Is the Pandemic Aging Me?

Photo by Gabriela Palai on

Is anyone else finding themselves going to bed embarrassingly early lately, or is it just me? I can’t tell whether it’s the winter (which, thankfully, finally seems to be nearing the end) or lockdown life causing me to live like an old lady before I’ve even turned 40, but it certainly feels unfamiliar.

Life has shrunk so much during the pandemic, even though both my partner and I have worked all the way through without a day off sick or on furlough. We can’t go out. We can’t meet with friends. We can’t go into town for just a wander and to people watch because there’s hardly anyone out there. We can’t go to our clubs and attend our events. We can’t go out on a date, on a pub crawl, to the cinema, we can’t even leave Manchester to just go for a drive in the North, let alone visit friends and family farther away.

I suppose it only makes sense that you go into the first lockdown with more energy than you have exiting the last. When the first lockdown was introduced, we had reserves of strength to be resilient and keep our spirits up even though there was a lot to be frightened by. At the time, I thought it was exciting to get to watch plays from the National Theatre every Thursday and from Shakespeare’s Globe every Monday. I had loved the Globe when I lived in London, but standing throughout plays was hard work so sitting down on a balmy summer evening to enjoy some quality acting was lovely. It seems so far away now. The novelty of it all.

Like many others, I can tell this past year has been wearing me down but while I usually manage well to remain upbeat, I don’t seem to have any influence over how tired I am at times. Maybe it is the winter. Maybe the lack of light has just naturally been making me this sleepy. Or am I deluding myself and it’s just what happens when you get to be this old (the ripe old age of almost 40!)?

Maybe my social muscle is calcifying and the lack of outside input is making my brain dull. Or maybe my previous life was happening at a quicker pace than I actually liked and this is my normal speed?! All of these things are possible and I am suddenly not sure of anything.

I wonder how it will be to emerge into the world again. Will it take me a while to get used to human society again, or will I discover that there is a lot more extrovert in me than I ever would have imagined? A few more months until we find out. A few more months for me to overthink simple fatigue and drive myself nuts. 🙃

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