In a usual year, a June blog from me might begin along the lines of, “Wow, we’re halfway through the year. That went quick. Everyone’s enjoying the long summer days and warmer weather…” and so on. Well, I don’t know about you, but making it halfway through this year feels different somehow. It’s almost as if we’ve been robbed of Spring, along with those 2-3 months, although it’s been mostly magnificent weather (at least down South, where Supershoes HQ is).
We planned ahead at HQ, and saw the inevitability of lockdown before it happened. We were able to send out 40-odd pairs of shoes to Super Artists to make Super before we were all confined at home. Now that restrictions are easing, we have a team working hard to get the finished Supershoes out to children and young people with cancer all over the UK.
The good news is that there are now lots and lots of smiley faces out there. The response from parents, when we’ve phoned to arrange delivery to children and young people has been amazing. For many of them, lockdown is a normal way of life. Cancer and its treatment lowers immunity, so many of these Super brave children and young people have been restricted in terms of going out, seeing friends and being with loved ones for many months. In fact, when I spoke to her, one parent said, “At least we can go out, to hospital, talk to nurses and doctors…”Imagine, if that was your “treat”? Talk about looking for the silver lining in the cloud! In the face of the restrictions that cancer places on families, lockdown for the rest of us for a few weeks should be easy enough, shouldn’t it?
Don’t you think though, that sometimes it all feels flipping difficult and frustrating? I imagine I’m not the only one who feels like that. And that’s ok because the experience will affect us all differently. But that parent’s eye on the silver lining got me thinking. From speaking with mums who are facing cancer, I’m always amazed at how they find something to be positive and thankful for. I think, with a little imagination, we could all capture a bit of our own silver lining too.
First, you have to recognise your “cloud”. We all have something that we miss from our “life before” that might have gone for the time being, or maybe for good. We might also have lost something we had before. But then, we can also create something to look forward to when restrictions are lifted: we have plans to put back in place, people to see, things to treat ourselves to (tiny treats often feel like the best ones!). Then, there will be things we quite like, or even cherish, about our lives as we’re living them at the moment. Maybe a nature moment (birdsong, clear blue sky, awesome sunrise/sunset), lack of traffic, extra precious time spent with those in lockdown with us, or time to be alone and peaceful without certain demands (commuting etc). And finally, there will be plenty to be grateful for, both over the last few weeks and going forward.
I think nurturing these thoughts is helpful, and if, like me, you’re better with a picture for explanation, here, courtesy of the very clever Sarah Setterfield, is that complete paragraph (above) in a handy little infographic! With thanks too, to the original author, Paul Matthews.
Wishing you all many silver linings!
With peace, love and gratitude