When Life Throws You A Curveball

It is not often that I write personal blogs but felt I needed to capture certain moments in my life during the pandemic. It’s taken me some time to gather my thoughts and write this post, so here I go………

It all seemed to be going smoothly at the beginning of the new year – 2020. We had been busy organising our first Bollywood style event with MND Association to raise funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease. I cannot come close to sharing with you the sheer excitement we felt preparing for this event, as it was the largest we had ever undertaken.

However, the excitement soon turned sour as sadly we were forced to cancel. This was due to the hurricane of Covid-19 and as some of the attendees had Motor Neurone Disease, we couldn’t expose them or others to this deadly virus. But this was the right thing to do as the whole nation came to a complete lockdown not long after.

Trying to absorb all the Covid-19 information being bombarded at us became quite frightening, especially with a vulnerable person in the house. The first few days were challenging but we got into a routine which worked quite well.

I set myself tasks to read my books that had been collecting dust in the bookcase while my husband completed his latest thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. I also learned how to bake cakes such as Carrot and Victoria sponge cake leading me to become more adventurous with my cooking as it’s not a strong point of mine.

We as a family had embraced a comfortable routine which left no room for boredom, as I was fully aware of the negative impact the lockdown could have on our mental and physical wellbeing.

There was a strange feeling in the air because although we were all living in an element of fear, there were some benefits of the lockdown. The crime rate had dropped dramatically, the traffic noise and pollution in the air was lower due to no cars on the roads and no planes in the sky. The environment as a whole benefitted from this lockdown globally. The stars at night literally shined so bright in the clear sky as we eagerly looked up to watch Elon Musk’s Starlink Satellites- a train of lights in the night sky.

The birds chirping now became louder in the morning and evenings and the local people began to smile and acknowledge you, as the government had allowed us one form of outdoor exercise a day – going for a walk down our street.

Then there was the clapping every Thursday at 8pm to thank our NHS for all their hard work in putting themselves in the front of line of this war against the deadly virus.

During this pandemic I received an email from ‘OWL’ our local neighbourhood watch community asking for volunteers to help the elderly in our community. I noticed there were no volunteers on the list from my road so replied immediately offering my services even though I had a vulnerable person at home. I had my children, all above the age of 20, to help at home, so felt I needed to do what I know best and go out helping to care for others in my community.

I had collected a small but perfectly formed list of people to help – three people over the age of 90 and two over the age of 70 who were unable to collect their prescriptions and food. Having to venture out with my home-made face covering and disposable gloves was scary to be honest, but the thought of helping the vulnerable dissolved my fear.

There were many volunteers in this group who carried out various tasks for the vulnerable and the NHS, which was amazing! I would like to thank Vanessa Rousseau for organising and reaching out to volunteers to help the vulnerable. To acknowledge our support we were all given a beautiful certificate by ‘ Three Rivers District Council’ and ‘W3RT Community & Voluntary Services’.

At the same time the unfortunate rise in job losses were taking place all over the country and many women were now considering learning new skills in order to get back in the workforce to support their families. I had been approached by some such women and asked to advise on what skills they needed to enhance their chances of landing a job.

Through my experience I identified key skills that could be used in any industry and therefore set about creating short courses for them. Other women contacted me wanting to start up their own businesses and I found myself creating simple websites and teaching what I had picked up about the use of social media by hosting weekly webinars.

In a nutshell the challenges during this pandemic made me realise how all the experiences in my life (good & bad) had empowered me to survive through this dark time and become a support system as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.