My Lockdown Keepers…

New Zealand’s staggered approach to level 2 began today and there is a mix of excitement, anxiety and sadness in the air with people getting back into their new-old ways of life. I am definitely one of these people.

I’m excited to get back into a school environment #2ndHome, I’m anticipating the anxiety our tamaiti and others will still have with ‘Corona’ still lurking around and I will definitely be missing the control I had over my freedom – where I do what I want, when I want.

So in the spirit of staying positive, being a learner of life and the lessons that it offers, I have realised there are some things that my family and I have developed during level 3 & 4 that I would like to have as permanent ‘keepers’ in my life:

#1. Family Game Nights.
At the beginning of the lockdown period we had family game night every night before our family prayers and kids bedtime. Each night the kids took turns picking a game – so the choices varied from board games, to birthday party games, but my favourite was simply sitting in a circle and playing cards.

Thankfully, my two boys are at the age of understanding how to play last card but the lockdown favourite was ‘Alu fanota’ or ‘Go Fish’. Although very simple, the game brought out so much laughter and helped us to get our brains thinking about strategy while learning to balance our competitiveness with losing gracefully – especially for youngest son who eventually stopped crying when he lost after the first week. I stopped after the second week #Lol.

#2. Five Questions.
This turned into an ongoing challenge throughout the lockdown period. Everyday our two boys had to ask us 5 questions and vice versa. The challenge was not being allowed to ask the same question. This brought out a variety of questions which helped us all to better understand each other’s thinking, attitudes and behaviours even more. Like youngest son who believes that Tagaloa and Tane Mahuta are brothers and God is their father. Or oldest son’s plans of living at home until I die, even after he gets married #GoodLuckBuddy

Then there were the question’s about hubsta and I’s history – figuring out we were ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’ first at high school #OoohYuckTheySay and that they + mummy’s favourite Chit chat biscuits are the reason mummy’s tummy is still lapo’a.

#3 Writing.
Since the lockdown started I have been writing everyday, not because I forced myself to but because I actually wanted to. This writing resulted in some online articles being published, some poetry scribbles and a young adult fiction book, Teine Sāmoa, being written with the aims of publishing it as an e-book for Samoan language week #OMGThisMonth #OMG10Days #OMG!

So these are my lockdown keepers and I think about how they actually came to reality and the truth is it has all come down to – Time.

It is with time that we were able to slow down, be present and just breathe compared to the un-lockdown world of speed up, be absent and lose your breathe – which I fear is coming for us with a vengeance.

So my hope is for us to hold on to some of this time and some lockdown keepers for ourselves, our tamaiti and our families so that we can all carry a pocket full of peace into another new level of our new normal …

So what are your lockdown keepers?

Level 2 – Playgrounds opened today … Oldest son taking a moment #TimeIsHappiness

Author: Dahlia Malaeulu

dah·li·a (dah-lee-ya) / noun: a flower that is widely cultivated for its impact and coloured personality / adj: abundant, bright, bold, fresh, ready-to-bloom / human form: daughter, mother, wife, educator, problem solver, creative, teine Sāmoa / working on: creating more brown spaces in the world / currently: moving in the write direction.

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