True to the saying that when it rains, it pours. The lockdown was guaranteed to have a disaster week for everyone, and in fine form, it did have a few sharp moments for me in recent weeks. And it was one of those weeks which everyone seemed to be feeling it.
Just past halfway through the lockdown but still a month of lockdown to go, everyone seemed to be managing the painful rain, knew someone who has lost their job, or been fighting with their partner or struggling with money. Unfortunately these things often collide together to spark fireworks but on horrible rainy days they seem extra long and arduous, feeling endless in a lockdown.
Often something has to give, and while time-out wasn't really possible for me, long walks, big cook-ups, and a short break from the partner was deeply necessary to reset the cogs in a very tired, over-strained machine. Me.
A lot of people have been doing their best working their hardest in confined spaces, to keep the mental strength going while juggling things. Sometimes things drop without you dropping them (say losing your job or crashing the car). Accidents happen and we are reasonably overwhelmed at the emotion of things (like me at the supermarket when my groceries fell and my overpriced blueberries fell everywhere on the floor). But we know we must soldier on.
Soldier on... grrr! What a horrible phrase!
And I know that after some chilled out breathing, a long shower and a cup of tea with chocolate or biscuits (or any edible comfort of your choice), the common sense will come back. Personally I felt at wits end, but after the break from the partner and some quality family chats, I could start again.
Begin planning again.
Dip the toe in something creative while accepting there was going to be some pain or anguish during this whole lockdown thing. Heck, historically we are lucky to have managed the second wave well thus far. I see the numbers growing in France and Spain - countries I travelled in the last few years - and I would hate the carnage that their medical teams will see in the coming weeks.
I count my blessings. I have many, from my family, to a baby, to plants outside and food and running water. I feel incredibly lucky... and I remember the words of Humpty Dumpty's song (children tunes being the order of the day here):
"I pick myself up. Dust myself off, and start all over again."
While lockdown has turned out to be a much much more difficult and occasionally painful journey personally, the idea of progress and of numbers improving, gradually getting rid of this virus from the great majority of the population seems to be occurring, giving meaning to all the sacrifices that I and the people around me have made.
I read this week that anyone outside of Melbourne really doesn't know what lockdown is like.
This is completely true! It is maddening.
And yes, there was human error at the centre of the second wave but guess what? We are all human. Move on.
But getting through is almost here and while it has gotten two weeks longer (a painful thing indeed) it is with some joy to see the numbers get lower everyday, and prospects of it really being under control, become more real. Success which has eluded parts of Europe and Britain.
Watching the Spanish news a few weeks ago, I was struck by how both emotional and encouraging the end clips of the news were during their lockdown, places that had seen over two months of lockdown. I now understand why they were like that. I have been there lately.
And start preparing that medal that you deserve for having gotten through Melbourne's lockdown!
The countdown is on!