Week Seven

It’s been a while since I wrote, possibly due to what I considered at the time my own personal logistical and emotional rollercoaster but in fact was nothing compared to what has been happening to our world over the past few months.

I have read and listened to the constant narrative of experiences from the past seven weeks. Heart wrenching stories of loss, anger and panic at the threat of our freedom but most importantly the heroism of our ‘frontline’ workers and carers. Their courage and strength have held the NHS together and saved lives. We will never forget.

Those first couple of weeks were a fast track of emotions heightened by the stillness of our containment, tinged with those moments of lockdown retail decisions – I will look back somewhat bemused at the luminous green Nike trainers and spangled cycling shorts – too much Mr Motivator, not enough Joe Wicks. It then occurred  to me that this is the time to re-organise my list of priorities.

Perhaps too much of the material things had crept up the list – yes, I miss the hair salon, the manicures that you’d squeeze into an already packed agenda like it was a life or death necessity. It’s the community, the friends, the family and the teamwork that have claimed their rightful spot at the top of the list.

Unlike many, my lockdown has been ok, living out of the city with plenty of space to walk at a safe distance. It has also been the longest stretch of time living with my teenage children (19 and 18 years) since they flew the nest.

Having a full house has had its challenges, from negotiating them out of their pj’s into some clean clothes at least every other day. That an entire packet of chocolate orange Club biscuits does not constitute a meal or their five a day, bedtime is before 2am and no, Vodka Redbull will not give you wings, just a hangover.

It has also given us the opportunity to re-connect, rather than the rushed weekend meet or chat squeezed into their busy social diaries. I have watched them process what’s happening. From the initial feelings of frustration having their wings clipped so early in their newfound independence, to a much deeper realisation as to what is happening and how it will affect the future of our world economically as well as socially and the ripple effect.

The advice I gave to my children is the same as the message to myself: use this time to take positive action by preparing oneself to emerge from this fortified, recharged, with awareness of the tough journey ahead. Whether that be through completing your homework on time or learning a new skill.

For me it’s painting, it acts as a platform to rest my thoughts, recharge the mind ready for the next phase.

The next few days will be reflective not only for the VE Day anniversary, oh the irony, but also of the experiences and bonds of the last 7 weeks and how we re-introduce ourselves to this new world.

I like to think that my ‘lockdown walks’ will continue long after the isolation period with a lot more attention to detail and my surroundings.

My parents, who grew up during World War 2, with fathers who fought for our freedom have found this kind of enemy both frightening and confusing. They fear for their grandchildren’s future in this changing world. However, in those dark moments of helpless despair they have been the ones who have encouraged that wartime spirit, their sense of humour never falters.

My father reminded me of the quote by Glenn Turner “Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere’.

With that in mind, stay positive, stay safe, count your blessings and never forget.