Staying Put

It’s a week of beginnings and ends. The beginning of our ‘new normal’ in Level 2 (it’s everyone’s new cliché) and calling to a close our home-schooling experiment. It’s confusing.

I was excited to buy a real book from a bookstore this afternoon, and yet I feel like I’ve been through some kind of Orwellian conditioning. No matter how clear the guidelines are it still feels too early to hug. But then dancing out of the way of a dog walker approaching on the other side of the footpath seems all a little OTT.

I rushed to book a slot with my hairdresser and am even considering some kind of post breakup trim. You know what I mean. That kind of drastic cut that brings a cathartic feeling after a time of trial. I’m not sure why a haircut is important. Especially when I’ve got really used to wearing the same track pants daily. I’ve been dressing like I’ll never leave the house again.

The courier finally delivered my coffee beans today. Not a moment too soon. Despite my genuine desire to support local bars, restaurants and coffee shops, I’ve seen the folly of buying coffee every day when I have a perfectly good machine at home. I used to think the pleasure was in having it made for me. But when I really think about it that coffee is usually sipped on the run. The pleasure is actually sitting still and drinking it.

I have a few regrets about leaving Level 3. That sense of calm because there’s nowhere I have to be. The girls too and looking nervously at their return to regular after school activities and less time to play Bananagrams and it’s 1980’s cousin Boggle. I even had a low grade panic attack when I realised the new ‘socially distant’ ballet timetable will clash with everything else they do. There’s bigger things to worry about I know.

I won’t miss running alone. Even though I’ve discovered some quality podcasts to enjoy on a dark cold morning. The running girls and I will convene next week for our group runs. Having said that it brought me joy to enter a virtual running event with my daughter. We read daily posts from participants around the world and felt enthused by our efforts. Better still we get a medal in the post soon. I always was one to do anything for a medal.

Home-schooling I’m ready to hand over. I can share all the jargon and yes it’s been a privilege. I understand how kids learn these days. More importantly I understand how MY kids learn. But I’m ready to send them to school. There’s only so many life experiences they can get from a bubble and getting back together with their peers is important.

So we’ll plan a little but not a lot this weekend. Baby steps. We’ll hug cousins and grandparents, and share fresh baking with elderly neighbours now that flour is back on the shelves. We’ll book New Zealand holidays and buy stuff, but only the stuff we really need. But like those who’ve lived through other global events, we’ll never quite forget.

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