To get straight to the point - sometimes the worst shizzle in life can result in the best shizzle.
In the words of George Washington, “the harder the conflict the greater the triumph.” There’s cliche after cliche about how the toughest times in life can actually help define us. When you’re in the middle of that personal hailstorm though, it’s hard to see the bigger picture, right?
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Coronavirus got us thinking. When words like self-isolation, quarantine and social distancing started to become a reality, most of us feared the worst. There is no question that, for many, the worst did eventuate. This has been a herculean challenge; a tragedy for tens and tens of thousands. But for many of us, it’s also been a real, unexpected surprise.
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The initial panic of coronavirus
What if we caught it and the whole family was isolated - was there really enough food in the freezer to last 14 days? How would we be able to look after the kids and manage work commitments? Would there even be any work? How on Earth could the grandparents cope without seeing their favourite little nippers each weekend? How do you homeschool kids that just want to be outside in the sun mucking around with their mates? Are there enough Netflix series to help see this through? What do you mean only one outing a day? Can any of us really live day in, day out with our partner? What do we need more - toilet paper or plain flour, and just how much is considered hoarding?!
Admit it - very few of us could see the immediate sunshine to this story. But then the strangest things started to happen...
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Time has always been here, it’s just that coronavirus forced many of us to find it again and to remember what it’s like to have some to enjoy. All of a sudden we could spend quality time with the kids, not just rushed time in transit as we ferried them from one extra-curricular pursuit to the next. We suddenly had time with our partner instead of meeting like ships passing over the breakfast table. We had time to give to the important relationships in our lives.
Returning to our roots
Many of us began to reconnect with old, lost ways. Baking, gardening, sewing, drawing, reading, making music. So many wonderful, rich pleasures in life that we’ve always said
we’d get around to doing one day, yet have let so much else get in the way. TV shows like The Repair Shop became a go-to, feel-good hour as we rediscovered personal treasures and their priceless value, irrespective of how much they were actually worth.
Putting people first
It was Colonel Captain Tom who reminded the whole of the UK, and indeed the world, what really mattered during this crisis. Looking after our people and looking after our health system. We rallied, we clapped and cheered our support, we thanked those who were acting so selflessly. We appreciated others, and we were proud to wear our gratitude on our sleeve. We realised this wasn’t about us and our self-importance. Frontline and other critical skills workers aside, it was about small sacrifices (the 75th anniversary of VE Day helped us contextualise ‘small’) for the safety of others more vulnerable than ourselves.
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From having and doing, to ‘being’
Gone was the need for the latest must-have frock or make-up. That hard-to-get table reservation at such-and-such a restaurant, it was now cancelled. The dreams of the summer holiday that we were counting down the days to, it was dashed. Even major events like anniversaries, weddings, birthdays - we had to find other ways to celebrate or commemorate. Shopping turned into walks, eating out turned into home cooked meals and nights out at the pub turned into time spent in the garden or cosying up in front of the TV. We realised that we could do without so much stuff and that if diary dates or appointments were missed, well… they could all be rescheduled. We realised it wasn’t so much about the having or doing, but finding other ways of being when our having and doing had changed.
What conflict has led to triumph for you?
So when the coronavirus cloud surprised us with its silver lining, we thought about other life-shaping experiences and how so many of them are in fact sheep in wolves’ clothing. We reached out to members of our Edible Health family to find out what challenges in their lives have led to some kind of positive epiphany.
- There’s Dr Doug, who talked to us about his experience during lockdown.
- There’s Mark, who developed a superbug in hospital that almost cost him his leg.
- There’s Sophie, who entered the workforce all guns blazing only to be part of a company liquidation just months down the track and then facing furlough almost straight after recovering.
- There’s Hebe, who for just under two decades, has fought multiple chronic illnesses and the cynicism that goes with them.
They’ve all suffered setbacks of varying degrees, and they’ve all hit some considerable lows. But what they share is a recognition that, despite it all, they got through it tougher, mightier and with a whole load of insights.
So we hope you enjoy this series, ‘When Our Worst Leads to our Best’. If you’re experiencing a setback or a challenge and you need to speak to someone, there is always help available. With charities like Relate, Alcoholics Anonymous, The Samaritans (but to name a few) it’s amazing to know that there are people out there who know, care and understand how to find the best shizzle from your worst.