Mumma & daughter reunited <3
I honestly don’t know where the past week has gone. After another Friday morning group writing session on Zoom, I realise my mood has shifted, lightened. Last week I felt flat. Disconnected. I even shared my musings in a blog post about it https://www.shelleygardnerwriter.com/post/the-other-side-of-lockdown
And today? Today I feel myself slowly creeping back, re-emerging. There is a level of happiness and contentment that wasn’t there last week.
A large part of it was having my daughter Bre over for lunch on Monday, spending time with her after one hundred and six long days, sitting, laughing, sharing a meal, doing something normal in a world that has been anything but normal.
There is a feeling of deep gratitude that we can do something so simple. That first hug with her was the best. Neither one of us wanted to let go, so we didn’t. We just stood there soaking up every, magical moment of being together again.
Perhaps it is also having things to look forward to that, pre-Covid, I think I took for granted.
Tomorrow I have a few girlfriends coming over to my home for afternoon ‘drinkies.’ Next Friday I get to catch up with two of my oldest and dearest friends.
Then Saturday week I get to sit around our table, having a long dinner with my precious family - Shaun, Ella, Bre, Ed and my darling sister Jacki, something I have missed with every inch of my being.
My Family on holiday together - can't wait to do this again <3
Throughout lockdown I have connected with family and friends via Facetime and while it has been wonderful to see their smiling faces online, it’s not the same as having them in the same room. The screen lacks the sense of intimacy that spending time in person evokes.
Now those of you who know me are aware that I am into ‘woo woo’ and believe in serendipity. In the midst of writing this post I was struggling to give clarity to this new sensation that was bubbling up from within, and articulate exactly what it was that I was feeling.
And then Bre sent me a text, part of which I have shared with her permission, which summed it up perfectly and so eloquently:
‘I feel like coming out the other side of this, even though it was so challenging with some very dark days, it's going to help people to value all of these things so much more now as we know how much of a positive impact it has on us. I have always cherished being able to spend time with my family, friends, at the gym and out in nature exploring, but now I have seen what it does to me when it's ripped out from underneath me, it will now make me cherish it that much more.’
Note that we were both thinking the same thing, at the same time, and have both used the same phrase ‘come out the other side’…would someone please cue the Twilight Zone music.
And I am certain that Bre and I are not alone, in this new-found appreciation of the simple things in life. So many of you reached out after my last post to say that my words resonated so deeply with you. It is my hope that this post will do the same.
Over the coming weeks, as I engage with the wider world bit by bit, I expect that I will begin to feel more like my old self in many ways. Yet after living a more cloistered existence during the past nineteen months, I know that I have changed.
Even my spider plant is changing...
I don’t believe that we can go through a life-changing experience, like we all have, and emerge exactly the same as when it all began. And that is ok.
I believe that every one of us will bare scars, whether physical or emotional, and our perspective on what is truly important will have evolved and become clearer to us.
For me it is most definitely trying to be more present with the people with whom I choose to share my life, and to learn how to pace myself.
Pre-Covid I was always racing somewhere, be it work or off to a social outing (dinner with family and friends, or a book-related event). And while I had fun, often I felt exhausted, depleted to the point where I didn’t stop to be authentically present, absorbing what I was feeling, seeing and hearing.
I was there but I was also busy scrolling through my phone, so concerned with preserving the memory that I wasn’t actually taking in the beauty and sacredness of the moment.
Since lockdown, I have come to embrace a slower pace of life. To stop and smell the roses as they say.
The Peace Lily on my kitchen bench has just this morning burst into flower. And the spider plant in my writing room too, its delicate tendrils cascading down the side of my desk.
The Peace Lily symbolises peace and tranquility...something we all long for now more than ever.
Life continues. Time has passed. New beginnings for us all.
Be kind and gentle with yourself.