My Empty Nest is Suddenly Occupied !

My Empty Nest is Suddenly Occupied !

If only this was an April Fool’s joke, but it is not.  A current reality for me and I suspect many others.

The Coronavirus, COVID-19, has meant a change in lifestyle for the majority of us.  In particular I am going to talk about going from living a relatively carefree single life with an active social life, to now having no social life and living full-time with my 21 year old back from University as life in the UK, as elsewhere in the World, is on lockdown.  For how long we have no idea.

For the last 2 years my daughter has lived independently away from home.  The first year in Sheffield whilst doing a Foundation Art course and this year in Leeds having embarked on her degree programme at Leeds Arts University.  Her shared accommodation for next year already geared up to commence beginning of July and prior to 23 March no real intention of being at home with me over the Summer vacation or any other prolonged period of time.  Why would she?  Her life now revolves around study and related activities and friends in Leeds.

Without our usual routines and structure to our week we are both treading water trying to develop a new way of living our lives and living with one another again.

So, whilst I am still going to bed at 9pm, she is up chatting online with a group of friends past midnight and one occasion to date 6am!  I can hear them when in bed and am conscious of someone wandering around the house.  During week 1 of lock down I had a knock on my bedroom door after I had gone to bed with a request for a reminder on how to unlock and reset the house alarm as she wanted something from the kitchen.   Over the last few months I had begun to come out of my menopausal insomnia and start to sleep heavily through the night again.  Not know with someone else in the house, I am sleeping so light I can hear a pin drop!

Shopping and cooking have also become a new challenge.  Anyone with children, no matter what age, will be aware that their toilet roll and carb consumption is massive.  A challenge when supermarket shelves are depleted of toilet roll and pasta supplies.  Thankfully we had a couple of bags of pasta, a bag of rice and tins of tuna in the house.  Some of which are dizzy from travelling up and down the M62 immediately prior to lockdown just in case she couldn’t get them in the supermarket during her weekly shop.  2 days later after a brief stop home daughter and groceries were back again.  Our meals are shared carb and veg with one of us having a meat protein and the other a veggie one.  Or a shared meal of vegetarian pasta bake, Quorn chilli, Quorn lasagne or any potato and cheese dish.  At the moment we are still able to find pizza in the supermarket for our Friday night treat.

Thankfully we are not having to share the lounge (at the moment!) as she is used to living in one room and watching entertainment via a computer.   Our second living area is my study / knicker HQ for Esteem – No Pause so not conducive to kicking back and watching tv or listening to records of an evening.  Today I have been banished to working in the lounge as my daughter is printing stickers that she sells via her Etsy shop.  She left her printer in Leeds and mine is far too heavy to carry up to her room, so her laser cutter and other materials are working hard in Esteem Knicker HQ, whilst I am writing this blog sat on the sofa in the lounge.  Which is actually quite a pleasant place to work.

This morning, day 3 of week 2 of lockdown and we both got up and started working, she made herself an omelette for breakfast which is an improvement upon crisps! After a week of uncertainty we are both working and back to our self-care baths most evenings, aware of giving each space to relax for an hour or so.  I have also discovered daily videos from @davidhiggschef on Instagram which are keeping me sane, so funny.

It is very strange living with, but at the same time not really living with, someone else when you have both been living independently of one another for a couple of years.  

Hoping we can maintain the momentum that has started week 2 of lockdown.

Wishing you all the best and that you and your loved ones are all safe and well.

Love, Jane x

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