Only for the lockdown, I may never have experienced the following:
- My hair appointment (always booked two months in advance) was cancelled. I texted my hairdresser, desperate for advice on box dyes. She informed me of my colour. Debated doing a patch test. Decided I’d better. It was the “ALLERGIC REACTION MAY CAUSE DEATH” bit that got me. Going to the hospital would be a nightmare! The patch test burned and I was left with a scabby wound. Decided to go gracefully grey.
- A few weeks later, I purchased a different brand. The patch test stung. How much stinging is dangerous? Maybe I can use this as an opportunity to see how I’d look if I consciously decided not to cover the greys.
- Took a nail scissors to my hair instead. I wanted a layered look. I sliced off two chunks. I was reminded of that one time I cut a Barbie’s hair and kept having to compensate by shortening the opposite side. Bald Barbie really stood out from the crowd. I put down the scissors.
- When someone told me that we should try on our jeans every day “because tracksuit bottoms/leggins/pyjamas are lying to us,” I was enveloped in a wave of emotion (anxiety, guilt, rage, denial). “That’s the worst idea ever,” I retorted.
- Did a 20-minute Joe Wicks’ workout. I couldn’t bend over for three days (and counting…)
- Whenever a TV character walks down a busy street or through a colourful market or into a noisy bar, I mutter: “Before the Corona virus.” Nothing on television really reflects our current reality. And they don’t stream The News on Netflix.
- Remember how I got my boyfriend into Irish radio? Well, he’s taken to texting Dermot and Dave even without a cash prize motive. He felt the need to share that, according to the Lockdown Personalities they’d discussed, he’s a Bubble Burster. This means that when someone suggests that this will all be over soon, he disagrees: “No pints in pubs or international travel until 2021.”
- In case you’re wondering, I’m a Quarantine Queen. I’m the one who sets up all the Zoom catchups and emails on the links. I’ve also completed several meditation-, personal development- and exercise-based challenges. More still to come. And I saw my no-sugar-or-crisps-for-Lent challenge (sacrifice?) right through to the end, despite the apocalyptic vibes.
- I’ve noticed that whenever I start dancing, my boyfriend drops everything to join me. We wiggle and laugh and get all the lyrics wrong. I look into his eyes and smile, enjoying a rich few minutes’ appreciation for his presence and willingness to put aside whatever he’s doing to be with me in silly abandon.
- The song finishes. The moment ends. And I’m right back to my multi-challenges and Zoom-ing. Earning my title every goddamn day.
Art by Tati Ferrigno
Posted in Modern Society
Tagged anger, anxiety, barbie, body image, challenges, control, corona virus, covid-19, dancing, denial, dermot and dave, emotion, enjoyment, exercise, friends, grey hair, guilt, hair, hair dye, hairdresser, ireland, joe wicks, lent, lockdown, meditation, mindfulness, moment, music, netflix, news, pandemic, partner, personal development, personality, presence, quarantine, radio, rage, relationship, shame, singing, television, todayfm, togetherness, tv, weight, workout, zoom
Only for the “Lockdown” I may never have:
- Experienced gratitude for being allowed to go for walks.
- Followed the flight of a swan as far as my eye could see.
- Witnessed a heron spearing a fish with its beak and thought it was amazing (I’m vegetarian).
- Had so much quality time with my boyfriend.
- Got my boyfriend into Irish radio.
- Convinced my boyfriend to enter the daily radio competition so we’d double our chances.
- Dragged my boyfriend for his first proper canal walk.
- Felt surprised when he wanted to walk further than me.
- Wrote a poem about COVID-19 because all my cousins were doing it.
- Attended online classes via Zoom.
- Participated in a Women’s Circle (via Zoom).
- Attended a Life Coach (via Zoom).
- Started giving Life Coaching sessions over Zoom.
- Had video chats with friends, who live within a 30 km radius, using Zoom.
- Paid for a Zoom subscription.
- Watched a movie with homemade mini-pizzas, a nice bottle of red and a basin of popcorn on a WEDNESDAY.
- Listened to a podcast while lying on my bed. Listening to podcasts had only ever been a multi-tasking activity (alongside walking or cooking).
- Gazed out the bedroom window at a lone star.
- Listened to the wind in the trees.
- Had a day-time nap.
- Enjoyed bringing the bins out and hanging out the washing.
- Walked all the way to the “Big Tesco” instead of driving and didn’t mind queuing because “Sure, what else would I be doing?”
- Rejoiced when I spotted eggs in the supermarket.
- Let my hair go this grey.
- Reevaluated where I am in my life and what I want.
- Had all the time in the world to figure it out.
- Opted to write this list instead.
What have you been doing that you may never have done only for the “Lockdown”?
Posted in Modern Society, Random
Tagged affection, appreciation, blog, boyfriend, breath work, confusion, corona virus, covid-19, current affairs, drinking, exercise, friendship boredom, irish radio, life, life coach, life coaching, living, lockdown, love, nature, online, online classes, outdoors, pizza, podcast, podcasts, poem, poetry, popcorn, radio, relaxation, sleep, time, walking, wine, writing, yoga, zoom
Last Saturday, a couple of people advised me to check out Tony Bates (a clinical psychologist discussing resilience) on The Marian Finucane Show. Me being me (disliking pressure / rarely doing what I’m told / avoiding things that are probably good for me), I didn’t switch on the radio.
But then, me being me (seeing sense eventually and not being too proud to admit when I’ve made a mistake), I decided that I would have a listen. However, it is now Wednesday, four days since the piece aired. I’ve missed the proverbial boat. But not if modern technology has anything to do with it.
With a few simple clicks, I can dust off the podcast, and with another few clicks, skip right to the good stuff. With laptops and iPods and Sky+ Boxes, I can do away with time and chronology. I am living in a world driven by downloads and streaming and GPS. I can record my favourite programmes and choose to view them a year later. I can rewind live TV and fast forward the ads. I can listen to morning radio as I complete my daily walk, pausing Ray D’Arcy mid-interview as I pop into the shop to buy chewing gum.
Does all this mean we’re messing with the proper order of things and doing away with living in the present moment? I think not. These incredible scientific developments actually allow us to live more fully in the now. If I don’t feel like watching the weather report, listening to the news, or buying the paper right now, I can postpone it, without worrying about missing anything. I can pause Love/Hate to give my sister a buzz, pop to the loo, and make a cup of tea, before finally allowing Robert Sheehan to blink.
Modern technology gives creative folk a platform to showcase their talents. It’s what’s allowing me to publish my writing and to receive instant feedback from readers in Canada, Australia and Hawaii. It’s how I decide what book to read next, what movie would suit my mood, and where to go on holidays. It’s how I learn how to play the flute, cast on a stitch, and discover what the colour taupe looks like. It’s what motivated protesters to start up the Occupy Movement. It’s how I seek out what the newspapers aren’t telling me. Modern technology allows us to ignore what’s irrelevant and cut to the truth.
Have I listened to that radio show yet? No, I got distracted by the miracle of modern technology and then decided to share my random reflections with the world. Maybe I’ll put it on now. Or not.
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Posted in Modern Society
Tagged box set, computer, downloads, gps, ipad, iPad Pro, ipod, laptop, love/hate, marian finucane, modern, news, newspaper, occupy movement, podcast, present moment, pressure, protesters, radio, relevant, report, resilience, robert sheehan, rte radio 1, show, sky box, streaming, tony bates, truth, tv, weather