It’s been a little while, hasn’t it?
Life’s been hectic. Since last summer, everything in my world seems to have sped up: work’s been busy, personal and other projects have kept me away, we’ve been saving for (and trying to find) a flat to buy. I’ve been striving to socialise and move and just do more. It was even my new year’s resolution for 2020. This year, I’m going to really make the most of this city I call home.
It’s all added up, and taken its toll. I’ve been tired. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve been happy, too. Exhausted and often elated. But on the free days I’ve had in the last six months, I’ve just wanted to rest my bloody eyes. And certainly not go anywhere near a keyboard. (And definitely not write blogs about mental health, a pastime that requires a certain energy and concentration.)
But here we are, just a few days in to our new and quiet world. Suddenly, I have time. World enough and time, as Marvell wrote. The gym is gone. Two tube journeys a day are gone. I’ve even cut the time it takes to draw on my eyebrows. Who cares?
It’s almost surreal. I am an early riser: at 5.45am, the day stretches out before me. Even if I commit to starting work at 8am, there’s still time for dozing, and reading, and a slow breakfast. (Alright, I always made time for a slow breakfast.)
A quick run eats away at 20 minutes. Some knitting kills an hour.
Endless social scrolling oh god I hate myself kills a few more. The last few days, I’ve actually been working over my normal office hours, as I try and figure out how to get everything done while taking more calls, with two employees of two very different businesses sharing one small, small flat.
But I’ve still got time on my hands.
And in this time, I’ve been thinking about mental health a lot. About my partner’s wellbeing, and my own. (I’m lucky: I am financially stable, and my job is doable remotely. So I’m actually doing okay.) About my colleagues: I’m one of my workplace’s designated mental health first aiders and, as cheesy as it sounds, I truly, truly care about being there for them at this time.
And about everybody who is waking and sleeping with a churning stomach. Jobs lost. Relatives sick. Weddings postponed. Dreamed-of holidays cancelled. Mortgage and rent payments looming. The millions of people facing anxiety, not just in the present, but in the long-term, as we try and deal with what’s happening.
It’s a strange irony, but there’s so much ‘noise’, in our new world. My mental health is actually pretty good, as I said, but my head is buzzing. I’m sure yours is, too.
Anyway, to cut a long story short: what’s happening has sparked a lot of thoughts for me about things I could write about, and some small bits of advice I could give. I hope/have been told this blog has helped people in the past. So here I am, with world and words enough, and time. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to write about, and otherwise: watch this space.
(In the meantime: an excerpt from one of my favourite poems: To His Coy Mistress, by Andrew Marvell, written between 1650-1660. Yep, it’s where I nicked the title from. Yep, it’s about trying to convince someone to shag before it’s too late. We can all relate.)
Had we but World enough, and Time,
This coyness Lady were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long Loves Day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges side
Should’st Rubies find: I by the Tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood:
And you should if you please refuse
Till the Conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable Love should grow
Vaster than Empires, and more slow.
Love, Nic x
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