Lock down has caught up with us – we lock the door to keep ourselves in and to keep others outside. I am considered in the vulnerable category and my family and friends, all of whom love and care for me, have locked me up. I know that is meant for good but there was one day this week when I felt that either I had the plague or was a leper. It was a very strange feeling, causing me to take stock, pull myself together and think of how I could handle the next few weeks or months in a positive and constructive way.
I concluded with the need to protect my conversation and guard against the lack of it. I’m very blessed to have friends and family who send me numerous texts and WhatsApp messages and I’m sure many of us can say the same. However, I know that we all need to see a face and hear a voice. In the past with my family I have coined the phrase. ‘Have you time for a catchup or a chat?’. I know it’s my responsibility to extend the usage of this phrase and I can guarantee that people will understand. Conversation topics are important too. Brexit was the topic of conversation for many, many months and I often heard the phrase ‘I’m tired of hearing about Brexit’. It would be good to use our conversation topics to encourage and handle the natural fears that Coronavirus has brought with it. What about writing a letter, picking up a phone, giving a wave to someone standing in a window as we walk by, shouting a ‘hello’ to somebody walking on the opposite side of the road or standing by an open window or door having a conversation with someone.
Secondly, to feed our minds with good things and to filter out the negatives. I find the sharing of my thoughts gives an opportunity to straighten things out. I do realise that there might not be someone available to share with, but what about journaling or opening up a computer file to record your journey, ie. write out those things which have been helpful and those that haven’t. For example, I found a bunch of tulips when I went to collect the post today and I have no idea who left them – there was no card but they were beautifully wrapped in cellophane, grown in Norfolk and had a Co-op label. I would love to say ‘thank you’ but the mystery of the sender’s name might never be revealed.
Time is a precious commodity. For some time now I have had too much time and too little that I can manage to do with it. Our family WhatsApp today has brought me a lot of pleasure. My daughter’s two girls organised their days with Daddy and Mummy as their teachers, with work activities, charts of progress and rewards. All of the local grandchildren and most of the adults are going to learn Spanish because their favourite auntie is getting married to someone who lives in Spain. Yoga programmes have been accessed and getting the gardens up to scratch is on the agenda, alongside all the DIY jobs that have needed to be done for a long, long time. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing and reading about it, these are things I can’t do anymore so I have a huge gap to fill. Wisdom would say that, although mine would be a different outcome, I can enjoy planning a constructive long-term and short-term programme. When I receive a WhatsApp saying ‘I’ve walked 3 miles’ I send one back saying ‘I’ve walked to the corner and back’. Someone else’s ability to do everything becomes my challenge to do the things that I can do positively.