Picture for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Gulf News

For the past few months my head has been in a million different places. Whether it is with work, my family, my partner, there seems to be so much going on, not to mention the daily news that we’re not yet free from the tyranny of Covid.

In the UK, we’re still facing daily reminders on TV, radio and in newspapers that cases of the virus are rising again and that we need to continue wearing masks and being ‘safe’. The summer was fuelled by the need for vaccinations but now the fear seems to have dissipated, many people have stopped being afraid and have stopped wearing masks, and all of a sudden we’ve been plunged into autumn. I can already almost hear the jingle of bells in the distance.

The year 2021 has been whistling along so fast that I suspect it will be one of those mundane years that people tend to forget easily, because nothing of much import has happened in them. It will be a forgotten Covid year; one of those years that is eaten up by the massive event that happened the year before. Covid took up most of 2020 and is now tapering off in 2021 (fingers securely crossed), and there are actually other news stories featured in my favourite topical programmes.

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Shockingly, and with a hint of normality reappearing just around the corner, this week’s news was taken up with political sleaze in the British Government; the kind of story that probably made some people nostalgic for the good old days.

There was also the COP26, the Climate Change Conference, which saw heads of state from across the globe visit Glasgow for the summit, to try and find a way to address the climate problems. Last year’s event was cancelled due to Covid so it was also nice to have the limelight on yet another threat to humanity — the other one was getting too boring anyway.

A crazy year

Now that we are in the periphery of normality, in a crazy year that does not intend on slowing down, it’s definitely time to focus more on being the person I was before the madness. But I’m not sure that will happen for a long time yet. We’re all probably still processing what we’ve been through. I know I am on some level.

There is something to be said for focusing on the small things in life, rather than getting bogged down in the enormous events that are happening around us and that we pretty much have very little effect on. Venturing off on a simple trip to the shops, making and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee or compiling a piece of writing, rather than trying to multitask a million different things, is the way forward. It might help slow the world down a bit too.

It’s difficult to unwind from the toils of life and detract yourself from the business of everyday activity and focus on the little things. It’s definitely a practice rather than a natural occurrence. This weekend I’m determined to begin painting again.

I had stopped for a while. Partly due to the events happening around me and partly because it didn’t seem proper or right to indulge in luxuries such as this. However I’m excited at the thought of painting again, without the guilt or fear of missing out on some other important activity.

The music will be turned on, the phone will be hidden away and I’m hoping to get lost in colour and the practical preparations of my task at hand. Wish me luck.

— Christina Curran is freelance journalist based in Northern Ireland.