March 2020

What a month. So much has happened and there has been so much change in such little time. And in all that time I’ve just been at home, not really doing much. The month started like any other, with plans and ideas flowing. But then, as everyone is well aware, things stopped pretty abruptly. The month turned into one of anxiousness and uncertainty, trying to grasp the reality of what is happening outside and all around us. Discussions with the hubby figuring out a way to work from home together, arguments with friends and family about just staying home, and uncertainties about stepping outside for the bare necessities.

Trying to control what I can and then trying to find peace in what I can’t. It’s been a rollercoaster. Reading and researching things to plough through the truth in what the media is stating, reassuring myself that those I know who are old or have underlying health conditions are sensible enough to do what needs to be done, but then worried that others are not so sensible to show some frickin’ altruism and just stay the hell home. Then the catastrophising started: job safety, racism, the economy. In trying times there is often a herd mentality, an othering, scapegoating.

But this is a global pandemic affecting everyone, and viruses don’t see race, class, or gender. We should really all be in this together, helping each other, supporting each other. So my range of emotions have been all over: from anger and fear, to anxiety and confusion, and finally to some acceptance and maybe a little peace. I still struggle though, I just don’t understand why fear and hatred is shared over love and support. But inside our little bubble we have a decent routine at home now, and I try to offer suggestions to friends who may be struggling.

I know we are some of the lucky ones who can work from home ok and our jobs seem pretty safe for the time being. I do still worry about other people though, but there’s nothing else I can do. We stay home, we donate, and we live what life we can at the moment. Finding gratitude in the little things like the weather or lie ins is all I can do to keep going. So my gratitude journal this month may be a little repetitive, but it’s good to find joy in the little things at the moment: 

1 U2: grateful for U2, the lyrics, the music, the energy; just listening to their songs for most of the day and the music really resonates with me and has helped me somewhat lift this cloud over my head.

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When we last saw U2 back in 2018

2 Hubby: grateful for the hubby for doing chores and keeping everything running while I sort out the mess that is my life tonight.

3 Exercise: grateful to be able to do exercise today, starting to try and get into it and feel energised for the day ahead, it has changed my outlook in the mornings and sets the tone for the day ahead.

4 Sleep and work: grateful for sleep as I have been getting up super early lately but this morning I had a little lie in. Also grateful for work as I attended a work event and it was good fun, playing crazy golf and meeting lots of funny people.

5 Family: grateful for family as we went out for a meal with the in laws and it was nice catching up and checking in.

6 Many things: this morning I saw a fluffy westie kick up some daffodils in a local park on the way to work and it was both adorable and hilarious. Hubby for being supportive and understanding and trying not to be a burden on me. Poet Nikita Gill, I read a poem today stating that one can tackle any problem just like how the sea and waves tackle any shore to make it become a cliff: persistence.

7 Hubby and friends: grateful for hubby and friends today offering support and advice over illness, health, and making sure I’m not overdoing things.

8 International Women’s Day: grateful for this global celebratory day celebrating women and their achievements. Grateful for those who have influenced, pushed, and supported me to be the person I am today.

9 Hubby: grateful for hubby helping me out and packing whilst I’m half asleep ready for an away job tomorrow.

10 Work: grateful for work giving me the opportunity to sit in on something for the rest of the week, which also means I’m in beautiful Bristol, oddly staying exactly where I stayed 4 years ago and also likely in the exact same room! 

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St Mary Redcliffe Church

11 Bristol and work: grateful to be in this city, it reminds me of my time here previously at my previous work, and looking back how far I’ve come. I’m loving this part of my job: the interdisciplinary nature of it all and enjoying the arguments proposed and really taking it all in. I’m also grateful my company has a Bristol office as I was able to pop by to use their wifi and work a little there. And I’m also grateful to be able to explore the city a little as I am likely to be back here soon.

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St Peter’s Church, Castle Park

12 Work and being present: work has been exhausting this week, but grateful to be able to sit in, and I’ve been told I won’t get another case like this so I’m trying to be present and take it all in. Also grateful to see others do their side of the work and see it come together, and grateful to my colleagues here today as I’ve been heartily thanked for my work. Bristol weather hasn’t been wonderful, very windy and rainy here, but there are some beautiful trees about.

13 Hubby: grateful for the hubby who collected me from the station and helped carry my heavy bags for me, also grateful the hubby did the laundry whilst I finished off some work. It’s the little things.

14 Friends: grateful to see some friends tonight and catch up, especially as one will be leaving the country soon so it’ll be quite difficult to see her as often.

15 A few things today: friends for brunching and chatting with me, and hubby for cooking. Also it turns out that this day, 9 years ago, was when I first joined WordPress. How time flies and how much has changed since then.

16 Work: back in Bristol for the day and grateful for work allowing me to experience this opportunity and see and hear how everything works. Grateful to be able to learn and laugh.

17 Healthcare professionals: grateful for these people on the frontline helping those in need. The news hasn’t been great recently, but I’m grateful for those who are out there doing their bit.

18 Friends: grateful for friends today, rallying and supporting one another in this trying time. Grateful for a friend who lives nearby as we have arranged to help get things for each other should the need arise. Grateful for another friend for sending me an insightful article about dealing with mental health and anxiety right now: that anxiety can be helpful in moving one to become informed and develop a plan, but after that it becomes self destructive. The article states: “the character of our thoughts are shaped by the texture of the information we consume. Finding peace in a chaotic time is about using information to act as a guidepost for navigating that chaos, but setting it aside once it has served that purpose”. An interesting read here: https://moretothat.com/finding-peace-within-the-pandemic/

19 Medicine: grateful for medicine today. Although the anti biotics I’m on makes me super hungry and I have to take them on an empty stomache, they seem to be doing the job. So I’m grateful for the progress of medicine.

20 Films: grateful for films today. We saw Late Night, which was hilarious, sad, and heartwarming. It was nice seeing some normal life, even if we currently aren’t living a normal life right now.

21 Exercise: grateful for exercise and movement today. Focusing on stretching and being a little more flexible, which allowed me to be present and focus on the here and now.

22 Voice: today I’m grateful that I have a voice, a platform to share my voice and my opinions. I’m grateful I can pick up the phone and talk to people, I’m grateful I have words in me and a vessel capable of speech and informing others.

23 Entertainment: grateful in this day and age there is endless enjoyable entertainment online.

24 Sunshine: grateful for some glorious weather today, bright blue skies and lovely rays of sunshine. Also grateful that we have a decking so we can pop out and enjoy it.

25 Knees: grateful for my knees being ok most of the time. I’ve been noticing some tension in my knees lately and some slight pain, hopefully some exercises will do the trick and calm the knees. 

26 Staying connected: grateful to be able to stay connected with family and friends, in fact I actually spoke to a cousin I haven’t seen in over 10 years tonight. Also grateful for the NHS and we participated in the clap for the NHS to show our support, some neighbours even set off fireworks!

27 Warmth and sunshine: grateful today for the sun streaming in and providing warmth for most of the day, such bright blue skies. Also grateful for a little furry visit by a neighbourly cat. 

28 Hubby and friends: grateful for the hubby bringing me entertainment in this trying time and also grateful for friends for suggesting and organising a Zoom party to keep connected.

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Ticket To Ride

29 Disney: grateful for Disney today I’ve been listening to songs from Disney films, a lot from ones I have never actually seen, and they just bring me joy. Also we’ve been watching a few Disney films and although sometimes I completely disagree with the storyline or am infuriated by the way some characters act, the songs are pretty amazing.

30 Many little things today: grateful for food as we managed to get some food in today and I was able to cook; grateful for people reading my last blog post and people have responded and contacted me about it; grateful for clean sheets as we did some laundry today; grateful for some sun as although the weather was totally weird (rain, hail, wind) there was also some sun and warmth to brighten up the day too.

31 Skincare: grateful for skincare regime, although it is something simple it allows me time to reflect and also a little time for pampering during these trying times.

 

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