So I have decided to write a diary of these times, as I think it will be beneficial for my own mental health and hopefully in turn may help others process their feelings through this existential crisis. We are coming to the end of week one of lock down in the UK. Through the week before and this the restrictions on movement have increased steadily. We started with basic social distancing like not shaking hands, washing hands all the time, not touching your face, standing two meters apart, etc. To almost total lock down, where only totally essential travel is allowed.
My access to my ancestral home has been severed now we are not allowed to go up on the moor. Unless we walk or ride, but that would take a very long time! I may resort to it one day soon though! At this point we are only allowed to go outside if we are in our own back gardens, oh I feel terribly for the people living in flats right now! Or we can go on one trip outside to exercise, that exercise can only be going for a walk, run or ride from your house… so it’s town life for us. And in the end, the fridge is full, the sun is shining and I am trying not to feel ungrateful!
I believe my emotions aren’t just about immediate change and restrictions but more than that. It is the loss of a way of living, which was not good for anyone least of all our natural environment! It is thinking that my daughter won’t have the opportunities I had, I know her opportunities will be different not necessarily less but there are no positive alternatives out there to aspire to. At this point in time our children’s lives look like they will be diminished! Our civilisation feels diminished. No more travel to beautiful and exotic places, no first hand experience of different cultures and natural environments, no more mind expanding films, plays, dance, music to experience first hand and with others. Lives reduced to eating and following exercise routines on YouTube, endlessly scrolling social media platforms…. We are in existential meltdown down and although it’s not climate change directly which has brought on this extreme crisis, which I have always said would, it is definitely indirectly involved and the results are the same. The earth is loving the lack of pollution but our societies will not thrive, such a pity it has to be one or the other. We need viable alternative ways of living, but at the moment most of he world is thinking this is a blip and short term, soon we will be back to normal! In the end it was the old normal which has precipitated our current situation, we shouldn’t be trying to get back to normal, we need to take this time to find a different way, a way which connects the needs of people with the needs of the planet, and then we might be able to thrive all together.
I am feeling very teary today and feel I want to curl up and wait it out under a duvet, but that is the first step to depression and I will not follow that path. I will cry, cleanse and carry on. It is spring now and we will grow into a new normal which hopefully is all about cooperation and kindness. That will be my alternative and I will strive to make it real.
stay safe and well