Tag Archives: #strength

The past 756 days….

Deliberately, I’ve mentioned very little about Covid 19 on this blog as I felt for the past two years it was dominating all other avenues of life and I wanted to keep my blog as a “safe” space.

However, today seems like a good moment to pause and reflect.

I took the above photo at about 7:10am on 23 March 2020, roughly twelve hours before the UK went into its first lockdown.

For the previous few weeks, news of this virus from China had dominated conversation. I mean, who had heard of Wuhan before February 2020? Not me. There were anxious conversations, scary news stories, sensational headlines in the press and then, like a scene from 1984, the TV broadcast that the nation will recall for decades as we were all told, like naughty children, to “stay at home”.

I remember having coffee with a friend a few days beforehand during our lunchbreak at work. They asked me if I thought this virus was something to worry about and how long did I think it would last for. Both of us were growing slightly concerned; both of us a little unsure of where this situation was headed and neither of us were able to answer those simple questions.

It’s a conversation I’ve revisited in my mind many times since. If only we had known then what we know now….

Today the last of the Covid 19 laws were lifted with the Scottish “mask laws” becoming “mask guidance” so it feels like a fitting moment to pause for breath and to reflect on the past 756 days of a life lived under various lockdowns and Covid restrictions.

It feels like an appropriate moment to take stock and to think back on all the challenges we faced and survived; the emotions surrounding the impact of the various levels of restrictions that have been forced onto our everyday existence; the impact on our mental health (as Ruby Wax said, and I paraphrase – we all have mental health but some of us are in better shape than others, just like with our physical health); the impact on our relationships with friends and family; the effects that these past 756 days have had on children ( a friend posted just yesterday about how proud she is of her son for rediscovering his mojo after two tough years – yes kids have been feeling it too!); the changes that have altered the way we do our jobs on a day-to-day basis (how did we get through the working day pre-2020 without half a dozen zoom meetings a day?)…

You get the hint…so I’ll leave you to take a moment or two to reflect on the impact the past 756 days have had on you personally. Everyone’s journey from then until now is unique and there’s been no one straight road to follow.

I took this photo today from the same spot. The sun is shining. The sky’s blue. The trees are in bud. The landscape looks the same.

But I don’t think any of us are the same people we were on the morning of 23 March 2020. Do you?

These past two years have touched our lives in so many ways that they’ve left their mark and I suspect it’s a mark that will remain for many years to come.

I know personally speaking, life will never be the same.

To quote from an Alter Bridge song though-

Cause the sun always sets, the moon always falls
It feels like the end, just pay no mind at all
And keep on rolling, rolling, life must go on
It must go on

And it does.

An Inky Elephant’s Tale

Some of you know, some of you don’t, but I have two, usually well-hidden, tattoos.

Yes, I know I wrote a blog on here about seven years ago about whether to ink or not but, in my defence, in that blog I did say “never say never.”

Moving swiftly on to January 2020 and I had this wee guy added. (Thanks to @tubithetattooer)

Cute, isn’t he?

There’s a tale behind him that I thought I’d share with you.

His tale begins back in 2016 when I decided that I was going to be a big brave girl and travel on my own to Nottingham to see a band called Alter Bridge play live. (Anyone who knows me personally knows what a big deal that was for me.) I decided to go the whole hog and bought the VIP Meet and Greet package. The show was the day before front man, Myles Kennedy’s birthday so I decided to buy him a small gift. He has two majestic elephants inked on his chest (incidentally, the prompt for the original blog post back in 2015 about tattoos). I chose a small silver elephant charm on a cord to give him as a gift. When I bought it, I actually bought two of them and kept one for myself.

When the moment came during the meet and greet, I rather shyly passed over my card and gift, wished Myles a happy birthday for the next day and genuinely thought that that would be the last I ever saw of the elephant. Let’s face it- why would a rock star give such a small gift a second thought? I mean…come on!

Wrong!

A few short hours later as I stood leaning on the rail, Myles emerged on stage wearing the elephant necklace. My night was made! He’d not only actually opened the gift but had cared enough to wear it…and he continued to wear it for the rest of the tour and again in 2017 for Alter Bridge’s appearance at Shiprocked.

I’ve no idea what became of that one. I’d love to know. I’d like to think he still has it.

My wee elephant though came to symbolise a few things for me. He reminds me of the confidence I found to make that trip to Nottingham, reminds me of the friends I made that day, reminds me of Myles himself and an awesome gig. In general, it reminds me of happy days.

Move on to 2019 and, sparing you the details, I had a bit of a health scare thing that rumbled on for more months than my nerves would have liked. In an effort to keep those nerves at bay, I wore my wee elephant to all my appointments. He became my good luck charm, my “All Ends Well” talisman. Wearing him reminded me of good times. He made me smile.

I decided during that journey, much to The Big Green Gummi Bear’s disgust, that I would get him tattooed on the inside of my right ankle so that he was always with me. That wee elephant became my symbol of strength, health, and happiness. (Yes, I was wearing him as the tattoo was done.)

Now, after two years of living in this Covid ransacked world and of dealing with the various curve balls life has thrown my way, he’s still there (obviously) to remind me not only of better times but that I have the strength to handle whatever comes my way.

I read somewhere that there’s an inscription on an ancient Greek tablet that reads, “Plato told me that everything I need to know about life can be seen in elephants.”

There’s a lot of truth in that.