I’m in a funny mood.
Not ‘funny’, you know, comic sans…humour
But slightly, irritatedly, out of sorts.
And it’s ZOOM to blame again. Zooming blooming zoom.
I enjoy some ZOOMies but not all.
I like the ones where we have a chat and catch up. When we tell each other what we’ve been doing to occupy our isolation time.
Not what we’re missing.
What we are enjoying.
Not what we’re hating.
I know that this isolation is a test, and at the best of times, and with a known deadline, it would be hard.
And we have not got a deadline. I expect minimum 13 weeks. Possibly nine months. Possibly longer, until there is a vaccine to protect me/us.
There will be darkness and light, false dawns and very real nights.
There will be deaths. People we know. People we love. People we say hello to often and pass on our ways.
I have just had an email from my CCG Chair, replying to a letter of a month ago, offering a telephone meeting about a concern regarding dementia and a care closer to home project. But I have replied that I am suspending all my engagement on this until the big V has passed.
He and his staff have much more important things to do now. I know, as I get inside info from my NHS wife.
We, living with dementia, just have to get on with IT. Whatever our particular IT is.
Today on a ZOOMy, I listened to a lot of people expressing concerns about difficulties with this isolation, with lack of contact or care from health or social care, with difficulties getting food supplies and meds.
Yes, it is hard. But these are still early days. Systems are only just being thought through and set up.
It takes time to organise 700,000 volunteers.
My little Parish Council very quickly and excellently sent cards to us all with a contact number for help getting food or medical supplies delivered. My neighbours, bless them, ask if we need anything if they are going shopping and buy my diet tonic water (tastes good without gin and is a good evening substitute).
There will soon be groups of volunteers attached to pharmacies and GP surgeries, and supermarkets everywhere.
We may not have the care and support some of us need. We definitely won’t have the face to face company and touch that we all very much value. The travel that provides variety, challenge and confidence.
But it does me no good to think about how things ought to be. How things might be in a perfect or even imperfect world.
And it does me no good to dwell on this shitty disease, the nightly mareish dreams, and the things I find difficult.
Yesterday I put pepper into my bread mix; too late, I thought.
Today I fumbled a roll of toilet paper and dropped it into the loo.
Tomorrow…who knows. A quarter pound of tea in the pot perhaps, again.
No, I am feeling much more relaxed than for years. Hugely relaxed. Can’t believe it.
I’m not angry and frustrated about my CCG.
I’m not worrying about an agenda for an upcoming meeting. Or whatever I committed to doing at the last one.
The evenings are getting lighter and, sometimes, warmer.
My seeds are growing.
And – and this is key – I am learning new skills and polishing up existing ones.
I am whittling and carving…or learning to at least. Collecting drift wood along hedges, through woods, around fields.
I’m taking photos again, after such long, cold, soaking days and weeks of grey, miserable, stormy walks.
Processing the pictures, editing, altering, tweaking…to get new ones in ‘my’ style. Just an hour here and there is very satisfying.
Next job is to order some prints and then make frames out of found, combed, driftwood. (Look on pinterest…)
And I’m going to tune my piano. That’s going to be…um…interesting.
So my message is…
Don’t dwell on difficulties. Find something new to do.
Origami. Whittling. Knitting. Painting by numbers. (Some demanding but comprehensive kits out there, esp from USA.) Write letters by hand. Make models…again, there are some interesting kits online, and not just airfix. Jigsaws (aaarrgghh…)
Get good at something simple and it becomes absorbing as you take it further. Become an expert. Then share it. Teach someone else (virtually for the time being).
We could have ZOOMy knitting sessions! Now actually that would work.
I need to focus on positives, to be optimistic. And I need to avoid and keep away from pessimism, and what’s wrong with the world and with my life.
Take exercise, inside or out.
Get Alexa to help with ideas and singalongs. Or even ‘jokes’.
Find something to do with your hands (and, therefore, brain).
Talk to people you know, virtually. Seeing the person makes it so much better (and easier when you have brain disease).
Ask not what society can do for you…but what you can do for yourself and others.
Just, I dunno, just think positive and do things.
Just do it. You can. You really can.
[I hope this blog does not upset people. It’s not meant to be a lecture, rather an exhortation and encouragement.]