Friday 1st May 2020

I started a journal when 'lockdown' began. I hope when I re-read it (if I do!) in ten or fifteen years this whole period feels like a hazy story—with highs and lows. I hope I remember the good things about this 'lockdown' period and take to heart the things I've learned. I have had moments of real joy—where a simple thing like bird song or talking with a grandchild is more than enough to lift your spirits. And I have had moments of deep anguish, when I hear the stories about and see the faces of people who have lost the battle with Covid-19. These moments of joy and sadness have become bookends to my days.

In between there is the 'getting on with living'. I have never been a person who can go through life without a plan. In my past there have been five-year plans. One year plans. Recently, my plans have contracted down to today...and tomorrow. All the plans my husband and I made for this year have gone up in smoke—as have the plans of so many people in the world.
My husband would tell you the first words out of my mouth every morning are, "What are our plans for today? What are we going to do today?" His answer? "What would you like to do?" knowing I almost always have a plan. It's not that I have to be busy every single minute, but I've always felt I must achieve something—anything on a daily basis. It could be a chapter or so many pages in my new book, cleaning the house, cooking, working on the village magazine—just something. In my life, making a plan and having hope are two sides of the same coin.

This lockdown is changing me. I feel it on almost a daily basis—I'm different now than I was on March 15 when our lockdown began. For one thing, I feel it isn't just nature that is getting a breather, but I am as well. I've been given time to reassess what is important, what do I value, how do I want to spend my precious time?

For another, I've never had to face the limitations like the ones I'm facing now. Not even when I was grounded 'for life' in high school have I not been able to think ahead and make plans. I've always been fortunate enough to be able to travel and live how and where I wanted. Now I can't do either. I can't make big plans—I don't know what I'm going to be doing this summer, winter, next year. And there is nothing I can do about it. But the one thing I'm determined this coronavirus won't do is kill my hope... HOPE that I will soon be able to make plans again and that I will come out of this lockdown a stronger, more resilient person who will allow space for relaxation.

Take care—keep HOPE alive—and stay safe.