Ah, there’s nothing like a global pandemic to force a few new habits and learnings upon you.
Did you find yourself forming COVID coping activities?
It impressed me no end how folks took on new challenges and distractions.
I got up to a bunch of lockdown mischief myself to occupy my mind and stay hopeful.
My top COVID capers were:
I’m not the craftiest of person but I’m surrounded by folks who are, so by osmosis I’m channelling all the craftiness I’ve learnt from them.
Creating is hands-on meditation and a sense of self-expression.
So far, I’ve become a Master native foliage forager, and taken to assembling blooms each week. I upgraded this skill to a Peninsula Wildflower Workshop on Zoom, with farm-fresh picking arriving at my door the day before. The results? An escape from my thoughts and my mundane, into the beautiful work of booms.
I’ve also made smudge sticks, facemasks, home care face products, macrame, Christmas decorations and videos. DIY Corona Craft Care for the win!
Besides baking for a dinner party that I’m certainly not hosting anytime soon, I’ve been learning and revisiting a tonne of new dishes, expanding the family repertoire. That’s had a boost with homegrown ingredients, library cooking workshops and recipe shares with friends and family. T
The iso-sisterhood of baking, and I’m grateful to others for sharing some top-shelf recipes.
Apologies to my growing waistline, but we’re having a bit of fun! And Remote schooling Tuck Shop mum duties have stepped up a notch.
I’ve done the sourdough, the meatless meals, the keto tip-toe, now I’m embracing food bowl gardening – my mushroom farm is my pride and joy, and the snow peas are a green thumb’s joyful smile maker.
Ooh boy have I been writing. Half manuscripts, complete works, kids book ideas, journals, microfictions, poetry, sentences that roll around in my heads and though my BIC pen.
Now that the world has shut down my writing mind is hearing every single voice and is itching to tell the stories.
So, I’m giving in to that. I’m currently celebrating having written 170 daily microfictions.
I’ve got Peninsula Writers’ Club and Writers Victoria to thanks for that incentive, as well as competitions like Write from the Hearts Microfiction, Queenscliffe Writers Festival, Kill Your Darlings submissions and the Australia Locked Down call-out for creatives.
Working through a hefty booklist, I’ve enjoyed re-visiting old favourites and meeting new characters and landscapes. Books are my safe place and my escape. Check out my Goodreads list and my Facebook album for my latest reads.
I didn’t just read to myself. I also read to others.
I collaborated with the Seawinds Early Learning Centre at our local community centre to deliver Online Storytime for pre-schoolers.
This lockdown partnership was a tonne of fun selecting my favourite children’s picture books from my bookcase, reading them aloud on weekly Facebook Live Storytime sessions.
These were all Australian copyright approved children’s pictures books shared in a fun and animated way to families. I knew that young children would be missing out on day-care and library storytime so I thought this would be an accessible way to encourage ongoing reading.
Kids need books and need to see adults modelling how to enjoy books. I loved turning the page on a new experience, and channelling my inner Play School presenter!
Granted, some of my 5km radius is water-bound (I live next to an ocean), but I still have a weave of wild tracks through nearby dunes and paddocks at my boots. So, I walk, for the 60 minutes allocated session per day, bathing in fresh air, though a mask, mostly alone (our restrictions as I write grant only one other person).
It’s filling me up, getting me moving.
The downside of this though as someone living with RA is that it’s difficult for my feet/joints to always keep up when my brain wants me to go further. But I show up on the sandy tracks, moving forward to new views. I’ve been using Map my Walk to record my meanderings just for the heck of it.
The plus side is it also gets my writing brain flowing and stories growing too.
So my Notes app on the phone reads like a War and Peace novel.
Zoom has long been my friends, and suddenly the world has woken up to it too. The learning opportunities have increased tenfold. I come from good life-long leaner genetic stock, so I’m certainly not letting the team, down now.
I flipped the closed for Business shingle to read Opening for Learning.
Breakfast Literary Virtual Tours, Lunch Time Writing Prompts, Evening Teenage Resilience sessions, middle of the night International Online Copywriting Conferences. Not-for-profit and Donor Acquisition talks and How To Create A Compost workshops.
If you had told me I would know so many new skills in 2020 I would have told you there was no time for all that. Suddenly I had all the time in the world. Ask me how to make a sage smudge stick – I’m an expert now!
That's my Pandemic Playbook
And, as the end of October brings Opening Up liberties, I’m proud of the moments I made and opened myself up to.
I hope I keep space for some of these new ways because they really were worthy.
I’d love to share the COVID TIMES of other’s I admire with you too!
You’ll meet super Victorians worth meeting and supporting.