Having spent most of my life in practical and supportive roles, when lockdown began my thoughts went to ‘what can we do to support others in the community?’ For many reasons, what I had envisaged has not transpired in the way I had imagined it could. One reason for this is that the community I find myself in is a beautiful mix of people willing and wanting to help each other, they are so well versed in supporting each other and thinking as a community, that like a well-oiled machine, even during this unprecedented time in our history, they did not need debate, they did not need policy makers, they did not need encouragement or leadership, they simply and effortlessly tuned into their compassionate hearts, they came together and offered support to one another in any way they can. It is a beautiful thing to witness.
A small but meaningful example of this; yesterday, I was planning to cycle to Tesco to buy plant pots but ended up being offered some for free during a friendly blether on the way, from which there are several positive outcomes; Recycling ; a large supermarket chain does not gain more profit; I shopped locally for groceries; I could spend my allotted time enjoying a nicer cycle route rather than a supermarket trip.
Another is the donation of seeds I found by my front door from a local pal. This thoughtful act gave us a pleasant afternoon potting in recycled containers and since then myself and my children have experienced the daily excitement and warmth you feel when witnessing your mud soaked seeds popping up their teeny green shoots and growing into seedlings. We have invested positive energy and developed a sense of responsibility about other living things and in return, and with the right mix of conditions and care, we will receive a harvest of our very own home-grown plants and vegetables. One small act of kindness has brought us an immense amount of pleasure, life lessons and skills that will last us a lifetime.
Even though I speak of these positive experiences, recently I have struggled, and my emotions have dipped greatly since the measures were extended. Did I somehow convince myself that things would go back to ‘some kind’ of normal after those first weeks? Have I grown weary of the intensity of this situation at home? I have lost my mojo that is for sure. Our ‘routine’ has slipped away, and I haven’t been doing my morning exercise which was probably helping me stay sane. Trying to motivate my eldest to do any schoolwork, keeping my youngest safe and occupied, keeping our home running, getting work done and staying positive and focused has been so hard. More than anything I want to keep the children feeling safe and buoyant, I know they are likely to be experiencing thoughts and feelings which they cannot understand, let alone express. I know how lucky we are in so many ways, so why do I feel like this? Maybe apart from anything else I need to accept that there is no normal right now and to focus on each week or even each day and make that as good as it can be. Maybe, without the intellectual and social stimulations and interactions that I have become used to, I just have too much time in my own head at the moment! And even though after a few weeks experience, I am growing more used to video calls and the screen interface, it will never replace human contact for me. Oh, how I miss my friends.
I will share our past week or two mainly in pictures…
A pop-up restaurant serving paper spaghetti and mushrooms and cake for desert for mummy:
Obstacle course including dinosaur land, tomato or onion spoon race and mummies blanket ride:
My nearly 8 year old made a cake (almost) independently from start to finish!
Our new ‘pet’ ground beetle gets relocated from local beach to container in the garden:
Painting stones for the Larick Centre Tayport Common love trail on the sea wall: