My logical brain told me that the locked down would not end this week and that was ok. I have food, shelter, books and knitting. I have connection by internet and phone to the outside world. It is good to rest and take stock.
My emotional brain screamed. ‘I’m not ready!’
Whilst living on my own I have only myself to look after with no balancing of work and childcare, this enforced rest has been very good for me.
I am very sociable, out lots, my job kept me engaged with many different people. I have always been doing stuff. I work as a freelance consultant and my contract was terminated three weeks ago.
Back in November, a sudden and extreme problem with my gall bladder resulted in an emergency operation and a doctor’s note telling me that I had to have three weeks of rest.
Never before had I had three weeks of rest.
The first week I was still recovering, but it didn’t stop me hosting some friends for the weekend. The second week with more energy, and confidence I slowly picked up activities and by week three all was good.
My reflection on this time, was there had been many signs that I needed to stop and take better care of myself.
When lockdown came, I was mentally better prepared.
I had bought a batch of books before Christmas that I hadn’t got round to reading as work had taken over. I had bought 3 online courses last year that I had never completed. And I had lots of wool to knit baby blankets for a charity.
So, my thoughts were clear, I would take this time and do all these things.
At the end of the three weeks, have I read any books? No!
Have I so much as looked at a single module? No!
Have I been knitting? Yes.
I have watched an old tv series on my iPad, one episode a day and I knit whilst watching.
I have, everyday, done a little thing to improve my home environment.
A task that I have procrastinated over.
Hanging pictures, sorting old photos, planting seeds in a window box, hoovering under my bed! Yes I felt a surprising pop of joy with that one.
So, when someone asked this week, did I think lockdown would be lifted. I felt panic!
‘I’m not ready!’ were the surprising words that came out of my mouth.
I don’t think, rather I hope, that this time never happens again, and so I am seeing it as gift, to be present now. To recharge my own batteries, to give support and chat (socially distanced) with friends, family, neighbours and even strangers.
Whilst I have been enjoying this time, there have been bumps.
There is a sense of guilt that I am at home whilst others are putting their lives at risk.
The feeling of impotence that you can’t do more to help.
The lack of physical contact.
A sadness for those families greatly impacted by a death.
I have let these emotions come, I recognise them.
So at the end of this first period of isolation, I am giving myself permission to continue this period of rest, to believe that better will come and when lock down is lifted, be ready to help where I can without having learnt a new language or climbed Everest on a treadmill.
There will however be several baby blankets.
Thank you Barbara, for voicing the essence of many of my thoughts. I too am not ready, just yet, to move forward. I am enjoying this cocooning and slowing down. Having time to think, explore, listen, notice.
It will be interesting to see what "life after covid-19" looks like. I hope that we, as a humanity, emerge with new wisdom, hope, kindness and compassion.
With love, Lynda
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