Just what do you do...
once you've deep cleaned your house?
If you have been watching our Sunday services online, and I sincerely hope you have, then you will have seen me taking part in those too.
In “Life before Lockdown” I am a trampoline coach. I also work 8 hours per week for Aberdeenshire council, teaching pre school gymnastics. I have been doing that for over 30 years and love it. So, on the 19th March, exactly 2 months ago, like many other people we stopped working. I say we, as my husband John, is a trampoline coach also. We had been due to go down to Telford the next day to a British competition but this was cancelled as all competitions have now been for the foreseeable future.
John and I had such busy lives, we worked Monday to Friday and then often spent whole weekends at competitions either in Scotland or around Britain. When you add in squad training dates and Performance Pathways for our gymnasts, we certainly had a pretty non- stop diary planned right up until July. Then, after the British Championships we had planned to take a week's holiday, followed by coaching summer camps for the rest of the holidays right up until the schools went back. Busy, busy, busy!
But like so many others, our lives have completely changed. Our pace of life has altered significantly, and we love it! Yes, we miss coaching and most especially we miss seeing our gymnasts. Normally I would see about 200 young people during my working week - now it is none, or at least not in person, that is. We had no choice in the Lockdown and I understand that it is for the very best reasons that we need to stay isolated, but I think it has also made it easier to accept that life had to change.
Like everyone else, deep cleaning of the house was my first task. Washing anything that even might have been dirty. Tidying, and clearing out cupboards - but with the tip and all charity shops closed we soon realised there is little point in clearing out with nowhere to take unwanted items. Gardening has been both joyful and endless and there are still jobs to be done! We have been so blessed with the weather. Then there has been the daily soup making, and the planning of our meals all now cooked from scratch as there is time to do that. Zero waste is absolutely paramount, and the sense of satisfaction in using up all leftovers is astounding. Baking - not something I normally do - is included several times a week now and along with that eating! I think I might have gained a few pounds during this time of lockdown, is anyone else with me in that?
Alan asking me if I would help with Church services was hugely welcome and I have really enjoyed being able to do so as it has been a real privilege to be able still to connect with my Church family in this way.
Missing seeing family and friends is probably the hardest part of this time but we are so grateful for all the many ways we can communicate with them and blessed that in this day and age we can see who we are talking to, not just hear them. My mother at nearly 89 years of age has discovered how to use Facetime and zoom which is just fantastic. She is going through this lockdown alone and knowing I can see her and we can talk whenever we want to is just so wonderful. My siblings and I share a catch up about our mum along with little snippets of our lives daily just now which is just so special. We have missed family weddings, 2 so far, birthdays and other special occasions but like every family in the land, plan a huge family get together when we are able to do so.
There are many horrendous sides to this lockdown and I do know how lucky I am. I know that this time has taught me to be more appreciative of so many different aspects of life. I hope I remember the excitement of being able to buy toilet paper, flour, pasta, sugar - to name just a few. I pray I remember to truly value the ability to see all my family and friends when I choose and plan to spend more quality time with those I love. I must remember to slow down in life, when the option is there once more to fill my diary with work, I hope that I won’t take it and that I carry on enjoying this slower paced but very rewarding way of life. We live in such a beautiful place and I am enjoying God’s creation immensely and seeing things anew with fresh eyes, each and every day. I feel truly blessed right now and I thank God for the kindness shown by so many to those in need. God's love is clearly seen in action and work every day, helping me and so many others through this extraordinary time in our lives.
Well just what did you do after you had deep cleaned your house?
I have not even got on to my daily exercise - I think I will leave that for another Blog - if Alan allows me back again, as that has actually helped me through this time more than I could ever have imagined.
Melanie Stewart Wills
Banchory East Church
A journal of the life of the East Church through our members and congregation.
We post on Tuesday and Thursdays. but not always every week.