Life In a Pandemic

6:01, the clock ticks silently, and I’m awake. I no longer have the need for an alarm clock, since I never sleep past six anymore.

Is this the same girl who slept for 17 hours straight more than once in her time-zone-defying flight attendant job a mere decade ago? What is a decade, after all, if not a grain of sand in time?

6:05 I’m handing bananas to my two little boys whose mornings always start with a banana on the couch, huddled together, hair messy from sleep.

6:07-6:27 I’m walking back and forth, here and there, getting things ready.

6:30 I finally sip some espresso while wiping surfaces clean of spilled milk and help the kids do whatever they are up to.

Then I get clothes for the kids, swap them for something they’d rather wear, sprint around some more.

Finally, we are at the stage where outdoors layers may be applied on top of indoors clothing, but the kids are now playing and not in the least bit interested in getting ready to leave for daycare.

7:40 We are at daycare 300 metres away from home, and the whole thing starts again, in reverse.

When I finally leave the daycare building, my bag makes the sound of a police siren and I know without looking that a car must’ve found its way in. Yesterday, my bag ate a postcard and I can’t find it anywhere anymore.

At work, we’re all competing with each other internally.

Looking out the window, the weather looks sunny but it’s actually freezing. We’re still wearing winter clothes. I contemplate going for a walk but don’t feel tempted because I know I won’t enjoy the cold wind.

Cook, clean, organize calendar, cook, clean, read bedtime stories.

In the evening, minutes before I go to sleep, my mind is blank as I stare at my WordPress draft. It’s not writer’s block, but more of a creativity block. I want to write, but I have nothing to write about.

I keep waiting for inspiration. Waiting, waiting, waiting…

Kids – no (private)
Work – no (stay positive)
Weather – no (done that)
Blogging – no (never mind)
Opinions (have none)
Experiences (have experienced nothing new lately)
Ideas (nothing creative going on in my mind right now)
Photography (camera’s broken)
Travel nostalgia (not feeling it)…

Do you ever have this problem – especially during the pandemic? Devoid of creative input, my brain simply isn’t producing anything interesting.

A topic I would like to write about is cultural identity, from a TCK perspective, though strictly speaking I’m not a TCK because our personal history is different, but it’s close enough and the only definition that even slightly fits. But I have too much to say about the topic and I’m finding it difficult to narrow it down and focus on a single viewpoint. Even thinking of it exhausts me.

Maybe for my next post, I’ll publish an old draft from pre-pandemic times about failed event planning. It just seems funny now that events are totally off the radar and it’s a bit of a rant. But the pictures in the post are colourful and waiting for their moment in the spotlight.

10:25 pm, I take a moment to worry about the experiences my kids are missing due to the pandemic, and I feel a wave of relief that I signed them up for football. I wonder if they’ll be happy to try it without my presence, since parents aren’t allowed to come watch, due to Covid.

10:30 I put my earplugs in and fall asleep, exhausted.

In less than 8 hours, it all starts again.

42 responses to “Life In a Pandemic

  1. Ahh! I had to google TCK. Funny that your bag sounds like a police car. I can just picture them with a banana each, so cute. The rest is more morose. Except now in April that I “must” write a poem a day, usually I just leave it all to simmer. When they are done, my thoughts roll out as they please, probably like yours just did. I think it’s worldwide phenomenon, lack of inspiration. We need to recover our carefreedom.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe the designers will someday make expensive luxury bags that make police car sounds when people use them? Who knows! I might be onto something 😉
      And yes, creativity comes from letting your mind run loose. Mine keeps getting stuck on worries and to-do lists. I need a break, a holiday, something inspirational, to get it going again

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely photos as always! The picture you paint of your two boys on the sofa eating their bananas is gorgeous 🙂 Thank you for being so honest – this is exactly how I am feeling at the moment. I keep thinking I need to write something and get posting on wordpress, but I have no energy for it and nothing is flowing very naturally. I have also tried working on my TCK post but it’s just not coming at the moment. So far, this year particularly, I have found my energies being sucked away by working (which is all I feel like I do these days) and anxiety of what the future is going to bring. I have also looked at old posts I have sitting in my drafts, which for one reason or another I never posted, and now they are out of date or feel a bit irrelevant at the moment. But maybe this is the way to go at the moment? But even if you have a lack of inspiration at the moment, you have still managed to write something here that has resonated. And I’m glad to see it’s not just me that wears earplugs to sleep 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You work from home too, right? What kind of work do you do? I love working from home, I truly do!!! But it does narrow my life into a tiny little bubble. And I forget to have breaks so yes, it feels like I work all the time. I’d love to have something to look forward to, like a holiday, but even that is overshadowed by the fear of being suddenly quarantined and losing precious holiday days.
      Hahah, travelaholics must wear earplugs cause hotels are noisy, right? That’s where it started for me!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I am wfh at the moment, but I think it will change soon and we’ll be back to the office – can’t say I’m looking forward to it much! I do admin work and we’ve proved it can be done remotely this past year I think, although there are of course pros and cons to it. Yes, I agree, life has become quite confined over the past year, but hopefully as things start to open up that will change. Are you still working from home as well or do you have time back in an office? I am loathed to give up some of the pros that wfh brings, but I don’t know if we will be allowed to continue it once restrictions ease…time will tell! Aaaah and a holiday, gosh I would love to have one of those to look forward as well. But like you I think there are still too many things that could go wrong which could be costly both in money and time for us to do that yet. Haha, yep, I don’t know how I’d sleep without my earplugs now!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. TCK (I had to look that up) indeed IS an interesting topic! Also because, I gather, Autralia is packed with TCK-people, so the interest maybe isn’t only personal. In my youth I moved house a lot because of my fathers job. All within the tiny Netherlands, but, centainly then, there still were many differences in dialect, life speed, religion and overall feel of those places we settled for a brief period of time. It led to me not having a specific hometown or area. There is one place I consider ‘home’, but I’m aware this feeling probably at least partly is a mental construction.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have that in common with you, Peter. It leads to one not having a home, how odd is it that these decisions of parents make such and enourmous impact on a child? I’ve lived in Helsinki on and off for 30 years but still it doesn’t really feel like home. Only having kids made me spring roots because I want them to have stability and, most of all, local friends

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed the glimpse into your day. Rest assured, you are not alone. I have many days like that, where I wonder what to say that anyone would want to read.
    TCK – Third Culture Kid – is a new acronym for me but I get it. It sounds like memoir writing & just like that, it’s a big subject to start writing about. Sometimes it’s useful to start with something small, and do the nibbling at the edges.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sandy, for your thoughts! Not even memoir writing, but cultural identity is something I’ve been thinking of lately. You always hear of mixed Finns getting mistaken for foreigners because of their looks. For me, it’s the opposite. People put me into a stereotyped box based on my Finnish looks and name. But I don’t fit in and feel like I don’t belong. Apparently, many people who haven’t tackled with it themselves haven’t really thought of how your formative years shape your sense of personal identity, not to mention language. I don’t really know how to address the topic without sounding whiny, insensitive, or conceited 🤣😅🙃 Still, it’s playing on my mind. 🤷‍♀️ So I’ll just leave it, for now! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved the post—and it was creative btw. Sigh…Something that might help is forcing yourself to write something. I.e look up a prompt, make up a small group where each person suggests a title for a flash piece in turn, or even write something to submit to the zillion small comps and online mags (MsLexia is a nice one) Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes, I’ve also been experiencing this creativity block during the pandemic, but it also comes up in conversations with friends. I’ll catch up with someone I haven’t seen in months, and they ask me what’s been happening / what’s new, and my mind goes blank. It seems like not much has really changed since I last saw them – just little things that seem uninteresting. But I guess it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it’s good to have some stability.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You may be right. As an introvert, it’s not like my life was packed with social events before the pandemic! But I guess there was more food for thought in casually visiting art galleries or stopping to watch a streer musician, dining out with a friend or planning a weekend trip. In a way, I’m quite enjoying the quite balance of my life right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this post! I get what you mean with creative block. I want to post, but I have nothing new to say. And while I have plenty of adventures to share from my past travels to Iceland, it’s hard at the same time because it reminds me we’re in a pandemic and we can do jack. It’s demotivating. And I don’t want to write all that much about my struggles, because I’m not special or unique in that regard.

    Also, had to google TCK 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Add me to those who had to look up TCK! Sounds like you have a lot of competition for your energies. I can see why writing would take a back seat. I used to find that during creative lulls, of which there were many, just sitting and writing about anything could help rekindle creativity. And any topic, no matter how mundane or insignificant it sounds, can be compelling in the right hands.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is something new, TCK! I have no exposure on this subject and it would be interesting to know from your perspective when you do write one about it. 🙂 Your kids eating bananas on couch in the early morning is just cute! Your post is still a creative one and as always love the photos. I must agree with you that the pandemic sure drains the creative brain input. I feel like am not in a healthy mental mood daily because there are just so many uncertainties, worries and restrictions that it somehow impose restriction to the brain juice too! Everything is linked like a chain. Let’s hope we will have better creative days ahead 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Minus the two little boys (substitute a 1-year-old puppy!), my days and thoughts feel very similar. I simply cannot conjure up a blog post that would interest me, let along all my (probably disappearing) readers. My creativity has all been focused on my book, and as you note, the old topics and experiences that fueled our blogs have just dried up. Still, I like hearing your voice here and seeing your sunny, green pics! Hang in there!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m happy for you that you have your book! Pour all that creativity into it, yes! 🙂 I really want to write a book someday, too, it’s a dream/goal I hope to accomplish. In the meantime, blogging… maybe summer will bring fresh thoughts for the blog? (If summer ever arrives)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. It’s just a different life. (You are sooo lucky to have your daycare only 300 ms away). One topic you didn not mention: yourself. (Private I know or I imagine) But do you leave a moment for yourself? An hour? half an hour? quarter?
    Bon Dimanche Lumi

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so observant, Brieuc. It’s true, I have no time for myself. Demands coming at me from here and there. I barely get to sleep and can’t even remember what my hobbies used to be! But I think this is just a phase and maybe at some point I’ll get to bring “me” back again. Isn’t there a book/movie about that called something like Stella got her groove back?!? 😀 I haven’t seen it though so maybe it’s about something else entirely!! Hahah!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I have the opposite problem since the pandemic. A mind that is pouring out blog posts as if there is no tomorrow. (Maybe there isn’t for me, I used to think)
    I have to try to limit myself to 3/4 posts a day,. for fear of annoying my readers and followers.
    Thank you for following my blog.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahah, funny – that really is the exact opposite! I used to have too many blog ideas and posted almost daily. Back then, I wondered how someone could NOT have so many ideas. Well, here I am not, mind gone blank!!
      Thanks, Pete, for taking the time. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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