Planting the seed of sharing pandemic experiences

A record of lockdown experiences

I saw this list of questions on Jennifer’s blog recently and decided to answer them – maybe more for my own benefit than anyone else’s!

I’m also linking up with Terri’s Sunday Stills with the prompt of ‘Plant Life’ but using it in a different way. I’ll include some random photos of plants throughout if that’s OK?

If you feel so inclined, you could copy the questions then join in by answering some or all of them. It is a way of recording your thoughts during this time.

Earlier in the lockdown I wrote this post about How I was coping in my little cocoon, so I see today’s post as a follow up and a bit more targeted with specific questions. I also contributed to this collaborative post with Travel Tales of Life, sharing insights of how our small town was coping – Sharing some views of COVID19 from Thailand, Mexico, Spain and Tumbarumba Australia.

As I tend to do with these sorts of posts, I haven’t thought too long or too hard about my answers, I’ve just gone with the first thing that springs into my mind.

Pretty pink cyclamens
Pretty pink cyclamens

What are you most grateful for during this Covid-19 crisis?

Technology – the ability to ‘visit’ and ‘see’ family and friends without leaving home. Zoom, facetime, messenger, whatever works!

Family photo challenges – these have helped in being creative and having a focus.

An Alphabet of Isolation and Images by the Dozen are two photo challenges I’ve shared and we’re currently finishing up 10 Ordinary Objects, before moving onto Variations of a Theme.

What have you missed most during the full or partial lock-down?

Hugs – real long and cuddly hugs from friends. Now that surprises me, as I wouldn’t have said I was a huggy sort of person, but just recently I’ve needed big bear hugs and just can’t have them yet, apart from very close family members.

Pretty pink plants 2
Pretty pink plants 2

Has your hobby sustained you during this time?

Reading a ton of books – don’t believe me? – go checkout out my 2020 reading challenge, I’m up to over 50 books so far this year.

Blogging has also been a big part of my life while in lockdown. I love the blogging community I’m a part of.

What changes have you seen in your life over May 2020?

  • Anxiety levels rising as a result of news from around the world
  • Some restrictions have started to ease but that in itself is worrying but I must say I have enjoyed a haircut, a massage and regular physiotherapist appointments
  • Constant worrying about everything and everyone in my life
  • Lots of medical issues going on within the family and my inability to get to see everyone to help out due to restrictions
  • Autumn has moved over and winter has moved in
  • Lots of positive reports of people getting out and riding our rail trail
  • Huge amount of traffic on my blog – a big surprise!

Have you been exercising more or less?

Exercising more mainly due to the continuation of our daily family zoom sessions – I’ve been doing more stretching, flexibility and yoga sessions and lots of bike riding on my new electric bike!

Has the refrigerator been your friend or foe?

Probably if I’m honest – my foe! But I’m hoping the exercising is helping 🙂

Poinsettia plants
Poinsettia Plants in red

Have you been participating in virtual gatherings with friends or family?

Yes – most days with family for exercise sessions and weekly family zoom catch ups. Book club and Rotary meetings by zoom too.

Have you taken up new hobbies during the lockdowns?

On-line yoga sessions have been good to get into. I had great plans to finish a long overdue cross-stitch project but haven’t even picked it up yet.

Are you cooking or gardening more?

Cooking up a storm – I must be nearly at domestic goddess stage!

Plants in small places

Have you shopped more or less? Online or offline?

Not much more than usual at this time of the year with my three daughters having birthdays within 5 weeks of each other, it can be a busy time. But I’ve done most of it on-line due to shops being shut and staying at home.

What have you found to be the strangest change to your life?

I’ve taken up darning holes in my socks – seriously!

Have you found the changes and experience stressful/anxious/worrying?

Yes, with lots of concern mainly for vulnerable family members who were already isolated before all of this hit us – my mother, mother-in-law, daughters with new babies and toddlers to keep entertained.

Not so much for me, as my life has continued on relatively unchanged except for staying at home more and not seeing friends and family. But my anxiety levels have certainly been heightened.

How have the closures affected your local community?

Yes local businesses have been markedly affected! On top of the recent bushfires in our area, we are struggling a bit economically. The rail trail opening had to be done on-line and locals were the only ones allowed to use it, which was a boon for everyone in town. Now with travel restrictions easing, people are starting to move around a bit more and visitors coming in to support regional areas like ours, which have been hit very hard this year.

Have in-person meetings been replaced with virtual meetings via Zoom, Skype etc?

Yes lots but only with friends and family not work things as I don’t work!

Do you enjoy the virtual meeting format?

Not really but they can be useful to stay in touch.

Are you working from home instead of in your usual place of work?

I’m lucky that I’m retired!

Have your habits changed over the past months?

Yes, I’ve definitely slowed down in some ways. I’m pleased that I’ve managed to keep active, both physically and mentally.

Pretty pink plants
Pretty pink plants

Have you had to cancel travel plans for pleasure or family?

Our whole family had ‘rough’ plans to visit my daughter and granddaughter in England for my 60th birthday at the end of the year and to stay on for Christmas, but that has gone out of the window for lots of reasons. Instead I bought myself an electric bike with some of the money I would have spent on the trip and will be going to see a Bluey kids concert on the day after my 60th – woohoo, I’m living a wild life 🙂

Do you think you’ll be able to travel in 2020?

Yes I be will be happy to travel around my home state of NSW and maybe some other states of Australia but no travel to see my daughter and granddaughter in the UK for the foreseeable future – and although I understand the reasons, it does make me sad.

Have you/others been wearing masks when out and about in your area?

Not many masks are being worn in our small country town. Masks haven’t really been the huge issue as in other countries around the world.

Will you change your lifestyle after this experience?

Not really changing our lifestyle that much, we already live quite an idyllic life being retired in a beautiful part of the world, in a small rural community, but we will be sticking to travelling more within Australia for the next year or so.

We will make time to visit our daughters and their growing families, our mothers and other family members – making up for lost time.

We don’t eat out a lot but will continue to support local businesses that have done it tough, in any way we can.

This year has not been the best so far for my family but I’m hoping we’ve hit the top of the wave and will be now coasting down the other-side, but somehow I doubt that will be the way it pans out. I can always dream can’t I?

What about you?

How have you been coping? Have you kept a journal or made notes during these past few months?

I enjoyed joining Sunday Stills in this way, hopefully ‘planting’ a seed for you! Plants are life and I’ve enjoyed sharing some photos of my mother-in-law’s potted plants with you – they certainly add some colour to our lives too.

You can read the posts which started me thinking about these questions here: Jennifer’s post , Pauleen’s post

Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts you’d like to share.

Deb

xoxo (hugs and kisses)


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58 Replies to “Planting the seed of sharing pandemic experiences”

  1. Your answers resonate with many, Deb. I would have responded almost exactly with “Technology” and “Hugs.” I also get it with ‘concern for vulnerable family members’ especially during these surreal times. The plant photos are like a breath of fresh air. Virtual Hugs for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I can see that some of these answers resonate with others who are in similar situations. I’m glad you liked the addition of the plant photos, I felt they fitted all with my overall message quite well. Thanks for the hugs, it’s been one of those weeks so I’m in need of a big hug. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounded like a good plan to do a post like this. I liked reading it. I know at the beginning I felt scared…and wondered how on earth my very short hair would look if I couldn’t get my haircut for the 6 months our PM forecast…then I became obsessed with finding the food we needed at the supermarket…and after a while, I got my baking back on…and cooked treats and more. Now, looking back, it was good for me (and US) to feel secure in our rental home, we had a regular pension income and our health was OK. We took the advantage of telehealth calls initially but neither of us like that so we went to the GP as needed. Lots to consider..now I will go and check out those other posts. Cheers, Denyse #mlstl

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denyse, it was a quick decision to join in and I must say I enjoyed responding to the questions. It’s interesting to hear how everyone reacted and you were not alone with your concerns. I’m glad you felt safe and secure! Thanks for your comment.

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  3. Loved this post Deb and I think I might try answering some of the questions. It is a good way to reflect on time during COVID-19. I feel as if I haven’t been too badly affected by the restrictions and isolation however, I also think sometimes I might just brush over things and just accept them as ‘it is what it is’ or perhaps I’m shallow and haven’t reflected on a deeper level. Thank you for the image of the succulents. I love the terrarium as succulents are my favourites and I don’t manage to kill them 🙂 You’ve certainly embraced activities despite isolation but also expressed your feelings of anxiety and stress. To me that is such a positive message to not hide our feelings but to embrace them and try to find ways to find calm. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and have a beautiful week. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue, Thanks for your comment and I hope you get a chance to answer some of these questions. It was a good way to reflect on this time and I wanted to be honest about my feelings and the anxiety I was feeling. The succulents and plants are courtesy of my MIL’s place. x

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  4. Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing. It’s comforting to see that across the world (I’m in the U.S.), this pandemic is impacting folks similarly. Such a strange time we live in! We are just starting to open up here near Boston. Masks are everywhere and I am concerned we may have an upswing in cases. But, my family and I are safe and healthy so I will not complain. I am going to share this list of questions with my readers. It is a good way to document how we feel today.

    P.S I’d love to know where you find this wonderful blogging community you speak of. My blog is new and I am looking for just such a community.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so pleased to hear you and your family is safe Debra. It has been and continues to be a worrying time around the world. I hope you get some good answers from your readers! In regards to my blogging community I have built it up over 8 years of blogging and love linkups like #mlstl and Mondays I link up with Denyse at #lifethisweek. It takes a while to get it all happening and I wish you well. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have and if I can help, I will!

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  5. Interestingly enough, I have not written a lot about the virus and my reactions or now, the protesting, which has occurred very close to my home. It is interesting because I usually express myself through words. I tend to think that my opinions or thought don’t really matter in the grander scheme of things. I have thought about it a lot though. Perhaps I will feel more comfortable writing more about it as we go through time.
    I agree with you about the lost opportunity to visit my kids, that has been the most difficult thing. Also we had planned a lot of travel and I am sad to have missed out on Italy and Alaska and Scotland this year. Maybe in 2021!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So much going on in the world Michele, I hope you’re OK. I know what you mean about waiting until you feel more comfortable about writing about these times, it isn’t something that can be forced.
      So many travel plans have been thwarted this year, hopefully you can get to do your trips in 2021!

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  6. Deb, it seems that many of us are having very similar experiences, with a few exceptions. My daughter and her boyfriend are living with us and we do not have any grandchildren, so our circumstances are a little different. Having them with us gives my days a bit more structure and purpose and I enjoy the added benefit of appreciative hugs from my daughter. Exercise is a daily necessity, not an option and trying to maintain a balanced diet, when what I really want is comfort food has been a challenge. What’s not to love about a beautiful flower photo, in any context! Thanks for sharing and keep moving.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lovely to hear your thoughts and situation Suzanne! I’m glad you have your daughter and boyfriend with you and it’s working out, it would be nice to have the company and hugs 🙂 Yes comfort food has been a huge challenge, why is it we’ve all wanted to eat like that? Maybe just a reaction to the stressful times we’re living through.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Deb – I think lots of your answers would be my answers too (including not touching the cross-stitch project I’ve had tucked away for years!) So sorry about all your family health issues – it’s always hard to be away from loved ones when they aren’t at the top of their game. I’m beyond grateful that all mine are healthy and doing fine – but my daughter has had issues with her eyes and problems with getting her glasses and contacts sorted out (essential for her) and that troubles my “mother heart” – you just want to be there to help or to sympathise don’t you?
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, it seems many of us have similar responses to these questions! My family’s health issues are worrying and I want to be there for everyone, but I just can’t get there yet! My ‘mother heart’ is hurting. xx

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  8. Deb can I send you some of my socks to darn? Its the one thing I need right now is socks. Its funny as I read your answers to the questions I was nearly answering them the same. Zoom has been wonderful as I have a weekly catchup with my daughter via zoom during lockdown. She is intellectually disabled and does not understand this whole thing. Sunday just gone we were able to meet in person. Finally after months and months. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The great thing about blogging is that we have been writing our experiences during the pandemic. My own experiences have been very different than other peoples’ because I’ve had all my health drams this year but I too really missed hugging my loved ones properly. I still can’t cross the border to visit my brother and nephews and that’s one thing I really miss. Thanks for your very thought-inducing post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just been reading your post on Denyse’s blog and am amazed at what you’ve been through! Hope you are going well and thanks for reading and commenting on my post.

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  10. Hi Deb, A very good way to record your pandemic experiences and accentuate your post with nice plants. Glad to hear things are opening up where you live. I’m in the most populated city in Canada so the re-openings are more cautious than other places in Canada. I think I’ll wait until the emergency orders are lifted here and write a post about my experiences. It’s interesting for me to hear about places that have been opened up while I’m still under partial lockdown. #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Natalie, I liked the idea of ‘planting a seed’ and managed to include some photos of plants too! I look forward to reading your thoughts on how you have managed through this time as it’s always interesting to hear how others have coped. I don’t blame you for being cautious, it’s a very scary time.

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  11. Good to know you’re managing lockdown so well. My way of coping is to do a series of Tuesday Tunes posts. I did the first one the day after we went into lockdown and today’s was the 12th. It’s given me lots of fun choosing themes and tunes. Other than that, life trundles on 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Interesting answers Deb, sounds like you are coming out of the worst of it now thank goodness. We’re still locked down but doing okay with lots of walking and so many hobbies/interests/challenges going on that I wonder how we found the time to travel before. Glad you’re doing ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you will get back into travelling quick smart when restrictions ease up a bit. Your challenges have been fun to follow. Thanks Jonno, always great to connect with you and Jo 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Isn’t it interesting to sit and reflect on how this has changed us? At the beginning I had a real panic that if one of my family needed help I couldn’t go to them but that feeling has now changed from panic to concern, they have coped on their own with various things that have happened without me stepping in to help.
    I am torn between wanting to get back to doing normal things and being apprehensive about lowering restrictions. I think we have had a stricter, longer lockdown here which makes lowering those rules seem a bit more scary.
    It has really made us all realise all the things we took for granted and I agree that it is the actual physical contact of seeing people we love that is the thing I miss the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reflection during this time is interesting and important! I think one of the more interesting aspects is the “global” experience! It’s fascinating to read blog posts from around the world describing similar experiences. We’re wearing masks here in California….. on top of the pandemic we’re experiencing and watching Black Lives Matter protests. It’s been a crazy and memorable 2020. I miss family get togethers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really enjoyed answering the questions Donna and I thank you for your comment about them being insightful and thoughtful. I think I have escaped by reading during the lockdown and my reading challenge is on track! Sending hugs x

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  15. I read that in the future it may not be possible to read ancient texts written in then obsolete codes. The author was an archivist and she urged people to keep journals – using old fashioned paper note books and permament ink. I even treated myself to a new refillable fountain pen and I have journalled every day, trying to concentrate on our experience and not the stuff that will get recorded by the media. I am not Samuel Pepys: my life is much less eventful than his, but I managed at least a couple of pages a day. I feel a bit sad that I will be gone by the time they are read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been really weird hasn’t it, knowing I’ve been over eating but not being able to stop myself. I’ve tried to rationalise it to myself and have kept exercising so doesn’t feel too guilty. Strange times!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Wow, Deb, it’s great reading this post. Since our women’s group couldn’t meet, the leader sent out three questions a week and asked us to share. I did several but then we started to Zoom so she didn’t send out questions anymore.
    I would like to do a post just for the sake of recording what happened in our life during the pandemic. Is there a timeline to link the post back?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Miriam, I enjoyed answering the questions as a record of what’s been going on in my world. The original post was Pauleen’s and I’ve linked to that in my post. Hope that helps and you can also link back to my post too. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh Debbie, this was a powerful post and certainly echoes what so many of us feel these days. I like how you punctuated the post with beautiful plants and flowers. We need that beauty in our lives to refresh our minds and spirits! Here in California, which “closed” before most countries and states, we are almost back to full opening except for gyms and large gatherings, as governed by each county. So we’ve enjoyed more freedom and are even back to our windsurf campground! This too shall pass. Be safe and hang in there!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Terri, I was hoping you wouldn’t mind the tenuous link to your Sunday Stills! I had planned to take photos of plants for the post and this seemed like a good way of merging the two drafts I had! We are with my mother-in-law who is unwell, so it was a nice to take shots of some of her bright house plants. You are right, this too shall pass! Take it easy 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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