I’m not going to lie, it’s taken me a while to get these words out and into a post.
But I thought today was a good day to share my feelings, as the beginning of a new week.
It’s a question that is being asked every day, across the world. A question that is answered with a host of different emotions. We are all feeling ALL. THE. FEELS. but all so different to each other – no person’s feelings are more or less valid than the next person. We are all entitled to these feelings.
And the question “in question”… How are you feeling?
This is a tough question to answer as every day, there is a new answer. Some days we will feel depleted, some days we feel energised. Some days we feel fearful, some days we feel hopeful. Some days we are angry and we shout and scream, some days we find joy and we can laugh. Some days we are so sad and we just cry. Some days we are overwhelmed with information and statistics, some days filter out the news and online world and revel in the quiet. Some days there is too much laundry and no wifi and the children are full on crazy. Some days we are so alone and feel so lonely, and some days we are completely overwhelmed at having too many people in our space.
Every day is different.
Back to the question… How am I feeling? Over the past three weeks of lockdown, and five weeks of being stuck in our home – these have been my feelings:
I feel driven and lead by faith. I have been reminded that Jesus really is the only way – He is our Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper and Light in the Darkness. He has gone before us, He died for us and rose again, and He reminds us of his great promise and hope. There have been the most incredible signs during this time – the timing of lockdown falling over Easter and Passover, the numerous rainbows representing hope and promise in our skies. And the incredible presence and prominence of our churches and church leaders online – never has the church or His Word been so readily available, to anyone, anywhere in the world. He is working in this and He will walk us through this, and He will bring us out of this, on the other side. I feel driven and led by faith.
I feel fear and uncertainty. My chest has closed up and I have had moments of feeling paralysed by the fear of our future, of what lies ahead. My anxiety builds up at not knowing what next week will bring, never mind next month or later in the year – and this is exceptionally hard for a planner like me. I fear how this will affect our families and our family units with all being in each others spaces for too long and the damage it has on our family unit as we navigate and tolerate each others moods, emotions, negativity, panic, distance, tantrums and fears too. I fear for the health and lives of those close to me and the rest of our nation, and I fear for our economy and the impact this has on so many businesses and employees. I fear for our own financial situation and how we stay on top of paying our own staff, and all our monthly expenses with a business that is carrying the burden of no income, delayed projects and investors pulling out of deals. And the domino effect these situations have on all employees and their families. I feel fear and uncertainty.
I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I am sometimes drowning under the weight of being a woman, running our home, being a mom, being a homeschool teacher, being a wife, being a daughter, being a friend and wearing ALL the caps, ALL the time. I am an extrovert and I thrive being social and being with people but I also crave time on my own – away from my family, my children and my friends. Neither of these sides of the coin are possible – and without the small breaks for myself, my cup is empty and I struggle to give more of myself when my family and my children need it. I am a qualified teacher but not for Foundation phase, and my children love their teachers and respect them way more than they respect me as their teacher – it’s just not normal for them. As organised and calm as I can be, I get frustrated slow wifi, the printer jamming my paper, the work not uploading on the app, the child who doesn’t want to read, the child who thinks she knows better than her teacher or parent, the child who is blatantly ignoring instructions, the child who wouldn’t talk back to her teacher or hand it untidy work at school but finds it acceptable at home. I feel overwhelmed and frustrated.
I feel immense gratitude. I have the fullest and most appreciative heart for the beautiful home and spaces we created as a couple, the house that we have made a home, the length of our driveway for riding bikes and running sprints and our garden and swimming pool to allow for outside time for our girls each day and fresh air and freedom from being “locked in”. I am grateful for a very special Gogo who is a part of our family and lives with us permanently and asked to not travel home to the Eastern Cape to her extended family for her own safety. I am grateful for her bubbly personality and laughter in our home during this time, and for her non stop hard work and dedication, with housework, laundry and cooking whilst I focus on our girls. Something I don’t and never have taken for granted but even more thankful for at this time. I am grateful for a husband that has always given his all at work and his career to be able to provide safety and security for us, the years of sacrifice, of working long hours, weeks of business travel away from our family, and the literal blood sweat and tears to get where he is today, all which helps with having the security to support us financially through a very uncertain time. And for being a hands on Daddy who steps in and helps with his girls, even after 10 hours of conference calls and proposals and disaster management, who will help with homeschool, bath time and cooking meals. I am eternally grateful for the privilege of being a stay-at-home-mom, allowing me the time to be with my girls all day, uninterrupted and giving me the time and patience to focus on them and their online learning without the distraction of work and a career. I am very blessed to have this time with them, and so grateful for the opportunities taken, decisions and sacrifices made over the years. I feel immense gratitude.
I feel lonely. I am an extrovert, I am a very social person and I share an incredible bond with my best friends. I am invested in friends and their families, and I value the power of visits, catch ups and social gatherings. I love to host and entertain friends and family in our home. Being away from friends and their families is hard – I miss girly catch ups over a meal and big bear hugs when greeting friends. I miss having people in our home or being able to celebrate with friends over successes or milestones, and comfort them or take care of them when they are struggling. It’s really hard to not have this time together in a physical presence – although I am grateful for the power of technology for us to video call and catch up. I feel lonely.
I feel patriotic. Our country has taken a beating over the years, we have been exposed and neglected by our government, it’s leaders and around the world. But as we navigate this pandemic, our President has been given an opportunity, a platform to shape our nation and show his great leadership and love for our country, and a voice to be heard. He isn’t perfect and he carries the weight of 60 million lives on his shoulders, with his only options to help save our country both being detrimental to it’s people. He has to choose the “righter wrong”. As I listen to other national leaders and governments, and how they value money over humanity or they speak with great disrespect, I am proud of the man and his heart for Jesus that is leading us through this storm. I am proud of our nation and how so many people are embracing the hard and the uncertain – I am proud at how our people unite in the evenings to sing and clap and cheer in appreciation for our health workers, I am proud of the millions of people who have listened to our President and have stayed at home, however uncomfortable that may be for them. I am proud of the men and women that have so generously given their finances, their services, their products – all in the name of helping and supporting each other. And I am proud of everyone who is encouraging and supporting each other, knowing that we are all sailing our ships through the same, stormy seas. I feel patriotic.
I feel out of control. I am A-type. I am slightly and mildly OCD. I am a planner and an organiser. I like to be in control. And when I’m not in control, I just want to fix it! And in this crisis, I have control over nothing but the atmosphere of my home and the emotional protection of my family. I cannot cure the sick or make the virus disappear, I cannot influence our government to make different decisions. I cannot plan the future or even write one thing in my calendar. I cannot open my kids schools or save my husbands business. I cannot take away the fears, heartache or negativity of my friends or family. I cannot make everyone stay at home or forecast our fate for the rest of the year. But I can control the information I allow into my heart and mind, I can control my list of prayers every night and how often I chat to Jesus I can control how I choose to spend my days at home and how I make my girls and husband feel safe and protected in our home. I can control how I listen to our government, follow the rules and stay at home to be safe. I feel out of control.
I feel encouraged. I am encouraged by all that is being shared online – I am encouraged by other mums sharing their stories, their tips and tricks and their homeschool stories. I am encouraged by all the positive comments and posts online from the people of our nation, their hope for our country and our government. I am encouraged by how willing the people of our nation are to help give of their time, of their finances and give so much to those in need. There have been amazing initiatives donating meals when you make online purchases, contributing to meal packs and soup kitchens through churches, giving so generously to our delivery drivers like Uber Eats and Mr Delivery and even just the evening tradition of clapping and cheering for all our medical staff on the front line. I am encouraged that through this chaos, this uncertainty and through great tragedy, our nation is coming together and we are working together to fight for our beautiful country and her people. I feel encouraged.
I feel proud. I feel proud of my own family and how they are navigating this new season of life. I am proud of our girls and how they are so accepting, understanding and resilient of being at home all day and not being able to adventure out and see their friends or be at school. I am proud of my husband and how he continues to give of his very best in all aspects of life, even when his own heart and mind are wrestling with so many emotions and ideas and worries. I am proud of the way he takes the reigns in their business, has great initiative with new concepts and ideas and is a constant support and positive influence on his colleagues and employees. I am proud of the rock and pillar of strength he is to not only his immediate family but his extended family too – the gracious way he puts mine and the girls needs and feelings before his own, is an emotional anchor for his parents, keeps checking in with his siblings and his constant messages and voice notes to his friends. All whilst he carries a massive load and burden on his shoulders, and the enormity of his own emotions and trying to stay positive and faithful. I feel proud of all our friends trying their very best to navigate this abnormal way of life – I am proud of of how they are working at connecting with their spouse, how they are digging deep for patience to homeschool each day, how they are thinking out the box and using great initiative to save their small businesses, and how they are sharing in each others struggles and joys with Zoom calls and drinks parties. I feel proud.
I feel a lot of things. We all feel a lot of things.
Some days are positive, upbeat, smooth sailing and filled with hope, laughs and smiles. We all get along, we are on top of our daily schedule, we make crafts, we exercise, we play outside and we bake delicious recipes. We chat to friends online and we make sweet memories. We sit around for family dinner and share our highlights of the day, and we fall asleep cuddled up together, with the happiest hearts.
And some days are like a dark thunderstorm. We shout and scream and everyone cries. We throw tantrums and have meltdowns, we don’t get out of bed or our pjs. We argue through school work and we don’t get anything done, and we all cry again. We ignore messages and phone calls and we fall victim to the news and overwhelming statistics. We eat chip rolls for dinner and go to bed at 6pm, still crying.
But on all of these days, we believe in Jesus.
On all of these days, we know and believe His promise.
On all of these days, we know that the sun will come up tomorrow and it will be a new day.
On all of these days, we have another chance.
How are YOU feeling during this lockdown? More specifically, how do you feel today? Let’s take one day at a time.
*Thank you Social Squares for the image*