My Virtual Coffee Catchup Over 50s Lifestyle

Let’s have a virtual coffee catch up about Life during COVID-19

May 4, 2020
Life during COVID-19

I used to write a coffee catch up post each month and realised it has been two years since my last one. We don’t have time to catch up on two years but I wanted to check in to tell you what I’ve been up to during isolation. When I looked back through the Archives of my blog I noticed I had always given these type of posts the heading of My Virtual Coffee Catch Up. Little did I know then, that two years on we would literally be having coffee virtually due to COVID-19, isolation and social distancing.

Life during COVID-19

I don’t have to tell you that at the moment life is very different for us all. The new ‘normality’ centres around social distancing, hand sanitizers or the better option of washing hands regularly with soap, shopping for only essential items and hoping that panic buying of items such as toilet tissue has subsided. There is also the restrictions of being in isolated at home, separated from family and friends, no hugs with family especially grandchildren and adopting the new way of communicating using Technology rather than in person.

This new way of life has been very challenging for everyone. The positive side is that most of us are grinning and bearing it and trying to be as positive as we can. Sure, there is the roller coaster of emotions as the social restrictions, stress and anxiety over job losses and financial situations continue, but I’ve been uplifted so many times by the way we have reached out to each other for friendship and support.

When I first thought about revisiting a coffee catch up I didn’t think I would have much to write about. However, looking back through my diary I realised how busy I’ve have been and why I was feeling mentally fatigued which I wrote about my in recent post How are you Nourishing your Soul during COVID-19?

So, make a coffee or tea and let’s catch up (it might need two cups!)

Family & Friends

I think being unable to see my family, in particular my grandsons and my almost 94 year old MIL, has been the most difficult part. We have FaceTimed regularly and even had a FaceTime chat with my MIL who marvelled at the idea of being able to see us through the mobile phone! Another new experience for her which proves we are never too old to learn or try new things.

My grandsons Ethan and Elliot have been chatting with me regularly through FaceTime which at times can be a little chaotic as Elliot who is 2 in May, wants to hold the phone all of the time and point it in all directions! Ethan and I started playing a game where we would look for items starting with a different letter each day, take photos and email to each other.

Virtual birthday parties have become the new norm.

My daughter, Rachel celebrated her birthday on 14th although I think it was the first time in many years I hadn’t been able to give her a hug for her birthday. Ethan celebrated his 6th birthday on 28th and the dilemma was trying to explain no birthday party and the breaking of a family tradition – No Birthday cake creation made by Nan!

Rachel worked around that by organising two Zoom birthday parties – one for the grandparents and one for Ethan’s school friends. The Mum of a school friend was able to make Ethan a birthday cake as a gift and drop it off with her sons to sing Happy Birthday to Ethan from the front gate. Rachel & Ian had hidden Ethan’s gifts around the house and made it into a gift hunt with clues. Ethan had a great day despite restrictions which proves we can do anything if we just use some creativity.

During March I had a Virtual Coffee with my lovely friend Donna from Retirement Reflections who lives on Vancouver Island. We have decided to make it a monthly event. I also had a chat with the lovely Candi from Inspire My Style. Candi lives in the US and we have never spoken in person so it was wonderful to chat with her via Zoom.

Health & Wellness

This area of life has taken on even more significance to ensure I remain healthy during the pandemic. I’ve still be able to run, although sadly not with my Saturday Sisters, I’ve been working out with Strong Healthy Women in the Virtual Studio 3 days per week. One of my Saturday Sisters and I have started a 30 day Yoga challenge through Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. We text each other when we have completed the practise so that keeps us on track.

Daily walks and runs along the beach have also helped my mental health. There is something hypnotic about looking at the waves rolling into shore and breathing in the salt air.

Life during COVID-19
Daily walks and runs along the beach

I also made some ANZAC biscuits which were a healthier version that I found on Wendys’s Way to Health

Healthy version ANZAC Biscuits from Wendy’s Way to Health

Learning

Being in isolation has been a great opportunity for learning and I signed up to some free courses through Coursera. However, my main focus has been on completing my Cert III in Fitness. This was challenging as I had come to the final few modules. This required group exercise which was impossible with the social distancing regulations.

I was not to be thwarted though! I approached my Assessor and put the idea of conducting the sessions through Zoom and sending him a recording as proof. With permission to go ahead I was able to complete two modules.

The first module consisted of three classes which I designed and then led through Zoom. I decided to create classes based around Functional Fitness, Balance & Flexibility and a Diva Dance Aerobic style class. A huge thank you to some of my dear blogging buddies, family and friends for volunteering to participate.

My blogging friends during our Functional Fitness Class

The second module I had scheduled to complete was Facilitating Groups. For one of the groups I ran a 7-day Eat Healthy for Life Challenge through the Facebook Group. This was a huge undertaking as I spent many hours coming up with the program of topics to be discussed, writing an E-book and included posting daily videos with two guests,Peta Gillian from Strong Healthy Women and Wendy Hodge from Wendy’s Way to Health.

My final module is well underway. I’ve had the opportunity to join the Strong Healthy Women Virtual Studio to give my final 5 group classes which should all be finished by mid May and then the course is completed!!!

Blogging

Looking back at my blog posts for the month they centred around health and well-being during COVID-19. I’ve listed the posts here if you would like to read them. I also was asked to contribute to a feature article around self care for Titanic Spa in the U.K.

New videos added to the Resource Library

Living the Healthiest Version of your Life

7-day Eat Healthy for Life Challenge

10 Hobbies to try during COVID-19

How to practise wellness while spending more time at home – the article I contributed to.

Reading

This area of my life is my escape. I love getting caught up in a book and because I rise early by mid afternoon I’ve been in the habit of reading for a couple of hours. Books I’ve read include:

  • The Guest List- Lucy Foley
  • The Authenticity Project – Clare Pooley
  • Hysteria & Imposter – L. J. Ross
  • The Empty Nest – Sue Watson
  • A Mother’s Story – Amanda Prowse
  • A Place Of Execution and The Torment of Others – Val McDermid
  • The Argument – Victoria Jenkins

So that is how I’ve been spending my time. Life during COVID-19 has certainly been a very different experience. What has life been like for you?

I’m joining Leslie from Once Upon A Time Happily Ever After for the Sentence a Day link up.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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23 Comments

  • Reply Natalie May 4, 2020 at 08:46

    Hi Sue, Thank you for the coffee catch up. You’ve certainly used the time wisely. Congrats on all your efforts to complete the Cert III in Fitness course! I keep calm and positive by focusing on my health and leisure activities. My family and friends are well so that makes me happy. Have a wonderful week! #lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 09:40

      It has been very hectic Natalie but by the end of May I will be feeling a great sense of satisfaction in completing my Fitness Certification. xx

  • Reply Debbie Harris May 4, 2020 at 10:25

    I loved reading your post Sue and to have a virtual catch up with you. You have been very busy and focussed which is great to see. I can imagine how much you are missing your daughter, grandsons and visits to your MIL, it’s very hard at times. It’s my daughter’s birthday today and she is 35, it’s the first year in ages that we haven’t been able to celebrate with her in person and I’m missing being with her and Emilia. Hopefully in a few weeks/months time we can pop over and see them. It’s good having facetime chats but nowhere near as good as the real thing. You are so fortunate to have the beach right there, the sound of the waves is very soothing I always find. Let me know when you’re free and we can have a facetime chat!! #lifethisweek

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 4, 2020 at 12:13

      Thanks Deb, I haven’t done a catch up is so long it felt strange actually. The cuddles and hugs are something I’m definitely missing but I think we should all be proud of ourselves for not succumbing to the down times too often and being resilient enough to create ways to make life bearable. Will let you know re the facetime for sure. Have a lovely day xx

  • Reply Sydney Shop Girl May 4, 2020 at 12:02

    Sue,
    Thanks for the catch-up! Keeping busy but also connected to my loved ones has really helped me through these crazy times.

    SSG xxx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au May 4, 2020 at 14:53

    Hi Sue – it’s interesting how we feel like we’ve been doing nothing much, but when we look back we’ve actually accomplished quite a bit. I think my coffee catch up post this month was longer than most of my previous ones – just lots of little things to be grateful for and a sense that life goes on despite lockdown. Congrats on almost finishing your course – what an achievement! Big celebrations in a week or two (even if they are virtual).

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2020 at 06:33

      Hi Leanne, I agree. I have been reading other blogs which seem to be full of activities despite being in isolation. My days have been blurry but once I read back through my diary (I write everything down!) I realised there had been quite a lot going on. I’m very excited to be nearing the end of my course especially as I struggled with one particular module for several weeks. It feels good! Take care and let’s organise a catchup soon. xx

  • Reply Retirement Reflections May 4, 2020 at 15:04

    Hi, Sue – I loved the coffee catch-up. You have accomplished so much. You remain my inspiration!
    I look forward to catching up with you again this week. Has it been a month already?!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2020 at 06:46

      Thank you lovely Donna you always make me feel special and worthwhile. xx

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins May 5, 2020 at 02:59

    Hi Sue,
    I loved reading your “catch up”…I’ve been so absent myself lately, but trying to get back on track. You’ve been so busy; we do live in interesting times, do we not?

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 5, 2020 at 06:24

      Hi Nancy, I started the Happiness Course that you did but just haven’t been able to keep up. It is so lovely to hear from you and I recall you are moving? or preparing for travel? Life is busy even in isolation but I’m learning that stopping and taking a step back is good for our health and wellbeing. Take care and hope you are keeping well. xx

  • Reply Joanne Tracey May 5, 2020 at 08:08

    So glad you found a (creative) way to deal with the final few modules. I’ve been feeling so unsettled lately – tbh I think I’m bored so trying to fill the gaps with busy, but it’s just not doing it. I’m walking heaps – which keeps me sane – but need to have a good hard look at the rest. Lovely to share a virtual cuppa with you & catch up.

  • Reply Christine May 5, 2020 at 15:20

    Hi Sue, what a great read your catch up was! You have achieved so much. Being in isolation has certainly made us very inventive hasn’t it? I loved hearing about Ethans hunt for his birthday presents! I have been doing some online learning, knitting and discovering some great Australian authors at the library in our complex.
    I am very sad that I won’t be able to travel to Queensland for the birth of my daughters baby. ?

  • Reply Rebecca Jo Vincent May 5, 2020 at 23:36

    I’m sure walking & running really has been a mental life saver.
    What would we do without Zoom in all of this? Seriously? Its been a game changer in connecting!

  • Reply Denyse Whelan May 6, 2020 at 19:01

    Gosh that was a two cuppa catch up Sue and lovely to share. I am planning a trip to Sydney to see my Dad next week if his health, and mine are fine…along with the place where he lives as it is not a retirement village or care home….whilst I am a very careful he also needs to reality of the visit so I will see. Love the birthday stories. We attended our 2nd granddaughters virtual 21st last Sat night!

    Thank you so much for being part of Life This Week by linking up and leaving a comment on my post. It is a great way to share the connection on-line. Next week the optional prompt is 19/51 Special Anniversaries 11.5.2020. I look forward to seeing you there too. Stay safe and well. Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:52

      Hi Denyse, I hope you get to see your Dad. I wasn’t actually going to write anything until our conversation via messenger last week. You inspired me to take a review of my month and I was certainly surprised at all that I had accomplished. Take care and stay well my friend. x

  • Reply Christie Hawkes May 6, 2020 at 22:24

    You are a busy woman, Sue. I’m impressed by what you have managed to accomplish. Thank you for the 7 day healthy eating challenge. I truly enjoyed it and learned a lot. I am still going strong on my goal to drink at least two full glasses of water before coffee each morning. I agree with you about the hypnotic, soothing effect of waves hitting the beach. I’m glad you are able to take advantage of that during the pandemic. Continue to take care of yourself, and thank you for taking such good care of us. Enjoy your week! #MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:53

      Hi Christie, I’ve tried to maintain the ‘drinking two glasses before my coffee’. I’m very lucky to live by the ocean which really does wonders for my soul. Have a beautiful week and I so enjoy your videos. xx

  • Reply Joanne May 7, 2020 at 19:38

    It’s amazing how much technology is helping us all stay connected to friends and family! I love that your MIL learned to use FaceTime. That’s wonderful.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 17:57

      Yes we have all rallied haven’t we Joanne and embraced technology like never before. It is amazing that older people are also embracing a new world. My MIL is still in awe at computer and being able to see us through the telephone 🙂 Thanks for visiting and take care xx

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan May 10, 2020 at 06:28

    So glad you joined us!! I like this format. A summary of all areas rather than a sentence a day. Might try it myself. Sounds like Ethan’s birthday was a creative success. Glad to have been a small part of your journey to becoming a certified fitness instructor. Your class was so well organized and enjoyable. The walks and runs along the beach must be uplifting. We walked/ran in the desert today. I prefer that to pounding along on the street or sidewalk.
    Hoping as the temps drop there, your cases of Corona do not increase.
    XO

    • Reply Sue Loncaric May 10, 2020 at 18:05

      Hi Leslie, this is a manageable way for me to participate with SaD as I just don’t have time at the moment to write daily. Running or walking in nature is always more motivating and enriching for our soul, I agree. I live in a temperate climate and Winters are pretty mild but fingers crossed other parts of Australia aren’t affected by CV in a second wave. x

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