My 80-Year-Old Friend Encourages Me to Write
Tell people about your work in progress it will spur you on
Lockdown was a lonely time. I started working from home and was only allowed to exercise outdoors once per day (a rule which now seems bizarre).
Under the suspicious eyes of neighbours, I ventured out daily to my local church grounds. Despite living in a built-up area, I am lucky enough to live within walking distance of this beautiful space. With plenty of trees and the occasional deer sighting, this relaxing place became my sanctuary.
Strange times proceeded. I saw more funerals than I’d ever seen take place at this small church and listened to sad bagpipe music in the afternoons whilst I wrote sad poems about my own loss. It was a weird time in my life.
I also made a friend on my daily walks.
An 80-year-old man was walking his dog every day and I would see him often. We smiled at each other, nodded in recognition, then started waving each time we saw each other.
Eventually, we said hello and made small talk. He likes to paint like me so we had something to discuss and he started asking me about the art I was working on.
One day he said he would walk with me to keep me company and we’ve walked together most days since.
I use my walk as an alternative to a commute. It helps clear my head and separate work from life. Having company is an added bonus when you’ve been thrown into working by yourself with the added isolation of lockdowns and restrictions.
It was nice to have someone to talk to about work, life and art. There’s not much I miss about office life but over the years I have made many friends through work. You end up spending more time with colleagues than your families so inevitably you get to know them well. This is one thing that cannot be replicated the same when working remotely.
Over time I told my new friend more and more about my life and eventually ‘confessed’ to working on writing a book. It felt like a confession as I struggle to talk about my idea and answer the inevitable ‘What’s your book about’ questions.