1. confused and disconcerted.
“She is looking a little pained and discombobulated”
This one word is good at describing how I feel, and probably how most of us feel right now. Although maybe without the humorous bit. We are currently in our 3rd week of State enforced social distancing here in Ireland, and since Friday night past we entered into a more restrictive ‘Lockdown’ status. Although it was inevitable that we were headed in that direction, the news still came as a shock as I heard it in the evening news around 8pm and it was to take effect at midnight that night. So no last minute opportunity then to grab some ‘non-essential’ supplies to keep us busy at home – like arts and crafts supplies, paint for the house, plants for the garden etc.
Thankfully chocolate can’t be excluded, chocolate is always essential.
It was also disappointing as it was the day that the ‘2 weeks off school’ we were initially anticipating ended. So that was that. Two weeks was obviously just wishful thinking.
Now we are only allowed to exercise within 2km of our home so no more visits to the beach, or long bicycle rides, unless it’s around and around in circles.
The waiting, and not knowing the ending, is disconcerting isn’t it?
Suddenly being at home with your kids all the time if you are not used to it can be a challenge too can’t it?
At the moment Athol is at work still but he may have to take time off due to being a long term asthma sufferer. Thankfully we bought a caravan last autumn and this will become his home office if necessary so that he has some privacy. I am thinking it sounds like an appealing extra bedroom too – it’s amazing how suddenly all the irritating things about your partner are 1000 times more irritating when they are lying peacefully fast asleep next to you after being awake all day next to you too.
I am finding it very overwhelming at times trying to supervise the kids’ school work on top of keeping my blog business going and doing the housework too.
Thankfully our house is easy to keep clean as it’s not overly enormous. It takes me half an hour at most to throw the vacuum cleaner around the entire downstairs, for example. I’ve also been assigning more chores to the kids, and besides, nobody is coming around to cast a critical eye over my floors or my downstairs toilet at the moment. Inside these walls I’m the ONLY ONE who is the judge of my home’s state of un/cleanliness.
Two of my girls have come to me with tears about how they are worrying about their school work – that they aren’t keeping pace with their friends and finding too many distractions at home. It’s true, there are countless more fun activities here to divert their attention, such as lego, the trampoline, Snapchat, food, more food, TikTok, each other, even more food.
(Why are we all eating sooo much? Is it boredom? Comfort? Home Economics homework excuses? One thing is for sure, if we need to ration our food supplies, our family will survive on our extra kilos we’ve packed in already.)
As opposed to the girls, my son is saying how much he is enjoying home school as he gets his quota of work completed much quicker here in concentrated bursts than he does in school and then has more free time in the day to pursue other interests. Like hours and hours of Nintendo Switch, what screen time?
The girls are missing their busy social lives whereas their brother is more introverted and is content at home. I am grateful I have four of them for company for one another. The first week together was the trickiest, there was a good deal of bickering. But the second week something changed and everyone started to become a lot more tolerant of one another, perhaps the kids became aware of their need of one another for companionship, or perhaps we all felt a bit calmer at the lack of outside time pressures and deadlines.
This time at home together has made me realize how much less stress it would have been to have a large family in days gone by when people who lived out in the countryside with fewer social opportunities had only one another for company. It was a cheaper life as you had no costs of extra murals, and fewer requests for the latest trends due to peer pressure. You had more time to tend to the essentials as you weren’t driving your many children to a range of different activities or social events around the countryside all week long and weekends too.
The pace of life was slower and calmer, families entertained one another and played together. OK so we aren’t quite there with the entertaining one another with poetry and songs bit, and more than happy for Netflix to take that role, although we have yet to achieve that idealistic goal of agreeing on a movie we would all like to watch together.
Overall I am enjoying this time at home and trying to find a new rhythm and routine that helps all of us keep on top of what needs to be completed.
However, I still feel discombobulated. Mainly by the news on Covid-19 to be honest. There are conflicting reports on the severity of the virus, depending on who you listen to. I swing from two opposite poles, on the one side I am distressed for the safety of those who are vulnerable in my family and the other side I feel this is all just a huge overreaction and the consequences of overinflated media hype. So I don’t know what to think at times.
I have also been feeling unwell – last week I was exhausted, I spent a day and half in bed believing that I would be on that list of Irish statistics and now have a slight cough. It is very unlikely that I have the virus, I’m more likely fighting off a cold or something, but I have been wondering what do you do if you suspect you have it? At what stage of observing the symptoms do you actually go for testing, and if you do, what would be the point if you are all staying isolated as a family anyway?
And what if I go to the shops and, horror of horrors, need to cough?? How will I survive the glares of death from other shoppers which would kill you faster than any virus could.
I have been feeling low too, I guess that’s not unusual for most people, especially if you follow the news headlines too closely. So I have been trying to keep myself buoyed up with reading encouraging words from Scripture, WhatsApp calls, spending time in the garden, listening to my favourite music, being beaten at board games, engaging in silly social media games. laughing at all the funny memes, eating chocolate biscuit cake, trying not to drink more than a glass or maybe two of wine!! I am hoping to attempt some artwork this week too.
This has been a bit of a rambling post, and not like my usual posts at all, so thanks for sticking to the end if you have! Maybe you are also struggling with the same questions or have the answers already? If so I would love to hear your thoughts.
Or tell me a joke, or suggest a funny Netflix film.