We moved here nearly two years ago. We busied ourselves with making changes to create a cosy home – having cracked roof tiles replaced, installing carpet, buying some furniture, arranging spaces to suit. In the garden, I discovered what had been planted and added a few of my own.
When we arrived here, the area had been in drought for some time. A mere two months later, the fires were to the east, north and south of us in the state. We were always safe but had to deal with periods where we were confined to the house because of heavy smoke. We were grateful yet felt the grief of people who dealt with the fires and those who lost everything.
Then we had heavy rains that, fortunately, extinguished the last flames. Flooding ensued and caused trauma again for people in already damaged areas. Our local creeks and rivers flooded.
Following this came Covid. It was only March – five months after we moved here. There hadn’t been an opportunity to set up a routine in our new community. I had joined the local quilt and garden groups but we had only one meeting of each before everything was cancelled for most of 2020.
Covid continues. 2021 has been just as disruptive and, tragically, life-threatening for so many people. Another reason to worry.
Focus on the small things
I’ve been anxious the whole two years. I can’t control any of the bigger things that are happening to us so I’ve tried to take comfort where I can and focus on the small things. That’s why I write about gardens, quilts and books. They are tangible and give me pleasure and I hope you enjoy them as well.
I can’t deal with toxic positivity – the belief that people should put a positive spin on all experiences. That’s not a truthful way to live. Who wants to live in a make-believe world?
Are you feeling anxious and discombobulated, too? It wouldn’t be surprising. I’d love to know how you’re dealing with all these uncertainties, so please leave a comment.
We’ll get through it – I know that. So please come back to read my future posts. I promise you more stories, gardens and quilts!
Monica Johnstone says
I agree that the toxic positivity is a sort of denial dressed up as mental strength. For those who acknowledge their trauma, it feels rather aggressive to have a chipper unreality asserted to you. It does seem healthy to say that the situation is real but it is still okay to love what and who you love and focus on those.
Yes, it seems a dismissal of an individual’s feelings. No-one should presume to tell others how they ‘should’ feel.
Lynn Hewitt says
I am sorry that your dream of country living has not lived up to expectations because of lockdowns. Hopefully, as organisations return to some kind of normality, you will find your niche. You live in a lovely area, and there is usually a lot happening there. I enjoy your posts of flowers and patchwork. Hang in there!
I’m not disappointed at all Lynn. It’s just been a higgledy-piggledy time. Hard to know what ‘normal’ is like here so I’m making my own version! 😀
I hear you Erica- I moved to a new area where I knew noone at the end of 2019- my mother then had a stroke which necessitated a lot of backand forth so I put off joining into things until I got her settled into a routine ( and myself) did one volunteer thing at the local gallery and then it was covid. The only person I saw for months on end was my mother- as I knew no local people. Then an easing of restrictions and finally a chance to get a bit more involved in volunteering at the gallery and explore joining and artists co-operative and then my mother had a fall- so more back and forth and then covid again. I seem to have met more local people via zoom than any other way….however it has also been a very odd but welcoming experience. The local people whom I have met have been very friendly and very welcoming- in a sense this place is of many migrants and everyone is new in some way. The artists co-operative has been a good experience and I feel lucky to have access to such a great resource and to be a part of it and have done workshops in order to meet people. In a sense I feel a little like I have found my tribe which I never actually expected when I moved here. I did have a health incident recently ( part of the reason I moved here was access to a large regional hospital in case and also easier access to Melbourne) and the reason I moved here was tested and came out in a positive way. I also found a wonderful little parkland close by which has proved to be the right antidote for not travelling as much as I usually do and became the subject of a small exhibition I am having at present. There has been anxiety and feelings of discombobulation but I have also been pleasantly surprised by what is here in this community. I feel as if I have landed in some way and look forward to getting to know my community better.
That’s a great outcome Dijanne. I’m glad you have found your tribe – it makes life more enjoyable to bond with individuals with a common interest.
I’ve found online opportunities have opened my world. I’ve done Zoom workshops I would never have been able to attend in person, so that’s been a benefit.