— Wanaka Arts president
When I heard we were going into Level 3 and then quickly into Level 4 complete lockdown, I felt immediately emotional and scared.
The seriousness of it dawned on me and I was tremendously concerned for my family scattered over New Zealand and internationally, for myself, for New Zealand and the world. I still am.
Once we all got our head around the fact that this was critical, we started organising ourselves for hibernation.
Suddenly, home felt like a strange place to be.
I normally spend so much time tearing around doing ‘‘stuff’’ that I felt I had to keep up the pace in lockdown; so, for the first couple of weeks my partner and I worked like demons doing this and that around the house, being very introspective.
As the time went on we slowed into a wonderful leisurely pace: waking without alarms, communicating more with our families to share stories, fears, information and laughs and beginning a new relationship with our grandchildren via devices.
For me it’s about finding a happy middle ground: enjoying the relaxed time, while keeping some structure and semblance of normality.
For many people this will look different, but like much of the world, for me this manifested itself in cooking and exercise.
The meals became more important and, like everyone else I have spoken to, the recipe books came out as we had the time to ponder our next meal and find inspiration.
A new routine of cycling enabled me to get out and enjoy my passion — photography.
This is the ‘‘silver lining’’ to lockdown: a forced holiday at home. Who does that? No-one.
We are all so busy, making ourselves busy, that we don’t make time for what’s important.
Like looking after ourselves and our families, our mental health, stretching and breathing.
Our Wanaka Arts committee communicated throughout the lockdown and created a Wanaka Arts Lockdown page on Facebook to encourage artists to share what they were up to.
Not only has that been good for communication but looks like it is the start of educating ourselves and our members in having more online presence as we head towards what will be our next Labour Weekend Exhibition.
Will it be online or will we be back to normal social gatherings?
Best we prepare, as it may be a change we need to get ourselves ready for. A new challenge!
I’m very aware of the awful impact this health and economic crisis is having on families around the world, which makes me even more grateful for what I have and the country we live in.
So, what am I going to do coming out of lockdown? Learn from the past few weeks, enjoy a better balance in life and support my partner to do the same. Spend more time catching up with special people, and support the community by spending locally and buying New Zealand made.
With regards to work I see the benefit of online meetings for busy people so this may become the new norm for Wanaka Arts.
Change can be a good thing.