Twelve months of isolation

Twelve months of (mostly) isolation. Wow! I still can’t figure out how that happened, given that at the end of Month Two we were still talking about being “released” in the summer, or at least before the end of the year. But now, after 12 full months of isolation, no one is willing to suggest when this might end. Although I do have high hopes that we won’t go another full calendar year. (I say that now hoping that I don’t have to eat those words next March!)

(As is precedence, I will spare you a month-by-month recap on this post, and instead, I will direct you to all posts tagged as “lockdown” and “shielding” which includes all “x month of isolation” posts and a few related posts.)

Month Twelve was extremely isolating for me, but I also found myself feeling more hopeful than I did during Month Eleven. I think part of that is because the days are growing longer and the weather is improving, meaning I can get out for a bit after work. And there is something quite nice about ending my working day before the sun has gone to bed!

Of course, the biggest reason for feeling a little more hopeful is that I received my first dose of the COVID19 vaccine – and my parents have received both doses of theirs. As vaccination efforts increase around the UK, the USA, and the rest of the world, I find myself thinking towards the future with a little more hope. And it makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to hug my parents before too long!

I think that Month Twelve was also made more bearable because I got into the Pentlands again as part of my 47th birthday celebrations. I chose a route that isn’t as popular which meant that I was able to stay quite isolated during my walk. But it also made me feel more positive about the next several months, as I hope to do a lot more climbing as the days keep getting longer.

Walking in isolation can be lonely, but I know I will be rewarded at the top of the hill!

However, whilst I have enjoyed a bit more of a positive outlook over the last month, I am also feeling more and more frustrated and “caged” as time goes on. Like so many others, my motivation wanes from time to time. But I am working on ways to be better; to do better. And I hope that it will be easier as the spring and summer months go on. But I am managing (mostly) well during this pandemicespecially compared to those who struggle with long periods of isolation or working from home – and those who don’t have the same privileges as I do.

And so, today begins my thirteenth month of isolation; my second year of isolation! I am aware of how “normal” this feels now and I think that means that I will stop doing monthly isolation recaps, although this will not be my last post about COVID19 isolation. In fact, I intend to share a larger “year on” reflection in the next couple of days. And I expect I will probably share reflections about elements of this experience that are different. For example, as I am hoping that things will start “opening up” again soon, I expect that I might share my experiences of re-joining society. But that is still a few months away… sadly!

As I wait to re-join society, I will continue to seek out positive ways to survive the isolation. More running. More walking. More crafting. More of anything positive that helps to keep me happy and content!

I hope that you are staying safe and healthy, Dear Reader. Here’s hoping we can return to (the positive parts of) normal very soon!

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