DURING the past year, I’ve found myself constantly dwelling on what has been, whether memories of summers gone by, or time spent with my friends at school.
Life suddenly hit “pause” when we were least expecting it and propelled us into a time where walking to the shops was – and still is – a form of escapism.
But why should this tragedy mean that we cannot keep progressing?
I experienced my own sort of tragedy this year, as I am sure many of you have, with the passing of my grandfather – Poppa. Poppa was the type of person who could sit for hours, just listening (which he had to do a lot when I visited him) and never said a bad word about anybody.
One memory which will always stay with me is the last time I got to see him in person, late one Sunday afternoon.
I’d gone to the kitchen to make him a black coffee and a tea for myself, and when I returned, I noticed his shoes were placed next to his chair (he always wore slippers) and I asked him whether he would like me to put them away for him.
A moment passed and I thought he hadn’t heard me because he never turned up his hearing aids, but then he jokingly responded: “No it’s okay, they’re there for when I go out clubbing tonight.”
At that, we all lost it, doubled over in a pile of giggles after hearing this quiet man talking about putting his dancing shoes back on at the age of 90.
My dad proceeded to play along, telling mischievous stories of Poppa in his youth. They were my favourite kinds of days, stripped of life’s worries and turbulences to spend time with those who really matter, dunking a chocolate digestive in my tea.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, make memories that you can look back on with a smile. Don’t mean wallow in self pity about that holiday you had three years ago in Spain.
Just because life has been put on “pause” it doesn’t mean you have to freeze in time.
Life has simply taken us down a different path, so why not take advantage of this opportunity?
Spend time in touch with your loved ones, not staring at a screen which, no matter how hard you try, will not talk back to you.
Do things that bring you real, pure joy, because memories will stay with you forever.
Life can seem so overwhelming at times, with deadlines and meetings and Boris’ coronavirus updates hitting us all at once.
But when you stop and strip back all of the layers, life really can be wonderful. You just need to take it back to basics.
Amelia Oates