A few weeks ago, having spent 4 months working from my bedroom, I decided on a whim to give my bedlinen a makeover. It hadn’t featured in my video conferencing background, but spending every day staring at it on top of some cancelled travel plans left me yearning for something different.
Passing the window of a homewares store, my eyes lit up as I saw the perfect ensemble. I rushed inside (ok, pausing to hand sanitise on the way) – but quelle horreur – on closer examination, the combination in question featured CHARCOAL coloured sheets. I left in dismay…. we all know sheets should be WHITE. Crisp, beautiful, snowy, pristine WHITE. Hotels know this. Hospitals know this. I know this. How could I possibly get a sound night’s sleep on anything else?
My cancelled travel plans were important to me because this month marks 10 years since the most confronting day of my life. I wanted to pause and reflect on how much life can change in a decade. In the immediate aftermath of that particular day, I had to comprehend things, explain things and act in ways I never thought possible. Everything got flipped upside down. Uncertainty became normal. I had no control over the direction things were heading. I felt lost, helpless, lonely and ultimately I became anxious, depressed and just felt constantly dark. Outwardly I kept moving, inside I was slowly shrivelling up and disappearing into irrelevance.
Thankfully over the following months I had the support of good friends and professional help, so drawing on my reserves of resilience, I began to live life again, building up my confidence. Many of my fears and anxiety about my new world started to dissipate. I tried new things out of my comfort zone, like surfing, and discovered the joy of early mornings at the beach. I became a dog parent, experiencing unconditional canine love. I found that whilst entering new social circles is uncomfortable, occasionally you meet new people who just get you straight away – you’ve been circling the sun on a slightly different orbit for years, and then events suddenly put you on the same path.
There is no doubt that 2020 has been a year like no other. A global pandemic has wreaked havoc on all areas of our lives in ways no one foresaw. Constant news updates adding to the stress and anxiety we are all feeling; our freedom restricted in ways our society is not used to. Against the backdrop of all our usual variables at home and work, the under tow of change is so strong it threatens to pull us under. But out of this, I do feel the strength of human evolution, ingenuity and connection daring to drag us up and keep us afloat. Even in our privileged position in Australia, we have adapted in ways we didn’t think possible 6 months ago. Life seems slightly more precious, and we are taking a lot less for granted.
A trip to the homewares store is a privilege not available to all right now, with or without face masks. And it was the perfect time to challenge my own beliefs and try something out of my comfort zone. I turned on my heel, returned to the store and made the salesperson’s day by purchasing the entire set of bed linen. It looks spectacular. And I slept superbly.
Even in the midst of the weirdness that is 2020, it pays to keep your mind open and your Eyes Up.