By Rebecca Lott
I know this unprecedented time has presented challenges for everyone on the planet. I presume areas not directly affected by Covid-19 have even felt its wrath somehow. But in the overwhelming parts of this twilight zone we now live in, we have all had to search for the message and the silver lining.
I’ve reflected on how this pandemic has affected my own life and even with a bleak forecast of rising numbers around me, I still feel grateful for this time to look inward.
I felt the stress of our new normal early on from March until June but in July 2020 things slowed down for me when I lost work. I was a Teacher who had been in the industry for close to three decades but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved that this happened. I didn’t have to be part of the back to school experiment and I could better protect my family’s health. I don’t have a paycheque now but I’m safe at home and actually really enjoying it. Can’t say I miss the stress and anxiety that goes with having more than twenty something students in a portable. My heartrate has even dropped 10 beats per minute by not having to deal with all the Covid protocols.
I was not expecting this to happen, but no one was, and as humans we make lemonade out of lemons. This is the first time in many years where I have been able to really contemplate life. I figure since I’m here I’m going to look for the blessings in every day and make this experience a positive one.
I’m now able to be home to care for and spend time with my Mom, who now lives close to me. This is precious time for us as she recovers from major heart surgery. It also gives my Dad some support in caring for her. The hardest part is watching how this pandemic is impacting Seniors so accustomed to going out and socializing. My Mom is pretty housebound now due to Covid and she really has a hard time with it.
Living in the country I’m used to not going anywhere, so it hasn’t been that much of a transition. I actually like being home. But I figure we are lucky to be in a remote location right now rather than in the city.
In April I started packing up my parent’s house of 45 years and that kept me distracted for a little while. Every extra minute I had was spent editing, sorting, staging, lugging, packing and donating. The drive thru Goodwill became my best friend. I took stuff in stages because I didn’t want the guy to think I had that much clutter. As a result, my Mom is still missing three of her favourite cardigans and a dress. But now they’ve officially downsized and are all settled into their retirement home.
Being home has brought opportunities and time for home improvement. Our little house has never had so much love and it is finally feeling how we want it to be after four years of living here. The house has never been so organized and the gardens have never looked so good. Like everyone else, shows like The Home Edit continue to inspire.
My inner domestic goddess has been released during all of this. I’m now into farm markets, chopping and freezing vegetables to have fresh produce throughout the winter. Cooking has always been an interest, but it has certainly been honed.
Groceries have become more important in this household. I keep us stocked in paper products and the like, in case we ever have to go back into isolation. I now understand my Grandmothers who did things like they were always in The Great Depression.
I discovered grocery pickup to avoid going out in public. Who knew there was an app. to order groceries? It existed before Covid, only I was too busy to notice. It is the best thing ever. You simply drive up, call the number, they load your car and away you go. If you are the family grocery getter, you have got to try this. Our 17-year-old man child started working construction during Covid and he didn’t really understand the term rationing, thus my new found love for internet shopping and curbside pickup. It really is a convenient way to get the goods without getting out of your pyjamas.
On the topic of food, we also tried a meal delivery service (Hello Fresh). The intention was to give myself a break from cooking for a bit. However, our bottomless pit kid was not impressed. It wasn’t enough food to go around and a little too exotic for him. Turned out I got to skip the shopping, but still had to cook as hard. That only lasted only a couple of weeks.
I’ve been able to appreciate the seasons more than I ever have this year. I think this was the first time in my adult life that I ever got to sit back and witness the slow colourful changes of the Fall. As much as I love the cooling temperatures, sweaters and warm drinks, I’m sad to see the leaves go and the flowers wither.
I’ve formed a new relationship with my TV. I‘ve tried Super Channels, Netflix and Prime Video. I watched every possible Hallmark movie and seasons of sappy series. The happy endings helped me during uneasy times. Flipping news channels has become part of my daily routine. I faithfully watch political leaders, scientists and medical experts. I joined a virtual church group, created a Facebook group for my neighbourhood, walk more and read books that have piled up for years.
I feel guilty for saying this because Covid has not been fun, but in the midst of all this adversity, I’ve actually found some joy. I know so many people out there are on the opposite end of the spectrum. I feel terrible for families who have lost loved ones and people who are working on the frontline. We have been lucky so far, but I know it’s still out there and I fear it touching my family every day.
While we remain vigilant by wearing our masks, keeping social distance and of course washing our hands, I know this time has been the toughest for so many people. There has been hardship, suffering and difficulty, but some good has come with the bad. It has brought us all back to basics, family and home.
Corona Virus continues to test us and overwhelm us like nothing ever has, but we have learned to grasp the blessings. This disease has everything on us, but at the end of the day, we rise up and look for the light at the end of the tunnel.