This is a tough one; particularly as things start to break down. But respecting The Space, The Person and The Me, allows the good vibe of (human) decency to settle and be absorbed. From self-respect to respecting another’s privacy, this is definitely worth struggling for.
I want my children to get up, make their beds, tidy their rooms, and get dressed in neatly pressed clothes and clean shoes. But my husband does that and I think it’s weird.
Plus, if I were a teenager, I would love to go to school in bed.
Where does on draw the line? And, every time someone wants to wear something clean and neat, I have to make it just so; and I HATE laundry. Plus, eleven years ago we were under renovations for a new laundry room that never happened; the old laundry room was changed into something else. So the washing machine is still stuck in the coat cupboard by the dog’s bed, which is covered in the odd laundry piece that is better than their blanket, and fallen jackets (as the coat-hooks above are too full because the coat cupboard is now the washing machine cupboard). And it’s all beginning to resemble ABSOLUTE CHAOS!! Therefore I am actually relieved when the children’s clothes are a bit miffy… it means I can get on with anything else, except washing and ironing.
My teenage son, when he does venture out from beyond his walls, walks around naked save for boxers and the same socks as when Lockdown at his boarding school was announced. But I have to find this wonderful!
My daughter and her Labradoodle have to be dragged out for air and a pee – being as long haired, floppy and rancid as the other I end up hauling the dog to the bathroom and my daughter to the lawn.
And much to their father’s demise both children attempt their homeschooling from bed – and who am I to bemoan them, if I were a teenager…
Only my husband and mother keep going as if it were all normal.
He gets up early, does his exercise, showers, shaves, dresses neat and nice – “Who the hell are you going to see?” I yell from the pillows. He closes the bathroom door. I pick up another book. He goes downstairs, lets the dogs out, walks them, feeds them, feeds himself. Goes to the farm office or the fields.
I also have the (odd) video call, I just make sure my pj’s are not visible. Or that it’s at an hour where pj’s are appropriate. And it’s not particularly warm in Denmark, so a long coat fits over them quite well when I walk the dogs. I just have to remember to change the orange, furry slippers to gumboots. There are puddles and the game-keeper looks at me weirdly.
I, as usual, am torn between it all. So sometimes I go to my office in my pj’s, and other times I put on my proper, more respectable onesie. And I wear it all over and over again as I really don’t want to visit The Cupboard and who cares as I am not going to get any visits from anyone.
But then I shake my head and have to pull myself together and say to myself that if I allow myself to be this way, then my kids will too. (So why can they not be like their father? “Copy him!” I scream.)
It’s lonely. Loneliness makes one feel awful. Then one looks awful then no one gives a damn. (Even when no one is around is to give a dam – though in my case my family and the hounds).
Therefore I have to do something to un-suck-it.
Advice to self:
Don’t feel lonely. Don’t look awful. Give a damn. (If you don’t who will?)
Do not feel sorry for yourself – you are not alone, and even with everyone you know in isolation and bored, no one has the time for you. Everyone is too busy with themselves. You are on your own – that’s why it’s called Isolation.
You want to scream – well, do it.
But no one listens to Loud mouths, especially when they then start screaming. Believe me, I know.
When I first got married I screamed in the forest. Then the fields. Nothing. Then I moved it indoors and my husband moved out to the fields and forests.
No little wonder that I became more withdrawn into myself, choosing to write and paint in isolation. Which now, I cannot even do!
Respect others, and Respect the person:
I respect my husband and the way he carries on: Business as Usual. (But if he throws that shirt to wash too often, I will tell him).
Respect their/the Space:
The doors are shut to my children’s rooms and I am thus blind to their beyond. Hopefully, it will get so messy that they cannot find anything and will then clean up. (Or throw to wash instead of folding away).
Respect The Me:
Pfffttt (Blowing Rasperries)
Or just make my bed…
The Art of Isolation within Isolation:
Everyone needs just a few moments of Me-Only-Time. Yet how and where does one find that quiet corner of privacy when everyone is locked within the same space? I mean, how silently can one scream in family frustration?
Take a deep breath and just find that perfect quiet spot, even if it’s in a cupboard (without a washing machine) or a box (preferably, very empty).
And when someone sits desperately alone in their much needed quiet, empty spot: let them be. Respect their space.
The Art of Good Memories or else a Good Book:
Once that perfect, quiet spot is found, then find your good memories. If there is no solo, then gather the gang and play The Good Memories Game… you will be amazed at what others remember, and what you chose to forget. And all the while, creating amusing memories during this terribly testing time.
Remember, good is key here. And if you really are alone, or have no good memories whatsoever, then find that thick hardback and start turning pages… after pages… after pages.
Everything right now is not as it seems.
How to fight isolation while wanting one’s own space? How to keep the noise in the quiet and find quiet in the noise? How to keep contact without the contact? How to keep keeping busy with doing the same crap while still managing to find it funny? How to keep laughing in a very sorry situation? And, how to keep the love going when you hate being locked up?
Just remember… “THIS TOO WILL PASS”.
Stay Sane (sort-of).