In week one of isolation we have managed to go out for a short run every morning. It has been lovely. I am not always the most enthusiastic runner, but this strange time is certainly focussing the mind on what I can do and relishing every moment of what feels like real physical freedom in a time of restriction. We run in the morning before starting work. It helps the day go smoothly if we can get out and see nature, hear the birds, chat to the fellow dog walkers – from a distance of course.
I walk every morning anyway, either walking the dog, or walking to a train station. This week it has felt even better to run. I know my usual exercise levels, which involve a lot of walking, are reducing greatly due to the restrictions to home, so getting in even a short burst of exercise at a slightly higher level seems wise. We do not run for long – just 20 mins, maybe even less – and then we carry on walking for a while so the dog has a chance to sniff around a bit more.
This week the stops for chats with our fellow dog walkers has felt like a priority, checking in on each other today, checking everyone has food and does not need anything, it is the usual lovely community stepping up a bit more. The running has definitely suffered for the pauses to chat – we are possibly not going to improve fitness very quickly.
As it is early when we’re out, there are few people, but it is heartening to see proper runners working hard to keep their fitness levels up. A cyclist yesterday was doing sprints along the path. Meanwhile we trundle along in our gentle run with me exclaiming every few minutes about how beautiful it is to be out in the sun and how lucky we are that we can run. I suspect the husband is getting rather bored of me being grateful and excited to be out of the house, but as the one who knows these are the only excursions she is allowed, then I reserve the right to be boring.
I am hugely grateful for a week of sun in week one of isolation, and for a partner who is patient with me being very verbose in my gratitude for that sun.
The start of March has changed the weather. The annual maternal warnings about March and lambs and lions are being ignored this year (sorry Mum), I am living in the joy of a clear early spring day yesterday. At one point at the weekend we exclaimed about the feeling of warmth in the sun as we found a moment in sun and out of the wind. And yesterday the sun shone and the wind had disappeared.
Our morning run felt much easier without any wind or rain and with less avoidance of puddles and muddy patches needed. The birds were singing and there was a pretty mist rising from the water. I felt like I had had more sunshine on my face in that one run than I had in the whole of February. I relished moments outdoors in my work day and the late afternoon sunshine as I ventured out for various chores.
One sunny spring day fills me with joy, it is tangible proof that for everything there is a season and seasons change. I feel hopeful and that is a good way to tackle the worries of work deadlines, coronavirus, climate change, a poorly dog and an ever-increasing list of tasks that must be tackled in my volunteering life and around the house (yes, my worries range from the trivial to the devastating). All those worries may make me feel grey and gloomy in any one moment of the day, but the light and warmth will return, often the next moment. And I am ignoring the sound of rain on the window as I write this. Spring is here. Honestly.
I really didn’t think I really suffered from much FOMO until this evening.
I get it mildly when everyone is at a party except me. But I now realise that it is much easier to accept that I have chosen to do whatever else it is I am doing and to be really present in my evening out, rather than thinking on the one I am not part of.
I have yet to work out why people take such huge pleasure in telling me I missed a great night though. I may be too nostalgic and looking back with rose coloured glasses here, but I am sure that we used to reassure each other that “you didn’t miss much” or “oh it was the usual people saying the usual things” or “never mind, we’re all meeting up again next month, let’s make sure that date is right for you”.
Not so much any more. I think it shows that we are beginning to condition each other to make the fear of missing out bigger and more anxiety-inducing.
Nevertheless, I do a ton of very cool stuff, trying to do everything makes me ill and I prefer to be healthy and just do one thing thanks, so the FOMO has definitely dissipated as I have got older.
Except for when the sun shines. Then it becomes close to anxiety-inducing as I feel the need to spend as long outside as I possibly can. The current warm spell is exhausting me simply because I feel the need to be outside when I really want to be asleep in my bed. This evening I am away with work on the coast, so despite feeling travel weary and possibly a bit dehydrated, I had to walk along the seafront. And walk. Until I felt so tired and hungry I was getting a bit tearful. It still took a stern internal talking-to to make me go and find food and rest. I have even interrupted writing this to pop back outside to see the sun set. I couldn’t, wrong angle, but I did see the moon instead. But seriously! The sun will shine again, it will be warm again, why do I feel this desperate need to be outside for every possible moment? I am inventing a new ailment of fear of missing out on the daylight. It may hit those who live in the more northern areas of the country hardest.