I say this at the bottom of the post, but if you don’t make it that far down, for whatever reason, then know that if you too are feeling overwhelmed and confused with the world right now, we actively encourage you to use the comment box on this post to write down your thoughts and feelings. This post is purely based on my current confused mind about everything. I’d like you to read it, but I understand if you too are just wanting to vent. We’re here for it.
What a whirlwind the past 3 weeks have been, right? It seems like only yesterday that we were planning our weekends, popping to town, and (this might come as a shock), going to the shop and buying exactly what we needed. Ashleigh suggested I write my thoughts down – so apologies for the rambling of this post, normal content will resume shortly I promise, but hear me out…..
I’m not one to get overwhelmed by situations – I guess it’s one of the few things that I will recognise about myself as a “good” trait. I’m quite pragmatic, it’s something that’s helped me in many situations over the past few years, both in my personal and professional life.
But recently, the past couple of days, I’ve really felt things hit me a lot harder than they normally would. And I’m sure I’m not alone with this feeling.
I went to do a basic food shop yesterday – we’d run out of fresh food, so needed to get the basic supplies. Of course, the shelves were totally empty. I managed to get a bag of chicken nuggets and some chips. I’m grateful for that, but it’s hardly a healthy diet to live off. It was at this point, standing in the supermarket, looking at the empty shelves, and a handful of elderly people (who should be inside anyway) with trolleys filled with whatever they could find on the shelves (a tin of kidney beans, some crisps, and a box of jaffa cakes), that I suddenly felt totally flushed with emotion.
It was then that a sense of helplessness hit. I guess the reason that I’m quite pragmatic is that I’m a firm believer in having a positive mindset. There is always a way to do something – always a way to make something happen – always a way to fix something. I’ve built a career for myself off saying “yes, let’s make that happen, we can do it” instead of being negative and saying “It’s too hard, too much work, we can’t do it”. But yesterday, standing in that supermarket, genuinely thinking “how am I going to feed my family”, but more importantly, “how are WE going to survive as a nation if people keep doing this?”
I got back in the car and just looked around me – the car park was emptier than normal (thankfully, people are starting to take the advice to stay in). My mind went in to overdrive. What if we can’t fix this? What if we’re in isolation for months? Who that I know will catch it, and god forbid, who will die from it? I could feel myself tearing up (yes, men can cry too, nothing to be ashamed of). I put some music on in the car, and drove home.
It’s only a short drive, but it was enough for me to get a grip! My parents were over looking after Grayson, so when I got in, I asked them about my Gran, who’s in a care home. She’s in total lockdown (thankfully), so hopefully in a safe place. She’s in her 90’s, so is really at risk from this. She doesn’t quite understand what’s going on – and we’re not allowed to see her to explain. She can’t hear very well, so phones are useless. I’m going to write her a letter, and pop some pictures in it of Grayson. She’ll appreciate that – and it might help her realise that we’re not doing this through choice – we’re doing it through absolute necessity. Is there anyone you can write to, just to let them know that you’re there for them, and that things will be ok?
This morning, I woke up as normal and went down to have a shower. I work from home, I have done for nearly 2 years now – so all things considered, my routine and daily life really hasn’t changed much. I won’t go to the gym, but I have some weights in my office that I’m using to keep things going, but other than that, my work continues. I’m grateful for that. For those that don’t know, I work for Liverpool Football Club – it’s my absolute dream job. I’m lucky enough to have been to Anfield to watch more games than I can even remember now.
As I went to get in the shower, the radio station cut their backing music, and made quite a moving announcement about us all coming together, as one world, and that all across Europe, all stations would be playing this one song to unite us all, in times of need like this.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
If you’ve ever been to Anfield, especially on a Champions League night, you’ll appreciate just how powerful this song is, when it’s sung by 50,000 people, with pride and passion. It’s bought a tear to my eye on many occasions, mostly on the day my Nan passed away – I was 300 miles from home, so couldn’t be there to be with my family straight away, so I went to the Liverpool game that evening – my Nan was a huge football fan, she’d have been furious if I’d have missed the game. When “You’ll never walk alone” was played, I was overcome with emotion. She’d have loved to have been there singing it – even though she was a Norwich fan. In my mind, that night, those 50,000 fans were singing it for my Nan.
This morning, hearing it on the radio in a totally non-football context, really got to me. Again, I’m not ashamed to say that it bought tears to my eyes.
I feel better for writing this – and I actively encourage you to take a minute to check in on those around you. Write letters, send texts, ping an email. Just check that people are ok, and that they’re being sensible. We’re all overwhelmed by this – it’s a total unknown, and we’re entering rough waters. But, hold your heads up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark – remember, you’re not walking alone.
Please, if you feel like I feel right now, use the comment box to just brain fart your thoughts – no judgement. We need to support each other, and if you’re concerned or upset or overwhelmed, or alone and worried, please reach out. We’re all in this together.