Talking to oneself

Since my incarceration began back in March I have noticed   I am losing the art of conversation.  And not only am I losing the ability to converse but also the interest to converse. I have become quite content with my own company and methinks this is probably  not  that healthy. I can easily fill my day with dog walks, yoga, reading, housework, baking and Netflix.  In fact, some days there isn’t even enough time to call a friend.

Take today it is already  Friday afternoon and it was only yesterday that it was last Friday, and I have only succeeded in getting dressed and walking the dog. Really quite baffling the speed in which the days are passing.    The only positive is that hopefully it won’t seem that long then before we get a vaccine. And I shall be fighting to get to the front of the line.  I have absolutely no qualms about taking it. Despite the  claims that the coronavirus pandemic is a cover for a plan to implant trackable microchips and that the Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is behind it. Quite frankly  Gates is very welcome to my brain!

Woman Talking To Herself Stock Illustrations – 6 Woman Talking To Herself  Stock Illustrations, Vectors & Clipart - Dreamstime

I think getting out into the real world again is paramount for my sanity. I became particularly worried the other night when in bed I found myself saying “good night Roma, sleep well.” And even more alarming  when I heard myself answering, “thank you, you too.”

I am told it is healthy to talk to yourself but there is probably a happy medium and I might just be overstepping this mark. Before even emerging from bed I was conversing with my clothes about which jumper would be the cosiest for this cold morning.  Luckily the jumper didn’t respond.   I could  say it is because Tod isn’t here anymore  but who am I kidding I have been talking to myself since around the age of 5 when I would invent a whole host of imaginary friends. My dolls took  on human qualities and  would take up so much room in my bed that I would end up sleeping  on the floor so as not to crowd  them.

I vaguely remember a doctor’s appointment when my mother, worried about my incessant chatter with these imaginary friends, asked  whether it was normal. I can’t remember what he said  although Dr Rodker the family GP always had the same answer to everything ‘probably a bit of infection there’.

So now, alone for most of the day, especially as Toby and Linda have moved downstairs  and created a mini flat so they can redeem semi normal life without worrying about infecting me, I have even more time to discuss the intricacies of life with Roma.  And I have to say Roma can be brutally honest about my  short comings. Afterall she knows me better than anybody else. No cover ups there. But  I am trying though to be a bit kinder and more empathetic to myself.

I too have now  become an armchair Goggle Box  critic except unlike  Anne and Ken or  Giles and Mary or Jenny and Lee it is just Roma and Roma. So, it’s not quite as much fun. Take watching I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here  – there is no one to tell me when the gory bits are over.  So, I have to hide behind my hands  and just  peek through my fingers  hoping  I don’t catch anything too gross.

This week  however we took a few risks  so we could continue the shared Bake Off experience. It was a bit surreal Toby and Linda  at opposite ends of the lounge masked , with the French windows open.  It was Laura versus Herminie  whose showstopper was a bit of a shocker.  Such a shame  for the patisseries queen – everything was wrong, the look, the taste, the texture. But good news for Laura the messiest baker on the show. 

So, what’s on my weekend agenda. Interestingly  the two-day weekend  is a relatively new phenomena apparently it  was in part born from another economic crisis.  During the  1930’s  Depression  many industries  hadn’t adopted the 40-hour workweek  and they cut employees back to five days a week, so that fewer working hours could be distributed among more people. By 1938, the 40-hour workweek was enshrined into law with the Fair Labour Standards Act. I suppose it remains to be seen if  things will change post COVID.  

Anyway, on my weekend there is still Netflix The Crown to be watched, leaves strewn across my garden to be cleared,  Bamboo and plants to be replanted, the new gardener will not be asked back! A  Polenta cake to be baked and  of course the daily dog walks. Now you can understand  why I haven’t been blogging.

ELet’s be careful out there”

Talking to oneself

I am back. I have got up dusted myself down and given myself a good talking to about emotional indulgence. Mindful of the post Barbara sent me from a German Psychiatrist I am not talking  too much. Although the psychiatrist  said that it is normal to talk to the walls, flowers and carpets in lockdown and one only needs to worry if they talk back.  Phew so far  our conversations have been very one sided.  Although I think I  heard a few murmurs the other day.  That said I do come from a long line of people who talk to themselves.

So, after my thoroughly-good-talking-to I decided that today is the first day of the rest of my self-isolation and I need, no must, be a lot more proactive. It is too easy to get sucked into laziness and I was doing so well at the beginning with my lists; exercise, meditation, spring cleaning, bridge & scrabble. I say I was doing so well – meaning I had written the list but the meditation only lasted 4 days, the spring cleaning is still an ongoing exercise with very little achieved and  the exercise classes have been sporadic.  The Bridge and The Scrabble however are ongoing but also with little success. You would think that with all this time I would be able to perfect my playing but clearly others too have all this time and they are perfecting a lot better than I am.

So, the conversation I had with myself this morning went like this:

“Roma Felstein there is a whole world out there and I know you can’t actually access it personally but with modern technology you could be doing a lot better. So, start exercising that very lazy brain before it stops working altogether.  And begin by getting out of bed.”

Apparently not only is talking to yourself normal it is actually very good for us. So says a Dr. Nicolosi on the American network NBC.

“If we speak out loud, it forces us to slow down our thoughts and process them differently because we engage the language centres of our brain. By talking to ourselves we become more deliberate, and this creates a slower process to think, feel and act, instead of being bombarded by our thoughts.”

So, I am feeling pretty good about myself right now.

“What we say to ourselves, when we say [it], and how, has a tremendous impact on our self-esteem,”   Well Dr. Nicolosi anything that boosts my self-esteem is good news to me.  But he also  advises that it is the content of the conversations that is most telling.  Hmm now not feeling  quite so good about myself.  Most telling about what? The content of my conversations are a little bizarre.

If there are any experts reading this blog which I doubt as I am sure they have better ways of using up their time,  I would be very interested in their thoughts on the following.

Rewind to around age 9. I had this complex imaginary world with a bunch of different characters.  I would act out scenarios talking aloud BUT – and this is the really weird bit – I could only talk out loud if I was throwing a ball in the air at the same time.  Yes, I know how bonkers. But I guess by now you are not surprised.  And at night  I could  only get to sleep  by throwing the ball and talking to myself. My mother, worried that this behaviour was somewhat abnormal – can’t think why!  – would confiscate the ball. Which I would replace with a rolled-up pair of socks and continue – quietly.

Methinks I just might have disclosed a little too much here.

Moving swiftly on my son Toby – ever vigilant and protective about his mother – is coming down strong on our friends who are not so careful.  I have tried to explain that everyone has their own level and if they are not vulnerable then they are going to be going out – but I think it is falling on deaf ears.  Toby does nothing by halves.   And bless him since Tod died, he has taken over the role of looking after mum very seriously. Which he does very well and I am  eternally grateful.   And no way is anybody stepping over our thresh hold who has not been careful.

All packages, letters, groceries etc are sprayed with disinfectant and left in the downstairs decontamination room for 2 days.  Good job I have a large house! We have masks, disposable and reusable.  Disposable gloves, anti-bacterial wipes and anti-bacterial soap.  And lots of hand cream! We are a house that is well protected, and wo betide any germs that try to enter. They will have to deal with my secret weapon – Toby.  Everyone needs a Toby in a pandemic.

That said we are making a foray out of the house for a click and collect from Waitrose.   Given up on trying to get a delivery slot so this is the next best thing. I have already spoken to the local store who,  say if they are not busy, they will bring our shopping into the car park.

So, guys even if you are going out please be vigilant – this  pandemic isn’t over just because you’re bored


“Let’s be careful out there”