Let’s take a moment…

After the frenzy of activity of the last few days, trying to keep up to date with rules and regulations as they were published, getting ready for lockdown and cleaning the house yesterday to start lockdown with a germ-free state, I am taking a moment (or this weekend ) to assess where we find ourselves at this moment.

During this week we have done many things for the last time for the foreseeable future – shopping at places we know will be closed, visits to family members and friends, walks/jogs around the neighbourhood. These were intentional experiences that were appreciated, greeted and gently left behind.

Then there were those things where we did not know we were doing them for the last time – because the market was cancelled the evening before, the library was closed to the public with staff still working inside, the next weekly face-to-face Sepedi conversation falls in the lock-down. There is a sense of irritation and unfairness around losing these experiences, it does not suit us that we had to unexpectedly leave these behind.

And then there are those things we do not yet know that we have lost forever. The great unknown hangs over us. The world we know is changing. It may never be the same again. The systems we have taken for granted may never be the same again. Our family and friend circle may never be the same again. We ourselves will be changed by this experience. This is where extreme discomfort and fear set in, where we feel the pressure of rising panic and the danger of paralysis.

So, we have this overwhelming urge to keep moving, to find helpful answers to our questions and plans that will make the best of the situation at hand. But let’s just take a moment…to slow down and assess where we are right now. We can look back with gratitude at what we considered to be normal life. Let’s acknowledge our grief at having lost that unappreciated and fragile well-trodden normalcy. How unsettling it is to realise how vulnerable we are, how little control we actually have. The emotions we find jumbled in this space of anger, powerlessness, confusion, sorrow, guilt, pain, fear, helpfulness and responsibility are messy. Our brains struggle to bring order to the paradoxes we are experiencing. This is unchartered territory. Let’s give ourselves the space and grace to grieve.

From Monday I will start putting my new normal into place. For now, it is okay to just be in the inbetween.


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