Silver linings

I’m a Pollyanna by nature and sure, it’s already been such a long year and I might not be feeling so cheery in a month, but at the moment I’m feeling positive about the following:

  • Chatting with friends on the phone. It feels like the eighties – calling people and wondering if they’re free for a chat… and they are! And then an hour whizzes by, and you are reminded how ace it is to have long chats. Related: I bought a super phone headset – it was an extravagance but given that I’m about to put in a lot of phone time, I decided it was an OH&S investment.
  • That #ALLTHEENTERTAINERS have made so much available online. SBS OnDemand have loads of stuff (they always did, but they seem to have added even more); the Victorian Arts Centre is streaming all sorts of performances (I watched this excellent cabaret about the life of Edith Piaf yesterday); the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is delivering 26 days of comedy, and the list goes on and on.
  • That I can live stream the Stella Prize announcement.
  • Tackling some household tasks that have long needed attention – I’ll be putting my recipes in order; sorting some photos; having a general cleanout; and if anyone tells me that they’re bored, I’m sending them into the garden to remove dandelions from the lawn (this job needs a long and sustained effort).
  • Our tournament of board games and that it’s jigsaw puzzle central at our place (we almost always have a puzzle out but I imagine we will increase the work rate over the next few months).
  • Plans for our own Not-Quite-Eurovision night – we’ll wear our Eurovision tees; watch all the clips, and hand out our points.
  • Daily meditation sessions – I’m trying to get the kids into the habit.
  • Getting a response from the LitHub crew about what to read next (I’m obviously not short of books but I am curious to see what they recommend). For the reord, the three books I listed as ‘most recently enjoyed’ were The Dutch House by Anne Patchett; Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe; and The Bright Hour by Nina Riggs.

In the middle of the chaos and uncertainty, what are yo feeling positive about?

13 responses

  1. Woo hoo, Kate, I’m a Pollyanna too. Love this post.

    (My last week or so, unfortunately, has not been easy and filled with the things I’d like to do, due to major – and quite coincidental – elder care issues, but I think we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and that maybe next week, I might start to feel as though I can work out how to LIVE this different time. However, in the little free times I have, I have put in place a neighbourhood WhatsApp group, a reading group WhatsApp group, and trying to work out Zoom for a Friends organisation for which I’m secretary. That has felt good versus 10-12 days ago when it was all about discussing and negotiating cancellations, says Pollyanna!

    • That’s how I feel. The big picture is still uncertain but we know what we have to do (stay at home!) and now, as you say, we can all learn how to live with that.
      I hope your carer challenges settle down and you can find a new way of managing those as well.

  2. I am not a Pollyanna by nature, but not too pessimistic either. I fall somewhere in between, and I am struggling! I am lucky that I was able to continue my job remotely, and that my kids school was moved to remote learning, but my daughter’s daycare was shut down and working, school, and watching her has been so stressful and I’ve been doing a bad job all around. We had a two week trip planned to Denmark and the Faroe Islands, which we had to cancel, but the airlines refused to refund our money (which, I understand is their policy, but I cannot travel within their new required time frame AND I don’t want to pay summer airfare prices to Europe (and I couldn’t fly even if I wanted to)). We’re still trying to negotiate something, and I try to be grateful that we can afford to take the loss, just overwhelmed by everything happening at once. But we’re healthy enough at the moment, which is what counts.

  3. Lovely post Kate. I’m still feeling anxious and my work is hectic but I have taken some positives. As you say, those forever deferred household tasks will get done, and I’ve finally started daily yoga practice! Stay safe & well 🙂

  4. This is a very nice post and I am impressed that you can be so optimistic. I am in the middle and feel overwhelmed with the speed with which all the changes and restrictions took place. (I am in California… Santa Barbara area.) And I feel like a yo-yo, up some days, down on other days. Actually I have been surprised that so many people are handling this well, looking for ways to deal with it. Making lists of good reads.

  5. I’ve already watched two live prize announcements (Windham-Campbell and Rathbones Folio) and attended two virtual book launches and a music gig. Dare I say, I’m actually feeling more connected to the (especially literary) world than ever? And I don’t have to pay £30 per time to get into London.

    That’s fun that you’ve sent off for Lit Hub’s personalized recommendations. Let us know what they say and if it seems spot on. That was my approach to a School of Life bibliotherapy appointment the other year: I don’t need more books to read, and I’m very good at finding books on my own, but still I was intrigued to see what she’d pick for me, and some of her prescriptions have been great.

  6. My positive things are that spring has arrived where I live and so I’m able to work in the garden and take my kids hiking every day. And also Mo Willems’ Lunch Doodles which my 5-year-old loves and have inspired her to make her own videos too.

  7. Good on you, Kate:)
    There are silver linings, but my heart aches for people who are struggling. I know how lucky I am to live in a street where people are nice and help each other. Each day when I venture out with the dog, we smile and wave and chat from the other side of the road, and if I could have one wish, it would be that I wish young people would take out their ear-buds and take a moment to chat with some of the older people who live alone and really value a brief moment’s interaction.
    OK, enough chat, I have harvested some red capsicums and am making red pepper pesto, just slightly handicapped by not having any pine cuts…

  8. Lovely post. So nice to think about the good things! I absolutely agree about the phone calls — it’s such a throwback feeling. My (adult) daughter was telling me about spending all night on the phone with a friend, and it made me remember all those nights way back when, when phone conversations were so essential.

  9. Love that I can live stream Stella. It’s looking like the ABIAs will be the same. I can’t usually go to any literary events, there is never anything for those who live in remote outback towns, but all of a sudden I can attend so much. I went to three book launches last week in my lounge room!
    I also bought a new monopoly set, we only had the junior version. I settled on The Walking Dead edition in the hopes that the teens will think it’s not so lame.
    I’m also excited about a new blog series I’ve begun. These are grave times but I agree with you, there are still silver linings here and there.

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