“And then the whole world walked inside and shut their doors and said we will stop it all. Everything. To protect our weaker ones, our sicker ones, our older ones. And nothing . Nothing in the history of humankind ever felt more like love than this.” – CD
I lost my part time job this week. If I’m to be completely honest I temporarily lost three part time jobs. Two non-essential writing positions and one dance teacher position.
Covid-19 has meant a nationwide lock-down in New Zealand to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of this horrifically fast spreading virus.
Since leaving full-time teaching I have relished in my new found direction of writing. I always wanted to be a journalist, studying journalism, communication management, media and public relations and interpersonal communication as part of my Sport and Leisure Studies degree. After applying for both my journalism diploma year and my teaching diploma, I received a TeachNZ Scholarship and so I went on to become a Dance and Physical Education Teacher for the next 15 years after University.
To lose my new found love so quickly after the opportunity to explore it began has felt heartbreaking amidst the uncertain surreal lock-down that is happening to us. I know for so many others it has been a lot worse. And I understand of course. Everyone does.
Like many other times this week with the overwhelming sense of being ‘stuck’ at home has hit me, I cried as I mourned the one thing that was giving me some purpose and a sense of control. I have worked for the past year with the most amazing team of journalists, who have helped me grow, given me feedback and helped contribute to my experience in opinion writing for the Daily Post and Bay of Plenty Times, occasionally making the NZ Herald and local news reporting for the Rotorua Weekender. I have relished in these opportunities and completely and utterly re –fallen in love with writing.
I am hoping in time I can return to being a part of such a fabulous team. Until then I am going to continue to keep writing once a week with the same purpose, to share. My opinions, my feelings, my emotions and my viewpoints. I like to see both balanced sides to a news story or current topic and I look forward to writing from my heart.
I’ve been on lockdown since I picked the boys up from school on Monday afternoon. It was a weird feeling knowing I was taking them home for four weeks without respite from my parents or inlaws, friends or other family members. I haven’t needed to go out since, expect for bike rides around the neighbourhood, both boys and husband in tow.
The third day was the hardest thus far as my overactive mind and feelings of being overwhelmed and scared got the better of me and I cried. I literally cried myself to sleep worrying about people dying and funerals and what would happen and so on. All completely irrational and non-helpful thoughts repeating over and over in my mind.
After a better sleep, some exercise (tap dancing practice on a piece of plywood) and another bike ride around the block, I felt better. Stronger and ready to accept reality. Kind of like the baby blues after you give birth. You have no other option than to carry on and make this new form of reality and normal count.
I’ve stopped reading every article and watching every video about Covid-19. I catch up on the six o’clock news and read articles online in the evenings after the children are in bed. Watching every move this virus obsessed world was reporting on was making me obsessed and bringing my mental health down. I need to focus on making fun memories while on lock-down to ensure this is a safe and enjoyable time for my two little boys. In a way losing jobs is so insignificant to being their mother and having more time means I’m able to look after them better as well.
We seem to have got into an easy routine.
Wake up, breakfast, coffee, housework and jobs, device time, a little school work for the boys, reading, games and sports on the lawn, my husband and eldest have built a fort and we are slowing ticking off a few home maintenance projects that in ‘real’ life we seem too busy for.
Lunches and dinners have become more planned and less rushed, with dessert featuring a couple of times already! I have more time to bake and enjoy being in the kitchen, usually something I detest.
We’ve been playing happy families cards and it is hilarious to see crafty personalities come into play and hear such delighted and pure giggles and fits of laughter as we all try to outsmart each other. Bedtimes are more relaxed, family movies have featured and the usual wrestling, rugby and tackling continues. I’ve been taking time in the afternoons to watch a movie or episode of a considered ‘girly’ programme or even a nap at times. Husband and I are active relaxers and to slow down, it is almost impossible. This forced home detention style lock-down has meant we have to. There is no urgency to rush from task to task, job to job, into town, shopping unnecessarily or wasting money on things we don’t need. We have had to be resourceful and creative and challenged our own inner minds to accept this new normal.
We have disagreed, argued and apologised. We have given space when needed and walked away when we need a little break. To think of the bigger picture, what will happen in the next few weeks, months or in the future is so overwhelming and questionable, it doesn’t even pay to worry or try.
There are a tonne of things I miss already from the outside world! I’ve started making a list of what I want to do once lock-down is over. (Because it has to end doesn’t it?)
I miss my parents, family and friends, real coffee and teaching aerial yoga and dancing. I miss seeing people and smiling at the busy hustle and bustle of our city which I love so much. I miss going to the beach and eating out. And I guess just being able to do so if I wanted. Our choices are limited at the moment and it’s hard to accept. I have come to a feeling inside that I will be able to do this though. Sure there will be many more emotions to chase up and down in the next few weeks but to feel part of something bigger than us, bigger and more important that is helping our entire country bounce back and avoid an even more hideous outbreak or exposure to Covid-19 makes me so proud to be a New Zealander.
I just hope everyone else is staying home too. We can only beat this if we all work together!