Two months working from home have left me with the social skills of a gnat. I dash out in the morning for newspapers and food and dash back home again. I am virtually a recluse, staying at home recovering from the emotional battle I’ve been through over the last year. I have been firmly embedded in my comfort zone.
Well, no longer. I miss company, chatter and being part of society. I feel strong and ready to take on the world again and I have just signed up to do something I have always wanted to do. Don’t laugh, but I will be volunteering in a charity shop once a week. I am the queen of thrift, the doyenne of upcycling, the one you always find in the middle of the jumble sale crush. I can’t wait to start.
Any new town I visit, I always find out where the charity shops are, especially If I go somewhere upmarket. There’s a great one on the King’s Road in Chelsea where I bought all my suits for work from when I lived in London. I am infamous among my friends for thrusting objects at them as soon as they walk in my door – ‘Hey! Check this out! Only £1!’ My house is filled with eclectic finds, rescued treasures and a haphazard mixture of randomly framed pictures.
I have never worked in a shop before and am looking forward to meeting new people and easing myself back into a workplace again. The manager, who’s lovely, knows about my MS and has no issue with it at all. There will be a workplace capability assessment, but that’s standard for anyone with an illness like MS.
It might sound odd, but I am over-excited about rummaging through all the donations. I can’t wait to learn how to use a till – strange I know, but doesn’t everyone want to play shop sometimes? So wish me luck, and if you see someone staggering along the road with a huge painting under one arm and a side table under the other, that’ll be me…