Day 117 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Today I have been decorating my flat, so not much to write in my blog.  Honey and I went out for a couple of walks and met a few folk on our travels and chatted about coming out of lock-down.

We bumped into Tom and his family, from Crops in Pots.  He’s appeared a few times in the blog.  The first when I stumbled across Crops in Pots during lock-down on Day 40.  Then I saw him on Day 96 when he and his son were cycling up a hill on a tandem.  Today, he and his family – El and Sorely were outside Renroc.  Remember, I wrote about Renroc on Day 104?

It was good to see Tom with his family, although I have seen them before at Ceilidh Collective events.

I was talking with El about the ‘geographical bubble’ that I was writing about yesterday and she was saying the same, she has a geographical boundary which she feels safe in and hasn’t ventured beyond it!

I am guessing, this is affected many people – I wonder if there has been any other writing about it?

This article touches on it – https://www.stylist.co.uk/life/coronavirus-lockdown-agoraphobia-anxious-leaving-house-mental-health-support/390997

Although, this article is about leaving your house and more about the anxiety of all the risks outside your house.  From people I have spoken to it’s not so much about fear of getting the virus and it’s not fear of leaving the house.

I think it is important that we don’t label it as “acrophobia” – this articles says this, but calls it a “social anxiety”.  I personally am not keen on labelling things as any kind of diagnosis – like anxiety or acrophobia, instead trying to make sense of why it is happening.

I personally believe, that if we give it a label of a ‘mental illness’ or ‘mental health problem’ we are identifying it as a ‘problem’ which is not ‘normal’.  When actually, I think it is a natural response to all that has happened and been thrown into lock-down without any preparation or notice.

In Readers Corner, Helen gives an explanation relating it to what I would call ‘muscle memory’, which makes a lot more sense.

My understanding of it, from my limited knowledge, is that when we learn something new our brain creates neural pathways – which in fact takes time to grow.  For example, if you are learning to juggle, you may practice everyday and find you are not progressing.  Then you may take a break for a few days or even a week, pick up the balls and you can juggle!  That’s because you have given yourself time for the neural pathways to grow!

I guess with lock-down, those neural pathways have changed.

Please anyone who has more understanding, correct me!



Poetry / Art Corner

Here is the third the series of drawings I did many years ago at my first and only Life Drawing Class.  The first drawing is on Day 115, the second drawing is on Day 116.

My friend Theo had taken me along to the class and although I protested I could not draw, he encouraged me that anyone could draw.  The lady was only posing for 10-15 minutes before changing pose.  After two drawings where I felt quite pleased with what I had drawn, as a beginner, I thought I would be brave and venture onto drawing a face.  It didn’t go so well – I think the lady looks more like a man!

 

 

 

If you have any paintings, drawings, sculptures or any type of art you want to share here please do send to me.  Or some art you really like.  Or any poem you have written or really like.  Otherwise, I will continue with my daily life drawing pictues!



Readers Corner

Helen left a comment on yesterday blog, saying:

“Thanks for sharing about my boat trip in today’s blog. I’m feeling “internet famous”!!

We chatted with a couple of friends the other day and we got to talking about how quickly we lose muscle function and then how long rehabilitation takes. Like if you get a knee operation or break a bone. After just a few days and weeks of not moving those muscles, atrophy sets in. It then takes months of rehab to reverse the damage.

Maybe this is similar to what’s happening psychologically as lockdown eases. Things like browsing in a shop or meeting a large group of friends, was no problem before. But we very quickly got out of practice and the bits of our brain that handle all those interactions began to “atrophy”.

If you don’t use it you lose it!

I can totally relate the things you describe. I hope everyone understands and has consideration for “easy” things being very difficult, maybe for a good few months until we all get back up to speed again. So have patience and be kind to yourselves and others ❤ In the meantime, we all get a very unique insight into what it might be like to live with agoraphobia or social anxiety.”.

 

Thanks for your thoughts about what I would call “muscle memory”, I have been thinking about that all day and shared with Tom and El who really like that idea.  It’s a good to have an understanding of what is going on for many of us.

I have learnt to solve the rubix cube a couple of times now, to perform rubix cube magic.  It takes about a month to get my muscle memory to the point that I can solve it within 2 minutes or less.  But I’ve learnt, that if I don’t keep solving it 2-3 times a week, I forget it.  Sadly, this has happened again and so I am back to trying to understand the instructions and learn it all again.

I also know from performing magic, that I can very quickly forget routines.  In fact, in the last few days I have been trying to remember my magic tricks, that I have performed thousands of time and have completely forgotten them!  I have been watching videos on my website of me performing to remember the routines.  Just in a few months I have completely forgotten them, even though I have performed them 1000s and 1000s of times.

I know that it will come back.  Many years ago, when I was quite new to magic, I had spent August performing at The Pleasance Courtyard and was then really tired of magic, so took a break.  I didn’t perform magic again until a Christmas Party in December.  It was a Corporate Gig and I realised I had forgotten it all – at the gig!  It was very embarrassing – but I got through it and very quickly it all came back.

So ultimately, muscle memory comes from practice and repetition.  So when it comes to easing out of lock-down it is knowing that with practice and repitition it will all become familiar again and second nature.

It is actually really nice to be enjoying something totally different!

 

It Made Me Smile

This made me smile and laugh and be happy 🙂

This evening, Heb Celt Festival, showed a 25 minute film that they have put together, as this would have been the weekend that the festival was taking place.  A group of us who go every year, met up on Zoom and watched the film together.

It was great to see the film and be reminded on why it is so good and why we return every year.  I’ve been going for over 15 years!  Not only did it have great music, but also lots of people saying what makes Heb Celt such a special festival.

So if you have a spare 25 minutes, I would highly recommend watching it!

Maybe you will be there next year!  I have been the Festival Magician there for 7 years and plan to be back again in 2021!

 

 

Here’s the film:

 



As I come to the end of today’s blog, it’s been a short one!  It’s been good to talk about the psychological impact of lock-down easing and the safe ‘geographical bubble’ that we’ve created.

I wonder, how many other people are feeling this too, but are worried that there is something wrong with them?  I spoke to about 3 different people today and mentioned it and they all agreed that this is how they have been feeling too!  So it feels like a bit of a universal experience or maybe just Leithers 😉

How many other people are experiencing this, but unable to express it to others.  I hope that it gets talk about on the news and media, etc….so people don’t feel alone.

Today it has been sunny, but like the last few days, not super hot, just warm.  No rain today.  Another lovely sunset!

Hope you’ve all had a good Saturday.

Enjoy Life!

Jim xx

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