Snakes and ladders

It should be a time of celebration. My mum on the mend from the virus, back in her care home, convalescing. But the joy is not there. She is on the mend, but there is still a sense of bereavement. Visits remain forbidden. Harder for her than for us.

I at least can escape, stand in the middle of a green space and breathe. Last week I ran or walked fewer steps than ever. A quantifiable measure of my pain. A lack of motivation, combined with complaining knees, held me back. I tell myself that this will not help anyone, I will get back outside.

Thisgranny loves a board game. Throwing the dice, taking chances, climbing ladders, crashing down snakes. Long ago, I used to talk with school gate friends about the game of life. The chance cards: ‘Washing machine breaks down, go back 3 spaces’; ‘Sick child, miss 2 goes’. It made the badly timed mishaps laughable.  We never anticipated this turn of events: ‘Global pandemic, spend 6 weeks (or more) without your family’.

My wise daughters gave me three pieces of equally good advice. Ticking things off on a list releases happy hormones, definitely true; it’s good to lament, don’t feel bad about it, also true. Finally, remember we’re operating at the bottom of Maslow’s pyramid just now. In other words, we’ve crashed down that long snake back to square 1. Survival mode. I’ll keep throwing the dice, hoping for ladders and double sixes, and not worry too much about the inevitable snakes.

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