The View from the Kitchen Table – January 2021


Whoop whoop! 2021!! I hope everyone was very specific about their new year’s wishes. No wishing for a break from work, or more time with the family. No wishes to shake things up or bravado utterings such as ‘Bring it on’.Shhhh..! Let us tiptoe into this one, bruised and battered as we are and quietly try pick up the pieces and put it all back together again in some shape or form. We’re not there yet so It’s too early to count the true cost or to see how we’ve changed but I’m sure we have in lots of ways.

I’m certain that this year taught us all to slow down and appreciate life a little more, and I wish I could tell you that I had turned into a slow living, sandal wearing, yogi that spouts great words of wisdom but unfortunately, against the backdrop of fluctuating finances and ever changing restrictions and contradictory information, that’s not what I discovered about myself. I discovered that I am nowhere near ready for retirement. It is a long way off yet but I definitely need a sense of purpose and a ridiculous long list of tasks to tick off on any given day to make me feel like a productive member of society. I often suspected that I thrive on self- generated stress. Now I know it. I also learned that I thought that I had reached my boredom threshold with single subject conversations with Brexit, until along came COVID-19. Dear God! There can be nothing left unsaid at this point. All anyone wanted was for it to go away or for a vaccine to be developed. Now that it has been, that’s the new conversation. All I have to say is that it was incredibly generous of the English to take one for the team and go first.

Can we make future plans yet? Can I dare to daydream about feeling too hot on a beach somewhere? Or going to a restaurant without the tables looking like little desert islands with all the space around them, being served by masked and muffled staff? When can I stop waving to people I don’t know and ignoring those that I do, because the masks still confuse me and I’m not sure who anyone is? When can I sing out loud again? This is a good question because I couldn’t sing a note pre-COVID-19, and I presume this hasn’t changed but I long for the day we can all tunelessly bellow our lungs out at some class of a sing-a-long, and most surprising of all, I miss hugging. It’s a surprise to me because I was brought up in the least tactile family I know, and Ireland just wasn’t very huggy place and as time went on it became one, and soon everyone was body slamming each other and draping themselves around each other’s necks like scarves. I usually hide somewhere until the unwarranted affection showing is over but that’s what I’m looking forward to most-a squashy spontaneous bear hug…! May 2021 bring you good things… (and hugs).

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