Anyone else feeling the strain?


We’ve done it all, haven’t we? Baked bread, manicured the lawn, emptied cupboards and sorted out photographs. We’ve listened to history podcasts, read turgid and erudite books because they were good for us, started (and finished) fitness regimes, and promptly undone all our good work by making, and eating, a mountain of banana bread. We’ve dug out jigsaws, been quizzed out and caught up on ALL the box sets we had, and found new ones to boot.

We’ve Zoomed, and Teamed, and Slacked, visited Google Hangouts until frankly, a simple phone call where we could stare, slack-jawed at the wall without make-up was a blissful relief.

Those with children have taken vows never to criticise teachers again - EVER - and some have found unexpected joy in the extra time they had with them, remembering why having children was a good idea in the first place.

And some of us have taken a running jump and published a book. I took advantage of the additional time I had when my (real) business fell off a cliff and not only self-published The Garden Plot but I’m working on edits for Book 2. I’ve drafted a second free novella (watch this space!) and pulled together a compendium of the flowers that inspired me to write The Garden Plot in the first place. I had, in short, a glimpse of what it might be like if I had all the money in the world, and could write for my living…

But then again…

Nonetheless, like many, many people I think I’d rather be as I was. Being too busy, forever on trains, forcing writing into the cracks of my ‘normal’ life is what I yearn for now. Because with that comes lots of hugs from my friends and wider family, connecting with clients, going to new places.

I have no idea what ‘normal’ will look like if/when we find a vaccine for this vile virus. But as long as we can hold on to the lessons we learned during lockdown (compassion, generosity, a fresh appreciation of the otherwise ‘unseen’ workforce and true knowledge of the role of the emergency services) - I’m done with what we have at the moment.

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© 2020 Sara Sartagne