“Our doubts are traitors,
and make us lose the good we oft might win,
by fearing to attempt.”
― William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
To be honest this is not going to be a blog about how to thrive in Lockdown or manage anxiety in times of extreme stress. This is simply going to be a few things I’ve noticed about myself, others & a few things that might help you as they have helped me.
Take what is useful & leave the rest but in any case I hope this post finds you well & healthy.
3 weeks ago everything about my life changed overnight, with the necessary restrictions on movement and gatherings of people I decided to close my Studio & classes, now I’m not someone who hasn’t learnt to roll with the punches that life throws but this change happened at such speed I barely had time to process it. I was forced to furlough my Administrator, by far the worst part so far, I saw my mum briefly for a walk in the park, that was 3 weeks ago & I haven’t seen her since. I packed the car with my companion animals and overnight took up residence in my Cottage in Hampshire, less people, more space but more importantly my husband has an office where he can retreat from the normal feline, canine, Pilates teacher chaos. One of us it seems needs to remain calm.
Determined to keep classes going I took on a level of computer technology in truth I remain uncomfortable with but liaising with my friends in New York definitely made me feel less isolated & having a husband with a comfortable knowledge of technology definitely proved invaluable. I got stage fright, barely slept, knowing that if I didn’t pull this off, 20 years building a career would simply vanish overnight, and with it an ability to pay my Mortgage but something remarkable happened, a wealth of supportive, kind & texts, messages, emails began to come in. As a teacher its easy to forget the impact that your classes might have, people have always come to me for a variety of reasons but this support (and sometimes noticeable absence of) has proven a game changer.
Its well documented I never wanted to be a teacher but somehow decisions led me to here & suddenly I became acutely aware that in times of upheaval & fear we look to connect with others, perhaps its reassurance of searching for a sense of solidarity but I have never felt more connected to the people I teach. Life will never be the same but perhaps in some ways that will be a positive thing.
And so as I have finally got into a new rhythem, having spent the last week battling through the fiecest back spasm (yes Pilates teachers do get them too) & fighting off one of the worst bout of Glandular Fever I’ve had in a long time I’ve come through the other side, true, I’ve developed an obsession & addiction with gardening & birds, not in a survivalist sense but in the energising, inspiring power of Mother Nature who just keeps reminding you that life returns.
I have more time to spend with my oldest cat who is in his twilight, I’m ever hopeful he remains my Peter Pan but grateful for every moment I get kept awake by him when he forgets where he is (the hallway)
I have structured our weekends to include as much Theatre, music & Art as possible, just as if we were home. I have loved the productions streamed by the Royal Opera House, The National Theatre & yes Andrew Lloyd Webber, I’ve loved the dance pieces being shared on Instagram from some of my favourite dance companies around the world. It isn’t the same but it has to be enough
When this chapter comes to end end life will not be the same, I hope we learn that we spend too many hours in the office, that we seek too many distractions because we don’t want to confront how we are feeling. That we take better care of those in society isolated, afraid & vulnerable. I hope we never hear another politician use the NHS as a weapon, that when the applauding for key workers stops our Government shows just how invaluable all these workers turned out to be. I hope we recognize the amazing benefit the earth has got from virtual shutdown of travel, she is being given a breathing space, lest we forget her lungs are our lungs.
But mostly for the time being I hope we all continue to keep our distance, just for a little while longer, that we all stay well & healthy as do our loved ones.
What you do, matters.
To me & to you.