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Reflections on COVID 19

Reflections. This time last year we were all merrily going about our business without a hint of how life was about to change. As we approach our first anniversary of being impacted by COVID 19 I felt it was a good time to stop and reflect on how our lives have been changed and hopefully find some positives in a year of deep learning for everyone on the planet. 

There have rarely been events in history which have impacted the whole world. It could be argued that the world wars impacted the whole planet but there were many people who would have been unaffected even by those. During the last 12 months everyone in the world has been impacted in some way by the new virus, COVID 19. We have had travel restrictions, national lockdowns and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Have all the changes we have experienced been negative though?

I’m not one to let things get me down. I always look for the rainbow and the silver lining and the last twelve months has been no different. I’m not saying I haven’t struggled, I have, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t, but I have also been really grateful for the many wonderful lessons this time has taught me.

The impact of the pandemic has been wide reaching; health, work, school, financial concerns, job losses, mental wellness, bereavement, missing our loved ones so much it physically hurts… the list goes on.

Have I been personally affected by all of these and more? 

Yes.

Have I cried because I miss my parents and worried about the fact my husband’s work dried up last March and there is no sign of it returning? 

Yes.

But the last year has brought so many blessings that those things have been made more bearable.

I have loved spending more time with my children. It hasn’t been easy juggling home learning and work, but it has been so lovely having them home all the time. Having lunch together every day. Watching whole series’ together while snuggling on the sofa under a blanket. (If you’re wondering we did the whole of Dr Who during Lockdown and we’re about to finish the Marvel films as our Lockdown 3 treat.)

We have also walked more as a family

I am walking more than twice as far as I was before the pandemic hit. I walk to the shop to get a pink of milk, where I would have driven and convinced myself I didn’t have time to walk. We walk and talk and it has really helped us process everything we have been going through.

We have done many jobs around the house that we didn’t have time to do before. We have sorted through the contents of the loft and organised everything. We have made a start on really organising our photos and all our precious memories, rearranged rooms so that they function more effectively for our growing family. We have done work in the garden and got back into growing our own veggies, which we hadn’t done for a couple of years.  

I have loved having a reason to send people gifts in the post. I have always loved sending little messages and gifts in the post, but the last twelve months has given me more reasons to share a smile and I have loved receiving thoughtful gifts from loved ones too. A cream tea from a friend, drawings from my niece and nephew or a bunch of flowers from my parents have given me a reason to smile for days.  

We have allowed ourselves to stop and breathe

Life is so busy usually. 

Between work, family, after school activities, socialising… sometimes it felt like we didn’t have a minute to stop and think about what we wanted to be doing. 

Personally, I have taken time to really think about what makes me happy. How I want my business to grow. What I want to focus on and who I want to serve. 

I have spent time talking to my children about their plans and dreams.

I am almost embarrassed to admit that I have done some online courses (I know such a cliche, but I love learning!).

I have adapted aspects of my business so that I am able to continue working online and there are many aspects of that which have worked brilliantly and I would love to maintain once all this is over. 

I have made sure that I have made the most of all the amazing tools at my disposal and kept in touch with loved ones via video call or messages. I know that I will keep doing that even when I am able to see them face to face more. Weekly chats with my parents and my sister on video chat have been a life saver. My brain actually convinces my heart that I have seen them after our call. Since they live too far away to see every week, we will definitely keep our weekly chats going.

I have also made a list of all the things I never want to take for granted ever again:

  • Visiting my parents and sister
  • Hugs (with anyone and everyone)
  • Playing with my neice and nephew
  • Popping to my inlaws for a cuppa and a chat
  • Cuppa with a friend
  • Having friends round for a catch up
  • Wandering round a shop browsing
  • Theatre treats
  • Gigs and concerts
  • Days out as a family
  • Trips to the cinema
  • Eating out
  • Weekends away
  • Trying on clothes/shoes in a shop
  • Being able to walk along a pavement without moving to the side for someone coming the other way
  • Going to a shop without getting glared at because of my face covering exemption
  • … the list goes on and on.

The sad thing is that human nature dictates that we will all be so grateful for all these simple pleasures for a short while, but within a few months that will become normal again and we will forget to be thankful for hugs again.

I have tried so hard in the past to not lose this gratitude for the blessings in my life.

I have been fortunate to live in some stunningly beautiful places in my life and the first few weeks I have walked round appreciating every building and cobble, then within months it is just life. 

When I first had my tumour removed and I was pain free I vowed that I would appreciate every day and be grateful every single day that I am alive and in less pain. I managed it for a few years, but after 13 years the novelty has worn off. 

Am I still grateful I am alive and painfree? 

Of course, but I don’t remember to feel that way every morning. 

It is just human nature that once we become accustomed to something we forget to appreciate it.

I would like to invite you to take the time to create your own list of things you have really loved during the last 12 months. There will be many things I am sure. 

Then create a list of things you want to try to appreciate for as long as possible, things you have missed or want to make the most of when life returns to normal.

Find out why it is important to appreciate the little things:

Mike Robbins – The Power of Appreciation

Rose Chachko – Appreciating the little things in life

 

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