Last day of lockdown day 56 – looking back on the last two months

It’s been almost two months since that speech was made by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to the people declaring “war” on the coronavirus. It would be reasonable to say that the time confined to one’s home was tough but I actually found that time passed very quickly and that much of it was spent leisurely and pleasantly. I will look back on this time as having been a pleasant learning experience in many ways.

If someone had told me back in February that I would be stuck at home with kids and hubby I would have feared and dreaded the idea. It would mean much more work for me, on top of my normal job, to have to cook and clean three times more often, do larger but fewer trips to the supermarket, deal with more noise and nagging, and generally feel exhausted. But that didn’t happen and for this, I’m grateful for the experience we had.

What I learned was that 1) my children can and work well with their school work from home 2) there was far less laundry to do on a regular basis as the kids didn’t wear different outfits everyday 3) the weather was great so it allowed us all to spend more time outdoors gardening and enjoying the sun together 4) we can all be together 24/7 and enjoy each other’s company 5) we like playing card games 6) I can sew and make masks 7) I really didn’t mind cooking all the time and the kids were good at helping to clean up 7) pigs are really intelligent and can learn to be trained to sit, roll over, and jump.

Some other benefits from the last two months: 1) the kids learned to bake and cook for themselves 2) the kids learned to appreciate how much I had been doing for them in the past (cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc), 3) hubby Thierry learned to relax at home rather than be productive all the time (which was weary to observe), our family learned that adapting to a different way of life was not that difficult. We also learned to stop complaining about the little things in life. The time was used to reflect on the importance of the “big stuff” and learn to ignore the little things that bother us in life. What used to bother me in the past like finding dirty socks on the floor, a damp towel in a heap, a light left on, the stereo and television going at the same time, the kids squabbling over something stupid…that all just disappeared like a puff of smoke. I am so grateful for the love and respect my family members have for each other, the friends we have nearby, a garden to plant vegetables, flowers in the Spring, the clean air that we breathe, and the clean water we can drink. We don’t really need much else, now, do we?

I could give you my opinion on what the government here did right and wrong, what could have been prevented or done more efficiently, blah de blah…but I don’t believe that will be of any constructive use at this point. Nobody was prepared for a crisis like this in the world, something that affected everyone in almost every country at the same time, and we still do not know what the best course of action would have been or would be to prevent deaths. But it looks like the countries that established lockdowns earlier on are fairing better. It’s a damn shame we have to learn the hard way but we must remember that although we are now coming out of quarantine the crisis is far from over. The virus is still circulating and the hospitals are still busier than normal. Social distancing measures must continue to be respected, hands need to be washed often and regularly, and it would be best to avoid crowded areas, get-togethers, and confined rooms with others whether for work or to socialise.

Today is the last day of lockdown and we celebrated with brunch. Tomorrow is a new day and the beginning of a new chapter of life in Cotignac, Provence. I leave you now with photos of our meal, the masks I made, a beach I’d like to go back to, and the blooming roses in my garden.

Wishing you all health and happiness, love and peace. Thank you for reading and following Provence Living.

Signing off on the lockdown series,

-Susana