Sunday 12 April 2020

Reasons I'm Grateful for Right Now

In the midst of uncertain times and the ever-present urgency to stay at home, life has an unexpected way of enabling you to really appreciate the smaller things in life and be grateful for what we do have. 

I'm quite lucky I suppose, I have a loving partner, a wonderful son, amazing family and friends and a job that enables me to work anywhere all while being the primary carer. Sure, a little more money might help or a holiday home in a far-flung hot country but overall I love the life I've built with Arran and the ease of our day to day lives but there's nothing quite like isolation to really make you take stock of what you have. 

Over the last week, the stresses of the world have taken their toll - I've cried, shouted and curled into a ball but I've also laughed and smiled a lot, I feel like I've gone through every emotion over the last week as the reality of what is happening hits closer but it's also shown me what I'm grateful for and so in the spirit of positivity I wanted to share five reasons why I'm grateful for this strange time we've all been thrust into and remind you that it's not forever, it's just for now. 

I couldn't start this post without a very special nod to the wonderful small businesses that have helped my sister and I collect a huge amount of sanitary wear donations for our local hospital. Emily came to me one day about the struggles herself and her colleagues were facing when trying to buy sanitary wear in the first initial rush of panic buying in the UK. I decided to share a tweet and see if anyone could help and we were met with an incredible response - eight small businesses and one charity came forward to help in our time of need and the sheer amount of donations was overwhelming, we were so grateful. On the day eight huge boxes arrived from Bloody Good - I sat in a pile of tampons, liners and sanitary towels and cried happy tears. Our mountain of donations have now made it to two of the main hospitals in Southampton and our excess has been donated to The Homeless Period Southampton. Kindness really does prevail in times of need. 

Love is a funny ol' thing, isn't it? Love doesn't just mean your partner, it can mean so much more to so many. I'm grateful for being home with Arran and Joshua - I'm so glad I have them with me as we go through this but I would give anything to be with my parents, sister and grandmother too. I would love to be able to give my friends a reassuring hug and a pep talk or just *try* and snuggle my parent's cat (he hates me). Arran and I have a relatively easy relationship, we've always been employed throughout our time together so have had separate work lives, we have our own friends and hobbies that we do apart so our own time has always been quite valuable to us, even as we became parents. 

Being thrust together 24/7 at first was an adjustment, it seems silly doesn't it? We've been together eight years and love each other dearly but, and I'm sure there are many couples similar to us, we do a fair bit separately too. All of a sudden we couldn't tell each other about our days or something silly I saw while in the city, we've had to juggle us both working from home around Joshua and Arran's experienced more of what life is like for me Monday to Friday with a toddler, housework and everything in between and it's been eye-opening. I think if anything we've begun to appreciate each other even more and potentially even love each other more than we already do. 

I didn't realise isolation would show more hidden qualities to our love and relationship but it has. 

The one thing we're definitely not short on at the moment is time right?! I've really enjoyed being able to do all the little jobs I've not had the time for or were putting off because it would be difficult with Joshua around. I've started on a huge spring clean, deep cleaning each room one by one, I've been able to make a dent in my reading pile which is totally out of hand, I've baked with Joshua, eaten cake for breakfast, cooked long-leisurely dinners, started a new skincare routine, found a love of home workouts again - it's just been bloody lovely to be able to everything I've not been able to because I'm always drowning in other things because I've had to take a backseat and stay home. 

I want to make this time so much about my family and doing things we love. I've found there to be an immense pressure the last few weeks about needing to achieve something during this time but to be honest, I don't want to. If I get to read, bake with Joshua, relax with Arran and just enjoy being at home then for me, I've achieved enough. I'm the worst for always having to be busy or not knowing when to stop. I feel guilty if I'm not always working since I'm now doing a job I can't leave at the front door and being self-employed with a lot of work that's been cancelled has been the hard wake up call I needed to just sit back and chill out. Okay - it's not ideal but I'm home, happy and safe.

It has also highlighted to me just how quickly time passes us by, we're already approaching the halfway point of April which is mildly terrifying and I think we still have a long way to go but our time at home is being spent in the best possible way and for that I'm grateful. 

May seem a little odd to include my home but it's only in recent years I've really become to appreciate the wonderful city we live in. Being on lockdown has obviously hindered a lot of our day to day lives but I'm grateful that Southampton is so incredibly green with beautiful parks and right on the water. Before things became more intense with staying at home and only popping out for essentials I was still able to take Joshua ten minutes down the road and be on the shoreline or a twenty-minute walk over a bridge and be able to boat spot in the marina and I cannot wait to do those things again. I want to breathe in the sea air, run away from seagulls trying to nab our chips and roll around in cut grass. I'm so glad the sun has made an appearance over the last week because being able to get outside has made such a difference to all of us. 

I hope you're all staying home and that you're safe - my inbox is always open.

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