You asked, How have I found Lockdown Life? What challenges have I faced and How have I overcome them? Good questions! Where shall I begin?!
I think that the key to facing challenges is often preparation, not that we always get a warning of the challenge that we are about to face! But learning from previous challenges, together with a mustard seed or two of faith, provides a starting point.
The UK Lockdown in March was not the first I had experienced in my life. There was huge political unrest when I was living in Dhaka, in Bangladesh, in the aftermath of a general election. The opposition parties instigated a Non-Cooperation Campaign which brought the capital virtually to a stand still.
The American International School kept open, but the school bus no longer crossed a major arterial road into the city. So I had to walk my 10 year old son from our home, across this road to reach the school bus stop. Towards the end of the Non-Cooperation Campaign, this involved walking past a military bunker, built with sand bags, which contained armed soldiers!
My son would often ask me if we would be OK as we crossed the eerily empty major road…..I would confidently reply that Jesus was with us, while inwardly praying fervently that we would indeed reach the bus stop safely!
My daughter’s school was in a totally different part of the city and so travelling there was out of the question. They did open however, in a different location in our locality, for a couple of afternoons a week. So I had to do home schooling with her. I really feel for all those in this current pandemic who are juggling work and home and schooling….it is a challenging balance to achieve.
Getting her to and from afternoon school was not without its challenges. There were occasions when on returning home from leaving her at school, I encountered riotous mobs, necessitating the rickshaw driver to make a swift turn off the main road, onto the relative safety of the side roads!
Returning to this pandemic, God of course knew this corona virus pandemic was coming. For months before the words corona virus were even mentioned or heard about, I kept coming across and being impacted deeply by, these words from 2 Timothy 4:11 Only Luke is with me.
I wasn’t sure what the Lord was trying to tell me! At the time my son and daughter in law were living with me, while they and their builders renovated their new home. So I knew when the house was ready, they would move into it. And I would be on my own. As I had been before they came to stay with me. But I sensed the aloneness would be something different……It certainly was!
They moved out and into their new home 5 days before lockdown was announced. I visited them the day after their move, for tea and cake and a guided tour of their now furnished new home.
Knowing that I would be at risk from the virus due to an underlying health condition I went home after visiting them and began lockdown ahead of the official announcement.
Of course I missed them!
On a practical level, I have had lots of previous experience of living alone, in fact getting on towards a third of my life!! Plus my siblings were significantly older than me, so I spent a lot of my childhood on my own.
I think this all stood me in good stead for what was to come.
To summarise: the main adjustments I faced were:
- Being home alone, after 8 months of family living with me.
- No physical contact with family and friends
- No opportunity to gather in person with my faith community
- No opportunities for meeting friends for coffee/inviting family and friends for coffee or meals in my home
- Being confined to my house, when a daily walk was forbidden to those in the shielding group.
- Missing special events like weddings, reunions because they were all cancelled
- Unable to complete running the Staying In The Vine Course (www.stayinginthevine.co.uk)
- Unable to run meditation groups/retreats in person…so switched to Zoom to do so!
That is all I have time to write today Corinne! I will talk about surviving Lockdown in the next letter. How are you coping with working from home?
Keep safe and stay well 🙂
PS Remember there are many short meditations on the into-deeper-waters.com site, that are ideal for experiencing peace and stillness in the midst of the stress and busyness of everyday life.