Cruising Through January in Neutral

We all know that January 2021 has been the longest January in history thanks to Lock Down Three. New Year’s Eve and the carefree days when we could meet friends for a stroll in the fresh air seem to be part of another life.

In an effort to put some variety into the mundane existence that is Lock Down Three in Lancashire we have been volunteering at our local vaccination centre. The irony in our act of generosity is obvious. If we hadn’t been in Lock Down Three, we would have been walking in the fells and staying in our campervan on quiet campsites and car parks. We would have been mostly outdoors and hardly seeing anyone and certainly wouldn’t be spending over eight hours a day indoors and close to lots of people. As it is, to get through the tedium of a lock-down January we have put ourselves at the most risk we can, helping the 800 or so people a day through Morecambe’s busy vaccination centre. Despite the masks and sanitising gel this has to be the most risky thing we have done since March last year!

I don’t miss the dreariness of going to work but I do catch a glimpse of myself feeling a touch of envy when I hear about my working friends having Zoom meetings, struggling to meet deadlines and generally having a purpose to their day. For me, every day is pretty much the same. My first thought every morning is, ‘What day is it today,’ as I try and hold on to the structure of the week and immediately reveal my worry that I could easily miscalculate. And some days are so long, by the afternoon I find myself wondering, ‘Is it really still Tuesday!’ Our weekly high-risk mixing and talking with people who are attending their vaccination appointment is the stimulus and diversion I need to get me through the lock-down tedium.

Without our sessions at the vaccination centre there would be little in our diaries and nothing novel. Other than this volunteering, the rhythm of each day is pretty much the same and the days are hard to distinguish from each other. It could be Tuesday or Sunday as I lose myself in a good book, bake a cake, tackle a complicated jigsaw and relax with a good TV drama. The dynamism of Morecambe Bay stops me becoming completely numb, it is different every time we walk to the coast.

I have George The Stourbridge Junction Station Cat to thank for the inspiration for this blog post title. A recent post suggested:

‘If you absolutely can’t stay positive, don’t go negative, just cruise neutral for a while until you can get back up.’

George The Stourbridge Junction Cat on Twitter

Cruising in neutral describes how January has felt. I don’t like wasting the limited time I have on this earth and want to get the most out of life while I can but this is just impossible at the moment. Over the last ten months I have got frustrated about being kept indoors and had rollercoaster ups and downs. To keep myself on some sort of even keel, I have ditched the discontent, taken myself out of gear and stuck myself in neutral. These feel like precious days that are being wasted but at least I am getting through them. I have no expectations about when I will be able to meet up with my friends again; I am planning no holidays or trips in our Blue Bus; I am looking no further forward than enjoying my next morning’s coffee and I am just staggering through one day at a time into an indistinct future.

If Lock Down Three is tough for you too, I hope you are getting the support you need or at least finding your own way to cope and I send some love your way.

Author: Back on the Road Again Blog

I write two blogs, one about my travels in our campervan and living well and frugally and the second about the stories behind the people commemorated in memorial benches.

7 thoughts on “Cruising Through January in Neutral”

  1. Thanks for the love! It is much needed in these dark times, but it is wonderful to hear that, like so many angels, you are helping others. Well done.
    The dogs have been a life-saver, they get us out every day. We too are fortunate to live near the coast. We go to the same place every day, but at least there are four or five different walks that we can do, so we count ourselves lucky.
    I love George the Cat’s philosophy! Here’s to cruising in neutral until the better times come!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve hit the spot here alright. That “What day is it today?” moment arrives quite often & we joke about it, but speaking at a distance with neighbours/friends we pass on one of our now all-too-familar walking routes, we realise they everyone is feeling the same. Like you, we can’t make any van trip plans which is b*** frustrating right now. I’d be itching to get involved in something voluntary as you have, but we’re both in the age group above yours, I think, and have been on the receiving end of excellent, friendly volunteers when we went for our jab. So I’m currently supporting friends & family, some of whom have big problems & challenges to deal with, via all means the tech media can offer from home. The weekly zoom Rock Choir rehearsals I do are a source of fun, contact, friendship, physical and vocal activity, backed up by weekly recorded tutorials to teach the next section of the song we’re learning, and supplemented by a joyous Friday night singalong every 2 weeks ( a glass of wine is a recommened accompaniment). All this puts a big smile on my face & is a lifeline to sanity & friendship. Those daily local walks, although a bit “samey” by now, are essential and as my deceased father-in-law, Lincolnshire through & through , used to say – it’s a case of “Mustn’t grumble”! So chins up – I think it’s Monday today….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Internet has saved me! I have been researching my family history and there is so much online. I’m starting to write it up, almost hoping that the end of lockdown doesn’t come too soon as it’s proved a mammoth task. Then we have four ideas for trips in our campervan, including Shetland. I always enjoy the museums and heritage sites as much as the wildlife and photographing the scenery. Thanks for the tips on Shetland. Diane

    Liked by 1 person

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