April 2, 2020
by Katy Husband
Holy Smokes! How many emotions can one human feel in four days? If I had to create those little face icons that you used to explain feelings to your toddlers I would have used all the coloured paper, pens and glue we have in supply. Emotional-overload is real right now! But can I quickly say, that although emotions can be useful in guiding us they are often very poor decision makers.
For me, at this moment, I have decided to own how I feel in a particular moment but recognise that right now another equally opposite and just as passionate emotion is likely to shortly follow it. It is okay to feel scared then laugh at something ridiculous, it is okay to feel hugely frustrated and disappointed and then joyful half an hour later. Our emotional needle is swinging from left to right (and sometimes doing an entire circumference) and that is okay – our future is undefined right now. What isn’t okay is to assume that your emotions are truth. We need to ‘feel’ in our moment but we need to understand that our emotions aren’t always ‘truthful’. Is it true that all of us are a little scared right now? Yes. Is it true that we WILL get through this TOGETHER with our family, friends, and colleagues? Absolutely.
So how do you handle the days in lockdown whilst experiencing ALL THE EMOTION? You take moments where you just breathe, cry, cocoon. You take moments to laugh, hug, soothe and just be.
We have been taking each day as it comes. Four children in lockdown on rainy days? Drawing, board games, handstand competitions and yes technology. Is that a bad thing? Perhaps. Did they need the opportunity to just chill out and cope with their new normal – definitely. And this was their way of doing it. When the sun comes out, so do we. Bike rides, fitness training, basketball, trampolining, more handstands (seriously?).
I tasked the children to find a recipe for dinner (out of recipe books only), list the ingredients and then we would add it to our menu plan and they could cook it. Baba Ghanoush Edwin? Really?? He thinks it looks like melted marshmellows. Ummmmmmm.
As I’m in the ‘at-risk’ category Edward volunteered to do the supermarket shopping. Hmmmmm – he is at best a combat shopper. Get in, get it done and get out. Waiting in a queue for half an hour, searching for unusual ingredients in unlikely places (thank you kids) and then having to pack your groceries in the boot of your car. All necessary precautions but that man was NOT HAPPY on return. To be fair – I found it slightly amusing and it rated as one of my more light-hearted moments that day.
In the evenings we have watched with our two older boys the series ‘Band Of Brothers’. It was produced around 15 years ago and details the journey of a group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne training, landing and fighting towards the end of the WWII. It was as much a compelling watch now as when we first saw it. Our boys are 12 and 14 and we wanted them to see what true suffering, heroism, valour and compassion looked like.
Many commentaries are likening our lockdown experience to something similar from during or after World War II. Our experience is nothing like that. We have every comfort – food, warmth, healthcare, family and connectivity. Those men and women and their families genuinely suffered. However, they also forged deep connection with each other, they truely valued their lives and the opportunities they were given after their world returned to a ‘new normal’.
What did I take away from watching this series again? Firstly, a deep and heartfelt thankfulness for the sacrifice the generations before ours gave. The men and women of that era were true heroes. I also recognised that in times of conflict and distress that the human spirit rises above that reality and tenaciously believes for better. That hope will never die and that connection and relationship will endure the greatest of hardship. That we can all band together and in that there is strength. We might be in a place of uncertainty right now but history tells us that there we will come out the other side of our experience stronger, more resilient and wiser than when we went in.
Hang tight, believe in your future, relish moments of joy whenever you can.