When a pandemic hits
Hello! I am finally getting to sit down and write after way too long…how can it be June already?!!
The past weeks have been turbulent for us all, and while I had visions myself making some improvements to my website back in March, I was abruptly taken to another dimension where I became (even more of) a full-time mother, teacher and carer.
My father is 86 years old, so we’ve been cocooning. I think it has been fortunate for us to be together…his cocooning experience has never been dull as he was forced to entertain my daughter while I did the shopping (which could take up to an hour at times). Their relationship has actually blossomed, and my father has gained a lot more insight into his grand-daughter’s quirks. My daughter has special needs, and at first glance you could miss the incredible richness of her. The unlikely pair began by playing Connect 4, with other favourites being Snakes and Ladders, Snap and “Where’s My Cupcake?” They have had such fun trying to work together. He understands her now…it is a beautiful thing.
The struggle is real
After all these weeks I feel like an entirely different person. I believe I am better for this.
I have had to navigate some tricky territory. At times I felt I was losing myself as I looked after everyone else’s needs, while completely neglecting my own. I felt like a pressure cooker, ready to explode at any moment…I wasn’t necessarily angry, more like an overwhelmed child.
I love to create, but there was little room for me to do anything after many long (and often emotional) days. Being locked down with no means of escape meant that I had to seriously consider my capacity to keep going…
About a month ago (after they announced that schools would not re-open before September) I knew I needed a break, and I just didn’t know how I was going to make that happen. Incredibly, a local lady came to the rescue with an offer of childcare. While it was not officially time to do any such thing I knew that it was vital for me to carve out some space for myself.
The first day I went up Killiney Hill with my art materials and a packed lunch. I cannot tell you the benefits…the change was nothing short of miraculous! It was like someone pressed the reset button. I promptly booked TWO four hour slots a week, and each day is manageable now because I know there is a break on the horizon. My daughter looks forward to her days out too.
Striking a balance
I have been doing WAY TOO MUCH for far too long. I can’t really tell you how it started, but I guess my personality is such that I want to do everything well, and as I piled on the tasks, I got more and more exhausted. Because I care so much, maybe too much, I am realising I have to choose what to take on, rather than trying to juggle EVERYTHING.
The pandemic has stopped me long enough to take a good hard look at myself. I am beginning to embrace this new rhythm of being, having enjoyed the benefit of REST which I have finally chosen to take.
As I begin to consider my needs I am also beginning to believe in myself. I don’t think I ever really regarded my own needs before this…I am finally listening!
I have posted quite a lot on facebook since mid-March. I have created a lot of new work within the confines of the time that I have available to me (mostly in the middle of the night!) It has proven to me that self-expression is so important — It allows me to communicate my feelings, and acts as therapy too!
- Rest is not optional, it is VITAL