All Change

Wednesday September 2, 2020

“All change. All Change here. Please remember to take all your belongings with you.”

This September sees a big change for us as a family: our elder daughter leaves for university.

I hadn’t realised quite how much I’ve been in denial. Even while we were buying her bedding and the cooking utensils she will need, I was still treating it as a theoretical adventure. Last night she got her accommodation offer and it all suddenly came home: in less than two weeks, she will be living 335 miles away – a six-hour journey – and she won’t be coming home until Christmas. The gap she will leave in our lives will be immense.

After six months at home, my younger daughter will start school again. The house will feel lonely.

My husband goes back to work and, as it’s his year end, he will almost live in the office; I will hardly see him for the whole month.

After a relaxed spring and summer, I must start serious work on my business: it won’t regenerate by itself.

In many ways, September is more of a new year for many of us than January. For those involved in Education, this really is a new year: new classes, new schools, new teachers/colleagues. Although we might yet be blessed with an Indian summer, this cold and wet August bank holiday has already given us a taste of autumn. My family lit a fire on Saturday afternoon, and we all huddled around it, trying to get warm.

It’s a change in attitude to everything. We have lived through lockdown and, although we are now being encouraged to “Return to normal”, how can this be normal when we all wear masks and are nervous of entering crowded spaces? We glance at strangers with an unease we did not experience last September. We are reluctant to make travel plans because, at any moment, the city or country we want to visit may go into lockdown or be put on the quarantine list. There is uncertainty for many about what will happen at the end of the furlough scheme; there is more uncertainty and worry for people now unemployed.

The normality train stopped in March. We all had to get off. We had to sit in the waiting room for months and now a new train has pulled in to take us on. It is an unfamiliar train; an uncomfortable train and we fear it will not take all of us. It may not be going to the destination we had planned; it may be a stopping train instead of the express for which we had a ticket. There might be an unreliable replacement bus service.

But, like it or not, we cannot stay in the waiting room for ever; we need to move on.

They say that change is the only constant in life. Few of us like change, but it happens to us anyway.

I wish you well with your journey, wherever it takes you.

A Moodscope member.

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