In this ridiculously surreal time, in which use of the word unprecedented has reached unprecedented levels* I, like virtually everyone else around the world am experiencing a brain-rattling rollercoaster of emotions. Sometimes up, sometimes down. For each of us plotting a route through this weird new world, there will inevitably be difficult days. There may even be disastrous days.
I’m not (thankfully) tasked with coming up with a cure for the virus, nor am I on the front line: caring for the sick in our glorious NHS – far from it. I am here in the safety of my own home with my loved ones and my task, as I see it, is fairly simple: follow the rules, look out for others, stay safe and count my blessings. Then when I’m finished doing that, count them again. Here’s a few to be getting on with:
- I am fortunate to have a comfortable home and a great garden. Others don’t. Enough said.
- I live with people I love. Also enough said.
- In the morning, the road out front is quiet. There are no cars speeding past, trying to knock 20 seconds off their daily commute by ducking through this way.
- I swear there are more birds in the garden, and I’m noticing them now.
- I’m thinking about how we do things and questioning whether we need to do them at all.
- I’m still busy, but never late for anything.
- We are more in touch with family and some friends than we would usually be.
- Life feels paused – therefore I can enjoy looking forward to pressing play again.
- Church comes to us, right into our kitchen.
- I am thinking and not just doing.
- The early frost in the garden yesterday looked like a thinly applied layer of white paint on each blade. I stopped to notice this.
- Things feel levelled, with celebrities, politicians and the rest of us mortals in the same boat.
- In parallel with the scientists working their magic behind the scenes looking for a vaccine, there is an outpouring of creativity and an explosion in our access to it – demonstrated daily by the numerous artists, writers, singers, dancers, fitness experts and the rest taking to the web to bring their work right into your home.
- Fewer washing loads: no football gear, work shirts, swimming togs etc. This must surely have a beneficial environmental effect.
- Ideas are being shared all day, every day. Ideas for kids, ideas for adults. The positive side of the Internet has trumped the negative.
- I’m not being encouraged to consume as much as usual. I don’t miss shopping.
- Fewer cars = clearer skies.
- In the wake of Caroline Flack’s tragic death – we might just finally have started being kind to each other. At least it looks that way from where I am sitting.
End of part one…
* I may have nicked that