I always leave doing my tax to the 11th hour. This week I pored through the endless receipts and invoices that created a fiscal map of my pre-COVID life.
A life of planes, and taxis, Uber trips, hotels, restaurants, cafes, babysitters, school fees, music lessons, gym classes…
In just a few days this March, all that stopped.
We retreated to the safety of our homes, and the busy grind of our daily lives evaporated into stillness.
I’ll admit, as a touring comedian I found the sudden capitulation of my full and wonderful life heartbreaking. While I felt compassion for those who had contracted COVID-19 or lost a loved one and was concerned for the risk faced by the elderly and the immune compromised, part of me was sulking for my personal loss.
The massive year I had planned had smashed like a glass vase. There I was on the floor sweeping it up. All I could see were the shards, what I couldn’t see was what I was about to gain.
I couldn’t see the Phoenix that was to rise from the ashes.
I am not the same as I was before. Isolation provided me with two months of mindfulness that has changed how I see myself, and how I see my life. I won’t be doing things the same as before.
I am coming out of COVID-19 with a whole new approach to my life, from the big things to the small, everyday things.
1. Family is a gift.
I have never been a stay-at-home mum. While I’ve mothered five children, I’ve done a good part of that from a distance. Being home with my family reminded me of what I often miss.
I often work at night so I miss those long chats at dinner time. During COVID-19, food became a huge part of our day. We thought about what we were going to consume at every meal – we talked about it and planned it. It gave us all something to look forward to.
From the shopping (which we could do online) to the preparation to the consuming – it was so great to slow the process down. We had slowed down. There was nowhere to go. No one was coming over. We weren’t going anywhere tomorrow. We weren’t rushing through our meals and our time together to get to the next item in the diary. We sat. We talked. We laughed. We even played a board game I’d ordered online specifically for the occasion. Pandemic!