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Introverts Unite! Alone at Home


There are obvious (and massive) downsides to lockdown. The fact that no one in the industry I work in can make any money is undoubtedly on the top of that list. The fact that I could slot right in as typecast bogan number one thanks to the regrowth in my hair and the 7 out of 10 false fingernails and eyelash extensions hanging on for dear life run a close second place. It's a first-world problem; I grant you.

 

With all of those things out of my control, my focus, like most people, is on the sweet little face that wakes up every morning and smiles at me.


Not able to see her friends or her favourite teacher. Not able to go to playdates or her guitar lessons. During the day, it is my job to make sure she knows that we are all going to be OK, that this is only temporary, and that at least we have each other.


When it's dark, though, and those little eyes are hopefully closed, that's my time to overthink everything. Like the fact that it is changing her development in ways we may never understand. Or wondering if I'm doing enough to keep her occupied, entertained, and educated. Feeling guilty about the decision to make her an only child, which in the current circumstances means she has not seen another child for a month. All you can do is have a little cry in the darkness and wake up with a smile on your face and do it all again.


I have to say there is also a little bit of guilt that the introvert in me quite likes being at home and not having to socialise. I love my friends, love socialising, but part of my DNA is the need for a quiet space to recharge. Sometimes, when I'm not in the mood and I have to see people, it takes all my energy. The kid is the only person in the world who doesn't make me feel that way and being inside our bubble is actually giving us a chance to reset after a particularly difficult year.


There are things that we have done together that have made lockdown a little bit easier. Of course, what makes you happy will be different for everyone, but this has been ours:

  • As what I decided was part of her "maths lesson" for the day, I taught the kid to play poker. Not with money, of course, as I don't want to encourage a love of gambling, but my great uncle taught me sitting on a bar stool as a kid. It taught me strategy, maths and the art of bluffing. All of which have served me well. He also taught me the matchstick tricks that used to be on the back of redhead match packets. I will have to look those up online and find some matches.

  • We went through all the family photos together and boxes of things that belonged to my grandfather. He had spent lots of time working on our family tree. It gave her a sense of how many people had to come together just for her to be here.

  • We read a box full of letters that were dated from 1914 to 1945 between my great grandparents. They were written when my great grandfather was working away as a firefighter. The thing that stood out most to me was that they talked about all the things we would talk about. Despite the time frame, interpersonal relationships seem to remain the same.


What are you doing to keep yourself from climbing the walls?

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