It was March 2020 at an Airbnb in Rye on the Mornington Peninsula Victoria when the Prime Minister announced that a virus had spread across the world and Australia was shutting their borders. Schools may close, businesses will be shut and retail will be open for essential shopping only. What was going on?
We then went into lockdown and I took it real hard. An amazing trip to America was planned for May and I had hoped to get out of Australia but as the time got closer there was no way anybody was going anywhere. Everything was getting crazier.
I let my work know that I was available for any work they could give me which meant I might have to learn a new skill but I was willing to do that. At this stage no one really understood what was happening but we just did what we could.
The days I wasn’t going into work I stayed in my pyjamas because who really was going to see me anyway. Everything was becoming blurred and I did the same thing every day. Got out of bed, stayed in jammies, showered late in the day and back into jammies. I couldn’t go anywhere or see anyone besides those who lived with me.
Earlier in the year, I had been to a woman’s conference and they spoke about excellence in all you do. Deliver excellence, be excellent in all you do, feel good about being a woman. Was I giving excellence? Was I responding well under pressure? Was I respecting myself? Was I making myself a priority? Was I making people a priority?
No, I wasn’t and it had to stop. I was letting these hard times dictate who I was. When we went into a further lockdown I realized I had the wrong attitude during the first lockdown and I wasn’t going to this time. I became too relaxed and then I didn’t want to do anything, everything became harder, it all blurred into one and I was getting into a rut.
I needed to be consistent, not give up, push through. I needed a different mindset and be thankful for things in my life and show gratitude.
- I was thankful I still had a job.
- I was thankful to get out of the house and into work to see all my workmates.
- I was thankful that back in January we let my daughter, her husband and granddaughter all move into our house to save for their own house.
- I was thankful that two days a week I was the carer for my grandson because my son and daughter in law are both emergency workers.
So many things we could be thankful for instead of wallowing in negativity or self-pity. We just need to take a moment in our day to think about even the small things that help us get through life and this pandemic.
I decided it was time to look after me. I gave myself facials once a week and had a bath with music blaring, candle burning and relaxing for at least ½ an hour. I reached out to my friends through zoom, a walk with one buddy on Saturdays, a phone call to make sure my family interstate was doing okay. We have given our neighbours limes and lemons off our trees and in return, we have had key lime pie and lemon cheesecake along with free bread once a week. My community has widened, it might not look like it used to but it’s a new community. How is your community? Has it changed?
On Fridays, I send a funny video to those I work with and take baked goods in as it feels great to give to others. Research shows that giving to others has a positive impact on our physical and mental health. Winston Churchill once said “we make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
Being in lockdown in Melbourne for months has taught me many things but my top three that have changed me forever are:
- Giving the simplest generosity is always significant and always worth it. It shows people that they matter, that they are valued and that someone is thinking of them. To see someone’s face change just because of our kindness is incredibly rewarding. No wonder it is better to give than receive.
- I am so thankful that I have a job, a job I love. I work with an amazing bunch of ladies who draw the best out of me. I now see the best in people and I want to bring this to my workplace. I now see creativity flourish and positivity shared and it makes working with these amazing girls such a pleasure.
- The enforced lockdown has taught me it’s time to rise up, enjoy new innovations and learn new skills. It has pushed us mentally to read more and think more, understand more and imagine more.
How can you be the change in your environment? What small changes can you do that make a difference in your community workplace? We need each other as all lives matter!
Known to always be wearing a smile, Deedee is a warm and welcoming fitter at Brava. Always going above and beyond for every customer, Deedee cares deeply for everyone around her. On the weekend Deedee can be found spending time with her 3 grandchildren!