I'm not an overly anxious person by nature but right now I seem to be developing a hair-trigger for anxiety.
The littlest thing is ruffling my feathers - and the big things are really making my hair stand on end .. and goodness knows I have a lot of that because I couldn't get to the hairdresser before the lock down.
Some of my friends aren't watching the news any more because it's just too scary. The scenes we see from New York are truly heart breaking and almost unbelievable: is this really happening? Yes, it is, and of course one cannot help but think, 'Could this happen here?'
Hope not. I think NZ is doing a pretty good job so far but the situation changes daily and it's the uncertainty of it all that creates anxiety.
We're all worried about the virus and, in equal measure, about the future: what will happen to our incomes, our homes and families? How will this situation affect our economy and for how long? How many more big businesses like Bauer Media will close?
Then there are the everyday anxieties: how will I get on at the supermarket? Will I be able to get what I need, and how long will that continue? What happens if something goes wrong with the plumbing or the roof starts to leak? All of these little things that we would normally just get on with and do, or pick up the phone and sort out ... it's complicated now. And all the while the sun continues to shine, the birds keep flying, and the waves keep rolling into the beach. Normality overlaid by a jittery blanket of anxiety.
Yesterday Pam and I had our usual walk around the neighbourhood. The mood was a bit low because people are beginning to understand that this four-week isolation could go on for longer. We started our walk, keeping our usual social distance, chattering away, but after an hour of walking, talking, and listening to others, we were pretty quiet by the time we got back to our homes.
When I got home, I fetched my bucket of garden tools and started cutting back bush and weeding around the front of the house, hauling my prunings to the compost, sweeping up the mess I'd made in the driveway. Lulu, the black cat next door, loves it when I garden out front. She comes over to roll around on the sun-warmed drive, prance about in the clippings, examine my tools and just generally hang out. Then Miss Lulu and I sat up on the deck and had a beer.
Was it the beer or the gardening that lifted my mood?
I think it was the gardening. I was pleased with the difference I'd made with my hard work.
It was something I had control over, something I could do, complete, finish, have a positive effect on and that felt good.