A simple life

{CC & Me. NYC. My 39th birthday}   

                    Since he went into the jungle, in 2016, I have thought about Joel Dommett probably once every couple of months. There’s the obvious reasons ~ He’s easy on the eye. He owns an extremely enviable set of nashers. But there’s also a not so obvious reason. I often think about him, and more regularly since lockdown, because of something he said during his first interview on leaving what had become his home for the past 3 weeks. When asked if there was anything he was going to miss about the experience he said ‘The simplicity of it’.

I hear ya Joel. I really do. Lockdown, Quarantine, Self isolating ~ whatever we want to call it has been a whirlwind. For me the most aptly given moniker is the Coronacoaster.

There have been so many highs and lows. The highs being so high and the lows being something I can’t and, sometimes daren’t, think about. 

 

On one particular high week, not so long ago…or was it?…who knows, I’ve lost all sense of time ~ I thought to myself ‘I can do this!’ I had forcibly managed to block out the bad for a succession of days and had honed in on the good. Like Joel I was managing to revel in the simplicity of it all. Because that’s where I’d been taken back to. A simple life. What had sharply been brought into perspective was only what was really important.

Things I thought I needed and/or deemed necessary seemed irrelevant. The realisation that we can all live with so much less was humbling.

My bike got a puncture and I had no other choice but to walk 35 minutes to my local bike shop, stand in line for 20 minutes and then come back 4 hours later to pick it up. That was my day. I needed to sort my precious transport |–and that was it.  On Friday’s I distance cycle with a friend and her daughter and then I zoom the Fam at midday. That’s Friday. Simple.

Careers, my own strong opinions, fashion, networking {puke}, being a social butterfly were a distant memory. They had been at the forefront of my life for so long but suddenly had no relevance whatsoever. Besides the desperate need to be near friends and family {which I’m guessing is a basic need for us all} I honed in on three things that came careering to the front of my mind. Things that sailed their way to the top of my survival list. For as long as I have these in my life I can, wholeheartedly, say ‘I can do this’

~ Love ~

Pass me a cracker ‘cos I’m laying the cheese on thick.

Love is one of my favourite words. I love it. BOOM! See what I did there?

It’s a given that I mean love within family, friendship, sexual relationships but I also need love with regards to anything and everything. I no doubt overuse the word but who gives a shit. It’s a joy to say and a pleasure to experience. Whether it’s being in love with an amazing piece of work, beautiful food, gorgeous weather….Having that feeling of bliss and excitement is necessary for my survival.

My current loves are Normal People. I have spent hours {no lie} discussing with numerous people the beauty and deep strong love I feel for it. I love it as a piece of writing {book & TV}, as a stunning work of art in terms of direction, cinematography, acting, the score. And I am bowled over by the collective need for people to dissect and debate it.

I love that I am rediscovering music. Usually I can only cope with books OR music. Never both at the same time. My mind wanders so frequently that I can never be present if they are both so readily available to me. I decided to put my furloughed money where my mouth is and upgraded to premium Spotify.

I have loved returning to the music of my youth, songs that I HAVE to dance to and ballads that I wish I could belt out but also manage to stay in tune to.

Other loves include the weekly bread my flatmate thoughtfully makes for us. The flowers I pay more attention to when walking the parks. My Uni Crew weekly quiz…The list goes on. 

Love: an intense feeling of deep affection, a great interest and pleasure in something. Bring it on. I can’t live without it.

~ Stories ~

I will take them in any shape or form.

Whether it’s reading them, writing them or telling them. Stories have been here since the beginning of time when all we had was a campfire and a tale to tell. They are fuel for me and are about connection. My imagination is so vivid that I never seem to feel bored. There will always be a story I can make up, tell someone, delude myself with! Whether they come in the form of books, TV & Film, music, art or from my brain. Whether they are informative, funny, painful or frustrating they have my attention. For that I am forever grateful.

~ Kindness ~

More crackers needed over here please!!

Sadly kindness is not a trait that comes naturally to me. I struggle with my judgements and who I deem worthy of my kindness. Unlike my ability to host a dinner party or imitate Arnold Schwarzeneggar, empathy and sympathy are often strangers to me. It’s a flaw but something I do work on.

During the pandemic I am regularly floored by peoples kindness. My loved ones kindness but also that of strangers. People who, with no hesitation, help others. I am amazed that people go out of their way to make others feel more comfortable and thought about. It is inspiring and humbling but also so easy to replicate when it’s all around you. ‘If she can see it she can become it’ goes the quote.

So simple and something that should not be a revelation at the age of almost 42…..but I’ll take the lesson at any stage of my life.

 

And so there it is. There is the simplicity of what I need to survive. Sadly I know these things will quickly fall down the priority list once we return to some sense of normalcy. When social lives, work worries, friendship intricacies return and take over.

When he was about to head back into the ‘outside word’ Joel said he hoped there would be a spin off series where he could return to the simple life of the jungle. ‘I’m a celebrity get me back IN there’

I don’t need to return to lockdown anytime soon but I do hope every once in a while there is time and space to once again prioritise Love, Stories and Kindness. What could be simpler than that?

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