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Finding joy again

Updated: May 22, 2022

A second lockdown....really?! Time to rest, to play, to be family, to start new routines and learn new things? No?

Lots of things feel different this time around. The schools are still open; apart from when the bubbles break. All three children have had their bubbles break over the past 7 weeks. The mornings are darker, the nights get dark early. The air is chilly. The sun has disappeared. We have experienced constant rain during the whole of October half term which has the ability to make the days feel even longer. To be honest, I feel drained. Drained of hope, drained of excitement, drained of energy and almost drained of adventure. No, this part of 2020 does not feel at all good.

As a solo parent, I am finding the prospect of another lockdown even more daunting than the last. The first lockdown felt exciting and new. Extended families and friends would set up games nights via Zoom, write letters to each other, send silly videos, check in and make sure that everyone was ok. I had lots of connection. This time around it feels like we are all running out of steam. The novelty of lockdown has worn off. It feels like we all just want to hibernate in the hope that the virus will disappear and then life can resume as normal. But we can't. The children still need to go to school. We still need to work from home. We still need to do routine things like shop, cook and eat. The question is, how do we add sparkle back into such a dark season?

I have been thinking about this question for the past couple of days. I saw an article about how to live these next six months to the fullest. I didn't read it. To be honest, the title just made me feel tired. Is it okay to just survive and not thrive when the season we are living in is just tough?

The definition of surviving is to remain alive; to continue to exist. We need to breathe, eat, drink and sleep in order to survive. If that's all you can do for the moment, that's okay. I talk about the season of lamenting and the fact that many of us don't allow ourselves time to do this. If this is the moment that you are in, then lament. But make sure you are breathing, eating, drinking and sleeping. As a Christian, it gives me comfort to know that God sits with me in my lament. He hears my cries. He catches my tears. He waits for me. If you have time you might like to read my blog Finding Blessings.

When you are ready, stand again. But stand with care and love. Don't stand as if you are ready to take on the world (although it is okay if that is what you feel ready to do). Stand with the certainty that you will get through each day. Look for blessings that are peppered throughout the day and write them down.

For me, I am going to enjoy spending each evening with the children. We might start new projects, watch a new TV series, play games or just sit and chat. Will I enjoy every evening? Possibly. Will we have arguments? Yes, we are a family after all! Learning how to communicate our frustrations well is a good life lesson to learn.

Don't forget to reach out to those around you. It might take a bit more effort than before, but it will be worth it. So I might start a new extended family photograph challenge. I might try a few TikToks. I will definitely hand write some more letters. We were made for relationship with each other. When we don't have connection we feel lost.

So in this next season of lockdown, don't get lost. Connect. Rest. Find blessings. Look after you.

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