How quickly our life has shrunk down into the bubble that it now is, we tend to have one focus each day. We chuck a load of ideas around but usually end up with one main theme for the day, and it really is enough. Take yesterday for instance, my eldest asked if we could toast marshmallows on the fire in the living room, we have not long had this fire, so this was a very exciting prospect. I pointed out that we did not have much wood to burn so we should go and collect some firewood. In all honesty the firewood we can collect burns so quickly that under normal circumstances I might not want to make a special journey to collect it, but today this seems like a great task to focus our energy on.
Usually my big girl would ride her own bike and I pull the trailer for my little girl to ride in. I decide to do things differently today, I let them both ride in the trailer. I’m not quite sure why, but I think this situation has focused my mind on everyday realities that may normally go by without much attention, such as the fact that my children are growing up fast and it won’t be long before everyone is too big for my trailer. I am increasingly aware that I should relish some of the simple things that we are able to enjoy, like being healthy and physically fit, being near countryside and open spaces and being together.
I have been thinking about families that live in urban areas and have limited access to green space. I have been thinking about those poor souls who are confined to a refugee camp, those living under dreadful regimes or in war torn areas. I have days where I feel duty bound to grab the life I am able to enjoy and remind myself how insanely beautiful this world is despite some of the awful realities that us humans can manifest.
So, back to our bubble… we have developed some sort of routine out of this strange situation. I have started to get up early to do some work, have a coffee and some time to be Rosie and not MUUUMMMM. The girls get up after me and watch TV (it used to be a weekend only thing, it is the new norm and it is keeping me sane) I do an online workout, anyone who knows me is gob-smacked by this, as am I. The girls do not usually join in, instead they dance to pop music, Disney tunes or film soundtracks. Then they usually play i.e. create an inordinate amount of mess. I can do a little housework (blah, clean homes are overrated) or ‘errands’ online or make a phone call, that kind of thing, then lunch. Lunch in our home is often bits and bobs or leftovers. When the weather is good, I usually try to get us outside on a picnic rug, sometimes we have an in-door picnic. I like to get the children involved and it is amazing how quickly this has changed from practicing helping to being genuinely helpful.
Finally, I persuade them we should go out. Like I said before, usually we have a reason for our trip, such as collecting firewood/pinecones/stones/shells and sea glass/flowers, or we have an errand such as delivering a card to a friend. If we are going somewhere very nearby we might go on an ‘adventure route’ so we still get a decent amount of exercise, I let them lead and we take roads we would not normally, making our journey longer and more interesting. I often let the girls choose their mode of transport (sometimes whilst swearing and hauling a scooter or small bike all the way home I regret giving them a choice)
We have also had a couple of completely blessed days, I am not religious but, on these days, I feel that I may be. We have set out early (oh the moaning!) to go on a mission to see animals (within a bike ride and at a safe distance) these days have been pure heaven, blue skies, stunning scenery, utterly idyllic.
So, our world has become smaller and more intense. Other days are a mockery of these good days, I feel trapped and stressed, the girls misbehave, argue and cry. I shout and behave badly, then lock myself in the bathroom for a moment of sadness and solitude. I never have the news on during the day, the children (and me) do not need a constant reminder of the crazy nightmarish world around us, we need a constant reminder of how incredibly lucky we are and what we should be holding onto.