The Covid goes on. We still have restrictions but not as much as some countries do. We still have cases, in our State, New South Wales it is mostly under 20 new infections a day. It is a great result but it has come at a price. Many people are out of work, many can no longer afford luxuries like holidays so most stayed home this school holidays. Some older people are still feeling isolated as we are regularly told to keep safe, to keep away from crowded areas, not to gather in groups etc. I know our government has the ideal of the numbers falling to zero but I can't see that happening. All I can do is try to keep positive myself.
So it is get up, get dressed and get on with the day. Luckily with Spring here and in daylight saving time the days are warmer, longer and more enjoyable. I have been spending a lot of time in the garden potting up plants,flowers and vegetables. A friend collected a bunch of pots of various sizes from the roadside for me and so there is plenty to pot up into. As usual I am grateful to my friends for looking out for me. I am potting up some succulents to take into the Craft group. I took in some daisies that grow into a medium size bush and have bright yellow flowers and the people who took them planted out and say they are coming on well. Giving away plants makes me happy.
I am still crocheting the little cat mats. I give them to a friend to take to the RSPCA shelter. The mats are used for transition. The cat sits on the mat in its box when it enters the shelter. Then when someone adopts it the mat goes into the carrier with the cat. Then when it arrives at its forever home the mat is placed where the new owner wants the cat to sleep. Cat goes around the house sniffing unfamiliar smells and suddenly "wait a minute, what is that smell? My mat!" Home sweet home. Well that's the theory. When my friend takes them she says to me: "The pussies thank you."
I still make phone calls to older congregation members. Some are still not back at church. I guess that message: " Stay at home." is still echoing in their heads. Our church is following all the social distancing rules, has hand sanitizer available and extra masks if people come without them but the fear is still strong. I don't enjoy it as much without the singing and socialising we had got used to as part of our Sundays but there is a chance we will be able to return to those actions in the future. Best to not give up hope and give in to fear.
I had Trevor and Alice visit for the first week of the Spring break as usual. It is a frantic week with trips out, crazy mornings at the beach, coffee and muffins at the shops and at home we enjoy playing Wii games. Every Granma knows the joy of letting an eight year old "beat" us at any number of different sports. I must say I would love half of Alice's energy. I need to practice more before the next holidays. I found boxing particularly hard, not done any of that for while. As Ray was a boxer in his youth I have to practice more to uphold the family honour.
As part of my pastoral care role I look out for congregation members when I am in the local shops. It adds to the time I am out but it is good to catch up with those who like me are widows and see it as part of their socialising. I can see different people on different days, and different times of the day. I know we are all busy people but shouldn't be too busy to share our time to help others feel connected. I learned from my time as a caregiver the importance of finding others to share with and that is particularly important in this time when we are cut off from family. I know a lot of the conversations finish with us both feeling happier. Because sometimes I feel lonely too.
How to stop those negative thoughts? Sometimes the answer for me is to keep busy, get outside, get enough exercise and eat healthy food. And sometimes none of that helps and I phone a friend. Often the friend is the first to say she is feeling a bit down lately and I say: "Me too." So we have a conversation, some sharing of stories, some laughter and lo! and behold we both feel better. On the bad days of course I ring four people and no-one is home so I come on here and read the posts, read the blogs, sometimes add a reply. And feel better! Joining in here feels good. I would encourage everyone to participate as much as they can. That is what makes this site so good, people who are supportive are willing to spend time sharing their thoughts.
As a widow with a family scattered across half of Australia I find it sad sometimes that there is not more contact but I can initiate the phone call, send out emails, send a thought, a joke or a photo to them on Facebook. I am still the Mother. I can still pray for them. I can still love them in the times when they need love more than they need advice. They are going through the same feelings of deprivation I am as well as coping with work problems and family problems too. Hard sometimes when I feel sad and lonely and am busy throwing a pity party for one. But I can recall how tough family life was for me sometimes and empathise with them on that level.
And so thanks kind friends on here, for reading this, for thinking kind thoughts, for commenting and showing me you understand. I am not quite sure we are "all in this together" as the advertisements and government agencies would have us think but we are all going through so many similar thoughts and feelings so hopefully will all come out of this into a brighter future.