The shorter nights and the longer days are most welcome. The daytime is easy, really, but it’s the long, lonely evenings that are the worst part of living alone, in my experience, anyway. Like many of my readers already know, we cope with solitude by developing our own routines and techniques to mitigate those melancholy moments….
I’m fortunate that I can still notch up a few kilometres on the nearby walking trails and streets, weather permitting and with spring now here, I can get out almost every day for an hour or so and feel the benefit to mind and body. Sometimes I feel some back pain or another twinge which serves as a reminder to keep moving for as long as I can. But it’s not so much my physical health that is a problem, it’s my silly mind, which often does the sort of wandering I don’t need!
With current Coronavirus restrictions we can’t venture far on our walks or even visit family or friends, and now our shopping has become a bit scarier too, as we all try to keep our distance and not handle or touch surfaces!
But I am heartened to see and hear, and be the recipient of, the generosity of family and from my friends who live around me in this retirement village. There are many others here who live alone, and probably just as many others living as couples but with one partner less able than the other, and that can be even harder to cope with than living alone, and my heart goes out to them. They have a more difficult road to travel than me now with only myself to worry about! Melancholy can be so debilitating, and so pointless, a bit like a dog chasing its own tail.
It’s the generosity of spirit and friendship of others that jolts me back to reality and encourages me to be more useful than useless! It also reminds me to be grateful rather than graceless, to thank God for all my blessings then try to focus on how I can reflect that love and care in what I do and say, which leads me into thinking of the ‘now’ and ahead, instead of ‘living in the past’. It is hard to plan ahead in these times but if we don’t dream, we stagnate, and that sad cycle starts again.
So, I’ve decided to dream, daydream anyway, and stop being a sad sack. Longer days now means I can walk more often or sit in the sun and read or make or create or fix something or even plot how and where I might like to travel – whenever! Thanks to my daughter’s encouragement I even found my old paints and crayons to see if an artistic dream would emerge, well it didn’t, quite… So here we go, busy on a spring clean, another walk, maybe a letter or two to some old friends (better type, my handwriting is becoming spidery). Although not a social butterfly these days, I will not succumb to being a hermit!
If you have read this far and are still feeling jaded, you should join with me and say, “Bring on the longer days, and we’ll fill ‘em up with action and some joy”. Remember the old slogan “Life – be in it”. And isn’t it good that the nights are shorter, now!