Buckets and anchors
Updated: Aug 6, 2020
“Hi Jo … it’s your mum. Just letting you know that we ‘ve just come back from Cromer. I’m not sure I can spend the lockdown doing puzzles with your dad in the static caravan.” This was a phone message from my mum many moons ago when ‘all this’ started. They, and by ‘they’ of course I mean my mum, spent the following weeks coordinating and planning life at home with the thoroughness of a Brown Owl taking her troops on an expedition to the Arctic Circle.
This flurry of activity was common for many of us during the first few weeks of lockdown. Setting new routines. Injuring ourselves doing what Joe Wicks calls exercises but what are actually contortions at 9.00am every morning. Identifying all those little jobs we had been putting off. The list goes on.
Then there was a mindset shift. For some this occurred when they received ‘the’ letter from the NHS that they had been identified as someone at risk of severe illness. For others it was when the initial preparation activities dwindled. For some it was the cancelling of trips, holidays and outings with friends and family. Whatever the cause, the switch from ‘getting ready’ to ‘this is it now’ had a sobering effect and provoked a rethink of how to maintain positivity in the midst of the new reality.. Even if they live close by, social distancing and cups of coffee through windows made our loved ones seem so very far away.
But what about now. Well …… it’s OK to not be OK. And it's OK to be OK. In short, it’s OK to be how you’re feeling. Sticking to the routines that you’ve set up is important but accepting that there are days when you’re not OK and life’s not OK is just as key. Being able to adjust your routine according to how you feel is a sign of strength and acceptance and shouldn’t induce a burden of guilt. We currently have enough to bear.
Weekends are all about making it feel different ... particularly if you are suffering from 'blursday' where all time seems to merge into one. My family is still reeling from the shock when our Skype screen switched on and we saw my mum fully kitted out with swimming goggles and a hat and wielding a super soaker, announcing that she was Gangsta Granny. Displaying slightly less effort was my dad who waved a gardening glove at us and proclaimed that he was the invisible man.
Invest in a bucket of glimmers. Lots of events and daily parts of our routine may be on hold but the glimmers are still there ........ if you know where to look. Spend each day noticing small things that make you smile and gathering these moments in a daily glimmer bucket.
‘We’re very lucky’. This phrase has been echoed by many people I meet. This isn't just a reference to all the community minded support that is so prevalent where I live but a reference to something stronger – a motto or a core belief. A reminder that the world around us is ever changing but, that like ships on turbulent seas, we can keep ourselves and others anchored. Our ship may be pulled thrown about on the waves during the storms but the anchor keeps us safe.