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It seems as if time goes slowly now but suddenly a month has gone by. I have had a few bad nightmares lately.  I have a few nightmares from time to time, usually around the time of anniversaries, it will be eight years as a widow   for me in  September, not a good month for me with Father's Day, Ray's birthday and the anniversary of his death all in the one month. Add to that all the worries of Covid particularly the doom and gloom of the second wave we are experiencing now,  that is on my mind even in my sleep. I can ignore it during the day but the nights seem to be out of mind control. If this goes on I think I might get some more counselling.

In one of my consistent dreams  I am on a jetty with a boat tied to the end of it. I climb down into the boat and untie it and push out into the lake. When I look around there is no motor and no oars. I feel panic. At this stage the boat turns into a white coffin. I am dressed in white kneeling in the coffin. Suddenly there is a thick white mist all around and that is  what I remember of the Dream on waking. I guess it is all the talk of death affecting me. I am not afraid of dying so it is  just strange that the dream has reoccurred now. Maybe the feelings I have about the changes in my life, the many things we  have all had to give up have seemed like a sort of dying. It is hard to keep hope alive sometimes.

Apart from that life goes on unchanged. All plans between now and the end of the year have been cancelled. The trains are running but travel by us over 70s is not encouraged. Likewise flights. This leaves me with little to look forward to. Hopefully Trevor and Alice will still be able to come here for the first week in October. At the moment travel within the State is okay in fact encouraged as without domestic tourism the hotels and accommodation sector will close permanently but again not by the over 70s. We are told to stay at home as much as possible. It is becoming quite surreal. I am getting to the stage where I think driving more than 20 kms is excessive. I had a CT scan yesterday 15kms away and it seemed like a foreign land. I definitely need to get out more.

The Ruby Princess enquiry is news right now. The findings are that our State's Department of Health were to blame for letting the passengers off without health checks. The cruise I went  on was the previous cruise and we had health checks. Fortunately that cruise's passengers had a lucky escape and didn't seem to have been infected with Covid. And I did enjoy the cruise and ticked New Zealnd off my bucket list so good news all round. My cabin mate and I did have to fill in a survey on the workings of our cruise including how we disembarked but there was little more the crew etc could have done to keep us safe and I am very gratefull for that. A lucky escape indeed.

Just recently some of the events I attend have been reinstated only to be cancelled again owing to the break out of the second wave  of Covid in Victoria. The residents there now are in Stage four lockdown. It is bewildering for most people. We have to wear masks to church this week and I wore one shopping today. It is just a precaution really as so many people I see socially  are elderly and therefore vulnerable. There are rumours that social distancing etc will last another couple of years. Surely not! I am so missing the usual social interaction. I am by nature a hugger and a wave from a distance is just not satisfactory in my mind. Then with a mask on you can't even see me smile. Bah humbug!

The continuing rain is a nuisance now, our local dams and water storage areas are full so we don't need it any more. I know it will make for a good Spring but enough is enough. Grey skies and dull days give me what I call "rain depression". It is not really depression so much as frustration at having to take precautions to make sure I have suitable footwear and an umbrella before leaving home. Any of you who are complaining about the heat remember it is temporary and winter will come again soon enough. I am looking forward to warm dry days. I will enjoy coffee on the front verandah, going to beachside cafes instead of the shopping centre and to meet up with friends without having to cancel if it rains. Again some of my older friends do call off going out if it rains.

Not much interaction with family the past few weeks. I miss going up to my daughter's place on the train but with her full time Chaplaincy job I would be spending my time alone anyway. Life changes and we have to adapt. My sons seem to be busy working and with family and I am lucky to get a brief phone call once a week. Fortunately I haven't needed any help lately. I did sit in the waiting room waiting for my name to be called for the CT scan of my brain, the equivalent of a twelve month check up, and was wishing someone was with me. But there is no need when I can now drive myself to the appointment and home again. But it is the companionship I miss and was envious of others who came in with a partner or son or daughter accompanying them.

And so life goes on, not life as we used to know it but the Covid safe version. I can fill my days up okay but the evenings sometimes seem like black,holes absorbing light and energy as well. Television programs hold little attraction for me now and I can only watch so many YouTube clips. Did I mention Bah humbug ?

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Comment by only1sue on August 24, 2020 at 1:46am

Can't believe it. Three deaths in the last week from different groups! Most older than me but one my own age! None of them from Covid. I am only going to one funeral as the other two are "invitation only" a new trend since we have a limited attendance. I guess I should be glad I can't go to the others. Because of the pastoral care role I have often been a part of the family's life, but sometimes the adult children don't know me and that is understandable. Do your family members know your friends? If not maybe leave a list of people you want to go to your funeral if the numbers are limited.

Comment by only1sue on August 20, 2020 at 4:37am

Yes, life has changed and may not go back again to the life we knew. I am looking at a lot of time spent alone ahead of me. The thing I miss most is human touch. I miss a friendly hug, a handshake, a touch on my arm, all the signs that the person who I am talking with is a friend. But I miss visits from my family especially grandchildren also. I do wonder what life in the future will be like but am content mostly to just live it day by day.

Comment by barbee on August 19, 2020 at 12:09pm

Sue, I'd just like to add that you are not alone. There are many of us around the world who no longer can do things that are fun, like concerts and luncheons, and going to the movies or the senior center or library. I've been "confined" for eight months because COVID started in the US just fifteen miles from me. We thought it was almost gone, but in recent days there has been a spike again. I get out once every two weeks to get groceries. Other than that, my "fun" is shopping online for toilet paper and canned goods which can be delivered to my porch.

Life is very different than it was as little as six months ago. I do not believe we will ever go back to what we know was normal. I've decided I do not like this "new normal" yet I will need to live with it as the alternative isn't so wonderful. Being an old woman now means I won't have to live this way for too many more years. In history, there have been other bad times -- wars, pandemics, economic crashes -- and some how, some way, people did survive.

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