think now that we as a nation have a better idea of what is expected of us, things have calmed down a lot. Some Tesco delivery slots even opened up this past weekend when I went online Saturday evening to check mine was still coming this morning!
I am certainly managing to stay very focused (although today, apart from counselling over the phone, will be a designated PJ day). I am trying to do a little bit of exercise everyday and some self care - thanks to my PT who has set these as two daily goals on the app we use together, Trainerize. I'm also trying to cook from scratch more, be creative in simple ways and do something useful around the house and/or garden - as there are so many jobs on the To Do list.
One thing I have been thinking about a lot, is the fact the whole world is in this together and suddenly we've all had to stop, take note and adapt in every aspect of our lives. Initially, this scared the hell out of me (as I know it did to most people), but now my fight or flight has calmed down, I see it as permission to Just Be. And the funny thing is, why has it taken a worldwide pandemic to allow myself this permission? In the most bizarre way possible, I am actually enjoying living day to day for the first time in a very, very long time. The freedom of not worrying about the future is a huge weight which has been lifted and suddenly my mind has capacity to think about other, more enjoyable things. Yes, I do feel frustrated that there are many loose ends with my travel plans and trips I was planning to take, which has taken (and is still taking) some time to accept, but, in a weird and wonderful way, I am feeling like it is OK and I am OK.
I'm gradually easing into blogging again. I'm just going to stick with one day a week for the moment.
Things have calmed down a little in the office and feel a little less overwhelming, but we still have thousands of people stranded abroad who we are trying to bring home. It doesn't help that countries like Singapore, Australia and the UAE are releasing information about restricting transits through their airports and then, retracting that information days later, once they have caused complete and utter chaos and cancelled hundreds of flights unnecessarily. It doesn't seem a very responsible move considering the amount of holidaymakers still trying to get home.
Despite Coronavirus, life for me remains very much intact, albeit with some social distancing tweaks. My 10 week Fibromyalgia pain management program finished last week - more details on this excellent course hosted by the NHS later - and has been super helpful in my understanding of this condition and how I can better manage it. A few of my recovery and health activities have been suspended like swimming, the Recovery College course I was doing and my volunteering driving elderly people to their hospital appointments. Some things like my 1-2-1 yoga sessions are going "virtual" with the help of Zoom, and my appointments with my Dr are now on the telephone rather than in person. I still got to let off steam in the gym with my PT on Friday, have a very relaxing and well needed myofascial back massage in the afternoon, and I still was able to see my counsellor today, but I don't know how long these face-to-face activities will be allowed to last in the present climate. I'm just making the most of them whilst I still can!
On the travel and entertainment front, my first trip of the year to Bucharest at the end of April has been cancelled and I was going to see Dame Judi Dench in conversation at the Bridge Theatre, but two days after booking and that also got postponed.
I am not a fan of change. I am also not a fan of being put in a position of worry about upcoming plans and having to make decisions with such uncertainty pressing down on me. It sparks my anxiety, which is something I didn't suffer with until my partner passed away. That first panic attack is a very scary thing. I've come a long way since then, but I have felt very suppressed these last couple of weeks. I've been doing a lot of deep breathing! I think the change in weather has definitely helped me to get back on track and also restricting social media and watching the news just once a day. I have been trying to feel present and in the moment and being in the sunshine and starting to tidy up the gardens is extremely grounding. I am starting to feel calmer and more accepting that what will be, will be and if my plans all go up in smoke, it's ok. Concentrating on my health is another huge focus that distracts me on a daily basis. I am almost glad to have fibro - and I cannot believe I am saying this!
It's Monday morning and I'm waking up to peace and sunshine and a lovely, well deserved lie in. After this I will be waiting for my Tesco shop where I hope I will be brought at least some grocery items (even if they are subs of what I originally ordered for my home delivery) and my all important treat - pain au chocolate to go with my coffee. I saw countless pics on Facebook this weekend of empty shelves in supermarkets in my local area. I'm lucky, it's only me and the cat.. and I don't need toilet roll.
This weekend was definitely the worse weekend ever in my 20 year travel career, unprecedented in terms of the sheer volume of issues arising around the world with our clients and not having the policies from airlines etc in place, as news continually broke like the domino effect, with countries closing their borders or imposing self isolation upon arrival into a destination. The 3 major ones were Canada, the US and Australia, with New Zealand prior to that on Friday. I can tell you, it was like one bomb shell dropping after another, and the phones going crazy in our offices up and down the country. But the adrenaline kicked in Saturday morning and kept me going right through until Sunday evening. However, my body is now fighting back because being in constant fight or flight mode does not help the fibro. I now have two days to rest and recoup thank goodness.
So it has been a while since I last posted on here. It's been a tough journey these last 3 and a half years; one of complicated grieving after losing my best friend and partner of 17 years, watching my mental health plummet into a mire of suicide attempts, debilitating emptiness and desperation and losing my way and purpose for a very, very long time, and then - with this being my only superstition, namely everything happening in threes - being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia - that mystery chronic illness that nobody understands!
I even lost my travelling mojo and didn't turn up for a flight - that is something I never ever thought could happen.
It has taken me a long time to make myself sit at this computer and start writing again. It has been a heavy burden to carry. Somehow I can't find the words as easily as before. But they are coming and my patience with myself is paying off.
I guess my writing and travelling now has taken on a lot more meaning, or maybe just a different kind of meaning and significance. I recently told my doctor and counsellor that the prospect of visiting all 190 odd countries in the world is something that is keeping me alive. I think my eyes have been opened wide to grief and mental health, something I had previously not really given much thought to being wrapped up in my happy little life. I have also taken a long, hard look at my physical health and am trying to implement changes to diet, exercise, nutrition, sleep, fitness and stamina - basically a complete life style overhaul which is both daunting, yet exciting.
I plan to share this part of my journey (grief, mental health, Fibromyalgia) here on my blog, along with my continuing travels (although somewhat restricted at the moment with Covid 19 taking over the world) and my writing life, now that it has finally started up again.
Cheers to being back!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.