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Breathing New Life into My Garden

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This month’s Chronic Voice link-up feels like a breath of fresh air, or maybe that is just my mood. Here is how I use the monthly writing prompts to describe my life with chronic disease and parenting through the pandemic.


My children returned to school this week and so I find myself incorporating new daily routines into my life. Where previously we would get up and log on to morning Zoom classes, now I look forward to dropping the children off at school and taking the dog for a walk before I start work. I have waited two months for this old routine to return, and I am incredibly happy about it. I missed my morning walks during lockdown!


It might seem silly to remind people that breathing is important. We take it for granted, this magical process that keeps us alive. That is, until wearing face masks became the law. Now I find that my breathing is restricted, and sometimes it makes me panic. Due to my chronic disease I don’t like having things near my eyes (my glasses are unfortunately essential), and even the most lightweight face mask that I can find causes discomfort. I only need to wear them for a short time on the school run and I rarely visit the shops as I have most supplies delivered, so I can handle this minor discomfort when I think of the bigger picture.


My daughters and I have kept smiling throughout the lockdown. Last year we struggled when the pandemic began, and we didn’t know how to handle life at home with no routine. This time around we had a new routine, we made jokes about my role as mother/teacher/TA/dinner lady/janitor etc. and we had fun in between work. It was wonderful to see the huge smiles on my daughters’ faces when they came out of school after the first day back. I was smiling broadly having enjoyed a lovely long walk with my dog and a friend while they were at school.


I thought I would throw myself back into work on the first day of school, but instead I stopped being busy with work and took some time out. The dog walk took a couple of hours and helped ease the backache that I have due to working in the garden over the weekend. I have all week to work without interruptions, and I look forward to being engrossed in my work and not stopping to deal with children and homeschooling.


I am relishing the task of sprucing up my garden this Spring. Last year the garden became a chore and weighed me down. I had to employ gardeners to help regain control of the overgrown chaos. Now it feels much nicer, it looks better, and I have been clearing out rubbish, planting new bulbs and trees, and simply enjoying the space. We have been told that we can socialize in our gardens in small groups from the end of March, so my plan now is to make it an appealing, relaxing, peaceful space to entertain my friends and family.

Chronic Voice Link-Up

I joined the social network for A Chronic Voice because I needed to find people who understand what life is like with chronic illness, people like me. Today I have written a post using the February link-up prompts, to show my experience of living with a chronic pain disorder. Click here to find other blog posts from fellow chronic pain sufferers, or #spoonies as we call ourselves online.


Catherine is the author of the adult paranormal romance series The Redcliffe Novels and also The Darkness of Love, She has short stories published in YA anthologies, freelance articles on various industry websites, and contributes to her personal blog, and her author blog .

You can find Catherine on Facebook and Twitter