#1606 Day 108 of getting there: The Last Cuppa

Ok, so for 6 weeks.

Not forever, clearly.

But today we headed out to grab our last, in-store, sit-down, cafe experience…

Along with the rest of the town.

I mean, really July. What trickery are you fooling us into? How gorgeous was today? And it’s meant to continue for 2 more days… only for the sunshine-y days to return again next week!

Ahh, Winter. You’ve made me kinda like you again.

You know, I have to say… it is A BIT annoying. And I think I am allowed to say this, because last I heard, our shire had NO current cases of coronavirus.

NONE.

And yet we are suddenly part of ‘metropolitan Melbourne’ (only when they want us) and yet our neighbours across the Port Phillip Bay in Geelong have 2 CURRENT CASES, and are exempt from this lockdown.

Kilometres wise, they are further from the city than we are.

It does not make sense.

I’m not gonna focus on it too much though. We have to do what we have to do. And if too many shires are given reprieves (ahem, Geelong) well then no one is going to listen, and they won’t be happy, right?

I’ll suck it up.

Baby girl took my cue from the other night, and had stuck this note on our bedroom door last night:

I mean, we couldn’t say no to a 6 year-old, right?

Everyone was out and having their last lunches, last drinks, last cuppas…

They were all still social distancing. Counting numbers inside and outside the cafe. Sanitiser was within reach. It was very much across the board.

And the coffee was GREAT. But, it all felt a bit surreal. I mean, you could tell people were getting in their last whatever’s before midnight tonight. I could hear the cafe owner telling loyal customers they would be open for takeaway every day.

We enjoyed it. And then we left. Walked down the main street…

And to the PARK.

Poor baby girl. Poor all kids. They have to go through this shitty time again. Look I get it, we have to do this. Baby girl is actually amazing and totally understanding of what we have to sacrifice again.

But, I wanted to let her run. I wanted her to play.

And she did.

I’ll see you all on the other side… but stay for the gratitude journey, of course, as always. 🙂

#1601 Day 103 of getting there: corona in Winter

I’m really glad we’re going through all this now.

‘This,’ being the virus that’s taken over the world.

How lucky are we that it hit us here in the southern hemisphere, as we were approaching winter.

And now as we are in the middle of winter.

Can you imagine if this was happening in spring? Worse yet, summer? With the waves at the beach beckoning, lush fields sprawling green, and sunny days singing out, calling us out…

But NO. RESTRICTIONS.

Can you imagine?

Look, I’m under no misconceptions that this could go on for ages. Months. Years even. As one example, international flights are meant to be delayed ’til next year.

We might be living in, what I hate to say for the fact of it being thrown around so much, but this ‘new normal,’ where social distancing, limited group numbers, more done from the comfort of our homes, and sanitising sanitising sanitising, become part of our way of life for the indefinite future.

But hopefully, we pass the peak, NOW.

While the skies go grey. As the rain pours. During the strongest height of wind, and as the temperatures struggle to hit double digits.

Let it come now, let it come. How lucky are we, that it is cold, and we don’t wanna go anywhere.

We’re not allowed to… but so what.

It’s corona, in winter. ❄

#1597 Day 99 of getting there: the cat-astic third iso puzzle

It had to happen.

Winter spreading germs, and people are shit.

JUST STAY HOME!

Lucky for me, I somehow forecast this crap ( I have become strongly accustomed to expecting all kinds of shit, yes even for this glass half-full gratitude gal) and last week when baby girl was at school, came across this $16 puzzle at ‘the cheap shop.’

You know, ‘the cheap shop.’ That budget dollar shop where you’ll find onesies, kitchen accessories, cat litter bags, 50 cent greeting cards, 57 different variety of candles, a range of quirky homewares you think you need (but really you don’t) and also, some kind of party/decorating station in one corner of the shop.

All at below reasonable prices.

It was here I went “a puzzle might come in handy soon.”

And I had to get the most trickiest one yet.

A billion cat faces, mwa ha ha.

It meant that today, we had to pack up the completed Frozen puzzle that’s adorned our dining room table for the past several weeks.

If you find and follow me on Insta, you’ll see the delicious anti-OCD video action.

(Psst, @smikgwriter)

Anyway, we learnt upon opening it tonight that it’s split up into 6 categories… that is, A, B, C, D, E and F. Those letters are at the back of each puzzle piece, so by sorting them alphabetically, well half the work is kinda done.

Such a great idea. Well, we better get cracking then…

#1591 Day 93 of getting there: HER gratitude journal

I picked up baby girl from school today, and she started telling me the most amazing thing.

“I was drawing in my gratitude journal!”

WHAT?

She went on to tell me that they’d all been given journals that day to record, by writing or by pictures, things that they were grateful for.

She drew. No surprise there.

The picture? A grassy field, a sun in the sky… and the three of us.

Baby girl, Hubbie and me.

Playing together.

She didn’t get to finish the picture. But she intended for there to be a rainbow, some wind, rain and clouds in the sky, alongside the sun.

Some may think that is silly. I for one think that is highly realistic.

For you can’t actually get your rainbow, without going through some wind and rain first.

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

#1590 Day 92 of getting there: Shelter and the sky unleashed

As I walked quickly to get baby girl from school this afternoon, the umbrella was firmly in my hands.

Closed.

I defied the wispy drops falling from the sky. Clouds abounded, but there was still light… waning.

The kids were soon released, and when the wisps turned into a consistent drizzle –

WHOOSH! Up went the umbrella.

Still, baby girl chose to run ahead and walk with a friend, while I stood with a fellow Mum under the black shade.

It wasn’t that bad.

But that all changed 20 minutes later.

At home. We were warm. Dry.

And the house went dark.

Soon… the distinct loud pattering of approaching rain was on our doorsteps.

And all around us. Enveloping the house.

Loud.

Water spilled out over the gutters, making waterfalls on all sides of the house.

It pooled outside the windows, creating mini flows of river.

Ice descended too… if only for a bit. Hitting the concrete hard like a cracking whip.

We watched from the shelter of our home.

It sure was great to be home.

#1567 Day 69 of getting there: What happened after I got locked out

Have I got a gratitude story for you.

Today, I got locked out of my house.

For 90 minutes.

In the morning.

With baby girl, Mister F, hell, even the bird was outside.

Without my phone on me.

Before breakfast.

IN MY PYJAMAS.

It was about 10am. I stepped out to feed the cat, while baby girl was inside.

But then she followed me. And when she leant down to pat Mister F as he started eating…

She brought the door that she was leaning on with her… and it closed.

It’s one of those old doors that has no handle, it can only be turned with a key.

Only the key was on the other side of the door.

I looked around in panic.

The garage was locked.

The back door was locked.

The front door was locked.

Hell, even if I climbed like an ape onto the balcony, that was locked too.

And obviously, the laundry door was now locked.

So, I went around to the front… to wave someone down.

Pretty quickly, I saw a man walking past. When I called out to him, standing there in my purple fluffy robe, explaining that I had been locked out and needed to call my husband… well I must have looked genuine.

He took out his phone, asked for the number, and proceeded to call.

It went to voicemail, but he left a message on my behalf, nonetheless.

I thanked him profusely, and then proceeded to wait.

But I was anxious you see. I know Saturdays are busy for Hubbie. And I know he won’t generally open up voicemails left to him by unknown numbers…

It might have been 45 minutes later, when standing by the rose bushes, baby girl and I flagged down another passerby, a woman walking by with her daughter.

She was also, so so lovely. I wasn’t presumptive of taking her phone, but she was more than happy for me to take it and call Hubbie.

Again I called his phone… he didn’t answer. And I left a message:

“Please come home… we’re locked outside!”

But it just kept gnawing at me, and gnawing at me. I knew, I just knew the only way to know he had gotten my call, was to call the damn store itself.

Or, we would be waiting many more hours ’til lunchtime.

But how would I get his work number? I had no mobile. Calling his phone wasn’t working when it kept going to voicemail…

I needed someone like me. I needed someone with internet who could look up his work number online and get the number to me in a jiffy.

I sent baby girl over to several neighbours. Two doors down wasn’t home. The next door neighbour had moved out. But on the other side, well they seemed to be home, but they weren’t answering the door…

After baby girl’s third attempt over, the young boy came out. I didn’t hear him – his head just popped over our fence, and my eyes lit up.

“Hi! Can you tell your Mum we need her mobile… we’ve been locked out.”

She came over, and something like within 0.8 seconds, she had Hubbie’s work number up on her screen.

Praise the lord.

Hubbie answered, and he came. We had been outside for 90 minutes. The house was warm from the heater being left on. Our brekkie that we were about to prepare, was sitting on the bench. I re-boiled the kettle.

I took our stuff to the coffee table… and sat down.

I was emotionally exhausted.

It hadn’t been the nicest experience. Being locked out of our safe space, waiting for someone to come and save us, not dressed appropriately, feeling helpless, the rest of my day dependant on other people entirely…

You know what that sounds like there? That sounds like a homeless person.

As I sat on the couch, eating my toast, and drinking my hot tea at midday, I realised what I had experienced was similar in many ways to what someone living on the street would experience.

Out in the elements, with no shelter to protect them.

Their livelihood dependant solely on others.

Clothes that weren’t quite right or didn’t fit properly (I had fluffy socks on, sleep socks as I like to call them, and because I had literally put on slip-on shoes to feed the cat, the socks kept slipping down my ankles).

Having to ask others for help.

And in my case, I had someone with me. I wasn’t alone. I had a sunny morning, I was within the confines of my yard, and I was safe.

And yet still, as I came into the house, the sense of relief was immense.

I was able to walk into a sheltered home. Have food. Have all my creature comforts.

It changed my outlook for the WHOLE DAY.

I was able to get changed out of my sleepwear. Into clean clothes.

I was fortunate, that I had the means to wash my clothes.

Clean the house.

Tidy my surroundings.

Clean the bathrooms and toilets, that allowed us to be hygienic.

Oh how lucky I was, to have these taken-for-granted items and chores that we all whinge about all-too-often.

I WAS SO LUCKY.

I actually got really emotional during the day. I thought of those homeless people, here, there, everywhere around the world… who cannot escape their predicament, for whatever reason.

It made me feel so much for them.

I remembered getting off at the station in the city before iso, for my new job, and how the lines of pre-9am people heading to walk would just charge by the homeless person sitting in the same corner, head hung, almost devoid of life, every single day.

What had happened to them, that their life was reduced to this? Did we not have a greater responsibility to look after our fellow humans, more so than to just walk right by without a second glance?

I remembered an old work colleague, who said on her clubbing nights in the city, she would buy a cheeseburger from Maccas for them, instead of giving money, so she knew that her gift was of value, and being used wisely.

I think that’s a great idea.

And as I sit in bed tonight, warm, the wind thundering and beating the roof outside… I think of them all.

They are on my mind.

And I think they will agree, a cheeseburger sounds pretty good right about now.

All this, from getting locked out.

Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

#1502 Day 4 of getting there: the sun is out and helps us play

I feel fortunate, that although some (okay, MOST) days this week have been trying, in the last couple of days I had more than one thing to be grateful for, and more than one thing to whittle down my gratitude post to.

But today, I will mention two. 😁

The sun helped us play… after my work shift it was a bike ride around the block…

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And it also helped my enthusiasm, turning my basic chicken soup into a super-charged cold-fighting one.

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Gratitude will go to a whole new level of simplicity once this is all over… 🙏

 

#1499 Day 1 of getting there

So, pardon me as this blog turns all “Oh, corona!”

(To the tune of ‘My Sharona’ like that funny vid doing the rounds 😉 )

I’m going to be doing a lot of ‘how to get by in the midst of coronavirus isolation’ type gratitude posts, because, well it’s what’s currently happening to not just me right now, but…

TO ALL OF THE WORLD.

Day 1 of proper lockdown. Although I started isolating from work last Thursday, being at home all day with your child who is also now self-isolating from school, well that is TRULY SELF-ISOLATING.

I am totally kidding… or am I?

I have a bit of weird humour with me tonight, so let’s just go with it.

The day was interesting in not just the two of us being in the house together all day, but of course, I was also working from home.

Oh. Man.

But I took it in my stride. I knew there would be times when she would need me.

She came for hugs.

She checked out my keyboard.

She poked her head in during an online Zoom meeting and ‘virtually’ met everyone (when I told her not to!)

She cracked the shits when she didn’t want to talk and had a massive sob.

She had a lie down.

She sang at the top of her lungs behind me in the last hour.

And then when my ‘shift’ was done with, I called her over to the couch and got her to sit on my lap.

And I proceeded to make the afternoon all about her.

We played with her dolls.

Had a coffee and babycino break.

Jumped on her trampoline.

Ventured to the front yard to see what was happening with civilisation.

Played ‘eye spy’ as I prepared dinner.

And then we had a massive laughing fest during bedtime (check out my fb and insta pages!)

Today was a massive undertaking for me mentally, emotionally and physically, and it subsequently left me with not much time, if at all for myself.

Like all of my life, this stage is still a work in progress.

Some days will be great and easy, others will be long and hard. But I guess I wanted to point out some really simple things you can do to make your kids happy. Whether you are working or not, try to do some simple things to keep them, and you, sane… because it really is the simple things that make them happy.

Like being with you. ♥

#1498 Coronavirus pep talk

At a time when there is so much uncertainty and confusion, sadness and despair, withdrawal and isolation…

There is also so, so, so, SO much to be grateful for.

I am grateful for freedom. I have the freedom and right to pull my daughter out of school, at my discretion, and have my wishes respected by the school community.

I am grateful that I can still work from home at this time of crisis.

I am grateful that my daughter will be within our home, our care, and within our sight, during this stage.

I am grateful to have a fridge, a pantry, and items that will help us get through this isolation period.

I am grateful that I have so much to keep me busy – books, music, podcasts, movies.

I am grateful to have a roof over my head – a comfortable bed, a heater, clean clothes, running water, a toilet.

I am grateful that I can pick up the phone, and be in touch with anyone in my life.

I am grateful that I can stay up-to-date on the latest updates, world happenings, and have my favourite musos sing/perform to us from the other side of the globe and keep us all happy and connected during this pandemic.

Your gratitude list may be similar or vary wildly. Either way, you can’t deny the facts…

There is so much accessible to us in this day and age. A hundred years ago and something like this could have felt truly isolating. But going through all of this, now?

We may be separated in our homes, but we have an abundance of freedom in how we choose to move within those walls.

How we choose to connect.

What we choose to see.

How much we want to know.

We have it all literally, at our fingertips.

And although sure, life is going to be disrupted, FOR US ALL…

We are all going through the upheaval, together.

And just think… can you just imagine, how it’ll be like when this is all over?

We will hug, kiss, hold hands and dance.

We will go outdoors, rain hail or shine… we will see our family and friends, hold them close, laugh together, get our hair done, get massages, do girls’ day outs, watch movies, love harder, stronger, deeper, and most importantly…

REALLY LIVE LIFE.

I can’t wait for that day. It is going to be incredible.

We can do it. Because we are all in this together. ♥

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#1494 Finding the good in a new kind of normal

I remember a line I read in a pregnancy book, a few days after coming home with a very newborn baby girl.

I was in a state of panic and fear and frustration, and this book said something along the lines of:

“Lower your expectations.

And lower…

And lower…

Even lower…

There you go.”

Essentially what I was being told was to not expect much AT ALL. It was a new, confusing and confronting time of our life, becoming new parents and learning how to raise a small human, and the expectations of anything else that life would bring, including this little being herself, was lower than NIL.

It was the only functional place to operate from. Expecting anything higher, would result in severe disappointment, and as a new Mum that is a dangerous place.

I can’t help thinking of that time again today.

Because today, with the PM announcing approximately 6 months of living in self-isolation, avoiding gatherings, unnecessary social occasions, events and the like, well it all feels very sad.

Very lonely.

We need to lower our expectations to a new kind of normal.

And with that, I realise that by lowering my standards of what I expect life to be and look like, I will essentially be raising the bar for this blog.

Because I will be looking for even more simple and inventive ways to be grateful… all without my little every day luxuries.

My catch ups with friends.

Getting my hair done.

Going to the park.

Going to the movies.

Grabbing a coffee at the local café.

Eating out on a Saturday night.

Discovering a new place.

All of this will be, if predictions forecast accurately, put on hold. And sure, 6 months is hopefully the maximum time this will be imposed on us.

Even more hopefully, this will all end WAY BEFORE the 6 months are up.

But in the meantime… lower your expectations.

I’m already thinking of writing. So much writing. And reading SO SO much.

Home improvements.

Movie nights in.

Long D&Ms on the phone.

Running around the yard.

And one that Hubbie and I thought of tonight… talking to our people, via webcam, and skype!

Imagine the full blown catch-ups we can have if we link it up to a computer and cheers! the night away!

We might all end up creating a new and simple way to live our lives, away from the hype, the hoo-ha, the busy busy busy, and the chaos.

Maybe this is happening for a reason.