Cherry Blossoms are my treasure.

AS we approach the 4th week of lockdown ,   I have realised that actually ,  life is better,   things are moving more fluidly in life.    The only thing I am missing is seeing our friends , who we regularly see for fellowship.   I actually don’t miss much else,    there is peace in the slower solitary pace of life.    No commitments,  no need to check yourself on whether you should be attending a social event,   no pressure to commit to anything.   I think my introverted self has tentatively come out to play.    She is unsure of how to proceed as she has never been placed in a position of such freedom!   Life,  I have come to realise is just too fucking hectic ,  too much pressure,  too many expectations ,   it’s not good for the soul!     Normally my home life is a bit toxic,   people are irritated with one another,    there is lots of currents of aggression ,  the whirlwind of life that follows us  all from external sources creates tension,   projections & trauma.    But that whirlwind has ceased.   You would think from our usual state of family life that it would be made much worse by imposed confinement !   But amazingly and surprisingly it’s quite the opposite.     And this further strengthens my beliefs that Brooks (Shawshank Redemption)  was right when he came out of his confinement and realised that    “the world went and got itself in a big damn  hurry “.   We however are seeing it from the other side,   we have been living in it and this has made us see our chaos ,    how we have been going catastrophically wrong.

I used to ‘ housekeep  ‘   now I create.   I create clean , uncluttered space.  I create lovely meals,    muffins & brownies,  I create long salt soaked baths.  I create fresh ground on my allotment , I create words on a page which capture the moments of my life that would be forever eradicated to the sands of time ,  I create gratitude for my life which provides me with money , food , shelter & safety.     I create a more loving relationship with my family .         And this is due to space ,  time &  freedom which this lockdown has created.

Today is Easter Sunday ,      for many years I was a devoted Christian but in recent times, I have created a freedom for myself ,    I no longer succumb to man made religion,    my spirituality is of my own  creation , it is all mine,    it is unique , fluid and ever changing.      Cherry blossoms are the light in my life at the moment.   They line the streets of my hometown and the cemeteries where I walk with my adored mutt.   They are heavy and laden with blossom ,  they look like they will collapse under the pressure of their bounty –  they whisper such greatness ,  I honestly think if I could only ever see one thing in nature again ,  I would choose the cherry blossom.

One day ,     when I move house,   which I eventually will probably do ,  I want my own tree.

The Beautiful Moon.

As we move like the ocean through these tides of strange times , things start to become the norm. Queuing to get into the supermarket , not hugging friends , being together with family at home all the time , yoga on zoom , not making any plans to do anything or go anywhere .. The furore of the initial weeks has now dissipated into an uneasy milieu . Tentatively ; people , businesses , cultures , test a toe in the water to check out the temperature .

Last night , the full pink moon was out in her full glory, a perfectly still , cloudless night to showcase her beauty. We arranged to meet friends up the common , we took some Prosecco and drank out of plastic cups , on blankets , 2 metres apart and looked at the moon. The night was so still , the sky devoid of jet streams , instead , mallards flying overhead quacking their way home. It was quite beautiful.

Week 2 : Uk Lockdown

So , my husband agreed to do our ground floors while he is off from work. It’s something we have been planning to do and it seemed an opportune time. I have learned over the years to live with the upheaval of home renovations. But something about order , calm and tidiness just fills me with delight & and I still suffer an inability to relax until the norm is restored .

But my new grey floors are looking lovely and I am ever grateful to have such a clever husband . We got our 18 year old son to help (!) – bribery basically. They couldn’t be more different . My son lopes around like a stoned giraffe while my husband runs around like a headless chicken. Things haven’t been tranquil in my house this week !

Anyway , I start on my new unit on Monday. I had to make some choices about it all in the week and I feel like I made good , sound decisions , based on integrity and growth. I realised that I was leaning in to the fear and it’s always the best bet . I understood that I have always have a longing to be part of something & perhaps I didn’t quite feel like that in the team I was in. I sense the winds of change in my life far quicker than I ever expected them to blow in . But I embrace them and welcome their fragrance.

Corona Virus continues to dominate everything. We are now upto around 600 dead in one day. Yesterday I cried reading about 2 young nurses who died. Both leaving 3 children each. Such tragedy. I oscillate between two worlds of nonchalance and zeal In my thinking – some days I struggle to see the big picture . Others I jump on the band wagon and chat Boris mantras like a campaigner .

Week 2 :UK lockdown

photo of burger beside fries
Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Pexels.com

I  now feel far removed from the mania around Corona Virus,   initially I was obsessed ,   anxious,   constantly watching the news,    but now ,  due to my already disclosed extremely short attention span ,   I am already over it.    I guess if it hit me hard by taking a member of my family then it would become something again,  but I have lost all interest in the whole debacle.   I think perhaps due to the fact that I believe that I have already had it,   I feel untouchable.   I hear about all the issues with PPE and the fact that I will be going to work on a ward where  I will be expected to use it and I just feel irritated ,    it suddenly feels like a great big deal made out of nothing.   Now I know it’s not,    but what felt ominous , important  , vital , encompassing  a week ago ,  has completely dropped off my radar.

SO ,  what do I do with this new found detachment ,  when everyone around me is acting like cats on hot tin rooves ?    Paradoxically ,  my dog has a virus ,   and I am more worried about him than the world.        I don’t have capacity for world pain ; world crisis ,    I can only be with what is in front of me.    And I ain’t gonna apologise for it.

Tonight we had a serious first world issue with our Uber Eats takeaway ,   burgers were missing ,  the chips were cold and there was a household meltdown.

 

Week 2 : Uk lockdown

Working from home again today , trying to sort my caseload out before I move departments. I felt deflated today after a team zoom meeting , I left a team I loved 8 months ago and I never really felt that close to this new team , some weird dynamics & you can never quite tell if it’s you or them (!). Anyway , I didn’t feel as though I was particularly going to be missed , I didn’t feel there was much space given for my going , but then , they have never been much of a team for allowing processes. Part of me is thinking that there is much bigger plans afoot than I have the magic to see . But I trust in this plan and sense that the new team being set up – to which I am destined for will be a much better fit for me.

This evening I noticed my dog is poorly. I rang the vet and they are only doing emergency face to dog appointments and I have to pay £40 for a phone call triage! I await that tomorrow but my heart felt wrenched at his little face , I know every inch of him and I can tell he isn’t well. He’s my third child. I Adore this creature with my whole being.

My other child – an 18 year old man-child , spends the lockdown constantly asking me for food !

I’ll be glad to get back to work at this rate …

Day 7: UK Lockdown

I spent many hours spring cleaning my kitchen today , something I wouldn’t normally have the Time or inclination for . I have neat rows of tins , bleach white cupboards and a feeling of serenity filtering round the kitchen ! I started a long form that I have to fill out . It was a day of doing , of action. I am finding that my obsession with the news is dwindling . I never had a great attention span , That’s why I am a woman of unfinished projects . Depends how long something takes on whether in my world it gets done. God knows how I got my degree…

I haven’t seen my daughter for about a week. She is isolating herself to the extreme , not sure if it’s a reaction to the world chaos or something else , but I feel helpless . I sometimes long for the days when she was little and I had control. You always ask yourself as a mother – where did I go wrong? What should I be doing differently? It’s such a mess .

Day 6 : UK Lockdown

woman in gray sweater drinking coffee
Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

Today I was contemplating conspiracy theories after one too many wines.   Our dear best friends,  who we spend every weekend with have been sorely missed in the last few weeks. Firstly we went on holiday for a week and the whole Corona Virus catastrophe kicked off in that time. They run a local bakery shop,  which has only been open a year ,  prior to that ,  financially they have struggled for the last decade really .   Well since the virus and the supermarket debacle in the UK   , they have hit gold!    Their very popular bread , which is their best seller –    they can’t bake enough to cope with demand .    People are ordering  ready meals to cope with self isolation,  buying their cakes,  quiches , jams  ,  juices &  eggs !   They are obviously delighted,   but also totally shattered .   Anyway ,  we were desperate to see each other today , but reluctant to come to each other houses due to nosey neighbours and concerns for my elderly mother (quite rightly)       so,   like a group of naughty teenagers,  we arranged to meet up the park to neck a bottle of wine and catch up ,    WhatsApp Video is all well and good but it doesn’t quite reach the mark.

SO ,  with red wine warming my cockles and having not seen them for ages,   I started to rant ..     As one does in the midst of such strange times and with ones best friends.

My theory is that Corona Virus is not a conspiracy .  It’s not man made or placed by a certain government,   it’s a  bloody virus  and like any other pandemic ,  if we look historically   ,   we are well over due one.   But what I sense ,  is that it has ostensibly shifted the balance of control in our society.      So for example churches ;   most churches  , including mine,   have switched to online services,    what I have been left with , is a sense of freedom for all those folk who serve in our church ,   who like I used to (on some level)  give their time to do Sunday school  , serve coffee,   prep studies,  give lifts,   steward the doors,   clear up the kitchen ,   prepare music ,  the list is endless !    How they are able to rest.   How they are able to stay at home,  not do anything and   without the control and the pressure and the duty pressing down on their fragile souls .  Those burnt out people who have been constantly serving for years ,  can  finally sit at home on a Sunday  morning ,  in their bloody pyjamas  , without leaving the house and not feel ANY GUILT!

Those folk who are working from home,  those bosses ,  who say ,  ‘NO!  You can’t work from home’ ,    who can’t relinquish control and want to know exactly what people are doing and when ,    have lost their power,   those folk who trawl into work ,  on tubes,  in cars,   getting kids up,    making lunch boxes,  dropping off at school  , facing traffic jams,   can also just get up and work in their pyjamas.        The Bosses,  the Patriachs  –   have lost their power!      It is fucking wonderful.

Fuck me , people might actually start to think about themselves and their right to decide what’s best for them.   I fucking hope so.

Day 5 – Uk Lockdown

Saturday today. A blustery March day in my beautiful country. This morning I went up my allotment , a sacred space I have been debating to relinquish – I realised that I look through the lens of other peoples’ plots , I see their neat patches , or well established veggies , posh sheds in the right place , planks and wooden structures and I feel a sense of disappointment with mine. Today , instead , I saw my two trees , a plum and an apple , like old friends waiting for me , my herb garden I planted last year looking untidy and in need of some love , my daffodils that I planted in the autumn to give me some spring colour , have fulfilled their promise. I cut the long grass and started to try and clear the brambles and I remembered that there is no rush , it doesn’t matter how long I’ve had it , or how much I haven’t done. It’s my bit of land , a tiny piece of my own common . When I spend time there I feel a deep sense of peace .

Then , Tonight I talked to 2 of my oldest friends on Zoom. It was a real treat. It’s been a day of revivals. The wind brought change , growth and clarity. It was also a day of breaking of abstinence. I ate sugar. A bowl of crunchy nut cornflakes, half a (large) bar of chocolate and a bit of carrot cake. I don’t do things by halves , never have. But it’s a fact that me and food have a difficult relationship . I love it but it doesn’t love me …

Still , tomorrow will bring new winds. Who knows where this new world will take us then.

Day 4 – Lockdown

So as a part of our wonderful NHS , I was privileged to be able to shop in the supermarket this morning before it opened . I felt quite the celebrity. I always wondered how other people manage to just do a once weekly shop and now I know! Making the best of what I have . In contrast to this I had to go out again ( rule breaking!) to drop my bike off for a service and promised my mum I’d get her some wine ( essentials ). Both supermarkets had queues snaking round the car park just to get inside!!! As I walked past the queue I was screamed at by a woman for being too close ( 2 meters ) . Normally this sort of rudeness would really get my goat but something in me just Kindly gave her her space , as I almost immediately realised she was acting out of a place of utter fear. These strange days are really affecting people .

Day 3 UK Lockdown

Another beautiful morning in the UK.     Mother Nature continues to even out the flow of life.

I set to work on my garden today,    what a difference some care and attention makes,  cutting the grass,  tidying all the accumulated shit of my hoarding husband.    I found out today that I am going to be re-deployed ,    as a NHS community nurse ,   they feel that we aren’t currently emergency staff,     as going into homes to check on people being care for in the community  is deemed too much of a risk and not enough of one to be doing so.       So we are now going to be used in a new  Mental Health A&E center.   I have mixed feelings,   I was enjoying my new role with new mums,   I think that they really need our help at this time,   particularly the ones with lots of anxiety and intrusive thoughts.    Who is going to look after them while we deal with all the emergencies?    I know that the drunk people    & those who are    suicidal and psychotic need immediate help ,   but what does that mean for the mums who can’t cope,  who are caring for the adults of tomorrow?

Anyway ,  part of me is a little bit excited,   to do something different ,  I have been saying that I want to don my shield of fire haven’t I?   Well this is my chance,    I did used to love working in psychiatric emergency many years ago ,  I shall have to brush up on my skills!         And I am sure , once the storm is less intense    ,  there will be a lot of psychiatric overflow to deal with.

Tonight , at 8pm ,  the streets of the UK came out to clap for our NHS staff.        My road was highly fucking disappointing and I cried.    That’s life.

Feeling a bit rubbish now.  Too much wine.