Shivoo: A boisterous party or celebration
Why does everything sound better in French? They say shivoo and we opt for ‘shindig’ or ‘rager’ when it comes to describing a party. Thanks, but I’m sticking with the French on this one – and thankfully, shivoo has been wheedling its way into the Australian vernacular since 1881 (though an earlier spelling, shiveau, appeared at the end of the 18th century in the UK). Nearly 20 spelling variants, including chevaux and cheveaux, have led some scholars to suggest that the origin of shivoo may be from the French phrase chez vous, ‘at your house’.
However you spell it and whatever its origins, it’s something I’m mourning the lack of right now. Please tell me I’m not alone. I’m feeling like I could definitely increase the fun factor in my life. In fact, I’m not sure I remember the last time I was at a loud party, dancing with all the people I love. COVID-19 has seriously gotten in the way of lots of things that normally create my picture of fun. I am travel obsessed, love meeting new people and generally getting out amongst it. But thanks to the many variations of restrictions and lockdowns brought on by the pandemic, such events are but a distant memory. We’re all too scared to plan anything in case we have to cancel. Think of all those weddings that have been postponed or had guest lists slashed just so people can continue to do something we’ve taken for granted for thousands of years.
Early on in the pandemic, I was all up for the Zoom quiz nights with wine in hand, the live workouts, the online birthday catch-ups, but that moment has passed – at least for me. It’s interesting to reflect on what fuels us and where our energy comes from. For me, it’s all about connection. I’m a hugger, so getting together with friends online, while better than nothing, doesn’t quite cut it. And don’t even get me started on dating. As many of you know, I am a single mum and to say dating opportunities have been limited is not an understatement. And here I was thinking it was tricky to meet potential love interests pre-pandemic…
Of course, there’s a very big bonus in that I am the healthiest I’ve ever been in my adult life. COVID-19 has meant my weekly interstate trips and client dinners have diminished. I’m walking more and eating healthier than ever before. My quarterly trips overseas have been non-existent. All the hedonistic stuff has been removed. Now for fun, my children and I try to find streets we haven’t walked yet and I challenge myself to find new slow cooker recipes. Does it sound worse when I say all this out loud?!
My reality is that every single day I feel immense gratitude for my life. My parents and brother are close by. My children adapted pretty well to online learning. I live on the Mornington Peninsula in Australia, so most mornings I can go for a walk and see the dolphins swimming. (I do want to share that I refused to stockpile during the lockdowns, which meant we did have two weeks with no toilet paper at one point. That was not funny.) But can we be grateful, lonely, connected and happy all at the same time? You bet. Being a grown-up is complex and messy. It’s rare that every aspect of life is perfectly coordinated at any given time. And we have to take the good with the bad.
Anyway, today I just wanted to write to all of you to say we really are in this together. Let’s do great self-care and look out for those around us. While COVID-19 is a global challenge, the experience we are all having is quite personal. Feel what you feel. Play big when you can. Stay under your doona when you need to. Choose your own COVID story and don’t forget to invite me to your next party.
- Lisa Stephenson xxx
Founder, The Coach Place Global.
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