A break from the norm. Truly I want, nay need, the opportunity to get some of the thoughts out of my mind and somehow, for me, the process of physically writing them down often seems to release them. Maybe you feel the same? Maybe we can talk about it. Maybe you just want to read and nod along in quiet solidarity or perhaps your experience is entirely different. Either way, ‘it’ is happening to us all. We are undoubtedly all in different places and dealing with our own issues but here is mine…
I have begun to lose track of the days. Already. And we are but a mere ten days into official lockdown here in the UK. Novices. That being said, it has been a full three weeks of self-imposed lockdown in this house – following the news rolling in, at first from afar, and consequently across Europe we are big supporters of the Stay Home movement (well, let’s be honest it is not a movement any longer, it is our reality, our obligation and duty). The world is a pretty scary place right now and those first few days and weeks, as the situation began to unfold before our eyes, the time when it became clear that this was not some far removed virus but this monster was on home soil, those were the days filled with most anxiety – the days when we urged friends and family to stay home, to stay safe and when we felt most alone. During those days we had many decisions to make – where would we draw the line? When should we pull Hunter out of daycare, stop going to gymnastics class, stop seeing friends and family? For me the announcement of official lockdown filled me with a sense relief – at last a rule, not a guideline nor a suggestion, a rule, delivered directly from our PM, that we must stay put. All dubiety ceased. We have our plan and all we need to do, those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to, is stick to it.
I have never been one to suffer from anxiety and would consider myself to be a generally positive person but this pandemic can throw the most steady ship off course. Who could have imagined that 2020 would be a year in which words like ‘death toll’ would be spoken daily and yet here we are. Most nights I do not sleep through. Those first couple of weeks during which I was growing acutely aware of Covid-19 I did not sleep well – I read articles and scrolled social media and tried to inform myself as best I could, certain that we were missing a crucial window to stay safe. Some nights I spent more hours awake than asleep. And that sleep was fitful whilst dreams were flitting and nightmarish. The red raw eczema spanning my overly washed hands told the whole story. It can be hard not to be entirely consumed by the news – it swallows you up and once you go down that rabbit hole it feels easier to go deeper than to climb out. We have parents who we never previously considered to be elderly but who fall into that ‘vulnerable’ bracket and a daughter who suffered respiratory issues for the first half of her life. We have friends and relatives on the front line. And I was afraid.
This week, though, has been a huge turning point for me mentally. Suddenly it feels like we are all on the same page – battling this invisible enemy, some out in the field and the rest of us from home. There is a huge comfort in the knowledge that we are doing all we can, fighting together but from our individual corners.
Last Thursday at 8pm we stood on our doorstep and clapped. We clapped for our friends, our neighbours, our families and the army of strangers who continue to go to work… for us, to keep us safe. It was emotional to say the least to hear that distant chorus of a whole village, a whole country, clapping. I feel guilty that we can’t do more and I am ashamed to admit I am also relieved that our ‘stay home’ role is the easiest one of all. So we message and call our friends on the front line, working all hours, and ask them to let us know if we can help, all the while knowing it’s an empty offer because there is little we can do other than offer a friendly ear if they need it. And to the strangers, a simple nod and wave to the bin lorry or the delivery man from behind the safety of our window suddenly seems too small a gesture. We are forever thankful.
Everyone is facing different challenges right now but of this I am certain – we are all facing challenges. Fortunately the nature of my work is, and always has been, that I am based largely at home and in that respect not much has changed. But the paid work is uncertain, the ambassadorships my pen was poised to sign have been postponed and financially there is a question mark hovering…
The silver lining of the work situation of course is that this frees me up somewhat for the endless hours of childcare I have signed up for. I adore my children I really do but a baby and a toddler need a lot of attention. There are tears and tantrums (not all mine) mixed with smiles and games and laughter. Hunter has an attention span of approximately fifteen minutes for any one task or project and often he has completed the entire day’s scheduled activities by mid morning. I am exhausted but we are finding our groove.
THE POCKETS OF HAPPINESS
It is so, so important to identify these, the pockets of happiness, and revel in them – under normal circumstances but especially now. These are the moments that lift a heavy heart, curl up the corners of your mouth and maintain the equilibrium. Spending time in our garden has been such a tonic and I am so, so grateful for the fresh air and sunshine. Family time is at an all time high with the husband being home 24/7 and we are embracing family dog walks (whilst keeping well away from other walkers) and having him here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am embracing my unworn wardrobe and wearing all those things that are too impractical for life as we knew it (I spoke more about the importance of getting dressed in this post). And we are healthy and happy and together and for that I am truly thankful.
I hope you are well and safe, keeping afloat through your challenges and identifying your own pockets of happiness.x
Honestly I ummed and ahhhd over whether to publish this post because the images just do not make my heart sing and I really want Thankfifi to be the home of my best work but then I figured ‘This is it, this is how lockdown looks’. So here I am throwing caution to the wind. Wild times I know.
This post may contain affiliate links and gifts
roll neck – Mango
skirt – Maison Scotch
boots – Zara
belt – Zara
cuff – Ottoman Hands