These are unprecedented times as we keep getting told, and yes, they are. I see my Mother from a 2+ metre distance, my friends through an Android screen, and the only other building I set foot in is my local supermarket, which used to be a weekly chore done out of necessity but which I now consider as a morning out.
Numerous things have changed as they have for everyone and when you witness friends that have suffered with the disease and even lost their lives, it justifies the sacrifice of restrictions and changes we’ve had to make. But whilst we muddle through the days and tread water as the weeks flow by, from the very start of this situation, seeing as we have no choice but to comply, I’ve been determined to be positive, make the best of things and make this time count rather than get absorbed in the tragedy that is COVID 19.
Being Positive is Hard Work
Being positive is hard work I tell you. It doesn’t come naturally to me either, I can dwell on pessimism, I find moaning cathartic, I can sit stewing in a mood for ages and that’s without being terrorised by the fear of COVID 19. But I have shocked myself at how buoyant I have been over the past couple of months. Of course I have worries, big ones in fact, they may differ to others’ problems, but I still have my own concerns that float in and out of my consciousness and disturb my equilibrium, but then I remind myself I’m better off flipping back into positive mode and that’s come as a surprise to me.
Simple Pleasures/Little Victories
I’m not talking about a high voltage level of positivity, but one that sees joy in the simple pleasures of each day – finding a new walking route, finishing a Netflix series or reading a magazine. Coupled with, what I call, ‘little victories’ – painting those neglected fence panels, accomplishing a new recipe or completing another week’s target on the Couch to 5km running app. I’ve even started making a list of all the things I’ve done since lockdown began so that when I do have one of my sadder moments, I can remind myself of what I’ve done in recent times in a bid to perk myself up, call it a coping mechanism if you will.
Wanting to Share Your Positive Feelings
But sometimes, when in conversation I find myself almost apologising for having these newfound positive feelings or feeling awkward if I’ve expressed triumph when stating I’ve tried something new, sensing a sarcastic ‘well good for you’ response. I’m not bragging, honestly, I’m not, I’m enthused by this feeling and I want to share it. But isn’t being positive what we’re all trying to achieve, what we’re supposed to be encouraging each other to be, so why do I feel my spirits are being dampened?
I know positivity isn’t achievable for all. We all have different lives and emotional barometers, but I don’t want it to be a case of I can only be part of a conversation if I am wallowing in the same mire of self-pity as the other party to make them feel better.
Whilst working full time albeit from home, nevertheless I’ve noticed I’m getting more sleep, my anxieties have reduced, I am more in control of my spare time and what I do with it. I’ve stepped off the merry-go-round of life for a while and it’s a calmer pace and perhaps that is contributing to my positive stance.
But whatever the reason, I want to ride this positive wave for as long as I can before normality resumes and I’m back on that merry-go-round again. I want to look back at this time and recall that I did the best I could. I quite like this new me and hope that this feeling will stay. I read a great quote recently: “boiling water can either soften potatoes or can harden eggs, it’s what you’re made of, not the circumstances”.
I think I may have just crossed over from being a potato to an egg – I hope so anyway.
Image courtesy of James Resly.