Challenge: Not being able to travel around the UK to see friends and family, as my loved ones are very spread out across the country.
Blessing: Spending an extended period of time in Liverpool, meaning I’ve been able to start a vegetable garden and become much more involved in my Quaker community here.
Blessing: Time to rest well and reconnect with the beautiful nature all around us here in the UK, as well as deepen relationships.
Challenge: My relationship with productivity and learning all over again that there is a time to work and a time to rest.
Blessing: Having our gorgeous lockdown baby!! Whilst it was strange not being able to have any visitors in the hospital or thereafter we have been so grateful for the extent of quality time that we’ve been able to enjoy adjusting to life as the three of us. It’s been incredibly precious.
Challenge: Probably also having a lockdown baby! It’s been hard going through such a major life transition without the usual support structures in place. The combo of sleep deprivation and social isolation has definitely been tough at times. We are looking forward to getting to know other parents in the local area as lockdown eases more, and of course finally getting to introduce our son to family and friends who haven’t been able to meet him yet!
Blessing: Without doubt, bonding as a family with our little boy, time that we would never have had otherwise!
Challenge: Not being able to meet socially with other mums and their babies whilst on maternity leave, though WhatsApp has helped me to stay connected.
Blessing: Reconnecting with old friends, cooking, learning languages, and doing housework. Having the time for it all.
Challenge: Processing the enormous loss the world is going through and feeling at times powerless in it all.
Challenge: The inevitable constant inward focus which comes from being so home-based for so long.
Blessing: More time to spend enjoying and exploring the beautiful countryside outside my front door.
We are blessed by living in an area of outstanding natural beauty and UNESCO world heritage site, the Lake District. During this time of lockdown, visitor numbers are down, but the natural world is flourishing! We see a profusion of colour, hear abundant birdsong, see local wildlife boldly venturing beyond their usual habitats, new lambs born, and the ever present lakes and mountains free of people and cars. That, and the sunny weather, has been a total blessing to us here at home. As has the presence of 4 generations of family here with us – I have especially loved spending so much time with our young grandchildren day by day, and cooking large family meals once again!
The challenges are also present of course, including the ill health of our parents, and the long separation from extended family and friends. As someone who loves to start each day with purpose, and to meet new people, I especially miss the regular interaction with others, including our Rose Castle team. We have definitely made the most of online connecting instead, but it is no replacement for meeting in person! As I look out at the wider world, I see many daunting challenges ahead, but pray this enforced “pause” will also bring much needed restoration to those who have been far too busy for far too long. We are especially conscious of those of you struggling with physical and mental health challenges during this time of isolation, and hope some of you will join us at Rose Castle one day, to re-imagine life with, and perhaps beyond, the Covid pandemic.