It finally happened. Two and a half years in I catch Covid, just when life’s returning to normal! Gone are my own personal beliefs in my invincibility, my being bulletproof. And here I sit, miserable and feeling like I have a heavy cold. Hence no letters from me this week. Such is life.
But, as we believe, there are no failures, only lessons and I have drawn a lesson from this experience, so there.
Earlier this week I took a quick road trip of some 400 miles. Literally, there and back. But on the return journey we stopped in a small, picturesque town in the Cotswolds to get a coffee. Having savoured the coffee, which was very good, we decided to spend a little while stretching our legs and took a walk around the old streets and quaint shops. And there it was, the Yellow Light Book Shop which just needed a visit. I find bookshops in different locations place differing emphasis on their displays and so I find books I may not have noticed at home.
I came away with David Grohl’s The Storyteller.
So here’s the lesson.
Normally, despite my status of being meaningfully without employment, my days no longer having the demands they did for near-on 40 years, I still have a strange inability to relax, finding myself needing to fill each day with its own achievements. I put this down to years of deadlines, the continuing need to move forward in a competing world, and the work ethic I grew up under. But, whenever I have been unwell I suddenly feel able to just take timeout. No pressure. So, bizarre though it may sound, being ill is both an unpleasant experience and a blessing at the same time. Thing is, I’m not usually unwell.
I tested positive on Thursday morning after a broken night. For that day I didn’t feel like doing anything so spent my time sleeping and watching TV. But Friday I felt a little more empowered, so taking my book onto the balcony, which is very private, and spent an unpressured day lost in the life of David Grohl. I repeated it today and, voilà, book finished. No pressure.
It seems I have to learn to live with a sense of ever present permission, telling myself I can behave like this any day I choose too. Strange how hard old habits are to shake off. I think someone said it takes 90 days of consecutive effort to change a life habit. 90 days? That would be a lot of books! But I now realise it may well be effort worth making because though old habits die hard, once dead, they release a new freedom and allow space to establish a new life style.
I’m going to see what I can do, once I’m fully recovered.
Yours, looking for something yet unread on the shelves,