She | Kelly Lubbee

Welcome to the “new you”

The sun is already up and the house is alive with the new day. “Mama, come, mama. Come, dance,” is how I’m frequently being ushered out of my bedsheets. I feel hope in my heart from this moment on. Days feel different being woken up by her zealous requests. If it is not to dance it’s to find her cap, watch Shongewogos or play ‘playdoughs’. These are my must-do’s for the morning.

Find us in the kitchen not even 30 minutes later and we’re adding to the symphony of breakfast sounds. These feel foreign and I am sure they do in most homes. But they’re starting to sound familiar and find a rhythm in our routine. The routine that once omitted such a moment for fear of being “late” or “rushed” or “beating the traffic”. Breakfast sounds like the burr of the coffee beans being freshly ground, the swish of milk in bowls, the pop of toast, and the tingling of spoons and knives. The harmonies feature gleeful singing from our 2-year old who stomps all over the hallways bringing new things to see and experience while asking for noodles, scramble eggies, or a chino. I like this breakfast song. It makes the day feel a bit more ready to be faced.

Once a set of dishes is washed and packed away, the next set is being prepared for the first of the day’s activities. Making or baking is about to take place. Let’s set the stage! “What should we make today?” is the cue for me to get my thinking cap at the ready. Playdough? Muffins? Cookies? Cupcakes? Dinner prep? Something sticky? Something slimy? Something fun! After another round of mess-making, the day draws for the break. Quiet. Slow. Sleepy. It’s nap time.

The little is lying while we all grab a bite to eat. Hungry for the connection as well as the meal. We talk, share snippets of what we all did while the other was in another room of the house. Laugh about something Taylor did or said. Eat. Drink. Rest.

“Waking up time! Mr. Golden Sun is BACK!” Taylor announces.
The rest is over and it’s time to grab a snack, some milk, and head outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Breathe in. Breathe out. Feel the warmth. See the smiles and hear the world around you softly humming on. It’s slow and steady these days. It’s close and cheerful.

And as the sun sets, we find our way back inside to the kitchen. The heart of this home. The meeting place. “Mama, cook. Granny, wash dishes.” We laugh. But we have created our own sequence of events and we don’t hate it. It’s gloriously cohesive. It’s healthy and whole. It’s home. Chop, chop, slice, swish, stir, mix, sloosh, sizzle, scoop, switch off. Sit down. “Let’s pray. Close your eyes.” *giggles around the table as she shuts them so tightly* “For what we’re about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful. For Christ’s sake. Amen.”

And we are. Thankful. The crux of this post is that I have seen many a meme around these days about waistbands growing, pants not fitting, etc. and everyone is blaming it on the “snack attacks” and the unhealthy eating going on. But what about the days events are unhealthy? Is eating a solid breakfast with family closeby unhealthy? Is meeting around the kitchen counter for a wholesome lunch and snacks unhealthy? Is dinner together by 6pm instead of on-the-go unhealthy? I beg to differ. I feel full and like I’ve packed some extra kgs under my skin from lockdown but I realised it’s because I am actually eating meals. I am actually eating snacks and enjoying my moments of mealtimes with family. Is your waist feeling fuller or your heart feeling fuller? Mine is definitely the latter over the former. I feel full. Full of hope, happiness, health and rich in family time.

Oh, and that discomfort you may feel when you put your clothes on after lockdown and they’re too tight (or maybe too lose for those who are eating healthier due to this break), that discomfort is called “the new normal”. The new normal of being intentional about your time, food choices, and thoughts. Get used to it. It’s the way it should be. A few weeks into lockdown I turned to Lee while I was in the kitchen and I said I am keen to see how this pans out for some people. Some people are going to find themselves in new places in a month or two and wonder what led them there. And I bet that if they backtrack and think hard enough, they’ll soon realise that they “asked for this”. The times they moaned about their jobs, hated what they spent their time doing, or wanted more family time. Here it is. It’s yours for the picking. This season can be hard and I know it is damn challenging for all of us in one way or another. BUT, it is what we have all been asking for. A chance to slow down. A chance to reconnect. A chance to rest. A chance to try something new. A chance. All of those times you asked for just a chance to breathe and reset. Welcome to the new normal. Welcome to the new. The new you!