Our family is in a rather strange situation. (Again).
I normally prefer to work (painting) in isolation, and now here I am in the ideal position yet unable to even get the colours mixed. My studio sits empty, the dust layers mounting.
Our children have internet home-schooling. Thank Whatever for that, as it keeps them busy and out of sight for part of the day and they have enthusiastically found that laptops work best under the bedcovers.
Yet for my husband, it’s business as usual. He does not have to wake up thinking, “What the *’#! am I going to do today?” while optimistically waiting by the window for a pigeon to maybe pass.
He gets up, usual routine of showering, exercising, feeding dogs and himself, and then check the office at the end of the corridor or the tractor at the end of the field. The farm meetings continue with the manager, the game-keeper, and the forest ranger – just with a bit more distance between them in the fields or woods or as a video call. (How much more distance does one need on a farm in the middle of nowhere?)
He does not feel frustrated.
He feels normal.
Only by late afternoon does he feel the change. He wants a family walk or talk but we are too busy – singing or dancing away while cooking or creating outfits. He either joins the madness or goes off to knock golf balls in the garden (often with more charging around after the hounds as they chase his drives and swallow his swings.) Then it’s his dress up time. We have all been ready for ages. My mother is usually already sitting in the lounge, all outrageously outfitted and sipping on something strong.
I try to advise our children, after their home-school-day is over and before exasperation followed by cruelty sets in, how to keep busy. And we have been pretty good at it. Well, we’ve tried.
Here are a few of our best ideas:
Cook a whacky, quirky meal or a weird, wonderful cake. Everyone on Facebook seems to be wanting to try this – if I see another Instagram post of a meal… … Cook it, don’t post it.
Together = Chaos = Fun…
Jump up and down or run around in circles screaming: it’s way more fun than kitchen gym sessions, and it really gets the frustration out. (Holding heavy pots or pans in each hand helps the biceps too). It can even end up being quite ridiculously droll.
Play lots of them (and not the computer ones. Don’t be lazy, now is not the time – plus you have the time.) And it is so much fun!
Games Alone :
Solitaire is a good one.
Games with the Family:
Those really long Board games that are never played due to lack of time– find them and dust them off.
Monopoly: (the Danish edition is exceptionally thrilling for us as are all desperate to buy the road with the same name as we have).
Poker: it’s good to teach children how to keep the cheating face while learning about luck, skill and strategy.
Let’s Pretend: like it’s still Easter and the children have 10 minutes to find the old eggs that were not used last year – (even though you desperately ate some of them, so many “eggs” are actually small stones wrapped in pretty paper – well it IS called Let’s Pretend). And it gets them out of the house in a hurry.
Games with the Dogs:
Throw the Stick (perfect in the lounge), Kitchen Catch, Tag, Follow the Tail, Find the Evil Smelling Bone (hidden for a long while somewhere in the house, though could be an old mouse), Sit Still, Play Dead.
It’s creative, takes a lot of imagination and takes up a lot of time and best of all, it’s really entertaining and funny. Hilarious even.
Put all your imaginative skills into a fun evening: Cook, create, dress, play, games, dance… and make a Theme Night.
Start a Blog
people are in Lockdown, they are bored, frustrated – someone might just read it.
And there is meditation:
I really envy those that can sit down, cross-legged and still be comfortable, no pins-and needles or numbness, close their eyes and think of nothing, just letting their world fly on by.
And it seems that – from all the posts being posted – that Isolation is really boosting meditation practise.
I hope that it’s taken off across the globe and that when the world opens up again it will be like a giant flower blossoming with only good things… except sadly, I wish that I could be a part of it all, but if I close my eyes I either fall asleep (even standing up), have a panic attack because I cannot sleep or too scared to sleep, or I keep thinking about that costume I should be creating for the night’s dress-up party.
Though I have heard that there is a Laughter/Yoga thing and that seems more up my street – (or country path).
Music is the greatest tension soother, best barrier breaker, finest feel-good tool that man has ever created (some prefer a ball, but have you ever listened to a ball bouncing for hours on end?) Music includes singing, playing (an instrument as well), listening, learning and remembering but best of all DANCING! Just plonk away on that dusty, rotting piano, or drum those dirty kitchen pots while cleaning, sing anything everywhere – no one cares right now how bad you are (save the dog, who might join in), or just play some good music and wiggle your way to bliss. Get the groove going, no one is watching and again, no one cares. Need to learn? There’s tiktok, disco videos, rap tutorials- or if you aren’t that good, there are online courses (“Popular instructors have over 266 000 students!!…huh???)
Just enjoy the loud music and get on down! There is nothing like dancing and singing at the top of your voice. You’re in isolation and the Police have better things to do than answer to annoyed neighbours complaining of loud music.
And for a prime performance – get the family to join in… Inspiration: this Family Lockdown Boogie.
Or, you can just clean.
(Luckily, I don’t have time for that).