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Lets appreciate, not languish


There is a lot going on – we are weary from lockdown, and we are tired. Languishing, blergh, malaise. All words we are using and mostly, the best we can come up with in conversations is “I’m fine, I’m bored but I’m hanging in there!”


But maybe it’s time to practice some appreciation each day – get out of our bubble. Sure, we can’t go to a bar and spend a silly amount on a glass of wine. Sure, we can’t take a holiday or drive to a festival or be live at a conference. Sure, we can’t go away with the kids or give them a break, home schooling is driving us nuts and we no longer need to iron a shirt to eat out because we can’t. We can’t go to the gym, or the pool or the ballet or Ikea. Pants are mostly optional and working from home is death by zoom.


Appreciation is a tool which might get us through. We can get out and walk, we can participate in some way. We have something to eat, we have a job and a roof over our head. Our daughters can have an education, our sons are not carrying assault rifles or semi-automatic guns at 12 years of age. We have access to vaccines, incredible medical care and if we get sick, we can go to hospital and be treated, rather than dying in our homes in agony.


A quick scan of what’s happening in Haiti, Crete, Afghanistan, India, North Korea, the Congo makes one realise our challenges are somewhat insignificant compared to others. We have incredible freedoms here we take for granted, and losing those freedoms makes us realise how much we do. An unnamed friend of the author talks about being locked down in a very large house in a fancy suburb, with a load of money in the bank and two expensive European cars in the garage. She talks about not being able to go to the snow, get away for a weekend in the country, take an annual interstate break or go overseas this year.


We are locked down for our birthdays and we can’t go to weddings, parties, even funerals. But we need to appreciate what it is we have, rather than what we do not have. There is so much we’d like to do – but we need to remember our own languishing in the big scheme of things may well be something others around the globe dream of having… enough to eat, a house powered by electricity, enough money to go and spend at the supermarket to feed us for a week or buy what we want online. We can pay the mortgage or the rent, we can own a car, we can educate our girls and be confident our boys aren’t child soldiers.


We are struggling in our own way of life, and we don’t want to diminish anyone’s experience. But ours is a privileged existence. As we start to emerge from languishing and hit our vaccine targets, let’s talk less of anguish and being just fine. Yes, its groundhog day and we have lost some freedoms, but the lives we are still privileged to live in lockdown, and with curbed freedoms are the lives others can only dream of.


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