EXCERPT: I’m delighted I didn’t invest in a pension – kiss goodbye to that x. I didn’t think I had any friends till this all started. Now I can’t get off the phone!

How’s everyone doing? Gone mad yet? It must be really hard for people. My journal tells me it’s groundhog day. This is my third attempt at writing this, because – what have I left to say? I’m sure the pressure is going to crack some unfortunate souls in the coming days. I’m truly sorry for everyone suffering right now. Lord knows, I know what suffering is. If you know me ring me, even if it’s 5am in the morning.

I spoke to a friend yesterday whose daughter lived in a Dublin apartment block. “She’s lucky because her balcony gets the evening sun”. Small mercies are everything in the lockdown lottery.

And I have plenty of them. I find new things to be grateful about everyday. Needless to say I pushed through the funky feelings of yesterday and the day before. I’m lucky, I’ve the tools to do that now. They were hard earned.

I’m reaching something of a mid-life peak, peripheral artery disease or otherwise. It turns out the things that bothered me have become assets during this brief interlude in history.

I’ve not really that much to lose, no mortgage or car repayments to worry about. I’m delighted I didn’t invest in a pension – kiss goodbye to that x. I didn’t think I had any friends till this all started. Now I can’t get off the phone, it’s a simple formula. The people I miss are the people I care about, so I phone them, or they me. To top it all, the pretentious artistes have left my airspace. I can hear my own thoughts.

The sun has reached a height in the sky that gives the courtyard a bit of light and life, which is lovely. I can sit with my door open listening to the little boy next playing outside with his father. It’s really cute. He’s four years younger than my boy. It’s like a rewind. They have lived there since he was born.

I remember when he was a baby and I could hear him crying in the night. It used to break my heart. I was grieving the break up of my family back then. It all felt a little close to the bone.

Right now I’m watching him have a water pistol fight with his dad, who’s obviously learned a thing or two about tactics by watching ‘the boy’ and me play over the years. They were both laughing that uncontainable belly laugh as father became the boy he once was. It was beautiful, like watching ghosts of my past.

Daily writing is the best thing I have ever done so big thanks to my Editor and everyone else who has been so encouraging. It’s been life changing. I’ve realised how transient my moods are, proving I can’t ever buy into my own thinking, freeing my brain for more creative pursuits.

I’ve picked up some good writing habits, found a little rhythm that suits me and have become more productive and imaginative as a result. A reverse snowball my friend called it yesterday. I didn’t see how it was a reverse anything, surely that would mean getting smaller?

A short story I’m working on led to a spiritual experience last night as I realised how little time I’ve left on this earth. I won’t be able to unthink that thought now. It was one of those big, perception-changing moments and it was amazing.

I’ve a backlog of ideas. I’m going to dedicate myself to (Oh Jesus, I can’t think of the word and I use it all the time!)* doing a lot. I’m blessed, right now I have work that affords me time to do that.

I don’t know why it took Covid to show me these things. If you’re following my ramblings you know that, in the physical realm very little has changed for me on lock-down. A lot of people have suggested this might be a good time for a period of reflection. The more spiritually inclined I have spoken to have suggested a great psychic awakening. I don’t know about that as I can’t speak for anybody else, but I’ve certainly changed. The trick is sustaining it.

* Prolificacy! (The quality of being prolific or highly productive – ed).