Thursday, 23 April 2020

it’s the little things....

It’s been two weeks that I’m without any symptoms.... ooooops... I forgot the “previously, on Nina’s life” for those who don’t read this blog as often as they should (shame, shame... but do feel welcome and loved)... well, I’ve been sick with what looked dangerously like this bug that’s going around... the one that everyone is talking about... and I lived to tell the story 😊 I’m out of bed and into the kitchen/living room/office. Yep. At this point it’s difficult to know whether I work from home or live at work. My precious separation of personal vs professional life has gone out the window... even though I try to hide work stuff when I’m done working... But, ok, I have accepted 2020 as the year that’s going to teach a control freak like me to live, and strive might I add, without any control whatsoever over absolutely anything!

And, after more than a month of complete isolation and misery, yesterday I went to work! Meaning, I actually physically went to the building that houses my office! I absolutely needed to in order to be able to continue to work from home. And I did it. Every precaution taken. The skin on my hands is sore from washing and disinfecting them more often it can take and I maintained social distancing completely. That was not difficult, the place is a ghost town. The weather was fabulous, as fate would want it we are having (missing?...) the best spring I can  remember and just to get properly dressed and be out and drive and have a destination and a purpose, even if it was work, on a day like yesterday, was such a treat! I felt human again! I felt I was getting back my optimism (yes, even someone like me, loses it in times like these...). I felt... joy!! Pure joy!!

Now, it was not much, I know it. I’m not delusional. But I figured, if I don’t celebrate the little things and wait for the major blissful event to happen, I might be left with nothing... so, I choose to praise the little things, like going to the office for an afternoon on a sunny day during a pandemic that has isolated us from practically everything and everyone. I choose to see these little things as “better than shoes” and share with you. I hope you can agree on the merit and I hope you too can spot little things that give you joy and  celebrate them 😉

Saturday, 28 March 2020

social closeness...

I’m sick. I know, I know,  this is hardly the way to start a post in a blog that claims not to ever put out anything negative but, it’s true, I am sick and I thought I just say it and get it out of the way.

Now, I live in a country where testing for Covid-19 is... well... let’s say scarce. Looking at the list of symptoms this damn virus causes, from WHO, I would say that things don’t look exactly fabulous for me. However,  and this is the most important thing, my symptoms are mild! I’m not in danger. I have been, of course, in absolute isolation for almost ten days now (not that I was really out and about the weeks before that), I’m not coming into contact  with anyone, I’m staying in bed watching “The Blacklist” (yes, Red is my new crush... duh...), drinking a lot of fluids and monitoring my fever which thankfully stays low.

And as I live through this, certain that this too will pass, I’m thinking hard to find something positive to write about, in this whole... well... pile of excrement the world has ended into... and it’s hard, you know, it’s hard to find something positive in a time of a pandemic, social distancing, isolation, fear, sickness and death... even I, the pathological optimist, find it hard...

And then, my phone chimes! That’s it! I realise that in the last two weeks my phone has been on fire! WhatsApp has never been used so much, mostly sharing of hilarious videos with my friends because, surely, we can joke about everything (and we should, especially at a time like this) but also for my amazing friends to check up on me every few hours! Isn't this wonderful? Isn’t this “better than shoes”? You bet it is! It seems to me that the social distancing has brought us closer together! I’m on the phone with my loved ones 4-5 times a day, texting does literally not stop, I have contacted and been contacted by people I haven’t spoken with in a long time and, goodness, what a blessing this is! We are all housebound but we are not alone! We are all in this together! And we will stay together, while maintaining our physical distance, and we will come out on the other side! As long as we stay kind and we care about each other and for everyone, this stupid bug cannot win!

So, stay calm, stay kind, think of others (especially the ones living on their own), send a text (or ten...), keep in touch! This is it, people! It’s now that we are showing who we are! Let’s be proud of what we showed now when we look back at this time, later this summer, seated on a nice terrace, sipping a G&T with our buddies 😉

Monday, 16 March 2020

being kind...

This post is being written at a time when The Netherlands, my host country for almost two decades, is in a sort-of-lockdown due to the Coronavirus. It is written at a time when #staythefuckhome is trending everywhere in social media and has popped in front if my eyes at least 11 times this weekend... and, I did not like it. And it got me thinking. So, here goes.

Just to be clear, I’m all in favour of staying home. It’s absolutely imperative! It’s Monday and I’ve been home since Friday evening, when I came back from work with my laptop and files, ready to start working from home. Officially, I was not sent home. I was advised to work from home. And I’m doing it because it’s a damn good advise, although I have no desk or proper chair and I will be struggling with tiny screen on my kitchen table for the days to come. But it must be done and I’m doing it. And I will not be going to the supermarket, I’ll make do with what I have at home, a couple of weeks without fresh veggies will not kill me. And I will not be seeing my friends. I will be “seeing” my sofa and my companion will be Netflix.

But while I do all that, I’ll keep being kind! I will not be ordering anyone to f@cking do anything because it is exactly at times like this that we must maintain our civility to each other, advise and explain rather than succumb into fear mongering, contain our aggression which stems only from our anxiety and not allow our fear to turn us into rabid animals in our cages that fight each other via Facebook! The only thing we have to fear is fear itself and as intelligent beings we should start using our intelligence!

Yes, many of us will get sick. And some tragically will die but, for goodness sake, try to imagine yourselves in the 97% which will survive instead of the 3% which will die... you are not that special anyway and neither am I! Get some perspective! Some optimism never hurt anyone! And while you are being cautious and prudent and optimistic, strongly recommended given the circumstances, also try to be kind! Try to be compassionate and carrying and nice and helpful. Most of us, by far the most, will survive the virus... and we would like to go out for a drink with some friends to celebrate it! Let’s make sure we have friends left 😉