(they Long To Be) Close To You
With the COVID-19 pandemic we can be anything BUT close to you! It was however while watching the YouTube clip performed by the Couch Choir of the song Close To You, ( originally performed by The Carpenters in 1970) that got me thinking about what we miss most as humans. The performance recorded earlier this year brought both my husband and I to tears. It was sung by over 1,000 people from 18 countries around the globe, and was the brain wave of the founder of Pub Choirs and Choir Director, Astrid Jorgensen. These events have been joyous and fun, filled with music, laughter, camaraderie and community.
There’s the magic word – COMMUNITY!
I believe what everyone is missing due to self- isolation is exactly that – community, as humans we long to be close to each other. We miss the communities we belong to through work, sport, social clubs, pubs, family gatherings and social events with friends – weddings, birthday parties, anniversaries, christenings and even funerals to farewell loved ones with dignity.
So, what do we do? Many of us find ourselves in a “no man’s land”, and we are confused, frustrated, angry, sad, disbelieving and hoping this is a bad nightmare and we will wake up tomorrow and everything will be “back to normal.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic follows its own curve, we are all at one of the major points in the Change Curve:
- Shock = Change which happens so fast and on such a monumental scale induces MAJOR shock and much of the world still can’t believe it is happening and continues to worsen!
- Denial= This can’t be happening. It will all be over soon – by Easter and then we can all go back to normal !
- Anger and fear= Angry about what’s been lost and fearful of an uncertain future
- Grief= Realising what is being lost,for what was and never will be again
- Acceptance= The reality of accepting what is good and what is not so good, and how we must adapt; testing and exploring what the changes mean
- Commitment=Embracing the changes and rebuilding ways of working and living. This is the only stage at which adapting to change is rewarded.
Ask: “Where am I on the curve?”
What I am learning from self-isolation is that we are all on a roller coaster of emotions, and none are wrong. It just is. And while “This too shall pass”, it won’t passsoon.
Here are my learnings to date:
- It is okay to grieve. I have grieved deeply for the loss of so much and on so many levels
- It is okay to feel fine and be coping one minute, and feel like absolute crap the next minute
- It is okay to say “I’m not okay” because it’s authentic and honest
- I miss my children, grandchildren and family like a physical ache, and long to see and hug them (family community)
- I miss my team all working together in our funky office, which we will no longer occupy going forward (work community)
- I miss my Balmain community and the neighbours who have become my friends (local community)
- I miss my friends, here and overseas, who add joy, laughter, kindness and generosity to my life (social community)
- I miss going to the gym, yoga and sporting events (sporting community)
- It is okay to do nothing. Being still, calm and embracing the breeze, the sounds of nature and simply listening to our breath, without doing anything will gently soothe our minds and our hearts.
What I am focussing on daily, and I encourage each of you to do one or more of these:
- Stop overthinking and stop being constantly busy. Enjoy the slower pace
- Just be, be still, enjoy your own company and the quiet moments
- Reflect on what and who is important to you, and why
- Identify what you can change and let go of that which you have no control over
- Be present, in the moment, mindfully living each second; grateful for all that you have
- Listen and observe more when with someone, or family members at home, talk less
- Work out what you need to do to reset and bring greater energy, satisfaction, joy and gratitude to your life and those whose lives you touch (virtually) every day.
Empathy, authenticity,honesty, resilience and kindness will get us through this crisis, and we will be different, and life will be different. And remember,self-care is not selfish. Take care and stay safe until we meet again.
If we can support or help you in any way including actively listening, please contact us through our website at www.avrilhenry.com.au or on (02) 9818-1892.