How to live


‘I am a Happiness Tsar having panic attacks’

I do not know how to live.

We can suddenly mix but I am still stuck in a state of frozen fear. I hardly notice it since it has become part of the muzak that has played alongside a life lived in mediated and graduated forms of isolation since Covid caught my attention in February 2020.

I am or at least I feel frightened and alone.

Being ‘in touch’ ‘on line’ but actually feeling out of touch and out of line, for a long time, I now feel under pressure. It’s no holds barred from July 19 2021 according to some of the news on the telly. Other news is more compelling yet still I am suddenly encouraged by a faceless force to get back on the horse and thrive.

But I still feel out of touch and out of line. I remind myself I know how to fix that. I have some strategies. I am a Happiness Tsar having panic attacks.

Suddenly we can again use all our usual strategies to enable a sense of well-being: an empowerment and engagement and a sense of being more ‘me’ and becoming more ‘me’ is on tap – I used to promise – through taking part and being part of something bigger, that together we might be the change we want to see. But now I am in a dilemna – should we?

Should we gather to share our lives’ stories, to offer ease and release? Should we gather to do whatever we do – to pray, to meditate and be mindful – go to yoga and jump about in Zumba classes, sweating and breathing heavily together – should we sing – hug – be physically demonstrative there or anywhere – even at home, in a club or a bus shelter?

Should we be socially active: agitators, volunteers, chariteers, taxi-drivers, shop-keepers, sports supporters, workers, teachers, academics, kids in parks, teenagers on river banks, campaigners camping for relief of homelessness, rough sleepers sharing a corner, engineers, builders, CEOs in planes, cleaners moving from place to place, should we be on the line to 999? Should we have braids or be barbers, bar-staff, drinkers, party-goers, festival makers, actors, metre readers, refuse removers, undertakers, counsellors counselling the bereaved, florists making wreaths, councils made of councillors together?

Should we be together or apart?

Should we walk, work, eat, move, change, talk, get-together to have fun, debate or help or celebrate or have a wake, dance, touch, meet and sleep together and be mentally less un-well?

Should we be active and be the change tomorrow craves – or if we try to do that will we at once dig more graves?

Should we be well but live in dread that we might die from and also spread Covid?

I do NOT know how to live.

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