There is no ‘just’.

I watched a very funny video clip on Friday about ‘just’ changing a light bulb…

A man arrives home, flicks on the light switch but the bulb has blown. He goes into the cupboard in search of another one. The shelf is collapsing. He pulls out another drawer to get a screw driver to fix the shelf. The drawer is stuck. When he gets the can of oil for it, the can’s empty. He hurries to his car to go to the shop to get more but it won’t start. His wife comes home and finds him under his car in the garage. She says, ‘the light in the kitchen needs fixed’. He calls from under the car, ‘what do you think I’m doing?!’

Most things in life are like that aren’t they; you start off doing something that should be straightforward and a hundred obstacles rise up. These pandemic days, everything has got more complicated. ‘Popping to the shops’ now involves picking the least busy slot, figuring in queuing times and remembering to wear your mask and sanitise your hands.

The words ‘I just want to hug my mum’ have become a painfully impossible dream this year. ‘It’s just for a wee while’ can become unintentionally lethal.

No, there’s no such thing as ‘just’ this year. I used to get exasperated when people said ‘it’s just round the corner’ when they were giving me directions. When you can’t walk very far, even getting round the corner can be overly ambitious.

I wish all the ‘just’s would sweep back into our lives again. I wish one simple thing could be that: simple. But maybe I’m looking in the wrong place. Maybe they do still exist, but they’ve changed into other things. My hope is that as we get used to the new routines this pandemic has forced us into, we’ll begin to look beyond them and see they’re making a way for us to get to the place we want to be. When I use my stick, ‘just round the corner’ becomes just that. When we use our words and smiles ‘just a hug’ can be replaced with other expressions of love.

Just can be a cruel understatement, but it can also be a gentle encouragement. So today, why don’t you see how many simple things you can still do? My blog used to be called ‘snatches’ because with two children under the age of three that was all I could manage. Why don’t you see how many precious moments you can snatch today?

They’re just wee things after all.

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