Finding new kind of normal

Full year of living with pandemic. Do you remember where you were and what were you doing the day the first lockdown was announced? I do. I was in the children’s hospital. Waiting for my child to come back from theatre. I panicked as I realized I don’t have any milk at home and not sure if any bread…

The Taoiseach announced the schools are being closed, shops and pretty much all the country closed. All I could think of – I have enough catheters and medications for S. for next 3 months, but what’s if it’s not enough? Not long later I found out that there is shortage of syringes and other bits in pharmacies. But mostly I remember the feeling of fear – not knowing what’s ahead of us, Is this virus really a killer or is it media creating chaos?

It was a hard year. On many levels. For everyone.

For us and S. hardest part was home schooling. None of us ready for it, none of use able to cope with it. Until we just let it go and focused on mental health. But I wrote about it in last post (http://www.cloaca.eu/2020-2/)

I asked my friends regularly how do they cope, is there anything I can do? I didn’t think I’m missing much. For me not much changed. Kind of sad when I think of it. But due to S. condition we don’t travel much (a lot of hassle), plus my husband was fighting cancer last year and then his mum… so always someone to look after, to support, keep us home. Plus we didn’t have a car so not like travelled awful much before. Even visit in Zoo was a huge logistic action and daily trip.

I don’t have a busy social life since have kids- not only because it’s hard to organize help (we can’t ask any friend or ring one of local child minders – it has to someone qualified to be able help S.), but mostly because I couldn’t be bothered. It sounds awful but it’s so much logistics, most times I would rather stay home and relax with a book and good snack. And last but not least most of my friends have kids and even without extra care, it’s logistic mission for them to get out of the house. So I didn’t miss out much on social life. Surprisingly we adjusted quickly and learned that zoom chats are just as much fun and they are the perfect solution cos you are near kids when they need you and you can stay in PJ’s

I don’t go crazy shopping so closed shops didn’t bother me as much… until had to buy new shoes for S. brother and needed to measure his feet. Most things you can buy on line these days.

I think the one thing I miss the most is my days out with S. Once a month we used to go out to cinema and for lunch, library or bookstore. We call it “ Girly days out = no boys allowed”.  Right now as a substitute we send boys (S. dad and brother) for food shopping and me and S. have home SPA (nails, make up, hair) and having lunch or ice cream. Not ideal but have to do for now. Until we can go out again.

Now when I looked back I missed summer. For the first time in 16 years since I left my hometown I haven’t been back there on holiday. Didn’t see my lifelong friends and family. Couldn’t visit my Mum’s grave. My kids couldn’t meet their cousins, missed a life lesson – chance of talking in their second language. Because of that S. brother doesn’t speak much in his second language (and my mother’s tongue). So basically there was no summer for me. First time in 16 years. Where we live we don’t get hot summer but I always look forward to holiday. This time it didn’t happen.

You might say- oh well, it’s not the end of the world. And you are right. I feel bad to even think about this this way – knowing so many people lost life due to Covid. But, at the same time,  it’s the only small joy I could count on every summer. Something I looked forward all year to. And it has been taken away. I didn’t think of it until today – as I realized – we are one year later since first lockdown and not much change. Still no control over virus – even though there is vaccination for it now, virus mutated, people still dying. And it’s not wise to travel = no summer for me again this year. It affected me and my family mentally. It’s not huge deal but it matters. It’s good to have something to look forward to. We adjusted to the situation. But it doesn’t mean we are happy with it. When someone ask me on a bad day how am I – I would answer sarcastically: living the dream!

I suppose what I’m trying to say today is:

IT’S OK TO FEEL LIKE IT’S CRAP at times but WE WILL GET TRHOUGH THIS.

Let’s hope for the best. I am, but I’m also realistic. I strongly feel that Covid and what it did to us – will stay with us for years. All we can do is try to stay positive. Ok, this sounds bad. I don’t mean Covid positive!! Stay positive in your thoughts. Stay well in your head.

There are lots of books and apps these days that can help you if you not coping well. My personal favourite one is called “Finding a new kind of normal” written by Helen Walsh. She is my local hero, very inspiring, energetic and down to earth so very real in what she says. And a great Friend.

This book is a great and uses every day words instead of medical terms. It is well written – as it you are talking to a friend. I truly recommend it.

“Trauma, grief for our old life or the old way of normal, can hit people in so many ways and at different times.  It can even manifest physical symptoms in our bodies, so that we think we have the virus. I am sure you have found many new ways of coping already and I am hoping in the next few chapters that there might be something that will help you because I know we still have a bit of a ways to go.  I have huge faith in the human spirit and what it can withstand, and I have seen so many people be so strong at this time.  It is pure resilience.  We probably did not even know we had it in us…”  Helen Walsh “Finding a new kind of normal”

You can find it on Amazon.

Remember that to be able to look after others (not only your little ones) you need to be well.

So please look after yourself, be good to yourself. Find time to rest.

Stay safe, be well.

S. Mum

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