I’ve got an ear worm at the moment. In fact, I’ve had it for a long time. Over the last few years my lovely son taught himself (with the help of his Dad and the might of the internet) to play the guitar. One of the songs he learned was ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and over lockdown I must have heard it a million times. He’s not played it for a while, but it’s still stuck in my head and there’s something about post pandemic life which is keeping it there on a loop.
When this blog kicked off we were pre-pandemic and starting our interrupted family life. During the pandemic I must confess I felt a bit ‘well now you know how I feel’ and slightly smug about it. I was well equipped for the job and no longer felt so lonely in my separated life from my nearest and dearest. It galvanised me in many ways and gave me a new connection to my friends and loved ones who were all in the same boat at last. I knew I could survive and I used my time wisely. I’ve ended up with a new career and the independence and environment I craved for me and my son, but it has not come without a cost.
That’s why I have not blogged for a long time. In fact I have not really done anything for a long time. My mental and physical health have taken a real dip in the ‘let’s get back to normal era’ because for me the normal is pretty much still the same, in fact it’s a lot harder. I have been stressed, depressed, possibly peri-menopausal, constantly sick and generally knackered. I’ve watched others return to their loved ones, whilst mine have grown further apart and I have felt the bittersweet sting of jealousy over each reunion.
I have been both overjoyed and knocked sideways by the return of holiday posts, pictures of family gatherings, date nights, concerts and general shenanigans. It’s like watching the opening and end credits of ‘Love Actually’ over and over again. My heart bursts with empathetic joy to see people reunited, but at the end of the day I’m usually watching it from my sofa on my own.
Meanwhile my teenager is living his best life. He still needs me but I am generally superfluous to his day to day goings on. It is a strange phase of parenthood when you have to both be there for them 24/7 yet cope with the constant rejection of your personality, opinions and dress sense whilst slowly learning to let them go. I’m acutely aware that I have to plan for the future, but I’m still stuck with one foot in the past. I should be using this time to rediscover my independence, my interests and my relationship, but instead I am spending my weekends alone and not knowing which way to jump for the best. Is the life of Eleanor Rigby where I am heading?
The other song that has played in my head on a loop over recent months is ‘Landslide’ by Fleetwood Mac, which I must have heard in the background so many times but have only recently listened to the lyrics. I don’t think it can be a coincidence that I’m not the only one who has re-discovered this song lately. It’s been played on the radio and covered by several people as we go through this transitional period in society. Who will I be when I look up at the mountainside? Can I handle the seasons of my life or will I end up wearing a face from a jar that I keep by the door?
It is true that time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older too, but I’m still going to spare a thought for all the lonely people who are still darning their socks by the fire and I ask you to remember them too.