• Gayleen Hodson

Are we really all in the same boat?

There’s no doubt about it, coronavirus has swept through all of our lives and brought about a raging storm. The phrase that ‘we’re all in the same boat’ has been used so much in recent weeks on social media, but is this really true? No. We’re not all in the same boat, we’re in the same storm but enduring it in different boats.

Some of us may be in a speed boat, racing through the waves and storm as if it’s no feat, others may be in a large cruise ship with others on board for the ride, some may be frantically paddling a one-man boat, exhausting themselves. And then there’s those, who are barely hanging on to the life raft, getting battered from every angle.

We are all experiencing Covid 19 differently

We are all in such unique and different situations from each other. We are all experiencing different emotions, in different ways. We may not feel that we can open up to each other and explain how we are really feeling through fear of judgement.

We might even be feeling guilty for these thoughts and feelings, as we are well aware that someone else, we know are wishing for the very thing we have.

Some of you may remember this time fondly, as a time that you were able to go into your own bubble, to “pause” the hectic lifestyle that you had become accustomed to. To spend quality time with those around you, to catch up and spend the time exactly how you wanted to.

Whereas, some of you may be struggling. Wishing for time to speed up so that we can all get back to our “normal life”. You may feel more emotional, and perhaps be suffering with getting a full night’s sleep due to a busy mind. For you, this time won’t be remembered as fondly, but as a testing time that you simply couldn’t wait to get through.

Is busyness a virtue?

For some of us, we may have an abundance of time. Perhaps you have been furloughed, or work has slowed down almost to a halting grind. You may have used the first few weeks embracing in a hobby or catching up with to do tasks that you had been hoping to do for a while. Some of you may have been using your extra time to paint, do DIY and home improvements. You may feel envious of those with more on their plate currently, wishing for the opportunity to keep busy and active. Or you may have those feelings of guilt if you know someone who is flat out busy.

Others will be experiencing time very differently. Although there isn’t the opportunity to travel to work, or to clients, or really anywhere, you may still be struggling for spare time. Perhaps work has been busier than ever, or if you’re a Mum, the sudden presence of your Children being there 24/7 is exhausting you. Even the schools are sending out different amounts of work home with different expectations. You may be craving spare time, or time to do some DIY or to just sit down to relax in the garden with this glorious weather we are having.

Again, if this is you, you may be feeling envious of those with more time on their hands. You may not want to hear of those with an abundance of time that they’re ‘bored’. You may wish to be bored right now! But you may also feel the guilt of admitting how exhausted you are, that you are working round the clock. You don’t want to show how busy you are, through fear of upsetting those that are wishing for busyness. Some people would love to be so busy to make this time go quicker with more distraction.

The company we keep will be vastly different too

You may be with family, either immediate or extended. Or you may be alone, with a four-legged (or other legged) friend, or just be with your partner. We will all have different company around us.

Even this brings mixed emotions, some may be envious of those with more, whereas others may be envious of those with less. There is no telling what the best situation is- because we really are all different.

What we choose to do with this time

Regardless of what boat we may be in, or with what time and company we have, it boils down to what we choose to do with this time.

Some of you may feel challenged and are using this time to pursue new courses, improve your skill set, network more or take up a hobby. Perhaps you are tackling that DIY project! But some of you may be feeling defeated. You might just focus on this one day at a time, or even feel hopeless.

We can only choose for ourselves how best to spend our time in Covid 19 lockdown. Only we can decide whether we busy our free time with online courses, or networking groups. Or whether we take some time out to enjoy the simpler life. When this is all over, there may never be a time where life is like this, where the hectic lives around us are bustling and buzzing. We can only choose how we wish to utilise this time, how to embrace what we can.

There is one thing we should all be doing

Regardless of the situation we are in, regardless of what boat we are in during this unprecedented storm; we should all be kind.

Just be kind. Always.

We may never know what someone is truly feeling or experiencing. Through our own tinted glasses and experiences, we may only be able to relate to how we are feeling. For example, if you are wishing that things would slow down right now, so that you can catch a breath and someone tells you how bored they are, this may evoke negative feelings in you. However, we need to realise that that person is absolutely justified in feeling that way and expressing it. They are not in the same boat as you. The same goes for those in the opposite situations.

Even if you struggle to relate, or don’t know what to say- because let’s face it, these are not normal circumstances or situations, so it is almost impossible to give advice- just choose to be kind. Be compassionate. Be patient.

So, just remember, be kind.

No matter which boat we’re in, we will get through the storm and being showered in kindness certainly will help.

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