I feel really guilty for saying this but I am enjoying lockdown. The conveyor belt of life has come to a standstill.To quote an everyday ‘nowadays’ cliche, I can hear the birds sing in the morning while I potter about.
The guilt comes from enjoying a stillness that has been imposed because of the health crisis which has killed thousands. I would gladly exchange my solitude for the return of those lost lives but that is not within my gift. What is within my gift is to make the most of a situation which has been imposed on us all.
As a Liberal, I have never known a time such as the present when I have been called upon to exchange my liberty, my freedom curtailed, for security i.e safety from the virus (unless you are Dominic Cummings). Utilitarianism may be for the plebs but Dominic can make as many trips as he likes in the spirit of individualism. I am staying put.
I don’t have to leave the city for the countryside (which I would be loath to do) to discover what it is like to not have to jostle for space from the moment I leave home, whether it’s on the crowded pavements, public transport or in shops. There is space around me.
I used to constantly bump into people in the narrow aisles of supermarket, made narrow to cram more goods onto racks. The shelves may be bare when I make my weekly trip to the supermarket but, in midlife, I have learnt how to adapt. I buy what is available and am learning new ways of eating.
Deprived of choices, I have reinvented the way I live. By adapting, I have the advantage of finally getting around to doing all those things which I have been wanting to do but didn’t have the time or mental space to do.
My midlife crisis angst has disappeared. Perhaps all I needed was to slow down and have time to do things which make me feel, emotionally, as if I am finally reclaiming my life against the physical momentum of it all. I am sleeping better and have more energy. I don’t miss my midlife crisis which made me feel tired and cranky. I wait to see whether it returns when life goes back to ‘normal’. I hope not.
In the meantime, if I get bored I only need turn on the TV to watch politics rival comedy in our new normal.