The damp chill of a few rainy days gives way to the comforting warmth of the sunshine as it breaks through the heavy cloud cover, burning it off to bring in a clear sunny, freshly washed afternoon. My coffee offers soothing warmth from within as the bright light radiates surprising heat upon my skin.
Upward the sky becomes more blue than grey. The breeze jostles the last few clouds upon their way across the horizon while rustling the treetops in a dance of appreciation – both for the life-giving rain, and now the clearer sunny weather. The garden around me is almost an iridescent green punctuated by a rainbow myriad of flowers… not a still life painting, but rather an idyllic real life backdrop to soften the less than idyllic realities of our every day.
Trying to juggle a home and work life. Trying to prioritise between family and money. Trying to find a way of managing that limbo between the end of the school day, and the end of an average work day.
To those parents who successfully manage that difficult time of day, I take my hat off to you. Quite often the cost of that after-school care can negate the cost of working longer hours, but not utilising that option can also – understandably – cost your employment.
Now that I’ve made that statement, I think I’ve clarified my own solution… this global pandemic of COVID-19 has forced upon us an unprecedented situation in which we are being forced to re-evaluate, juggle and re-balance our entire lives. Some income is better than no income in a time where one might easily become the other.
It is Monday morning, the beginning of a new working- and learning-from-home week. As I make our coffee and note the coincidental combination of coffee cups that came from the cupboard this morning, it dawned on me how important and far-reaching the concept of teamwork has become. Our lives, more than ever, are a series of interlinking teams, much like a chain driving a series of mechanisms that need to work together smoothly in order for the machine – for life – to move forward.
In our household, our lives before COVID-19 were much more independent of each other. My partner would leave early each morning to deal with the chaos of traffic enroute to the office, and I would deal with the chaos of getting the children to school and organising the household. Then between after-school activities and my partner arriving home later in the evening, we were all so tired and frazzled that we remained relatively independent of each other through until bedtime.
Now we often enjoy a morning cup of coffee together, and sometimes a snack during the children’s break times. My partner is helping our highschooler with her work, as I supervise our primary school boys. The children also have to be mindful of their father in his office, so as not to disturb his work either.
We have all become members of each other’s teams without even realising it, and we are all working together surprisingly well – the machine is running smoothly and our life is moving forward.
Unprecedented times call for unprecedented cooperation, and a deeper level of communication has been the key. I will miss this special team we’ve become when life gets back to “normal“.
Today I find myself having a morning coffee musing about an afternoon’s reminisce over a Reisling… Well not quite, it was actually a very tasty Sauvignon Blanc.
Catching up with friends is like a sprinkle of sugar on a doughnut, like the proverbial icing on the cake. We might still otherwise enjoy that doughnut or piece of cake, but it is the dusting of sugar or lick of icing that makes it extra special. Just as moments with friends can be the spice of life.
I feel so incredibly fortunate to know that I have pinches of the “spice of life” scattered all over this spectacular country – literally north to south, and east to west.
It is truly comforting to know that regardless of my location or situation, I will always be able to take a moment and enjoy the company – either from a distance or face-to-face – of someone who really gets me. A family member or longtime friend. A recent association or “mother in arms”. A colleague or casual acquaintance.
Significant (if not always long-lived) friendships come unexpectedly and from all walks of life. Somehow at that moment, something connects you… A common purpose, a common need, a common interest.
Never ignore an opportunity to positively interact with someone. It feeds the soul, and becomes the spice of life!
The lorikeets are twittering, the air is cool, the sun is warm and the sky is clear… what a perfect day to have a great day!
Anticipation is in the air… Anticipation of good things to come.
A family member will be having a long awaited medical procedure, our international “daughter” will be embarking on the adventure of a lifetime, beloved family members are arriving for a visit, the weekend is not too far away, a family gathering is planned, and the school holidays are just around the corner!
Every day we still have to deal with the mundane – necessary chores, a home and garden to maintain, meals to prepare, bills to be paid and work to be done – but the anticipation of all the positive in our lives makes life worth looking forward to.
Sometimes we have to convince ourselves to look forward with positivity. Sometimes things happen that rip the fragile tapestry of life to shreds… but it is that incredible unshakable human quality of hope that allows us to weave those threads together again into a more beautiful, rich and ever evolving tapestry. Our own unique work of art coloured with the light and dark, highs and lows of life experience.
As I sip my morning coffee, I muse about where these next few threads I weave will take me…