We Wait

How can I not write about the Coronavirus…it’s the worst thing that’s happened to the world in my lifetime. Now everything I write is from my point of view and I’m aware it’s a privileged one as I live in a flat in London with one child only and have a big roof top space and am still paid a monthly salary. Still here are some of my thoughts.

First I keep thinking: what if Dad was still alive? What we have to say about this? Probably quite a lot of inappropriate things with some truths thrown in. I’m not sure how he would manage with the pub being closed…social distancing was the opposite of what he did his whole life. He had no interest in “alone time”. “Social distancing”, one of the things I had never heard of or said until a few weeks ago, it’s amazing how new words suddenly become so common such as lockdown, coronavirus, confinement etc…home schooling on the other hand is not part of my vocabulary, I prefer “survival”!

Secondly being a single mum has taken on a whole new meaning recently. I had to plan what food and other supplies to buy alone and I found that quite stressful, nobody to share the responsibility with. Then came lockdown and 24 hours a day with a 5 year old, nobody to keep an eye on her whilst I work, nobody to cook, nobody to clean and especially nobody else to sit next to on the sofa during the endless TV watching. I really felt the “I live alone” thing once this started and it’s not something I plan on keeping up for ever that’s for sure! However and this post is about being positive and I have lots of positive things to say , however I’d rather be alone than stuck with someone I can’t stand and I’m not alone really, I have many video calls and messages. I have really felt the support and love from my friends and family. The whole “you find out who matters and who cares” in these situations is very true. I’m so lucky to be “locked down” with my daughter, as much as it’s tiring and the never ending tidying up, cooking, cleaning, 6AM waking is ageing me rapidly, she is showing such creativity and humour and great ability to play alone, I’m so proud of her and she really is making it easier for me than it could be. Yes there are bad moments when she won’t get dressed, wants to participate in work calls and moans it’s “boring” but overall we are doing well. I don’t usually get to spend more than 2 days in a row with her. She goes to her dad’s next Friday for 9 days and it’s going to be long but I will need a break by then! The saying goes “you only get 18 summers with your children”, well as hard as it is, we’ve been given another summer and should try and appreciate it as much as possible

I’m not going to mention all the horror such as: being away from family, increase in domestic abuse (I couldn’t sleep because of this last week), deaths, economic impact etc…instead here are some ideas of what good could come from this (for the world and at my personal level): we now have proof the planet can recover to some extent from all the damage if pollution levels dramatically decrease, remote working is now proven to work, I’m now doing Joe Wicks every day so will soon have a super hot body (well I’ve done it twice!), if you were unsure and ever wanted to test your relationship: things must be becoming crystal clear by now! No excuse for a lack of spring cleaning: charity shops are going to be overwhelmed with donations after this I’m sure. Appreciation for hairdressers is also going to soar. Companies are showing their true colours (someone needs to come up with a Coronavirus rating to be added to ESG scores, yes I sell financial data for a living…) Appreciation for our health service and other keys workers has gone up and will hopefully stay up. The sense of “we’re in this together” is strong. The way wealth is distributed could change (wishful thinking).

Just imagine when this is over how good that first drink in a pub will taste (I’m dreaming of my first Aperol Spritz), that first hug, that first kiss, that first day back at school, that first concert, that first swim in the sea, that first time you walk back in a restaurant, that first bbq with friends and family, the first time children are reunited with their friends, that first holiday! There will be many firsts and I’m sure things we used to take for granted and didn’t appreciate will just feel better. We get to go things again for the first time and it’s going to be amazing.

Coming Full Circle

That’s me on my wedding day in June 2012 at Shoreditch House and today I’m bowling all my self doubt and “negative core beliefs” away after an amazing event at that same exact venue. I hadn’t been back since my wedding day and hadn’t realised how much of an impact this workshop that included guided meditation and “Emotional Freedom Technique” would have. It was emotional, powerful and made all the more poignant by the fact not only is it International Women’s Day but N that I met through Frolo, which is a community for single parents invited me along. How life has changed in those 8 years.

From the outside I bet I seem to be dealing so well with being a single working mum but it’s not always easy. Yes I am proud of how I’ve coped but still it’s moments like cooking a Sunday roast for 2 people only when it really hits you and then the trauma (of my life until now I guess) also shows itself in the good old imposter syndrome at work for example. It’s all linked.

There is nothing like repeating things like “childhood is fxxxxxx hard” and “I am OK, I am amazing” etc in a room full of women (and 2 men) whilst visualising your 3 main “negative core beliefs” disappearing into a river for ever to feel empowered. As my colleague T would say “be more Beyoncé” but as the lady said today “even Beyoncé has self doubt”, it’s making sure that’s the least often possible that counts.

I know this might sound a bit “air fairy” but it helped me. When I was a teenager, I was told by my step dad that I was such a cold person, I would never love anyone fully nor would I be completely loved. Shit like marks you and there was a lot more, that’s just one example. A few failed relationships and a divorce later and I can tell you all sorts of doubt sets in BUT I will do my best to stay on this new path of strength and positivity. I just wanted to write this down so I don’t forget this moment. I do love my life and in particular all the women in it, I am very lucky in so many ways  but it doesn’t mean I always feel like Beyoncé. I’m closing the door shut on all of that.