Hamster

The Daily Grind

I worked out that to date I have been in lockdown for 32 weeks out of the last 11 months… or 65% of the time.  Living in Wales has meant that we have been in lockdown longer than some parts of the UK, but even in making that calculation I am pretty sure parts of Northern England, Manchester springs to mind, have probably been in Lockdown even longer.

As I tossed and turned in bed last night, with this new information spinning around in my head, I began thinking about how I feel like I have been holding my breath for a long time.  I realise this analogy is far from perfect for all those who have suffered with or lost loved ones to CoVid.  I apologise if you feel offended, but I also hope that in my candor you understand that I can’t filter what was going through my head for sensitivity.  It is what it is.

The numbers who have lost their lives to this pandemic, both in the UK, in Wales where I live, which passed the grim milestone of 5,000 people last week, and the World at large is impossible to get your head around.  A few months back I saw the tweet with the memorial with the names of those who died in the Titanic tragedy, and then there was the stat, that if the UK gave a minute silence for each person we lost, we would have to be quiet for 77 days.  Trying to process the scope and magnitude of loss is something that I am guessing we will process with the benefit of hindsight and records in the history book.


But THE problem isn’t just the national one.  It’s the daily grind of managing homeschooling (two x autistic and anxious) kids whilst working, navigating choppy business waters as a co-founder of a new enterprise whilst trying to earn a living with an existing business that was impacted in Lockdown 1, being mindful to social distance on the rare occasions I venture out for essentials and supporting my Mum going through cancer treatment remotely.  It’s also realising that everyone is facing similar battles, and I’m one of the lucky ones.  We have a safe, warm place to live, food on the table and access via various devices to keep going.  

Getting off the hamster wheel

It’s ironic that I am writing this one week after we staged a funeral from my daughter’s pet pygmy hedgehog, Maya, who was found dead beside her hamster wheel. 

I’m starting to wonder if this post is really an excuse to post photos of cute animals.  It wasn’t my intention when I started, but I think it maybe makes the points that in the midst of this whirlwind we have to take time to step away and do things that have nothing to do with surviving but help to reorientate us.
I’m exhausted.  Psychologically, because this is hard, and the longer it goes on, the harder it gets.

Physically, because I am starting work at 8pm each evening to try and catch up with the work that I didn’t do homeschooling the kids.  Emotionally, because it’s hard watching my son and daughter struggle with the situation in their own ways, feeling let down by ‘the system’, angry and appalled at government and the lack of global leadership, thankful and annoyed at my husband in equal measure for helping/not helping enough…. and worried about our finances and the future. 

Everything seems to be existing in a dichotomy at the moment.  Pandemic versus vaccine.  We’re doing okay versus how long are we going to be alright for. Everyone is safe versus the danger that lurks.  Managing and not managing.  Laughing until I cry versus crying because I’ve had enough.  Coping versus not coping.

11 months is a long time to keep going. 

It’s half term this week and I’m giving myself permission to call it quits and down tools and that’s okay.  I’ll pick them up next week, but for now, I’m going to take several days to… just breathe. Just in case you have no one else tells you this… remember it is okay to step off the hamster wheel.

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