My shrinking life

Well hello! It’s been a while (I think I say that every time I post, they’re so few and far between!) For anyone who may still be reading, I hope life is treating you well; despite all the challenges.

I want to start by saying this post is in no way a complaint, or a whinge. It’s simply observational. A reflection on the way life has changed in the last couple of years. It isn’t political, or a pandemic blame game, as I think some of the changes in my life may have happened regardless (it’s called getting older!) But I have become increasingly aware of how much smaller my life is compared to how it used to be.

What’s the reason?

Of course, some of the changes are pandemic related. I have worked from home now for almost 2 years – the change came 6 weeks into my new job and happened very quickly. That said, the company I worked for already encouraged the odd work from home day, so I wouldn’t have been wholly office based anyway. At first I found working from home very strange, having never done it apart from the odd day here and there. I thought I would be lonely without office banter, and feel disconnected from my colleagues without working together face to face, and the days would be long. But now I can’t imagine working full time in an office ever again. I have found my rhythm and WFH suits me.

Of course, it does mean I see way fewer people face to face on a regular basis. BUT I have LOADS of meetings, many of them video based, so I see people and hear people, and have developed good working relationships in spite of distance. And it’s saved me a fortune in petrol!

I guess the main change in my life is from a sociability point of view. Prior to the pandemic I went out fairly regularly. Gigs, pubs, bars. It had already started to diminish somewhat in regularity, and as I say I think that comes with age. We’d already made a decision to knock big festivals such as Download on the head (too long in the tooth to go at full pelt for 3 days in a row). But smaller gigs were still on the cards.

It’s now been 2 years and 1 month since I last saw any live music. The one gig we took a punt on for December was cancelled. And I’ve lost that urge to go and stand in a crowded room with sweaty people buying overpriced booze. In fact the thought of being in a crowded place anywhere with people breathing over me makes me feel icky. That’s definitely a Covid related change!

The idea of just popping to the pub for a few now seems pretty alien as well. And of course, through that, those passing acquaintances that you bump into and make a night of it fall by the way side. I actually think I have probably lost the capacity for small talk! Facebook keeps you updated with what everyone else is up to, so meeting up seems less important. That’s really sad, but it’s how it is. I definitely feel I’ve become accustomed to spending less time with other people.

January 2022

And then, the last bastion of pre-pandemic life, eating out at least once a week came to a stop. And that’s because WE BOUGHT A PUPPY! After having said an absolute firm NO for years and years, I “gave in” to the husband’s wishes and, in mid January, we drove 120 miles each way to collect a 10 week old Border Terrier who is now the centre of our lives.

Frank is full of life, full of character and sometimes a handful, but I love him more than I could have ever imagined. Not wanting to leave him alone just so we can go out and enjoy ourselves means that there have been no pub meals, no lamb tagine at our favourite Moroccan restaurant, or carveries with my Mother in Law. We’ve been stay at home puppy parents, giving our little furball all the love and attention he needs.

A mix up with his vaccinations means we haven’t even been able to take him for walks in the real world yet, so it’s been lots of garden time and running the length and breadth of our lounge. All that changes tomorrow though, as he’s now jabbed and ready to go. So my world may be about to get a little bit bigger again, albeit in a very different way than before…

Do you associate with any of these feelings? Has being a bit of a hermit become your normal way of life now? Or are you still a sociable people person? I’d love to know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x