Routinely Singing

I was chatting on the phone to a friend of mine the other day and she was laughing with me about certain behaviours I have! It was regarding our current strict lock down, and she sort of stopped me midway through our chat, laughing at me and saying, ”I can’t believe you still have those routines in place.” I laughed too, because some of it is just so silly and unnecessary based on the current circumstances. And yet I can’t help it.

One of the things that was taught to me when I was a teen, working as a volunteer with children, was that children need routine. That it helps them to understand what is expected of them, teaches them to respect boundaries and can actually make them feel safe and secure.

I am a fully grown adult, and yet there are so many childlike qualities that I still believe are important to have – things that are actually still quite important to me. I often get teased that I am not spontaneous enough – please don’t get me wrong, I can be spontaneous. But I seem to lean more towards ‘how things fit into the life I lead. How will it affect my children? How does it affect my time? What will the effect of it be on my responsibilities?’

Super boring, right there, right? Same as boring, but I have a special cape for it 😛

But… you see… some of my routines tend to reduce my stress, either immediately, or they’re in place to try and reduce stressful situations that may come at a later stage. I’ll explain it like this : Before lock down, the routine in my house because of school was to get up at 5am on weekdays. Weekends, I would ‘sleep in’ till about 6:30am – because I usually used to have my daughter at dancing by 9am.
Our world has come to a standstill with lock down.
Most mornings now, I allow myself to sleep in till 6am.
And this was the very thing that my friend was laughing about.
”Why don’t you stay in bed and let yourself go back to sleep, silly Meg. There’s nothing else happening 😛 ”

Why don’t I? Because if I break that routine, and sleep later, or go back to sleep after waking, then if and when things return back to normal hours, it will add to my stress : it will be difficult to fall back into the pattern of such very early mornings. I may even oversleep one day.
I know myself, so I need to keep working on reducing my stress, and that’s just one small way.

So many other things regarding my routines, stress management and productivity have fallen to the wayside – but due to factors I cannot control. And so I have accepted those ‘breaks in routine’ and have had to let go of them in the sense of not allowing them to make me feel bad, or unproductive, or stressed out. An example of this is that we only have one fully functional, working computer in the house – I need it, my son needs it for university, and my daughter now needs it for school. We can control the compromise regarding who gets to use it when, but if it means I have an afternoon where I have been unable to work on the computer, I don’t allow myself to feel that I have been unproductive.

Initially, this was not my attitude and it had started getting to me in many ways – all the little things that were affecting my routine.

And then I remembered one of the most powerful lessons that I have learned over the last few years, 

”Can you control this? Is there anything you can do to change this? If your answer is no, then let.it.go.”

It wasn’t easy. I am not a control freak by any means – and when it comes to my house, I definitely don’t have any form of OCD 😛 It’s chaos… mostly organised chaos… but still chaos.

But I have always been a fixer, and I like ‘to know’. I also went through the stages of taking responsibility for things that had nothing to do with me, and allowing sadness and guilt to weigh me down.

Now? I’m just frozen. 😛 (as in singing the Frozen song… ‘let it go, let it go’.… 😉

I still have my weak moments… but I’m hellbent on continuing to sing… and I will keep giving myself stern lectures because I am still me, I am still productive and calm, and a fairly good person 😉

This is tough on everyone – – – – –  but please give yourself a hug. Because you cannot control it. Just keep doing the best you can ❤

embrace

brene-brown-quotes
With the current state of the world, and various countries experiencing different levels and restrictions and difficulties with regards to lock down, I really thought that our focus would have shifted a little.

And yet, there are so many who still seem to hold a picture in their mind of how other people should be. What saddens me the most as I scroll through social media of those who live in my country, is that when people voice their frustration or even admit to an inkling of depression that seems to be falling upon them, the general response is ‘you need to practice an attitude of gratitude’, ‘you need to be more positive’, ‘you need to change / stop complaining’.

Please don’t get me wrong. I DO agree with those sentiments, because we all know that having the right ‘heart’s attitude’ about anything in life makes ALL the difference.

But at the same time, people are struggling. They’re frustrated, they’ve lost their income, they are alone and lonely, they are worried, they are stressed, they are sad and afraid. And this is where kindness and compassion need to play the biggest role – especially in the times we are facing currently, and with regards to what lies ahead and seems to be looming in my country.

Perhaps we need to pause and consider our responses, a little more than usual.

I have one friend who is a truly great chick 😉 She’s always positive and uplifting, a real fitness freak, and oh man, she’s not too proud to laugh in an unladylike manner. But our current restrictions have hit her hard the last few days, and so for the past 24 hours her Facebook posts have been what I suppose could be construed as negative and depressing.

My first thought as I scrolled through her timeline this morning was, ‘You’re so brave to be sharing publicly the negative emotions you are actually feeling because you are finding yourself overwhelmed by it all – I salute your vulnerability, my friend.’
But the responses from others just broke my heart. I didn’t publicly share any of my sentiments, but instead popped off a private message to her. And I was astounded at something in her reply : Meg, you’re the only one who has actually asked if there is anything you can do to help me. Words can’t describe my gratitude.

I don’t share this as a brag – or to boast and boost my ego. I share this to create an awareness that you know is there in your spirit. I am sure people have come to mind, I am sure you have come across negativity. Allow that to be a prompt to just ask if there is anything you can do. The likelihood that there IS may be minimal, but what I am realising the most is this : in these troubling times, the mere fact that someone is even WANTING to offer some form of support is more appreciated than whether or not they actually CAN help you. 

I’m even struggling at the moment. Things are getting a little bit ‘stupid’ here – we’re even being dictated to with regards to what we are allowed to wear, and the purchase of t-shirts and slip slops/sandals has been taken off the table for us. And there was a moment yesterday where I found myself being a little bit too hard on myself. Criticising me, because ‘everyone is struggling, and negative emotions are not good, you’re supposed to be be positive and inspirational and a kind heart is supposed to reflect beauty, not frustration and sadness, there is more expected of you than this’.

This morning I realised that I AM still being the kind of woman I want to be, that I CAN still hold my head high, that the negative emotions ARE allowed to be feltit’s how I handle the after effects of them that matters.  

None of what I am feeling is unusual in these circumstances. I need to let go of the suppositions and expectations of others and embrace all of me…

Because ‘me’ is enough, so long as I keep doing my best in circumstances that I have no control over.

And so, for everyone reading… please be kind to yourself, and please be kind to others… no matter how near or far they are.

 

Starting over

I’ve sat staring at this page for about two hours now. I have started a blog post, only to then delete everything I have typed and revert to the blank page. I’ve allowed myself to be distracted by other incoming messages – perhaps it’s something that will provide a good topic to write on? Then I respond to the message, return here… and it begins again.

I love how it is so easy to take the blank page and fill it with words… decide against sharing those particular words or topics at the moment…. and just delete it all.
Like wiping the slate clean, which we all know is not applicable to life.

There are no do-overs. But we can always start over. Even in the troubling times we are now facing, world wide. Things have just got a little more complicated… more challenging.

And for me? I’ve grown too used to my comfort zones. My personal development, and growth – the self exploration and changes that needed to be made? All those things have been, and are still, painful and difficult.
What I didn’t realise though was how much my ‘security blanket’ and the general routines and stability around me, were actually helping me – in a way, protecting me.

And being thrown into the chaos of our strange, nonsensical, very strict lock down has not just caused me to stop and move a few steps back. It’s like a tornado arrived sent from the Wizard of Oz himself, lifted and tossed me around for a while, and then dumped me back in my own bed – but not to partake in life as I know it, for everything has changed so very much.

I’ve had to be stern with myself quite a lot lately – I’m a terrible disciplinarian… I’ve reduced myself to tears quite a few times 😛

Here’s what I am working on right now though : I need to stop. I need to start over.

No matter what this virus does, or what my government does, or what the people do in response to both – I NEED TO STOP.

I need to remember that my life still has purpose. That while my windows of opportunity seem to have been nailed shut, they’re not. I am just going to have to push against them a little harder. I mustn’t let the current circumstances limit my potential. 
I am still me.

Filled with purpose and potential.

A self-confessed prisoner of hope.

The circumstances have changed, but I cannot let them change me – not in the way they have been. I’ve worked too hard to be better!

I need to start seeing things differently. It starts with me!

Essential Services Workers

Altruism is the word used for when a person or animals behaviour is unselfish, and they devote themselves to the welfare of others. It’s caring for, being empathetic towards, and showing compassion when you can gain nothing from doing so. 

According to wikipedia : Altruism is the principle and moral practice of concern for happiness of other human beings or animals, resulting in a quality of life both material and spiritual.

Research has shown that us as humans have very strong tendencies to go either way – selfish, or altruistic – sometimes we manage to attain a healthy motion between the two. And so it’s very much a case of ‘having an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other’ – the concept of deciding which voice we will choose to listen to in any given situation.

The purpose of this post is actually not because of the virus that is attacking our world at the moment – and yet it is.

Because today, quite randomly, is ‘Volunteer Recognition Day‘.

Here in South Africa at the moment, even if you can provide essential services as a volunteer, your options are minimal. The lock down here is stricter than anywhere else in the world. And to be quite honest, when I hear some of the ‘rules’ being spewed that are to be imposed on us, my brain becomes quite baffled at the logic behind it all.

But I shan’t complain… not really. It would just be of great help if everyone was actually being forced to follow… and not just a minority of us. Or perhaps I should be thinking more along the lines of if everyone would just jolly well OBEY the darn rules, as ridiculously and stupidly tough as a lot of them are!

Anyway….

I had a conversation yesterday with a paramedic, who reached out to me just to talk. It was a difficult conversation, because sometimes there just aren’t words to offer in response to what is being said.
The gist of it was that he is naturally ‘being forced’ to work during this outbreak, and he doesn’t want to. What you need to know is that he is truly a caring and compassionate man, who does a lot of volunteer work in his free time. Sometimes, I wonder if he ever sleeps? It made my heart sad. Because he has been so unselfish for so many years, and this virus has pushed him to a breaking point.

I know that those who are in ‘essential services’ have chosen their particular career. I know that this is part of their life choice with regards to their futures.
But I also know that they are sacrificing a lot more than those of us who are locked up in our homes… and just because they ‘chose’ to be doctors and nurses and emergency services, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the greatest amount of respect and compassion that we can give them.

So for today, I am counting them as ‘volunteers’ too.

And thanking them, from the bottom of my butt (because it’s bigger than my heart, physically) 😛

Every person on the forefront of the war with this virus : I salute you. I appreciate you. I pray for you. I wish I could help you. I am grateful for you.  

The need to do

Funny-Inspirational-Motivation-Image

Photo credit : askideas.com

I remember reading once that so long as you have inspiration, you will be naturally motivated and push forward to achieve whatever it is that you’re focusing on.

This weekend, remembering what I had read, I was confused.

Because here’s the thing : I am never lacking in inspiration as such, for some odd reason.
And although I experienced and was inspired by so much the last few days, and still feel inspired and excited about a variety of things…

My get up and go seems to have got up and went. 

A conversation yesterday with my not-blood sister in the USA brought a little clarity – no, my get up and go is not with her either. In actual fact, she’s feeling a little bit the same way and asked my to please send her motivation back to her own country when it shows up at my door 😛 😉

I think that the subconscious impact of this virus, and lock down, is playing a part in the feelings I am having – because although I am fine, and I feel fine, and I remain inspired and am doing all I can to help others during this difficult time….

Something is ‘off’.

And it’s not just the rotten apple I found when I emptied my daughter’s sports bag. Ha ha ha!

I’m still me. Still finding humor and maintaining a general well being. I’m nowhere near panic mode, and am still very much a prisoner of something beautiful : hope.

But in the back of my mind, and evident in the projected ‘lack of motivation’, this whole situation is definitely taking its toll. 

My country is taking this virus very seriously, and have implemented very harsh restrictions. I cannot buy wool, or paint, or anything to use for home maintenance. No hobby type things, no puzzles. Because it’s not considered an essential item. Apparently neither is alcohol or cigarettes, because that’s been banned too. People are bored, and can’t help but whine – because, well, they can’t wineAnd the nastiness towards each other in our local little community groups on social media is sad.
That said, it leaves me EXTREMELY grateful that my kettle, fridge, washing machine, and computer are all in working order – because if they break, we can’t replace them, even if we have the money. Apparently these are non essential items too?!?!?!

And forever grateful that I have internet access at this time.

Such confusing times! 

And in the conversation mentioned yesterday, while both of us were seeking something to get us to ‘get going and accomplish something’, (because we both actually have work/ a vision/ a business/things to do) there was this reminder :

It’s up to me. I need to just do it. Whatever it is. Just do it. Because no one else is going to. And no one else can do it like I can. 

Because I have something to offer. I have potential. Much may have been done before that is similar, or the same – but not with my heart, my views, my soul, my effort. 

There is a plan and purpose for my life – and it’s not just to have an inspired mind.

Reflection is good for the soul, and sometimes having a day or two to ‘just be’, and not ‘do’ anything is good too. 

But when it reaches a point where you begin to feel discouraged and dissatisfied, then it’s time to DO!

And so I am writing this blog post 😉 And then I am going to print out some pages of a resource that I have been promising myself I would work on for the past week.

Small things… small tasks… but it’s the little things that truly do count, because I am starting to feel a little better already 😉

Please stay safe, dear readers.

Not quitting

ed mylett

Photo credit : edmylett.com

 

It’s been a strange few days. Our lock down, due to the virus, has been somewhat extreme – but I do realise how serious this is, so I haven’t complained, and I have complied in every way. While I am not completely self isolated, because I have four kids – two human ones and two fur babies – I have felt an effect of self isolation, nonetheless. And it’s been strange for me.

I am quite a social person, for the most part. I have learned to love myself and be at peace with my own company in the past few years. I am good on my own, but I am also good when dealing with people. I tease a lot about hiding from ‘peopling’ but in reality I truly do love the social aspects of others. Communication has always been a big thing for me – not necessarily in person, but somehow finding ways to connect to people.. even if just a brief messaging exchange. People are important to me – their feelings and lives have meaning.

People are important to me – their feelings and lives have meaning. This part has not changed. Not at all. But the last few days I have found myself withdrawing into myself. Naturally, there is still plenty of communication with my four kids and me – and not just about food 😛 😉
But I have found myself struggling with keeping up communication with most everyone else. I am not unhappy – my mood is stable. I don’t feel miserable, and I am not sleeping more than usual. I am really quite fine – I am okay.
It just feels strange for me to be able to feel okay, without the desire to communicate with others. How odd.

Maybe this is a ‘time out to talk to me’? Answering myself is sometimes amusing 😛 😉

I happened to visit Ed Mylett’s timeline this morning on Facebook. And found the picture above…. which had quite a lengthy caption, the gist of it being this :

”There’s probably an area of your life RIGHT NOW where you’re ready to throw in the towel. You’re ready to quit. ….
Decide you’re just not going to quit TODAY! Sometimes that’s all it takes is just deciding that at least for today, you are not going to quit. …
I’m challenging you today to just don’t quit for TODAY! I promise you all of your strength comes when you push past days and moments and thoughts of quitting. Remember, you’re probably on the brink of a breakthrough! ⁣….”

So here’s just a few of my thoughts on this …..

Decide you’re just not going to quit TODAY!
This statement is pretty much how I choose to live my life. There are days where I feel overwhelmed due to circumstances and on those days I make conscious decisions and talk myself through : ”Let’s just get through this hour. Do what you can now. Deal with the rest in a bit – leave it for the next hour.”
I make the choice to get through, moment by moment – and I’d say I am sort of successful… I’m here, aren’t I? 😉

Remember, you’re probably on the brink of a breakthrough!
My not-blood sister and I talk a lot – mostly through messages. Sometimes we do voice notes and calls. The greatest thing we share is based on the statement above. Because we both refer to it when we’re looking to encourage the other. 😉
It’s our go to, when it feels like it’s not just raining, but pouring – when everything seems to be going wrong all at once – when we feel down, or discouraged and momentarily forget to be kind to ourselves.
”Just remember, stuff happens, and sometimes it’s not in our control. Chin up. In all of this, there’s quiet strength building in the background. You’re going to grow. You’re being prepared for something bigger and better. Keep going. I love you.”

A Facebook comment…
Because naturally I shared the Ed Mylett post on my Facebook timeline 😉

Someone commented, ‘Sometimes you just don’t have a choice, hey?’
And I thought about it. And I replied with this :
‘And that in itself is a blessing in disguise, because it forces us to go on… imagine how awful it would be if we all just gave up! How much we’d miss out on! 😉 ‘

KEEP GOING, DEAR READERS! MAY YOU HAVE A TRULY MARVELLOUS MONDAY! 😉

Hospital window

As I lay in bed last night, my brain slowly winding down to allow me to sleep, I was reminded of the story that I managed to find, and am going to share below. 

”Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it. In his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep. She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, “Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.”

Author Unknown”

These are trying times. May we continue to encourage one another as much as we possibly can. ❤

How we are doing…

I saw this on Facebook and I laughed out loud… so of course, I have to share it 😉

time men

It did get me to thinking though how blessed we are to have been granted time at home to do the things we never really get a chance to do, because life gets in the way.

The only real changes to my life as I know it is that I am no longer having to be Mom’s Taxi – no school, no dance. And suddenly I am no longer minus four hours in my day 🙂
I did realise, with a small amount of sadness, that it doesn’t actually affect me socially. I very seldom get together with friends anymore. So 21 days with myself? Well, that’s pretty much the norm these days. (Well, technically me, my dogs, and my children – the norm.) This is usually due to a busy dancing schedule that means I have to cancel plans to be the transport 😉 And it’s actually a norm that I enjoy – I don’t feel unfulfilled or lonely. And when I do get together with friends on the odd occasion? It means that I enjoy and value the time a little bit more.

There has been a little bit of tension in my house though – my big dog was grumpy for a couple of days (after a vet trip, he’s been given antibiotics – infected nail), my teen is daughter is grumpy because she misses her friends and dancing, and says that practising at home on her own just isn’t the same. I totally get that! My 21 year old son, who is almost finished his BComm degree which he is doing online, is a bit grumpy because he’s used to us being out of the house for a few hours a day which gives him a little bit of peace – understandable, again. I’m grumpy because I dislike having to do damage control between the two of them 😛 😛 😛
My little dog just carries on with her life, chasing bugs and completely oblivious to the rest of us. Life is good 😉

The virus has hit my town, and as far as I know, we have three confirmed cases. This was still not enough to elicit panic in me. In fact the calm that I am feeling in the midst of all this chaos can only be credited to a Higher Power – Something Greater than me.
Or maybe there truly is something wrong with me?

Our President announced on Monday night that the country is going into lock down from Thursday. And my town went mad. People flocked to every shop, bottle store, pharmacy and emptied the shelves – hundreds of people in small spaces bumping up against each other, not respecting even half a metre distance in queues. Just plain crazy.
I have enough food supplies to last us three days – and I can bake 😉
Thereafter, I will be trying to purchase online for delivery. However, at the moment, our online service (we only have one supplier for groceries) is out of stock – I can’t even buy 2 litres of long life milk for my cupboard. How silly! They have assured us that they will be replenishing stocks in the next couple of days though. And as I said, I can bake – so I have assured the kids they won’t starve 😉
I still genuinely feel calm. SMH. (Shaking My Head, for those who don’t know 😉 )

I will admit, however, that I was extremely angry on Monday afternoon. And here’s why:

Patient Zero (our first Coronavirus patient here in my town) is a 28 year old woman who returned from Germany recently, and tested positive last week. She agreed to self-quarantine in her own home, and so they sent her home. 
However, on the weekend, she roamed the streets  – she went shopping and apparently even went out for a meal. Because, according to her, it is her right. And yes, I am going to say it, ‘What the eff???!!!’

This young lady claimed that she was exercising her right to freedom of movement – how dare they tell her to stay at home. Personally, I feel our government should be exercising their right to charge her with culpable homicide. 

I don’t think what has happened in my town is exclusive. I don’t think she’s the only one with this type of attitude. But because it hits so close to home, it just made me SO ANGRY!

Yes, we don’t need to panic. But I can’t stress enough that we DO need to stop being so selfish. Why is this so difficult for people? Has this world really become such a heartless place? 

I have been very careful to pretty much ‘self quarantine’ the kids and I, even though we have no symptoms of the virus. (Pretty much since schools here shut down, and so I have been ‘legally’ able to.) I have limited my outings to the shops greatly, without panic buying.
I haven’t done all this because I am overreacting, scared or misinformed. I have done this because I need to do my part to protect the elderly, and people that are perhaps sick with pre-existing conditions that make them vulnerable. 

Because here’s what I do know : they’re still learning about this virus. I could be a carrier without even knowing it, despite the fact that I have been really careful, and not been in physical contact with anyone who has travelled – to my knowledge.

I know that It’s Not About Me!

Let’s all try to be kind enough to consider other people, please.

Be safe, dear readers and friends. And don’t forget to fix the things that need fixing because now you have time 😛 😉

Choosing Wisely

When I was about four years old, I had a cassette tape with children’s songs on it. I don’t remember what it was called, and can only vaguely recall the colours of its little covering. But funnily enough, I still remember quite a few of the songs, and still sometimes sing them.

My search to find some of them online has been futile. And I am sad about that. I have asked several people my age, and have even sung the songs to them, but their knowledge of them has returned a negative result. Then again, while I am sure the tunes I have sung have been spot on, I am not so sure that I have remembered all the words correctly – which I guess may also be why my search results have been zero.

Don’t worry – I won’t be uploading an audio file of me singing 😛

I saw this and it had me singing one of those songs :

Contagion-750x750-1

Photo credit : doppleronline.ca

The words to the song, that I am sure I remember.. sort of.. go something like this :

”Crossness is catchy like the the fever,
Crossness is catchy like the flu,
So send a little smile, spreading mile by mile,
’cause friendliness is catchy too, thank goodness,
friendliness is catchy too!”

In these uncertain times, let us consider all of the above. And please choose wisely.

Today I am so thankful that even though human contact is a no, I still have the wonderful opportunity to stay in touch with people, and spread heartfelt love, support and encouragement through the internet.

Awkward Moments

Today is apparently ‘Awkward Moments Day‘. I also found it interesting that it follows St Patrick’s Day – and I am sure we can all guess why (excessive alcohol shenanigans can lead to some pretty awkward moments for some 😛 ).

But in the current state of our world, I am sure many of us are having many of these types of moments. I had one yesterday.

I heard a gentleman cough in the next aisle in the grocery store, and then there was the sound of some things falling off the shelf. As I rounded the corner of the aisle, the gentleman still stood there, and a lady stood a short distance away from him, with a look of horror on her face. She had stepped back straight after he coughed, and had knocked down several of the bottles on the spice shelf with her handbag – a few now lay broken on the floor. The Manager and a staff member, as well as a few others in the store, had all come to see what had happened.

And all of a sudden, I sneezed. With this audience in front of me. Three times! 

The lady with the offending handbag threw her hands up in the air and turned on the Manager, ”I’m going to die of a deadly virus because of your store!” She then stormed off, and we all stood there, looking awkwardly at each other.
(Bearing in mind that at the moment, there are still no reported or confirmed cases in our entire province – SA is divided into provinces, and while there are 60 odd confirmed cases in our country, they remain in other provinces.)
The man shrugged his shoulders and said apologetically, ‘Smokers cough”. I shrugged mine, and pointed at the floor where numerous herbs and spices now lay scattered, and said, ”Pepper”.

There was a moment of silence, perhaps we were all sub-consciously observing the ‘deaths of those bottles’, and then….

We all started laughing. 

One of the other shoppers shrugged and said with a smile, ”Panic sure isn’t going to stop the virus.”

And then we all went on our way to finish our shopping.

But truer words have never been spoken. Panic isn’t going to stop it, and it also isn’t going to help anyone. 

And we’ve had our fair share of panic in our country. Not only do we have the daily stress of the lack of jobs, lack of clean water and people dying due to those factors, we also have the daily concern of crime that is more severe than you could imagine (and gets swept under the rug). Our economy has been crashing for a long time now – it will get worse, and still would have, with or without the virus. And let’s not forget that in 2018 polony tried to kill us here in South Africa! That was frightening for us as a small family – although my children don’t eat polony, we were regular eaters of that brand of cold meat and bacon, and at that stage I was buying Rainbow Chicken products.

I am not making light of this virus that is doing the rounds, please don’t get me wrong. I have a lovely blogging friend who is currently in quarantine because she has it, and although she is struggling, her optimism and levels of hope are encouraging.

I read somewhere that it’s not a case of if you get the virus, it’s a case of when.

Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I still don’t feel panicked. 

There are infinite resources to advise us of how we can be responsible, and naturally I am taking the necessary precautions. But for me personally? I find that being calm, and having hope, and offering encouragement and support can be equally as ‘catchy as the virus’.

My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones because of this virus, and to those who are in quarantine because they have contracted it. I am sad for them, and wish I could change all this. Take it away. Turn it into a bad dream and allow us all to wake up and find it wasn’t real.

But it is real. And it is scary. And it is sad.

However, panic isn’t going to help any of us.

I think that as with everything in life, we can only do what we can to change what we can – be aware, and take precautionary measures.

Here’s hoping that you all find a semblance of peace amidst this chaos!