Solitude is something I thrive on, and this social distancing and isolation has brought me lots of solitude. I remember enjoying my solitude even as a child, playing quietly in my room, or building models of cars and animals. One of my favourite childhood past times was to sit in the linen closet with a flashlight and one of my favourite books. I could spend hours doing just that. Rainy days never got me down because I enjoyed the quiet of solitude.
This has carried over into my adult life with me enjoying activities like walking alone with my dog, jogging alone, or hiding out in a room with my laptop and streaming something, or reading in my bedroom until the wee hours of the morning. "Just one more chapter, just one more page..ok..just one more sentence". Alone time is something I need to recharge, replenish and keep my creative mind working.
The pandemic has forced everyone to stay home for the safety and health of everyone, which meant more solitude for me. I have enjoyed my time spent working on masks for the homeless and streaming to my heart's content, and going for really long trail walks or just resting. I've had time to create, to work on unfinished projects, to read interesting articles that have nothing to do with the pandemic, to actually have a conversation with friends I don't get to see very often, and to harass my kids daily - how are you? Are you well? Are you safe? This has been a good time for me to turn inward and re-align myself with my ideals, to take stock of weaknesses and strengths and to spend time learning new things. It's been a great time to connect with my tribe and to plan for the new future, and how I'm going to come out of it and move forward.
But I'll be honest..it will be a month since I closed my spa, temporarily, and I'm starting to feel it - the lack of daily human connection. As much as I thrive on solitude and need it to keep an even keel, I miss my tribe! I miss seeing the smiling faces, sharing life stories and experiences, sharing a lot of laughter, and just chatting. Chatting with my clients, my tribe, joking around with my assistant, having a little visit with my work neighbours or just going for a coffee. With anyone other than my dog...lol.
It is hard..this self isolation and social and physical distancing. We need human interaction and contact. We need it as much as we need air, and the lockdown is really weighing in on some people. Many of us are struggling with anxiety and depression and I've had a couple of bad days, but I try to reach out on those days. I'll talk to my husband about how I'm feeling just to talk about it. Sharing this emotional burden has eased it for me, and knowing that he's feeling a little of that too makes it a little easier to get through. I'll reach out to friends and see how they're doing, what they're doing to pass the time and how they're feeling. I'm finding that most are feeling like me - enjoying the downtime but also feeling the pressure of self isolation and social distancing. So I listen and offer the only thing I can right now - emotional support. We are all of us feeling pressure. Some are working still and some are working more than they did before and everyone is feeling the anxiety about the future and what's in store for us. It's a scary unknown, uncharted waters and the visibility is low. What to do????
I'm practicing daily gratitude. I'm finding that when I start my day with gratitude for the tiniest things, it changes my mood, and my mindset. I'm still anxious about the future, but also looking forward to it. It's going to be an adventure that's for sure! I'd rather look at it like that - an adventure - because life is an adventure. We make plans all the time..vacation plans, life plans, wedding plans, savings plans..all kinds of plans but none of us ever planned for this! Rather than viewing everything through dark shades, I'll look at everything full on, no rose coloured glasses, just with my eyes, my mind and my heart. And I'll begin it with gratitude. I am grateful every day that I'm alive, and capable. I'm grateful for the circle of support around me and tap into it regularly, and give to it regularly. I'm grateful for my sewing abilities that can help me help others, particularly the homeless. I'm presently working on a big batch of home made masks for them and feel like I'm helping others just by sitting in front of my sewing machine for hours each day.
I'm also grateful for you, dear reader. You are my tribe. You make each day so unique and so filled with laughter and learning. You are my mentors, my teachers, my friends, my muses and so much more, and bring me such joy. Words can never convey the gratitude I feel for all of you. We will head into this unknown future with each other, and to me, that's exciting! A little scary, but still so very exciting! My deepest wish is that we all carry each other into the future with a stronger sense of community and a greater respect for our earth, and for each other.
Stay safe my lovelies, my tribe. Until we meet again, which we will, stay safe, stay healthy and find one thing to be grateful for today.