|Butterfly from within my 5Km|
However, like most people, I have found the changes and worry an unsettling and jarring experience. I've gone through a panoply of emotions and have felt restricted and claustrophobic. It's not that I would be out doing super social things all the time and I have no real interest in jetting off to the sun, so that part was easy for me. However, it was more a psychological sense of being trapped, getting used to new routines and being in a house with people around me all the time. As a self-confessed introvert, I have always relied on my few quiet hours on my own, when everyone is out of the house, to refresh and revive me. I think without those, my energy has dwindled and dwindled until I felt utterly drained and lethargic all through the Christmas period and beyond. In addition, dealing with the erratic ups and downs of menopausal hormone fluctuations has created bouts of anxiety that I was totally unprepared for.
I have, over the course of the year, settled into a kind of acceptance. It's not ideal and I'm always waiting for the 'when this is over' moment. It has been helped, I suppose, by brief releases of lockdown and the ability to see my daughter and granddaughter, whom I have missed so terribly. But I feel changed - is that common to everyone I wonder? I think having had a life-threatening health event in 2015 both helped me navigate the covid emotional waters but also stirred up those old fears and panic. It's strange, when it began, I could see the fear in people's faces, the knowledge of death around the corner, and I knew, that for some anyway, the trauma would live with them for a long time and would become enmeshed in their very existence.
And just for the visuals, I'm sharing some pics from my 5km walks! Being able to go out with my camera the odd time was a balm to my soul and I always came back feeling cheered and a bit more energised.