The current pandemic has caused many problems in our world over the past months. Most of it very well reported and understood. From health issues, unemployment - social disruption and economic problems. Nevertheless, on a purely personal level for many people untouched by some of the real problems of health and wellbeing, some folk have been, or are still are, suffering from a sort of terminal boredom. However, for others of us it goes deeper than this.

For instance, do you ever get bored being you? If you are anything like me, on occasions I mentally float above myself and observe myself being both predictable and tedious. Do you know, it feels sometimes that I know what I’m going to say a month before I say it and my own particular ray-of-sunshine has confirmed that my thought patterns and mental reflexes are so obvious as to be beyond tiresome - more like sleep inducing. Let me explain. After living with oneself for many more decades than you care to remember, I maintain that within a person’s brain there is a sort of ‘reset’ facility that requires a person to chunter-on about the same subjects and hold the same mild prejudices for year after year. I thought about this the other day when talking to a couple of new, youngish (for me!) friends and found myself for once holding my tongue and actually listening to what they had to say. This in complete contradiction to my usual practice of maintaining and articulating an over familiar procession of cliches, truisms and age-old assertions.

If this is all true, how do I go about changing ‘Me’ or maybe you - if you also suffer from the same inevitable drift into yawn inducing dullness? Perhaps, I will pretend to be someone else. That’s it, I will become someone else - at least until this Covid business is all over. Now then, this is not to say that I want to change my lady love, or indeed friends that I have accumulated over the years - indeed, she’s lovely…well most of the time, and although they are not what you would describe as ideal, I suppose they will have to do. No, my problem is clearly Me - and to be perfectly honest I might have to let myself go. The pity is that there is no way of refreshing your personality so as to exclude the boring bits. For instance, it would be nice if when the news is on I don’t say the same things over-and-over again. I caught her the other day ‘mouthing’ the very words that I was using when some person or another on the television irked me.

Sometimes I lie in bed of a morning, and as I look down at my body I am moved to think - “Oh no, not you again.” I don’t know what I was expecting, but it would be a nice change, if it wasn’t just Me.

Let’s face facts, after more that six decades (God help me!) most people would get on their own wick wouldn’t they? I have this theory that if you had the chance, it would be pretty cool to be someone else for a change. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to do it permanently because I would probably miss Me eventually.

But all the same, a change - can be as good as a rest and just think how good it would feel not to be lumbered, even for a short time, with your own silly obsessions and tiresome go-to opinions?

LET’S LEARN FROM IT!
It also has to be said that I doubt that my feelings of self-irritation are mine alone; because with various forms of lockdown continuing to be in place, my thoughts on this matter might not be as daft as they might have seemed just a few short months ago. Indeed, when certain enjoyable social facilities cease to be open to us, it is perhaps quite natural that we become much more inward looking than we would have imagined in the past. It is said that a good way to neutralise anxiety is to write down what causes these feelings. From keeping a diary to drawing up lists, they are supposed to be good for the soul. I will admit that writing regularly my thoughts about this pandemic has sometimes focussed my mind, not just on the realities of the current situation, but also reporting on how its absurdities has helped me cope. And so expressing your innermost feelings to nobody in particular is no bad thing. Making random lists are also a good idea, but it is said that - ‘to-do’ lists actually make you less likely to complete those annoying tasks. And if you’re making a list as to what stresses you out - only to discover that lists are top of your list - now, might be a good time to think of something else. Hey, here to help!

So there we have it; what we all need is an occasional break-from-ourselves. Anyone want to swap personalities with someone else for a few days? When at long last, this pandemic passes - it may in its wake, give us pause for thought in a number of different ways. Perhaps, primarily the fact that any disruption to our normal lifestyles will have effects on the way that we think about what is - and what is not important in life. Secondly, although Covid-19 is a fast-spreading physical disease, its side effects clearly leave a lasting mental reaction in many people. Wouldn’t it be good if we could all learn from it?

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