The writer Maya Angelou said: ‘Don’t bring negative to my door’.
She’s right. There’s nothing like being optimistic. Being hopeful and confident about the future is undoubtedly a bonus in life.
But sometimes it is easier said than felt. A friend of mine will no doubt be on the phone in the next month to say, “Oh dear, the nights are drawing in, aren’t they?” as the sun sets around 9pm rather than well after it. Nothing like being upbeat!
When we look back and reflect on the impact of COVID and then look ahead, we are certainly aware of sadness and tragedy, positivity can be found in many ways.
Many have found new hobbies and interests - reading, gardening, baking, cycling, walking, for example.
We have a new vocabulary: ‘self-isolation’, ‘social distancing’, ‘Zoom’, ‘lockdown’, plus various new items we need to have at hand every time we venture out: facemasks and sanitiser. How life has changed.
For some in our community of Thurston, accepting things are different, being optimistic and getting back to what we may come to regard as ‘the new normal’ will be straightforward. But for others, it’s not so easy.
A radio interview with a psychologist last month was revealing. She said, ‘Don’t be hard on yourself. If you don’t feel like going out yet, are wary of accepting an invitation to a meal at a friend’s or neighbour’s house, or don’t at the moment want to join in a group activity you went to in the past’.
And the implication for those whose invitation gets turned down or those noticing the gap in the attendance at the club or activity is give it time. For the moment that is part of the new normal for a significant number of people.
Set against the background of how hard people have worked in so many sectors, health, schools, services to keep us safe, fed and well for example, the worry some carry about getting back into society, the life of our village may seem ‘small beer’. For others it is not.
The schools, the shops, the church, the library, the venues where we can meet, the services and councils we use – all have behind them dedicated people who are there for us in our village. And we know, when we need them, the specialists like doctors and other health services beyond our village will always respond.
So, as COVID becomes part of our way of life rather than inhibiting what we can do, thank you to everyone who has stepped up in their work, volunteered, and now continues to help out in our village.
You kept things going and are now thinking how to provide for the future. Thank you for ‘not bringing negative to our door’.