Grateful for simple things in harder times

Let’s be honest, the situation we’re currently living in was unexpected and hit most of us hard. All our lives we hear about wars and illness and poverty, and in our minds those are things that happen in remote countries and to other people. The island seems to enclose us in a sort of protective bubble and over time it’s maybe allowed us to believe that we are immune from harm. Despite this I’m usually the first one to complain about the limitations of this country, but now that this happened and I was forced to think about it, we seem to be quite lucky when all things are considered.

It’s hard spending all this time at home, constantly in the same environment and surrounded by the same people, and feeling like you want to strangle them perhaps a little too often… erm moving on… I truly miss meeting up with friends, going for a drink or a coffee, possibly even just a quick one after work which turns into a 3 or 4 hour chat and laughs and a little snack and a few more drinks… you get the hint!

I miss attending rehearsals but most of all, I miss hugs! I thoroughly enjoyed rehearsals for The Addams Family Musical (the last production I did before the world decided to give up on us). March however was the month I was meant to start getting my social life somewhat back on track and meeting some friends whom I haven’t seen in ages, seeing as all my free time was spent in rehearsals for the past few months. Now that I have time to spend with them, I’m stuck at home… the irony!

These past couple of weeks have hit me a little harder. They were meant to be filled with activities that I’d normally be really looking forward to. ZfinMalta was meant to premiere A Midsummer Night’s Dream and although it’s work, I really enjoy being at the theatre throughout production week and feel incredibly proud of the dancers and their achievements during the performances. We were meant to have Arts Council Malta’s Arts Awards, Easter and family time, and birthdays. This weekend in particular, I was meant to be watching my nephew, who turned 9 yesterday, perform his first ‘big role’ in Matilda The Musical.

Thank you Neil Grech for capturing this special memory

This post however, is meant to be about gratitude and appreciation for the little things, which we usually take for granted. This surreal chapter in our lives did come with some perks. Here are a few things that transpired out of this period that I am incredibly thankful for:

1. Freedom to schedule my day as I please

I still have to work… quite a bit. I’m not the sort of person who works the normal 9 to 5, 40 hour week. I’m very career oriented and dedicate my heart and soul to my job because I truly love what I do and am incredibly passionate about it. Being at home has given me the freedom to start working as soon as I get out of bed, as long as I have my gigantic mug of tea next to me (or cauldron as my mother calls it). This gives me the opportunity to take mini breaks throughout the day to fit in whatever else needs to be done. Whether it’s a little exercise (which is incredibly needed right now, and which I only started again since I’ve been home.. ironic much?), laundry, cooking, etc. It seems to be an improvement to arriving home at about 7.00 p.m., too exhausted to do anything else.

2. Creative Productivity

Whilst it is quite normal for me to have a longing for creative and artistic projects, the urge is currently stronger than usual. Perhaps I usually have more ways of expressing myself, or maybe it’s just boredom getting to me. I’ve spent most of my free time over these past few weeks reading and writing (with a little bit of singing on the side)…. and hey I started this blog thanks to this staying indoors business, so yeah, I’m thankful for that too. I’m making a conscious effort to limit my TV time and series binging, as much as possible.

3. Doggy cuddles

A little baby girl who I decided to call Pixie came into my life 2 years ago. I won’t get into too much detail because I think she deserves a post dedicated strictly to her (and I’m sure she’ll be mentioned in quite a few posts). I don’t get to spend enough time with her usually because I’m not home enough. Now I have her constantly next to me, getting extra special cuddles and kisses throughout the day. How can I not be thankful for that?

4. Spending time in nature

I think I’ve gone on more nature walks over the past couple of weeks, than I have in the last few years. I’m learning to appreciate the little things and the beauty around me. I’m even appreciating the amazing work insects do for nature, in spite of my terrible phobia of the monstrous creatures. I still get into a terrible frenzy if one comes close, or worse still, ‘lands’ on me, but I’m trying to learn how to live with them around me. Apparently the insects never got the social distancing memo… I find nature very calming, so I’d love to spend more time among the grass and the trees. This leads me nicely to the next point….

5. Photography

It’s not like I’m some sort of expert photographer, far from it! I have an incredible appreciation for the true masters who create beautiful art with a camera, but I do love being behind a camera. Whether it’s helping out in TV or film production or if it’s just me taking snaps of this, that and the other. Whenever I go for a nature walk, I love taking my camera with me and try to capture a few snaps of whatever strikes my eye. It helps me look for beauty in the simplest of things, and I think that now more than ever, that is incredibly important.

What about you? How have you been filling up your self-isolation / quarantine days?

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