It´s Saturday 15th March – a beautiful sunny day. I have just met my daughter Jade (who at the time was 35 weeks pregnant) for a lovely healthy breakfast. It´s my day off, so I plan to enjoy it to the full. There is talk about lockdown and quarantine, etc., but people are laughing at those in the supermarkets who are wearing masks. I move on now to catch up with my friend Coral for a couple of beers and tapas. We sit at a busy pavement café enjoying the sun, watching the world go by. Then after lunch, I meet up with my boyfriend Florin to go for a hike up the mountains among the nature. It is hot, but so peaceful….just perfect! We have dinner, and watch a movie, called “The Flu” – wow! It seems a bit surreal, and maybe a little farfetched. My boyfriend goes home. As it approaches midnight, the police are telling all the bar and restaurant owners they must close NOW! My daughter and her husband have to close their bar in Marbella – just like that! BAM!!!
Since that day, everything has changed – some things for the better, others not. I am sure everyone has their own stories, difficulties and triumphs. For me, it has been like this…
The first couple of weeks, I thought this is OK, time to catch up on all the things I didn´t have time to do, a chance to learn new things, spruce up on my Spanish and lose weight. I always try to look at things in a positive way, so I threw myself into it. Started a good routine;
- Getting up early and running up and down my 42 external stairs
- Logging in and doing 2 or 3 workshops back to back
- Building websites
- Virtual PT
This was pretty much how I spent those first two weeks. I had no time to dwell, and at this point, we didn´t really have an idea how long it was going to last.
I was then asked to help with one of the local charities to cook meals for those in need. I gladly accepted the challenge! My daughter always says I never know how to cook for just 2 or 3 people, I always make too much – well cooking for 40 is a whole different ball game! I actually got really stressed. The day after, I felt quite ill and upset and low. I spent two full days in bed just crying for no real reason. I seem to have a low day at least once a week now, although not to that same extent.
After those first two weeks, the amount of kindness from people offering classes, seminars, workshops, moral support etc became actually quite overwhelming. However, nature enjoyed their freedom, and we saw more and more “wild” animals on the streets. I live on the mountain, and have seen lots of different animals out for a stroll. Through social media, we saw the best and worst of people too, and we began to see some people publicly breaking under the stress. I count my blessings I have plenty of indoor and outdoor space, but I know many who don´t. For me, I found when I started to wobble, I either needed some quiet time just for me to switch off, or a zoom call with my daughter, Coral, or my friend Arlene in Scotland. It was also very hard not seeing my boyfriend. He is my rock, and makes me laugh and smile no matter what. To help me avoid getting to that point, I have found that a routine helps. It gives me purpose and a reason to get up in the morning. I also have a range of “positive statement” t-shirts, which actively makes me think which statement I want to choose for that day. It keeps me focused.
Just over one month into lockdown, my daughter contacted me via zoom. She has to go for a planned Caesarean Section the following morning. This is particularly hard as it is my first grandchild, a daughter! Marc, her husband is not allowed into the operating theatre due to the Coronavirus. He has to wait in the next room. Sofia Patricia is almost one month old now, and I still have not seen her in the flesh or had a chance to hold and cuddle her.
I can see the various new cases and mortality rates continuing to rise throughout the world, and have no idea where this will end, or indeed how it really started (that´s another blog). But now the Government are starting to introduced phased in “getting back to a new normal” plan. I don´t even know how this is going to work either. I am frightened it is all happening too soon due to pressure from various areas. There are many questions unanswered and many steps and financial provisions still not in place. I worry about my daughter and her bar. She has a high rent to pay due to the location, and 6 people in total full time to pay (including her and her husband). How can they possibly function if they can only use 30-50% of their outdoor space and still pay all the same outgoings as if the bar was as full as it normally was at this time of year. For me, my work involves dealing with holiday makers in hotels around swimming pools. This doesn´t just depend on when Spain relaxes rules, it is also dependent on other countries relaxing theirs and allowing travel. I don´t see this happening until August at the earliest. These are the thoughts that go through my head on a daily basis…. This is when I need to stop, sit back and re-focus. Nothing I think or worry about will change this. Whatever is going to happen, will happen. In the meantime, I am thankful for all the help and support and for all the new skills I have learned and been able to put to good use, and for all the new people I have met “socially and through business” online.
Monday 11th May hopefully sees the start of some more changes. Hopefully then I will get to see my daughter and granddaughter and my boyfriend. I don´t think this extends outside the municipality, so for my other friends – we will continue to meet up on zoom!
Copy and past the link below and enjoy “What a difference a day made!”
If something I have said has resonated with you, then please leave me a comment!
PS I still haven´t had time to catch up on all the things I didn´t have time to catch up on before!!!
Lorraine Williamson x