these times

A colleague and I were talking this morning about our unease with the ‘We’re All in It Together’ slogans that are coming out to keep us on track with lockdown. We wondered about what ‘This’ was, and how importantly difference was being overlooked in that message.
The first kind of difference we noticed was situational. What ‘This’ might be is very different depending on where you are, and who you’re with. Some of us feel trapped, overcrowded or pigeonholed into mutual responsibility, others feel they are truly socially isolated,or forgotten.
The situation of our friends and families also affects our individual ‘This’. Some of us are already grieving or anticipating doing so. Others are trying to help our children adjust to enforced isolation and inactivity, orĀ  recover a sense of progress towards a future that is no longer clear. Others are missing chat or essential contact. And many are finding echos of our own loss, fear and experiences in wider and broader contexts.
Economically we may feel precarious , responsible, or overcommitted (if we are an essential worker).
Some of us are sleeping deeply , others not at all.
We may yearn for peace, or internet connection or, a certainty to grasp.

With those differences come another layer – how is ‘This’ affecting me now as an individual? Am I scared, distracted, bored, lonely, anxious, awakened, even elated by the community spiritedness I might see?
Am I focused on the past – the things I miss, or have lost, or remember? Or the present – what do I or we need? what should I do? Or the future – how will this end up and when will we reach that? What will I do then?

And there are the questions: what is the way you want to deal with ‘This’, the unique ‘This’ that you are facing, and your individual response to it? Some of the social pressure on following the rules to help others, can push us away from our need to find our own paths through the strange, new world in which we find ourselves. We may need a place of trust and security to be open and honest about that.

There will not be only one answer to that question for any of us, and different parts of the ‘This’ will be more important to the answer at particular times.

What makes up my particular ‘This’?
How is it affecting me at the moment?
What is the way I want to deal with it for the next little while?

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