WOAH.  Really.  The world is in a state of change isn’t it?  I am going to say that I am excited about these changes – unknown as they are – because we needed a shake up, right?  I am sure you are all being bombarded (mostly self-inflicted) with social media posts, the news, the radio, whatsapp groups posting fake news….it is SO overwhelming all of it.  I heard a song of Elton John on Wednesday, and the words calm surrender spoke to me:

There’s a calm surrender
To the rush of day
When the heat of a rolling wave
Can be turned away
An enchanted moment
And it sees me through
It’s enough for this restless warrior
Just to be with you

I’m finding more peace in the lockdown than I did before, because it feels like it is now a collective effort, and everyone has the same set of rules to adhere to, whereas before, social distancing was a bit vague.  Am I allowed to have my domestic worker come to my house, should I go to the gym, should my kid go to a friend’s house?  And now, very clear.  Stay at home.  Don’t jog, don’t cycle, don’t go to the park, don’t walk your dog, keep your children with you.  Crystal. **

I’m certain we are all finding new and inventive ways to just be at home.  Dave and I are not massive “go-er out-ers” really, so for us, staying in a lot isn’t really a problem.  I know that he has had some challenges with working from home, i.e. adding children into the mix (welcome to my life).  We’ve been in our own lockdown for almost two weeks now since Dave was considered high risk because he had traveled to the UK and Ireland.  And we’re still ok, and ready for the next 21 (or more) days!  I have been out a small bit, but really just to do the shopping, collect any medicines and deliver any oil-related accessories.  Ok, and I might have gone to Seattle a few times.

I have a few suggestions to share for what we can do to slow down and look after ourselves in this time – things that I am doing and plan on doing.

First and foremost….please look after your cell phone.  If you drop your phone and crack your screen now…..on Day 1…..you’re in poo Days 2 through 21…right?

Ladies, now is the time to give that hair a break.  Wash less often.  No heat styling, no styling products.  Go and sit in the sun to dry your hair…novel idea.   There are plenty of toxin-free styling products we can use in our homes!  Pinterest is your buddy!  Do an olive or coconut oil mask.  And this is a great recipe for a natural hair spray:

1 cup water (use boiled cooled water or filtered)
4 teaspoons sugar OR 1 tablespoon salt

Dissolve the sugar/salt in the water
Add some essential oils if you like – lavender, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree – all good for hair.
Pour into a spray bottle, and there you have it!  DIY, toxin-free, affordable hairspay.
I usually wash my hair and let it dry naturally and then throw on a bit of hairspray and scrunch it up.
Make sure to use clean bottles etc as bacteria can grow.  You can also keep this in the fridge.

What else?  Give your nails a break?  Oil them up – again, plain old olive/coconut oil rubbed into the nails will do the job.  Essential oils that help with nail health are lemon, frankincense and lavender.  Painted nails lifts my spirits, but I am trying to do a day or two of plain nails to give them some nourishment.  I never ever let my children paint my nails, because the expert nail-painter in me dies, but if this is your thing, let your child paint your nails – they love it!  I might suggest they paint daddy’s nails?

The other thing I have committed to doing during this time where I have more time…is to really work on that discipline thing with my kids. (insert hand over face emoji)  Heaven help me.  We all fall into these bad habit traps while we’re so busy with life, that our kids have become spoilt right under our noses!  I am horrified and ashamed to say that my children shout for me from the TV room to bring them water.  WHAT?  No more.  After 10 days, they now know that they have to come TO ME if they want something.  And if they’re coming for water…..lord help them.  Ok, Ruby I do still help, because she is too short to reach the taps, even on a step….  This is just one small thing I am trying to change in our house – there are dozens more.  Taking your plate to the dishwasher, scraping it off in the dustbin first – all the obvious things that they should be doing, but sometimes we let slide.

They ARE watching a little more TV, but I think we are still balancing things well, and I refuse to feel guilty about this.  We have our ups and downs where I am so very irritable, and then I realise that if I just stop and give them my attention for an allocated amount of time, it keeps them happy for a while after.  This is not easy to manage by any means.  For example, I have been at this blog all morning and it is nearly 2pm and I’m still not entirely happy with the content.  Sigh.  I am going to blast it off into the www anyway!

Currently they are washing my car.  I’ve just been to check on them and have to remind myself that this is less of a car cleaning exercise, and more of a something-to-do exercise.  Let’s just say their car cleaning skills wouldn’t cut it with the likes of my dad.

My next paragraphs (which I’ve deleted and re-written a few times now) were about people less fortunate than myself, but I don’t even have the words for how I am feeling about people in hostile homes, people without food, children without parents right now.  I can only hope that the channels that have opened up now to help these people are working, and that the right help is getting to the right places and people.

Love you all, keep strong, reach out, stay steady.

**As an addendum to that paragraph, I am hearing on the news that there are a lot of people out and about in JHB, just a regular day – so maybe not so crystal clear then?  We have even had someone in our neighbourhood out walking their dog.  …..big sigh…..