Life in lockdown continues for another two weeks, the difference is now we can see the end on the horizon, now our hope has promise.
Here we are, the May Bank Holiday weekend, 2020, entering a further two weeks of lockdown in Ireland. It wasn’t unexpected, wasn’t a surprise, but it is different this time. Now, we can see the impending change on the horizon. The days where we begin to unfurl from our cocoon are not far away now.
We call it lockdown, but for us, lockdown isn’t the same as in other countries. We’re quite fortunate, we can leave our homes for exercise, essential items. We aren’t limited to just one nominated person per household with police at the end of the road to send us home. There is a radius we must stay within, but the majority of us, we can leave, get the headspace we need.
One thing that we do know for certain is our children will not return to school for the remainder of this academic year. It’s emotional for them, they miss their friends. My own younger children asked me if I thought their teachers would forget them. No, they won’t, of course, they won’t. Despite the wobbles, our children are displaying the resilience we have always proclaimed them to have. For teenagers, this is a time where they need their friends. Yes, they have social media and all the apps to keep in contact but it’s not the same. None of us are that old that we have forgotten the teen angst, that only our peers understood. We need to mind them an extra little bit, mind their mental health, watch them closely without suffocating them.
It Affects Us All
In the beginning, I told myself this wouldn’t affect me too much. I’m at home most of the time. I don’t live all that close to my own family so we don’t drop in on regularly. Then the realisation. My friend left a bunch of flowers on my doorstep for me. I couldn’t give her a hug as normal. Mornings pouring over schoolwork with my youngest two became stressful. My teenagers days were running like a normal school day and continue to do so. They would appear in the kitchen at lunchtime for a lunch I wouldn’t have ready because I was chasing my tail at that point. Where once I would fly around the supermarket to get groceries, we now queue, being mindful of how close we are to other shoppers. It is stressful. I am in awe of those who are juggling all of these things whilst working their own job from home now too. My husband is an essential worker, he continues to go to work. For that we are fortunate.
I have learned and learned very quickly. None of us can say this isn’t affecting is too much, it is affecting us all greatly.
With the Easter Break came time to reflect on how I really was managing this new way and so change came. I no longer spend my mornings over schoolwork with my small children. Our school sends work each week however it is not compulsory. I don’t disregard it altogether, we do bits & pieces that garner interest from my 7 & 8-year-old. We just do not have a school work routine and it’s easier now.
Overall, for us, while every day is not easier, the time as a whole is better. That is mostly down to me reducing the expectation I had on myself. I still have a way to go, starting with prioritising time for myself, which I really need to see as a necessity and not a luxury. I’ll get there, I need to.
When the clock struck midnight back in January, we could not have foreseen what lay ahead. It wasn’t on any of our radars, yet here we are. Adaptation came fast, fear ever-present, kind gestures soared. We have seen that there is so much can manage without. There is also a lot we need, not material things, we can live without those. We need human interaction, hugs, face to face conversations, space to roam.
All going well, the 18th of May will signal the start of a new normal in Ireland. We can go a little further, spend time with people outside our home, naturally, while staying apart. Hope will get stronger. Perhaps after this, some of our new ways we will keep. Nature is thriving, smiling, waving, waiting to welcome us to roam her ground. And roam it we will.