How are you coping? I sometimes feel as though I am not. As though I am lost in a sea that looks alot like my four walls. I haven't left in days, and my mind is spinning in a hundred different directions. Thats the anxiety talking. The past I cannot rewrite and the future I cannot control. But I do have some control. We each have our own tiny piece of this big messy puzzle that we need to offer. For some of us that looks like staying in our homes and only venturing out when it is absolutely essential. For others, it means being on the frontline of this thing, treating the sick, risking personal health and sacrificing time with families. There are so many faces of what it means to be a participant in our world and this pandemic right now.
Once we have each accepted our role, the next crucial thing is to have hope. Hope that if we each do our part to keep this virus from spreading further, we will find the other side of this. We'll laugh and catch up with friends at restaurants. We'll be able to attend our friends' wedding, our children will return to school, work, their lives. Jobs will come back and our economies will thrive once more, perhaps in a more holistic way. That future is there and it is real. It is waiting for us, let's help each other get there.
For me that looks like, doing my best to keep Maison Hartley running/reaching out, volunteering as an NHS Responder ( I am a 'doer'), counting my blessings, and being present with my immediate family. This morning my husband and I hatched a plan to breakfast with our grown kids, present them with all the issues that this pandemic has brought to us personally and ask them to help us find small ways to cope. Our son has suggested that we each learn a poem and then recite it to each other on Sunday. Our middle daughter's job is in Animation and whilst her promising early career has suddenly been cut short, she is going to use her skills as a model maker to grout the flagstones in our non existent (now deserted) kitchen. I have found that I am really okay with heights, so I am up on the tower the builders have left behind, painting the outside of the newly installed windows. (I am also getting my head wrapped around my husband's new, WILD MAN OF BORNEO look - that hair though!) Our eldest daughter is camping out at her Auntie's house having had to move out of London, and whilst I miss her and it doesn't feel quite right not having her here, she is enjoying a whole new relationship with her aunt and uncle.
So the s..t has hit the fan, bad stuff is happening, but we can adapt, help, carry on. Personally, I have been at the bottom enough times to know that the human spirit is incredible and that we will triumph. Creativity is, so often born out of adversity, and I believe it is important that our children learn resilience, and that hardwork, kindness, patience and effort reap much greater rewards than instant gratification.Right now, comedians, musicians, satirists, writers, all seem like a lifeline for those of us who are not ill, but are staying in for the greater good. My heart goes out to all those people for whom it is actually dangerous to be inside their four walls with thier abuser, to anyone who is facing serious financial problems, and to the (already) beleagured NHS workforce who, it seems to me. were already on their knees, but have somehow gone up a notch to respond to this. To whoever it was who decided to give them all a virtual appreciation clap, I salute you....good stuff is happening too.
Of course we have to prepare and plan ahead for the green light which will come,and I am amazed at the energy that is already pumping towards that day. For now though, lets go with the flow, savour every second of that one piece of exercise, be present with our families, and perhaps appreciate the worldwide pause button.