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Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Finding the calm in the storm

On Sunday, as I thought we might sensibly be preparing for full lockdown, I became scared and upset. I felt angry at everything that had been taken from me, and all the fun things my kids were missing out on - the cancelled camp, the last hat parade, the last international food day and the award at assembly. The role of house captain and the responsibilities now redundant. 

I was feeling how insecure everything was, and how the planning and life we set up was and things we enjoyed were now all gone. That security is really just an illusion that we had put too much belief into. Everything was in free fall and beyond our control.

I sat outside in the yard feeling hollow.  I worry about all these people that have literally no income now, in a country with poor safety nets. And I feel sad for my kids that will miss out on their fun. 

Then it occurred to me that this was exactly what happened to the Syrians. Living normal lives, planning their school dance, a new career, their next day's work and overnight, it's all ripped away and life as they know it has changed. Or the Bosnians, the Croatians, the Cambodians, the Vietnamese and a million other places. It's not that it's the whole world changing forever, it's just that it's the first time it's happened to us. A Croatian friend I discussed this with concurred. 'All of our lives were so badly disrupted by a war we had 25 years ago that I honestly think people here in Croatia are in the group of “the least panicked” nations — you can even hear it between people in the grocery store "“This is nothing compared to scarcity of food and hygienic items during war.” ...school was disrupted ALL THE TIME. And when we would go to school, at least one hour was spent in the shelter due to air strike sirens...This isn’t to say I’m minimizing what’s happening now — it’s affecting our lives too, mine, my family’s, but this is still so FAR from the fear, anxiety, and devastation that war brings....Even my mom came home the other day and said: I refuse to lose my shit due to coronavirus— I still remember very well living through a war with two small children and husband in military and this is not that type of crisis.'

My understanding is that Russians my age have lost everything twice. All their money worthless overnight & it’s changed their thinking and behaviour and they just spend everything, as they've learnt there's not a lot of point in saving for later, as later can change everything. 

I heard an interview with an Aussie stuck in a hotel in Lebanon when the last flare up happened (can’t remember the exact details but he was doing daily reports on the radio) and he said that in the hotel, all the Australians were freaking out (& crying) and all the Lebanese had just jumped back in time 10 years, sitting relaxed at breakfast and were saying things like ‘that’s a R27*, you don’t need to worry about those ones’ or looking at them as if they were being ridiculous and creating a scene by crying as the bombs went off. 

In Australia, we been really lucky to not have experienced that on shore since WWII. It felt like the world was changing forever with this virus. But now I realise it's just that it's the first time we've experienced anything like it. Yes the world is changing, and some things may never come back, but it is probably just an interlude, and we will adjust, maybe alter our thinking a bit, but some sort of normal returns. 

It cheered me up and I've been okay since. I'm sure I will yo-yo on it, but for now it's all out of my hands and I just have to go with what is recommended (frankly go higher than the Australian recommendations - look at WHO and the countries that are getting it under control). If you have the economic security to help others, please do.

Please don't think I'm trying to minimise anyone's distress. This is just what helped me get my head around it. I also think it is okay to complain about the little things, to work them out of your system. We only understand what we are losing for now. I suspect that will change the more out of control this gets. Robb Webb has this bit where he says it’s like you go to the doctor with a broken arm and the guy next to you has a broken arm and two broken legs, and yes, he’s in more pain than you and needs more work done but the doctor still sees you and says ‘you have this broken arm and it’s causing you pain, so let’s talk about that’. So that’s our pain. And it’s okay to deal with that...(so don’t let anyone dismiss whatever you’re upset about).

Needs to be noted that I am not a doctor (*and I also know nothing about missiles so I just made the R27 up, because I can't remember what he said exactly). I am also taking my time frame for Ticketek who started selling tickets to a concert in late July. That seems as good a date as any, so I'm going with them for 'expected medical outcomes'.

Please note: Lentil as Anything is running takeaway so please donate food and containers if you can so they can continue to feed the poor. For more details https://www.lentilasanything.com/  or Donate Here

Linking with #MLSTL  #KCACOLS #AnythingGoes and #Inspirememonday
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Musings Of A Tired Mummy
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26 comments:

  1. I've also been thinking along these lines, putting covid in perspective. Good point. And thanks for the blog visit!

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  2. So true, things could be a lot worse and have been through history. It's good to add some perspective to the situation. #StayClassyMama

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  3. We've had this conversation in my house, thinking about the losses other kids throughout history have suffered.

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  4. That's a great perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. This post does a nice job of putting this virus in perspective. We in America are totally freaked out, and except for Sept. 11th we haven't had anything like this in our lifetimes. I am often reminded of my grandparents who lived through the great depression and all they taught us about living frugally and carefully. We,too, will get through this and probably come out wiser for it.

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  6. That's really profound what you say here ... people in those countries you mentioned, and many others, have experienced so much worse. It's not minimising anything, it's just giving us some proper and welcome perspective in this distressing time. #MLSTL

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    1. It was really a light bulb moment for me and it calmed me down no end. This is not forever, it's just a blip.

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  7. Keeping the current situation in perspective is a good way to manage stress. Also look at cities/ countries that have adapted or are gradually gaining control of the virus spread #MLSTL

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  8. Thank you Lydia - you've helped me get some perspective. We certainly have had very fortunate and sheltered lives here in Australia. We are so lucky. This is so scary to us because we have never faced anything like this before. I hope that we can get to the other side of this in as best shape as possible. All of us will learn and grow from this as I mentioned in my post today. Big hugs and stay safe. xo

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  9. Perspective is good. We've been so lucky up to now. I love your doctor analogy - it really says it all.

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  10. Hi Lydia - I've so appreciated all that we still have despite the lockdown. I'm seeing so many positives coming out of it and we have so few deprivations (as you said). I think this cottonwool generation (or two) need to step back and see how truly small our sacrifices are for the greater good.

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  11. Like Leanne, I'm trying to look at this from the positive. At this moment in time, it's actually easier to be in these types of lock downs because technology allows for entertainment, exercise, education, and for many, the ability to still work while at home. I remind myself how much easier it is for us than it was for someone hiding away like Anne Frank. And now, there is this reminder. We may be at home, and our lives may be disrupted, but it's nothing in comparison to what happens in war torn areas right now.

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  12. Hi Lydia, I'm Australian, but until recently lived in Moscow, Russia for 12 years. Now I'm in Bucharest, Romania. My years in Russia have prepared me for this. You're right, they've lived through worse, and if anyone thinks that the Russians are a bit blase about this virus, then they're probably right. They're not afraid, they've had food shortages, money depreciation, and the early deaths of their menfolk due to war and vodka. So, as an Australian girl who used to be soft (no offence to Australian girls), my life in Russia was a good foundation for this, and I'm not stress too much about what's happening to me. And I'm sure that the Romanians are strong too, due to their history. Suffering is a character builder, of that I'm sure. Take care. :-) x

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  13. I was feeling calm and qiute resilient until our neighbour got taken away in an ambulance yesterday by men in hazmat suits. Very scary but trying to put a brave face on for the kids. Thanks for linking up with #stayclassymama

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    1. I hope your neighbour is okay. They need the hazmat suits for both the mild and the major symptoms so it may not be as bad as you fear. Fingers crossed!!

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  14. Always important to stop and think about how much worse others have it. Thanks for the reminder #KCACOLS

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  15. Great to read your words Lydia and to see the processes your mind is going through. I agree I will be yo-yoing on this for some time to come. I worry more for others, as you say, who aren't able to cope for whatever reason, my aged MIL who is on her own 500kms away from us but wants to stay in her own home rather than come to us. She has little support nearby, my SIL has refused to take on any responsibility for her, and we are trying to help her from afar. Life is very different and we all need to be kind. Stay well. #mlstl

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  16. Hi Lydia you have really put the pandemic into perspective. I actually have felt calm and positive during this time although I'm not diminishing the severity of the affect on people's lives, their complete way of life has changed. For me though, I feel it is a great opportunity to take stock of my life and think about what I want it to look like after we get back to some normality. We are very lucky in Australia to have had it so good for so long and your post certainly made me feel more grateful than ever.Thaks for sharing at #MLSTL and stay well. xx

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  17. Hi Lydia,
    What great perspective. Thank you for opening my eyes to a view that I may have not considered enough. Be well!

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  18. It is good to look at things in a different way, anything that brings calm and perspective. I have been skyping my best friend in Sydney today and we have been discussing the approach of both countries and how we are both trying to make new normals. Stay safe #KCACOLS

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  19. I didn't know about those other events. I agree that this is only temporary. I would like to know when it will end, but I'll get through the uncertainty. Although, I'll admit it's hard because I am a planner. #KCACOLS

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  20. Thank you, Lydia, for this thoughtful post. I agree, feelings of fear or disappointment are legitimate and should be accepted for what they are--our feelings. But as you also pointed out, there's no good served by catastrophizing our thoughts. Everything is impermanent--the good times and the bad. If we can release our expectations of how things should be and loosen our grip on what we want to hold on to, I think we'd all be a lot more at peace. At least that's what I'm trying to do. I'm happy that I have saved money for a rainy day, but I also have to be at peace with the idea that it could all be wiped out tomorrow by something unforeseen and I would still carry on. Continuing taking care of yourself. Stay safe. Breathe deep.

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  21. This is an amazing take on and you have made some excellent points. Others do have it worse but that doesn't mean our feelings over this are at all invalid. Right now, I am taking every day as it comes and doing what I can do to protect myself and my family. Take care. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time

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  22. It's such a strange and difficult time isn't it. We've had the same chats about other situations in different countries (like the Cyprus invasion) and the losses others have suffered in the past for multiple reasons. I think any way of thinking that can help you get your head round things has to be positive. And yes, everyone's wibbles, wobbles, anxieties and stresses are very valid and do matter. We are also taking each day as it comes and remind each other to be grateful that we have each other. Thank you for joining us for the #dreamteamlinky - see you again soon.

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  23. A great perspective. It is probably the most challenging time that the UK has gone through since WWII, but when you mention other places, we have had it so easy. #KCACOLS

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  24. I think it's probably the first time we in the UK have had to deal with a real and proper crisis that affects everyone and it has been hard for people. I swing between being ok and being terrified but as you say, there has to be some perspective. I have worked in the Syrian camps in Greece and what we are facing now is very hard but it will go back to some sort of normal and life will carry on, I hope. Thanks for sharing #stayclassymama

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