COVID-19 is getting me to question, Who am I?
By Marion Foreman. Published 2020-04-12
Marion's musings on some of life's questions in this lockdown world
Well, talk about Mother Hen. I have developed an overwhelming desire to check on all my children several times a day. Given that the youngest is in his early 30s (I could work out exactly how old but it’s an approximate) they probably don’t need me checking. But times are odd and I think I am reverting to ‘Mum mode’.
I don’t quite know who I am right now to be honest. I was a businesswoman and a personal trainer before this all started but its hard to claim that right now. And a great way of coping (in my book) is to make a cake, have a cup of tea, invite my friends and family to join me. Well, that’s hard to do right now too – in fact it can’t be done. Yes, I’m doing the washing and the weather is good so it’s getting dry (see how my world has shrunk!?) but I am having to think what else my role is.
Going shopping is a challenge (the definition of ‘essential’ is subjective) and I can’t make a cake without flour anyway! I can’t go for a coffee and read the newspaper – and I miss that. I have a lot of time on my hands which means that I have more time to think. I think about lonely people and I think about frightened people. I think about people who are losing those they love without even being able to say goodbye.
But I also think about more trivial things like when will I be able to get my hair cut? I wonder about how I can get my favourite hand cream and if buying flowers can be called essential. I try to work out if I will emerge from this a stone heavier or healthier than I have been for years. Then I wonder what this all says about me as a woman? I don’t get my nails done or my eyebrows dyed. To be honest I wrecked my nails for months by peeling off some gel varnish and I am far too much of a coward to get my brows ‘done’. It’s not that I don’t think we should bother with these things – its just not for me – and I am delighted to find that I am cool with that. I have had my hair highlighted with blue but I’m not at all sure that I will bother again. And I think I will grow my hair. Now this is contentious! Older women with long grey hair? We have all been taught that that is dodgy. Why on earth is that not a good option for me? Like red cars, I have seen many women in this weekend’s newspaper (yes, you guessed, The Guardian) who are older, grey and long haired. Think Anne Tyler, Margaret Attwood. I have had time to think that I am happy with myself as I am. I think that many of you women who were born in the 50s will know just how liberating this is. ‘I am happy with my body’ – try it – say it. Then we are going to go on to ‘I am happy with who I am’.
This is our COVID challenge. Work with me – we have the time to think this through.