What do we miss when it is taken away ?
What I thought I wanted is not actually what I needed.
This strange little lock down and enforced change of lifestyle has opened my eyes to a lot of things in my life I didn't know I needed or that maybe I took for granted . Many of us are learning about ourselves , our community and what we value. Amid the confusion it is indeed a silver lining and a chance to stop the mouse wheel , an opportunity that has been thrust upon many of us that we would never have willingly taken. Exception to the rule is of course all the essential services and the often lowly paid jobs that have continued to operate to keep us all "looked after". I started this lockdown with a bang making the best list ever to get all those "one day" jobs that I never had time for done. I should have realised it was a marathon ,not a sprint and after the first two weeks I sat quietly in my super clean, organised house .... now what !!!! Just prior to the lockdown of course my book The Suitcase arrived and the launch I was planning had to be cancelled. This then forced me get a bit creative as I launched my book online. It also if I am honest helped me have the best excuse ever to not do any "look at me "marketing , I am more of a background person. Not the best strategy if you are looking to sell something but one I am much more comfortable with. The lessons I have learnt from this current self isolation experience have been rather illuminating, here's my top ten in no particular order..... Things I miss - Hugs - big squeezey hugs from friends . As I dropped my book off at their doorsteps ,it was such a strange feeling to go against your natural instinct to hug friends you hadn't seen for awhile . After a few days I really struggled with this. I didn't realise I would miss it so much. Conversations - just general conversations with strangers who had purchased my book from word of mouth, a gentle smile and a nod behind a fly screen door at 1.5. metres apart didn't quite cut it. Connection - How good is the internet and social media - a chance at connection with people I have known for a lifetime, new friends, colleagues, strangers and all the private messages and emails I received with such kind words and positive feedback about my story. The joy of opening up my computer and to make a connection, see other's share their story, and even their words of praise really lifted my spirits and made me feel it had all been worth it. Getting out of the house legitimately - one of the outings I had during this time was to the local post office and I would get my daily conversation fix from the post office lady. I truly realised how much I love talking to people , just about stuff, nothing great or grand just conversation. I also started to keep a weird little map of all the towns , states and countries my story was going to. I daydreamed of a road trip after this is all over. Road trips - when you can just load your car up, get yourself a stack of music CD's and just drive. I need to do more of that when this is over.I had become to busy that I forgot I enjoyed it.This to me is the best form of freedom just singing and driving to nowhere in particular till you get somewhere. Coffee shops - wow , what I wouldn't give to go to a cafe and sit and talk or just people watch or write. I really underestimated how much a part of my routine that had become . Friendship - I miss my friends just calling around for a chat or a laugh and a drink. Talking away the nights , solving the worlds problems , sharing a meal - gosh I miss that. Family - goes without saying but I really miss the cuddles of my grandchildren, sleepovers at nannies, family get togethers, sing a longs , all the birthday get togethers we have missed out on :( Just being with people who get you - yep I miss that. Footy - I really love footy it is a big part of my winter life and I miss it so much. It is ritual, tribalism, family, connection , passion and drama . It is also a break from my week where for me there are no rules . Work - I found it astonishing how much I began to miss work, I have been really burnt out at work lately and was dreaming of retirement, but then after having a five week glimpse of living it , I realised I miss the energy works gives me, the focus , order , the sense of personal achievement , it fills a passion that I thought had gone and gives me connection with my community. Its also something I'm really good at , and I miss being good at something :) So it seems our blessings and signs from the universe come in different ways. I am truly grateful I have had the chance to stop, I also have realised that all the things I said I was going to do "when I have time" that I have not already done are realistically never going to get done. Maybe I have also learnt I am a bit of a self bullshit artist :) Incidentally I have been making, cooking and baking some really old school recipes, In my clean up purge I found the old 1970's cookbooks and have enjoyed cooking many different things. Comfort food - so comforting in fact I put on seven kilo's !! I think exercise was one of those magical things I was going to do "when I have time" - it seems not. I hope you all have had this time to be introspective and learn more about what you value and spend time doing those things you had forgotten you loved whilst also realising the simple things you miss. This will all be over soon but I have a feeling we may of all just changed for the better. Till next time xx Copies of my book The Suitcase are still available, it gives me the chance to escape the house and deliver locally or I am happy to post and visit the post office lady - just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall organise.