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The year we stayed inside …

The year we stayed inside …

It’s round two with this bloody virus, and the world continues to duck for cover. At my place we’ve once again retreated inside, and will forever remember 2020 as the year we stayed home. But this retreat has given me plenty of time to appreciate the small things. 

Those small pleasures that make us sing – a sunny day, a fresh breeze, a good book, my mini garden and the smell of jasmine filling the air. It’s Antipodean Winter here so we’re trying to enjoy the chilly days rugged up on the couch or the brisk air outside, something I’ve always enjoyed.

Little rituals

Little rituals punctuate these days of lockdown. Some writing or other work in the morning, lunch together as a family, lemon tea in the afternoon sipped from my granny’s ancient teacups.

With no work to rush to, I have time to make my teenager a hearty breakfast and sit with him, gas- bagging away as he eats mountains. It’s been quite lovely cooking for pleasure with time to plan and consider, rather than a needs-must situation. While I am super keen to get back to work (as is the bank balance!) I am determined to wring the joy out of these small and fleeting moments with my boy.

The great outdoors

Having only one hour a day to exercise has restored my motivation to move. A chance to be outside with the sun on my face and the wind in my hair is important, for the waist and the headspace. There’s no way I would miss this opportunity to exercise nowadays; strange because in real time I’m often too busy to make the commitment. On the other side of all this, I’ll make the effort to maintain this ritual.

Staying connected

Staying connected with friends from around the globe is wonderful; each of us making an effort to stay in touch and maintain friendships during this collective strange. Life is short, and although a pandemic and distance makes it impossible to hang out in person, technology has made it easy to stay in each other’s lives.

Case in point, I have a standing date with a dear friend in Canada. We watch Real Housewives of Beverly Hills together – don’t judge us. Aired simultaneously in our respective parts of the world, so we’re able to watch and text from couches on opposite sides of the globe. Much hilarity and off-topic chatting ensues, another ritual I hope to maintain.

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Music! I’ve taken to blaring my playlist from the kitchen as I cook. A bit of a boogie and an out-of-tune sing, unencumbered and free in one’s own kitchen is fantastic fun. Mr 13 has taken to coming in for a shimmy.

Lockdown was also the catalyst for a Facebook song exchanges with a buddy as well. Posts done on alternate nights that included a byline about the song of choice, what it meant and why you picked it, plus a recap of dinner fixings for the evening. A sweet way to stay in touch, an expanded musical repertoire plus a bolstered playlist as a result. Music people! In the mix of busy and work, I often longed for quiet after work … but no longer! 

What a strange time of collective experience for the world. The globe experiencing the same lows and celebrating victories in parallel. While it will be a welcome celebration once we’re back out in the world, for now I’m determined to focus on the small joys of this life in retreat.

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