And we all longed for things to change again so we could see our families and friends, laugh with them, cry with them and just be with them. To help we kept contact through technology or pen and paper. We found things to do, we caught up on all sorts of projects which had been neglected, we sorted our homes and waited for the viral storm to pass.
And while it hasn't exactly passed, we are now freer to do much more than we could a year ago. We can meet friends in parks and gardens. Clubs and groups are beginning to meet up in person. And we are mixing far more.
But life is feeling more complicated and, for some, it is feeling overwhelming. The other people with whom we longed to mix are now feeling so demanding. Things which eighteen months ago would have been so simple now feel so big. Maybe this is an older person thing: we especially were urged to stay at home and given support to help us do so.
For myself, I am enjoying going out a little but I am saying no to quite a lot of suggestions for socialising, especially in groups. I am refusing to put too many things on my to-do list. I am safeguarding time on my own and trying to be gentle on myself. In this last week I've been shopping, to church, for a family picnic, for a meet with a friend in a local beauty spot (we each took a flask of coffee), to visit family, to arrange a funeral and to arrange a re-affirmation of marriage vows. But I've said no to other invitations and (for the most part) not felt guilty about it.
Please cut a bit of slack for people who need to take this re-entry fairly slowly.