It seems a long time since I last posted a blog. I have been in what feels like imposed solitude since June 26th along with 5 million or so other people. We are in a huge area known as Greater Sydney, we haven't had many cases but because so many people commute from the Central Coast to businesses in Sydney and the surrounding areas whenever parts of Sydney go into lockdown we do too. It annoys the locals as we don't get the benefit of living in Sydney just the side effects. We will not come out of lockdown until after August 28th.
I had the sad situation of Trevor and Alice arriving on the 26th June at 5am to spend a week with me only to leave again at 5pm to avoid being locked in for the duration. Thirteen hours drive each way between here and Broken Hill so a bad start to Alice's two week school holidays. She and Trevor had to go into
isolation for fourteen days when they got back to Broken Hill so deeply regretted they didn't have time at "her beach" here on the coast. Trevor and Alice were confined to his house except for exercise and shopping. Trev said the time flew by with plenty in the craft box plus computer and games on her Switch occupying most of her time.
I was devastated by their abrupt departure and sorrowful for days but got over it eventually. I guess because I am a widow I am used to my own company so although I don't have much outside contact the computer and the phone still connect me with friends and family. I have been posting a daily diary on Facebook and today is Day 40 of it so if you are a friend on my Facebook you will have seen how I spend my time. It is mostly gardening and housework and I am still crocheting the cat mats but recently I have added photo sorting as I found two shoe boxes of loose photos. These included some of my Dad's so I started sorting and then found some of his Uncle Jim who was a Beefeater and served in the Royal Household for our present Queen's father so decided to send copies to a cousin who is working on the family tree.
I've joined a nightly prayer group, not from my church but a collection of people on the Central Coast, it is an assorted group but a good connection to a couple that I knew a long time ago. I think that this forced isolation has benefited me in the way that gives me extra time to sort out my life. I have in a way enjoyed the fact that there is very little I have to do that is scheduled so I can choose what to do when I choose to do it. I have never experienced that before. I went from my parents home to marry and live with Ray, from being a wife and mother to being a caregiver, from being a caregiver to being a widow and keeping busy doing so many things to block out the loneliness. But now there is none of that social outreach and so I can see life differently.
What the future holds none of us knows. My friend Peter and I still talk via Messenger every second night, we can't visit as I am not allowed out of the Greater Sydney area. I still ring or text various other widows so we are up to date with what is going on in each other's life and what we struggle with. I still come on here and another couple of sites, filling in time mostly though I think that is another good connection that benefits others too. What is missing is the up close and personal contact, the socialising, the handshakes, hugs and sharing joy together. I really miss that. I hope that reoccurs as part of our new normal but I do know the old normal is not coming back.
Whatever happens next is in other hands. I just have to continue to keep calm and allow myself the freedom to choose among the things I am still able to do and enjoy my life.