Ending our first week in quarantine, it’s been a strange old time. We couldn’t be in a better place to get through this, but still, it starts to have an impact. It’s hard to accept at first, although those of us in Asia are ahead of much of the world in our level of acceptance, simply because we’ve been facing it for longer.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself asking how long will it last? Will anyone I know and love be impacted? How many will die? Will countries finally wake up? Will the world understand it’s time to lock it down and get this under control?
On the home front it’s strange. Our family, together, for who knows how long, just us, and we’ve got to be cool and calm for each other – especially us parents. We’ve got to be examples to our boys. But we’re anxious. Our boys don’t know they should be anxious (and we’re trying to keep it that way), but we know – not just with the virus, because we are also thinking about the certainty of disruption for the foreseeable future. Who knows what’s ahead?
I have found myself asking: what sort of a future will my boys have after this? Because this has long term ramifications. But then, having been all over the risks facing us with the climate crisis for many years, their future was always up in the air. So, for me, this pandemic is providing an opportunity to witness what was always coming at us – a truly global crisis – so it feels like a warning shot. Will we take notice? More on that in future posts.
Checking in with Steve
But then I had an epiphany yesterday. Steve has been particularly fractious, which means we flare up at each other. We’ve never been a couple that does that, so we always pay attention when it happens.
The epiphany was: here I am married to the most caring and protective man on the planet, and so how is he feeling, knowing that regardless of anything he does, he cannot control this situation, and he might face moments when he will be unable to protect his family?
Rather than entertain these thoughts in my head, I asked him.
He said while this wasn’t front of mind, he acknowledged it was definitely concerning, and right across the board, he was finding it hard to put this situation together intellectually. What it meant. The impact. How we would fare as a family, community and world.
He then said the last few years, everything was awesome in our lives – the boys, our home, our community, work, and more – and it seemed like a beautiful dream, one he relished in every minute of every day.
And he got an amen for that, because it has been a gorgeous few years. It’s been a happy time. A successful time. An abundant time.
We’ve relished in it because, what many don’t realise is, before that dream time, we went through many lean years – brutally lean! It was hard, but we made it, with a few scars we still carry.
We spoke of how uniquely prepared we might be to emotionally face whatever is coming, because we have already been in the thick of uncertainty for so long. We made it through seven years of bad luck, starting with the global financial crisis (it kicked in for us beginning of 2009), and that kept us on our knees for a full seven years. Nothing flowed. Lex had huge challenges and we saw no light at the end of the tunnel for him. Work didn’t come. Money was tight. Debt grew. It was painful.
Mindset is everything
After seven years, we came out the other end, and while it was incredibly difficult, I remember one thing from that time – an uncompromising belief that everything would be OK, all we had to do was keep our minds focused and look forward to what we wanted, believing it would be OK in the end. That’s what I did then and have done since. My mindset was and is everything.
So my friends, none of us know what is coming or the potential grief we may face. None of us are immune to that. However, focus on your mindset to get you through this time. You will crumble. You will have bad days, weeks or even months, but get that mindset refocused on the future you want for yourself and the wider world, and truly imagine it.
Live it in your mind. See it. Feel the emotions of it. Smile when you think about it. And keep believing we will get there. Our collective will to create a beautiful future is in all of our hands. Do you want to join me in imagining it? Do you believe we can?
How are YOU feeling?
In the meantime, let’s check in with our community and ask them how they are. I’m going to call my parents today and ask them. In fact, writing that inspired me to act and I just got off the phone with both my mum and dad. They’re doing good. Taking it seriously. But then the elderly aren’t the issue are they? They know to take it seriously.
It’s the younger ones that think they’re safe who are the issue. Young people #StayTheFuckHome!!!
And governments around the world, NOW is the time to shut everything down – schools, businesses, transport, more. Close the borders. Yes it’s going to mess up the global economy, but that day has already come and this is what’s needed right now. Do it. Medical facilities in many parts of the world are on the verge of collapse. Don’t invite that chaos into your country. JUST DON’T!
Take the time to reflect
For me, I think I’m further along in processing the reality of the situation and it’s impact on our world, purely because I’ve been closer to the center of this situation for longer. I continue to see that many around the world – in the UK, Europe, and Australia especially – aren’t there yet. Crowded events are still happening! A sure sign people aren’t paying enough attention!
We got a head start, because in Phuket, there were direct flights from Wuhan and during Chinese New Year there were many tourists within our community – those coming from the epicenter of the crisis. As a result, our community has been acting, and we’re all watching and waiting. As of today, no one we know here has been impacted, but it could be a matter of time? The good news is we are all in lock down.
And because everything has started to slow down, I have had an opportunity to be more reflective and I’ve recognized a certain level of anxiety has emerged this week. It’s the unknown, and for my usual #positivepants self, this is an uncomfortable place for me.
But letting the emotions in and feeling them is very important. The other bit is speaking about our feelings. If you don’t speak of how you’re feeling, there’s a chance you’ll lash out at others, when the reality is, you’re just sharing your fear in a different way.
I find many men struggle with this side of self-awareness – obviously not all. But if you have someone around you, lashing out, being snarky and generally a pain in the arse, ask them, how are YOU feeling? And give them the space to speak.
I think that is really important right now. Asking each other.
Are you single and facing quarantine?
Here’s a little message for you. I was single when SARS hit Singapore back in 2003. Here’s some reflections from that time.
No question it’s a weird time, but we will get through it. Yes we will lose people and there will be more grief. Hey we might die ourselves. We just don’t know. It is an anxious time, but all we can do is check in on each other and ask each other how we’re feeling. Sometimes just knowing someone is thinking of you can be enough to get you through uncertainty, or a down time.
I send love and healing energy to those suffering from the virus and other illnesses, love and strength to those on the front line trying to help those who are sick, and finally, love and positive energy to all of humanity to have the strength to come together and overcome this together. The only way can do it. Together.
Until every country has this situation under control, no country has this under control. Let’s all do our part.
Yours, without the bollocks
Thank you for reading my ramblings. My brain and heart are a work in progress, always. I’d love a comment if it stirred any thoughts or feelings and of course, please feel free to share it with anyone you know who might be interested or entertained. I sure do appreciate it when you do. If you want to connect, I’m on Twitter here, Instagram here, YouTube here, and Facebook too. I share loads of stuff, not just my own xxxxx