There’s been some dark days over the last few months. There’s been a few more tears than usual, a few more outbursts of Life’s not fair and why me? And I know that there are many people out there worse off than me, as I bask in the privileged position of having a steady job, living in my own house and enjoying Friday night date nights.
But it’s like two years of Covid just came and bit me in the ass. I recently gave some very serious thought to trying to make it back to Oz. Why not skip over there, I thought, despite everything going on, because it is possible. Of course, for it really to be possible, a lot of aspects of my life had to line up perfectly. And when they didn’t, my world kind of crashed down.
There’s a lot of stress involved in travel planning nowadays – there’s Covid regulations and the potential of rapidly changing regulations, along with the ever-present threat of contracting the dreaded Covid. There’s a lot of unknown. The people I know who have taken long trips recently have said it wasn’t easy. Travelling isn’t like it used to be.
My initial plan, hatched when they announced the reopening of the Land Downunder, was to wait until February after all those mad people who desperately wanted to go home for Christmas had taken their turn. But then… Omicron hit. Now, I’m triple vaxxed, so I could care less about something that’s likely to give me little more than a mild cold, but then add a second factor… I’m pregnant.
But still, if the doctors gave me the all clear and I took precautions, then I could mitigate the risk. Pregnant women fly all the time without issues.
But then you add the third issue – my chronic back problems. And now you’ve got a triple threat. Because even with the chance to fly business class, just getting in the car is a problem for me at the moment, and to be honest the thought of driving three hours to Vienna was giving me nightmares, let alone being in a tin box for 24+ hours.
I was hoping my back would magically improve in the last months… but sadly… it hasn’t. And due to my… uh… delicate condition… not only can I not dose myself up on opioids, but I’ve got a solid time limit on how much longer I can fly.
It’s been a particularly glum winter. We’ve had wall to wall fog most days, and my back has prevented me from getting up into the mountains as often as I would normally. Then you add in Omicron, the fact that I had to be extra careful in my first trimester until I could get that booster shot, and it felt like I’m getting lockdown upon lockdown thrown at me.
I’m ok. I’m surviving. It could be worse. I’m trying not to think about that unknown factor… missing this opportunity means that there could be another huge gap until my next visit. Sure, babies can fly, but how keen will I be to travel with an unprotected infant in the world of a pandemic?
Not only was I sad at the prospect of missing seeing my family and friends and having some well-needed warm weather, I was furious at myself. Furious that I’d let myself get my hopes up. Furious that I’m not the young girl I used to be. I want to be that girl, eleven years ago almost to the day, who flew into Egypt right after the resolution bursting with confidence. The one who stubbornly ignored all the naysayers telling me not to go.
But that girl didn’t have back problems, and she wasn’t knocked up. And even though that decision, in the end, turned out to the be right one, it could have easily gone the other way.
I’ve survived the dark days. No doubt I will continue to. Take one day at a time. Hope my back gets better. Hope Covid goes away. Accept that this is my new normal and it’s not actually the end of the world, even though, sometimes it does feel like it.
And now that the days are getting longer, and warmer, the birds are starting to sing and the whiff of spring is beginning to float in the air, perhaps it’ll all be ok. I hope you’re ok, too.