Let’s get drunk at the guest house
So we have been locked in our homes for fifty days. I know today is day fifty because I have a corona lockdown diary that counts the days as I fill it with feelings, mostly it declares that my family are either bored unmotivated and hungry (I am sorry but this has to be a fabrication of the truth as they do not bloody well stop EATING!). One particular resident is non-responsive (no comment), wants to leave home and did I mention they are BORED. (Not Sarg the dog, he is loving life.) Yeah, it’s not a good read. Considering the number of thoughts constantly scrambling around inside my head it should be much more compelling.
Question, what does boredom feel like?
I think there are a couple of camps that divide the people of this particular pandemic. The ones loving life-like Christmas has been extended indefinitely. No travelling on packed transport to a job that brings you no joy with people you might not like, freeing you up to lounge around in lycra in between bike rides, baking and crafting with Kirsty. And then there are the jealous slightly bitter busier than ever ones! (Is that just me?). If we put aside the surrealness of it all, the confusion, disappointment and sadness attached to this deadly virus and do a bit of soul searching I am interested to learn is this weird experience we are sharing on a global level a torture or a blessed gift on a personal level?
Key workers are heroes right now, we cannot even imagine in our wildest nightmares what NHS staff are witnessing daily. It is incredibly sad that it has taken something of this magnitude to ignite our offerings of appreciation and affection. Going forward it would be nice to re-evaluate how we treat and pay the everyday people that make our journey in and out of this world safe and comfortable. Clapping doesn’t seem quite rewarding enough. There is nothing as good as death to teach us the painful lessons and bring perspective to what’s most important in life? Wouldn’t it be wasted if we weren’t paying attention in class? And will we only really get the memo if death takes from us personally. Yes, we have all been massively inconvenienced but will we only know the depth of its despair through an irreplaceable personal loss.
Here is to the shop workers you know the ones that most people think can’t get a better job. I can say this by the way for I have worked in many what some people would consider crap jobs I have been on both sides of the counter. Like I tell my children the surgeon can’t operate in a dirty theatre. Every person has value, plays a part in the bigger picture and the majority of us that keep the wheels in motion are cleaning the operating theatre. Be nice to the good person that serves you, that’s all I’m saying. At this time be extra nice. Many people are working flat out crazy busy with half the amount of colleagues for the same low pay. They don’t have the luxury of lounging around all day in their pyjamas.
Teachers, we love teachers!!!!! So I am a weird slightly introverted person who enjoys being at home a lot. I like quiet me time. (I vaguely remember this) I crave silence; think that’s why I love meditation so much. It brings a brief escape from the chaos of mothering the world around me. But I also love school holidays. I like us all busy doing nothing. I love having my family near; I don’t think we all actually get along too well, but teenage siblings aren’t meant to like each other are they? I can handle the lockdown. Homeschooling well that’s a different matter altogether! HELP!!! Actually my clever daughter has helped thank the lord. By the way, how do you get a teenager to do what you want them too now that hitting children is illegal (just curious!) It’s like one big detention. You’re grounded has lost its edge. I listened to Dr Shefali with Russell Brand and apparently my lack of boundaries and need to please are areas I need to work on to improve my parenting skills. I agree with Dr.Shefali. Is it bad that we gave up PE with Joe after week one? And that the only educational treasure I have gifted my youngest is how to chant Antar Naad Mudra for thirty-one minutes a day with Leo Cosendai on Instagram live. We love it; Lyds said after day one that thirty-one minutes felt like a lifetime. She is not a yogi. Is it also bad that it worries me that the smallest member of the family hasn’t had their sex education talk, there are some things you really don’t want to hear from your parents! Like I said we love teachers.
So I read that Buddhists believe that we should treat everyone that we meet as if they are our most treasured guest. You can take pleasure from the comfort that you give to others; their happiness is your happiness and all that. I like this idea and in my house, I have a lot of guests; untidy ones. I sometimes enter the rooms in my house and it looks like a crack addict might have lived there once before he overdosed. (You know who you are!). When I shared this belief with my daughter she said she liked the idea very much of being treated like a guest but doesn’t want to be the housekeeper. She said that would just wear you out. Yes it does. What is needed is for everyone to want to be the housekeeper; then we can all be pampered guests. Aren’t we lucky to be able to spend so much time in the homes we work so hard for to afford with the people we love most? And yet so many people just can’t stay home or spend actual time with those people. We are very conditioned to need stimulation and stuff. I know some of us dream of a new simpler future but is it really possible? By the way if you are considering opening a guest house make sure you have good WiFi. It used to be love that caused teenage angst.
Yoga Leggs clothing has been crazy busy and it feels like the whole of England is running, stretching and working out to online classes in our leopard print spandex. I’m going to say something bad (look away now) some days I hate them (I KNOW) it’s just the corona talking but some days I feel cheated, I haven’t mastered a new language well unless more imaginative swearing counts and miles decided he would learn Spanish (that lasted two days). I haven’t painted a masterpiece (only the walls of my kitchen). I haven’t read the massive pile of unread books I own apart from a rather raunchy follow up to Pride and Prejudice (Mr.Darcy!) that I declared I would read. I haven’t baked a cake, but that’s because where the hell has all of the self-raising flour gone? I haven’t made a meal from tinned goods either. I haven’t done a sponsored event, made scrubs (thank God for the good people making scrubs!) or VE Day bunting for my house or made my son go to virtual scouts or practice the piano. I haven’t even done YOGA!!!!!
I know I am a terrible entrepreneur; the dragons would throw me headfirst from the Den. But I have actually dreamt of shiny parcels. My husband won’t speak to me after this; He is a serious businessman. Becki may fire me. It is amazing the love we get for this small business I do love Yoga Leggs promise I do. I love that our products cheer people up; and stay up during downward dog. It makes me smile when I send a pair out as a gift on your behalf with a note of how much you love someone. I guess the point is I don’t think I am alone in feeling overwhelmed sometimes by the busyness. And I think as women we think it’s our responsibility to be CEO of the company whilst running a gorgeous little 5* guesthouse on the side and now we have to be teacher, counsellor and hairdresser too (this I am actually qualified for) it’s heavy going some days. The other day I found myself resentful of people out walking past my house like they had not a care in the world and too much time on their hands. I wasn’t my best self that day.
I think this time spent at home with no escape from your job is creating a longing for escapism, I know people that feel chained to their computers. Freedom was an undervalued ideal, not anymore though. Social media is making some of us all feel inadequate; like we should be doing more with time, when I was rather looking forward to maybe doing a little less. Most days I just want to stay sane. The government just leaves us more bewildered on the etiquette of social distancing with every new confusing announcement. Apparently we can’t go out unless we really have to; then we can go out. Of course, anyone young will take that as a green light. They are immune anyway, aren’t they? (Yes that was sarcasm). Then I feel guilty that I am not a nurse or a carer and just so grateful that all of my people are healthy.
Today I discovered the French poet Charles Baudelaire. Get drunk he says; with wine, with poetry or with virtue. We all need to find what carries us off and intoxicates our senses don’t you think? Find that thing that makes us feel freer and alive. It could be as simple as watching some very good TV (Normal people was just Wow I had to binge drink it in like a greedy alcoholic.) or sitting in the sunshine, making out that you are on the holiday that you are supposed to be on. (that’s not odd is it?). I hope that more people have had the time for that. To get to that tipsy place, the one before it all gets a bit messy. I hope there have been countless better days. What has become apparent through this is that it’s family and friends and love and laughter and touch that are the most intoxicating of all. It’s human connection that makes us high. We now know who the real heroes are. And I’m not good at being virtual. Or a teacher!
Do you think we will all need counselling after this?
Stay safe, be well. Get drunk on life.
Actually Charles Baudelaire may have died from syphilis so he might not be the best person to take advice from.