There’s no denying that the world is in a crazy place right now; people are losing their jobs, panic-buying toilet roll, and being advised to stay home. Schools, restaurants and various other facilities have closed, and the stock market is in chaos.
This whole situation feels very surreal; I keep half-expecting to wake up from this bizarre dream. However, this is all very real, and to be honest I don’t think any of us saw it coming. I’m doing my best to stay calm and not worry too much. But with the news constantly pumping out negative stories, that’s easier said than done. I’ve often found myself feeling weighed down with negativity. This whole situation is hard, I’m worried, stressed, overwhelmed, and feeling uncertain. I’m a planner; I like to have an idea of what’s to come, and right now there is so much that is unknown, I hate it.
We’ve had to cancel our upcoming trip to New York, and my family’s visit from England. We don’t know how long it will take for everything to return to “normal”, so we aren’t sure whether our trip to England this summer will go ahead, which has me feeling rather deflated. I know lots of people that are cancelling trips, weddings etc, so I doubt I’m alone in this.
As an expat I worry about how this situation could drastically change all of our life plans in an instant. If you’ve read my other blogs, you’ll know that we moved to America from England seven months ago – you can read about it here if you haven’t already. Thankfully James’ job here is fairly secure as he works in healthcare. However there is a small part of me that wonders about the “what if” scenario every time I read of someone losing their job. Our visas are completely dependent on James’ job, so if he were to lose it, we’d have to move back to England much sooner than anticipated. It’s something I’m trying not to think about, as it’s an added worry that I don’t need right now, but it’s there in the back of my mind.
I also have an increased sense of guilt about not being able to physically support/help family members during this time. I’m incredibly grateful for the internet, now more than usual, for allowing us to keep in touch, and to support one another emotionally.
With all the negative feelings circulating at the minute I’m doing my best to look at the positives. I’ll be the first to admit that with life often being so non-stop, I don’t always take the time to slow down, and enjoy all of the moments that I should. My days are currently free from errands that involve leaving the house, so I have more time to drop in on the girls’ play, to do more activities with them, and simply enjoy being with my family, even if they’re currently driving me crazy haha!
This strange time has not only given everyone a bit more free time, but prompted them to reach out to their loved ones. Our friends back home have been arranging online meetups, and it’s been lovely to spend time chatting and playing games with them at times when we’d all otherwise be engaged. We’ve also had lots of video calls with our families, and have been keeping in touch more via messages. It’s a little sad that it’s taken a situation such as this to push us all, but I’m thankful nonetheless, as I know how easily things slip your mind when you’re busy.
It will also be really interesting to see the long term effect this has on the world. I’m curious to see if it brings about any shifts in terms of the way businesses operate; with so many people currently working from home, I wonder if it’ll prompt more companies to implement it on a permanent basis. I also wonder if there will be a greater emphasis on automating as many services as possible, and what that would mean for our society. Lots of things to think about, and in some ways it’s exciting to think that this could be a significant moment in terms of how the world functions.
Overall, despite the worry and stress of trying to navigate this situation, I feel incredibly grateful for everything I have in my life. A situation such as this certainly puts all of life’s small worries into perspective. Whilst I’m looking forward to coming out of the other side of this, I’m thoroughly enjoying living in my sweatpants and soaking in all the time with my babies.
I hope you’re all staying safe and well at home, or work. Let me know how you’re feeling/finding everything during this crazy time.
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