Hello ladies and gentlemen! I hope you are all doing well despite the current state of things. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing my mother who has been kind enough to write the following article for us. She is Meg or Maggie. She was born and raised in Kenya then raised us ‘young ones’ there for a while. She moved to Winnipeg, a city she has come to love. She loves the outdoors ‘even in winter’. Becoming a writer is one of the things in her bucket list. ~Enjoy the read, Valerie.
Successful businessmen and women say there is an opportunity in everything. When the Market is up. When the Market is down. We have all heard the adage ‘there is a silver line to every cloud’. This is what I decided to adopt for this season of enforced home stay during the Covid19 pandemic. But I am getting ahead of myself.
When the lock down commenced, the first few days were exhilarating. It was the impromptu holiday I always wanted. I could sleep in, watch videos till all hours of night, eat whenever and whatever I wanted. That was back when we could still run to the store as often as we wished :). Well that lasted for about three days. The walls started closing in. I could not go out as often as I wished. And when I did venture out, it was like going to an alien world. People wearing masks, walking alone, avoiding each other, looking at each other suspiciously if you dared clear your throat or sneeze. Back in the house the days got longer. The shows were getting boring, my friends and family couldn’t visit anymore. There was no motivation to work. I started feeling exhausted without doing anything. The only trips were to the bathroom and the fridge. And the big one; I could not go out on dates as usual. All the road and camping trips that we had been so looking forward to were cancelled. All coffee shops, the movies, theatre, libraries, even the bookshops were closed! How were we to live through this and come out intact?
Now I am still researching how it’s working out for other people, but these are just some ideas that might help. Some of these have worked for us, some I haven’t had the opportunity to try but I have given it some good thought and even checked some of them with my friends and family. Maybe they have worked for you too, maybe not.
I have been around for a little time in this realm and I have learnt some things. I have learnt that at the end of the day most of my feelings depend on me. On the choices I make. On the things I tell myself. And the resulting actions I take. So I decide to make the best of the situation. To make an opportunity from this unfortunate situation for myself. Of course I am doing everything that I should be doing as a good citizen-taking care of myself and others. But as a step further I decided that I was going to come out of this better than I went in.
I remembered why I always longed for time off when I was working. The things I always wanted to do. This is my time. The many books I wanted to read, the shows I wanted to catch up on, the exercise regimes, those hobbies I always wanted to take up but had no time for. I love music. I have sang since I was little but I always wanted to learn to play an instrument. That is exactly what I am doing. Thank God for You tube. I don’t even need a teacher. What is your secret diamond? This is the time for it. How am I doing this? Another decision I had to take. To have a structure to my day. Just because I am home doesn’t mean its time to let myself go. A structure helps me to stay organized, motivated and achieving. So on work days I get up, shower, get dressed-comfortably but certainly not my Sunday wear, have breakfast, then I work. I give myself breaks to enjoy a short video, some music, exercise, a snack. Evenings I take a nice long walk, take some photos-I love the outdoors and all nature. I feel very invigorated when I go out. I recommend finding that something that energizes you and feeds your soul, and making sure you get a piece of it everyday. Then I will practice on my recorder, catch a movie or show with my son after dinner and it’s a good day. I look forward to each of them.
How about the dating scene? Ha! that has had to do with some doing. We chat. A lot. Young people are especially good with this. We take virtual walks which are so meaningful to both of us. We cook and share meals together. Hang out on facetime. Exchange the beautiful pics we take on our walks. And we talk endlessly. This is the time for a 1000 questions -20 are too few :). We are also pursuing another interest we share-astronomy, with the help of a pair of binoculars I got recently-a gift-no doubt a as a result of all this talking he realized how much I always wanted one. I find I am learning so much more than I have ever known about him, and about the vast world around me. We are using words, pictures, music and so on to fill our emotional love bank. And it is so amazing! Its time to look at things differently, to do different things. Thinking and talking about what this could look like is half the fun. I have read in other places that you can basically do everything you normally do with your loved one-virtually. I will leave that to your imagination. I must say exploration is definitely a thing.
For families who live together-this is a golden opportunity too. To build a beautiful family team. It’s a good idea to get everyone on board by building a family plan together. For meals, chores, prayer, study. We can build very strong bonds right now. Problem solve together, talk more, share more and have more fun together. A friend just shared that he is getting to know his kids like never before. They are asking him questions they have never had an opportunity to ask before-after all there is no one else to ask right now. If we keep our communication lines open, validate and accommodate all feelings, and search for answers together, we will come out better. And bigger.
Finally, and maybe most important, keep the hope alive. This too shall end. Matthew McConaughey on video recently said (not verbatim), right now we are all dependent on each other. We are all facing the same enemy, one that makes no distinctions whatsoever. And yet it is in all our hands, our common hands. There is a green light, built on the values we enact right now; kindness, fairness, accountability, respect, courage, and resilience’. Wonderful words. And while we are at it, let’s remember too- we now have a moment to take a pause, slow down and smell the roses. We are in this together, and we shall come out of it together.