Stay At Home Stories: Ashley

Turning the day over from a tiny injustice into an act of self-love

I’m delighted to share our second Stay At Home story from Ashley — my best friend who has been part muse and part beloved supporter of this newsletter/blog thing.

You’ll see what Ash is up to in her version of lockdown life. At this particular time, she’s crossing the chasm from lockdown into the early phases of re-opening in Kuala Lumpur. Let’s see what’s happening for her!

Where are you locked down right now?

Home in KL

What do you do for work?

Producing educational videos for 3 - 6 years old children, as well as managing online classrooms, contacting parents and colleagues to keep up communication.


Today marks the first day of anointed break I allow myself. My weeks since the start of MCO in Malaysia consists mainly of 6 working days non-stop, juggling video production, video editing and managing classrooms and colleagues. It has not been easy, to say the least, and I wonder when life will ever resume to some form of normality.

Since it's Hari Raya break next week, I decide to give myself 4 days off from any form of planning for videos. I head into the office to see how things are. Teachers are still bustling around the school, prepping for their videos, while some are busy editing in quiet corners. Everyone is exhausted, both mentally and physically.

I guess my day started off as it usually did. Woke up, wished my aunt a good morning before heading into the toilet and began my morning routine. Went to the car and it failed to start. Called the mechanic and he came in a moment to replace the car battery. Not long after that, drove along the now busy roads on the way to work.

Once work was over, drove back home and settled for a lovely cold shower and air-dried my hair. Had a nice dinner with my aunt and we even managed to pencil in a bible study session.

To say the least, I am grateful for these quiet, peaceful moments with her in our comfortable home. It was then that I start to realise how much time I chose to give in to my work and how I yearn to just pull her into the car and drive us up to Penang and relax. Well, of course not possible for the time being, but a fantasy with a dose of reality can be a real mood booster!


Ashley’s story echoes some of the tiny injustices we’ve had to deal with since the beginning of lockdown. I wonder if her car had failed to start because she hadn’t been able to use it since lockdown began? I also love how she ended the day with an act of self-love, having a cold shower and washing her hair! 💜

That’s definitely one of my favourite things to do for myself: having a shower then settling in for a comfortable night at home, spending quality time with a loved one, not to mention practising something that contributes to self-growth.

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A little update for lockdown life in Bali

I’ve been in Bali since the beginning of March. While some places in the world are beginning to re-open and adjust to a new lifestyle, I fear that Bali is only beginning to peak at the local transmission phase. I get the occasional whisper of a confirmed case gone unreported, and I’m certain there are more cases like this.

At this time of writing, there are 1,158 reported cases on the island, with the number of deaths at 9. News has covered bits & pieces relating to the island’s mysterious immunity and a jab on the ignorance from a spiritual community in Ubud, though there is still a staggering difference in terms of rumours on the street and what the news authorities are reporting.

I’m wearing a mask and taking the precautions when I go outside, and there are no movement restrictions outside of the main city. Now I’m just waiting for news on when my extended stay permit will expire. It’s an interesting time to be a guest in someone else’s country, it feels like the state of my wellbeing could very easily be taken away at any moment. I’m trying not to worry about it.

At home, I’m happy to be developing new routines & habits, but at times it’s been frustrating to be encased in the same set of walls. Not just physically, but mentally, too, as I rinse & repeat my daily routine. Last weekend, I celebrated my birthday by treating myself to a solo retreat by the beach, and I’m glad I did it.

What about you? How have you been coping?

Speak to you soon.

Love,

Helena.


What’s In The Lunch Box

I toasted a kilo worth of granola, which I ate mostly as a snack while watching movies with Rick.

Don’t. Feel. Sorry. At. All.

Recipe from Pick Up Limes.


Thank you so much for reading my lunch box. I spend a few hours weekly practising my writing, and lunch box has been a huge indication of progress for me. If you would like to help me move the progress needle, let me know if my writing has resonated with you by clicking on the little heart ♥️ at the bottom!