We are becoming accustomed to our new way of life and people are mostly managing to cope with this new normal.

Leila has been a member of our Befriending service since 2011. In this series of posts, Leila shares her thoughts and experiences with us. Thank you Leila!

The seeds which Liz my volunteer sent me in the post have arrived. I set about planting them the following Thursday afternoon during an enrichment call with my carer.  I speak to Liz at least once a week and we talk about how lazy we feel not having much of a routine and having nowhere we need to be.  Liz is enjoying her lazy days but feels like she should be doing more around the house.  I too have lots of housework to do but can’t get in the mindset for rectifying the situation. I did however plant the tomatoes, basil, beetroot, carrots and radishes. I watch as the seedlings break ground and tend to them carefully.  I have noticed this year that the plants feel more precious and delicate, and I am vigilant to ensure snails and slugs stay away. 

I have been phoning my friends and relatives regularly to check on their wellbeing, listening and sharing tales of lockdown.  We are becoming accustomed to our new way of life and people are mostly managing to cope with this new normal. My contacts have more time to talk now. Everyone’s staying indoors with very little to do. Life has slowed down, none of the usual rushing about and people are learning to be patient.

I have also become a Telephone Befriender for Together Co. I thought it would be nice to put my vocal cords to good use and support local residents at such an overwhelming time.  I chose two people and the Befriending Coordinator sent me the guidelines to have a look at.  There is ongoing support for befrienders and queries are answered the same day during the week. I really enjoy talking to others so this is an ideal opportunity to make a difference to peoples lives.  My ‘befriendees’ are always glad to receive a phone call and it’s a good way to ignite new friendships.

Soraya, my other volunteer, has been chatting to me on WhatsApp and after a few months of not seeing each other, she suggested meeting up (while socially distancing of course) outside.  The sun was shining on a hot day. I got a text saying “I’m outside”. I was so excited!

We sat on the bench in the courtyard and chatted for about half an hour. We air-hugged. It was so amazing to see her. We spoke for half an hour and she had brought me a couple of home-made chicken and vegetable pies. My mood is lifted and I feel alive.  I haven’t seen a friendly face (except my carers’) for so long and felt very lonely and cut off from the world.  Today I am happy, for half an hour life was normal again. That little break did us both the world of good and I am happy to get back into lockdown for a little bit longer.

Want to read more of Leila’s posts? Click here.

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