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When this is over…

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The looming possibility of a three-week extension to the UK lockdown which has today become reality, last week I set up a WhatsApp group of like-minded women to keep us sane, upbeat and as cheery as can be during these trying times. What a brilliant idea was that! Since last Sunday, our little chat group has been going strong, with a lot of jokes, memes, laugh and more importantly, words of encouragement shared, even when some of these women have never met each other.

Often we find ourselves talking about the distant future. Occasionally someone who is at her wit’s end with the two-year-old will say, “When this is over, we should go out for a real drink” or someone else who’s teenage kids are laughing at her Lady Leshurr “Wash your hands” moves, offers, “When this is over, we should have a proper girls’ night out.” Presumable so we can spend a Saturday night out with people in the same age bracket who won’t laugh at our moves because they’ve got the same ones. Also, a night out in a night club. Social distancing is damned!

The other day the chat turned to spa days. As we were discussing local spa options, someone suggested, “When this is over, we should go for a spa day.” At which point, having got so close to booking one in February and never getting around to it and thereby missing the little window of opportunity early 2020 offered for self-care, I was dreaming of refreshing experience rooms and relaxing treatments.

Then it occurred to me just how often we’ve been using the sentence “When this is over…” wonder how many things we promise to do when this is all over and how many we will get around to doing once this is really all over. There will probably be things on that list that we’ve all missed doing like going out to dinner, but there might be things that are new to us, habits we’ve formed or hobbies we’ve picked up as part of the new normal. Then I thought of all the things I might want to do “when this is over.”

When this is over…

I would like to make that girls’ spa day happen. Enjoy a girl’s day out catching up on each other life’s while getting primed, polished and pampered – and prosecco’d.

I would equally never underestimate the joy or running a bath when the opportunity of a spa day is not there.

I would love to go out for brunch with my other half with bottomless cups of coffee and a wholesome Full English.

I would equally savour the homemade porridge, or yam and corn beef stew, a cup of coffee that doesn’t cost a small fortune and conversation at our breakfast bar.

I would love to book a long weekend away, whether on home turf or abroad, taking in new sights, doing the touristy things like ambling around on a packed square, taking selfies in front of a landmark.

I would equally treasure the one-hour bike ride around my neighbourhood taking in the sights and seeing the extraordinary in the everyday.

I would love to meet new people on my travels and find out their stories.

I would equally cherish these times on daily dog walks, meeting and enjoying socially distanced conversations with neighbours I never knew I had.

Above all, when this is all over… I would hold on to the moment more because, in all its slow, mundane solitude, this moment is life.


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