What a wonderful world

Wrote this a couple of days ago, still processing all this, still adjusting. We are ok. I am ok but my emotions are veering all over the place from ‘it’s horrible but we will get through it’ to utter fury and outrage at the reaction of a government I didn’t vote for, to a quiet calm as I take time to care for myself and my mental health.

I was in the local Co-op yesterday, we didn’t need anything urgent, I was really just seeing if they had any pizzas. The shelves were mostly stocked, plenty of fruit and veg, milk, butter, bread, even a few packets of toilet roll.

They had the pizzas I was after too, so I got those and grabbed a couple of cartons of oat milk because they were there, and some eggs, again because they were there.

As I turned to walk down an aisle and elderly woman with a fully laden basket was walking towards me, I stopped to let her step around one of the end of aisle displays and as she passed she smiled and said,

“Not even really sure what I’m buying!”

She had a twinkle in her eye, and half a laugh in her voice when she said it. I got the sense that she’s been through stuff like this before and isn’t sure what to do but knows she should do something and this is all she can think of.

I’m in the same boat.

I’ve not been through anything like this before, but I know I should be doing something I’m just not sure what.

I’ve had a weird feeling in my stomach a few days ago, roundabout the time the first confirmed patients were recorded in the UK, and it took me a couple of days to figure out that it was anxiety that was bubbling away. Last night, in the midst of eating my feelings from our snack drawer, I paused and thought, no this is not enough. I wasn’t talking about the volume of snacks (although are there ever enough snacks?) more reflecting on my attitude to the current pandemic.

Pandemic is an odd word. The stuff of movies, or zombie-led TV series, it’s not something that actually happens. Yet here we are.

And as world leaders stumble and bumble their way through this, displaying all their worst traits and more – hey if you voted Tory or Trump, some of this is on you you utterly selfish prick – and in the meantime so many people are going to suffer in so many ways, a lot of which we can’t even understand yet.

But enough ENOUGH of this negativity. I’m distancing myself (officially working at home now for… some time) and I’m lucky that is an option. My partner is self-employed and we know the time will come she can no longer go out to work. We will cope, we will get through this.

Meanwhile small businesses we use, small restaurants and cafes we frequent, are closing or closed. And yes, again the government has a hand to play in this – Tories will always look after the rich, if you voted from them, fuck you – and it’s horrifying and scary and oh hello anxiety.

But no, I will not get dragged into this.

I am finding my new normal, working from home, finding a routine, carving more time for self-care, meditate, breathe, write, read.

It’s time to look around and remember the good things in life. There are more people who care and love than those that hate, the news is the worst tip of a small iceberg, the majority of people are not like that. Amplify those messages please, focus on the good, on the small gestures that mean more at times like these.

Go outside, breathe in the air, get soaked in the rain, walk on the grass.

Do not give in to anger. Smile as you pass strangers in the street.

I don’t know what else to write. I have a journal but it’s all that is on my mind right now. There is no fiction, just a reality that seems so improbable that fiction feels false.

Surely this will pass in a couple of weeks. Right? That’s the optimist voice in my head, it’s a small voice, and usually hiding away from change and uncertainty. Everything will be ok, it says.

And it will, logically, scientifically, I know it will. I am relying on that part of my brain to process this, as the emotional part is bunkered down in a duvet fort, eating chocolate buttons and re-watching the West Wing.

But I know it will be ok. We will get through this.

Most of us at least. The fallout is unknown, and that’s the scariest part but we can’t deal with that today, we can plan and hope to stave it off and lessen the impact but today is always about today.

So I sit at home and count my blessings for they are many.

I will not succumb to negativity. I will be kind to myself and to others, I will come out of this changed, as will the wider world. New values will be established, and I hope they hold fast. Maybe this is the radical action that will shift the world away from the right-wing governments that hold power?

But no, enough of that. Enough of this.

I am ok. We are ok.

How are you? Reach out if you need to, together we will prevail.