It was about week seven that I started to crack. I suppose that makes sense, I mean if there is a seven year itch in marriage there’s probably a seven week panic in isolation. Before week seven I had tiny moments of alarm mainly around finances, the possible longevity of the situation, how my kids’ lives would be affected… that sort of thing. I felt a deep empathy for people who had lost a lot more than me, those in hospitality or the arts and I worried about the health care workers. But if I’m honest, a small part of me revelled in the drama and the change. There were a lot of positives to being shut up at home. I could stop spending over 15 hours a week in the car ferrying kids to school and activities, just thinking about the savings in petrol alone made me smile. I could stop the endless planning and the million administrative tasks that having a budding athlete entails – no tennis, no tournaments, rankings, coaching, squads, UTR… I could stop having to be here and there and everywhere. I could just stop. Oh, how naive and idealistic I was.
Sure, those things stopped, but hello! home schooling, fitness, endless cooking, cleaning and shopping for food. I blame the snacks. I have callouses from the amount of carrots and cucumber I’ve chopped over the past three months. Also, I never realised just how much extra mess there is when we are all at home, all of the time.
Still, I was coping. It was nice to have the kids around, they’re great kids and there were jigsaws, board games, reading, darts and Fortnite challenges to see us through. There was also American hopscotch, but since I rolled my ankle trying to perform a particularly difficult hop and kick manoeuvre, the shine somewhat diminished from the activity. Hubby still went in to work most days, so that didn’t change and I set up a schedule that seemed to work. An hour of fitness a day, plus an hour of tennis for each kid since we still had a local court open. Sundays were totally free. A school work checklist for each kid to complete. And sorted. I made peace with the fact that I wouldn’t get much writing done, but there were other things to focus on — like my website, reading, research. It was all good. Until it wasn’t.
I found myself becoming angrier and angrier. More restless. Irrational. Caged. My world felt the size of a walnut and I’d inspected all it’s creases and curves and found it grossly wanting. I wanted my life back. I want my life back.
I bet you do too.