On the 1st of Jan 2020, I updated a new profile picture on my social media handles with the caption, “Swag se karenge 2020 ka swagat” (Let’s welcome 2020 with swag). Little did I know then, what this new year has in store for the entire globe. It has been more than 5 months, we are cocooned inside our abodes. I would not say that life has paused or slowed down because the workload has multiplied. Being everyone at home 24 by 7, I’m on my toes around the clock. Meeting deadlines at work, homeschooling the kids along with the regular household tasks is exhausting. I have my plate full all the time, but I have made peace with the current schedule, accepting it as the new normal and that I’m not the only one doing this, but the entire world is in the same boat. Life has turned upside down and there are many positive and negative changes in everyone’s life. This period has made me ponder upon a few things and here I am sharing 8 valuable lessons I picked up during the lock down in the last few months.
8 Valuable lessons I picked up during the lock down in the last few months
1. Money cannot buy everything:
Not that I did not know this earlier, but given the current times, it holds truer than never before. This invisible virus does not consider your social status, it can contaminate anyone, irrespective of the class you belong to, from people below the poverty line to the elite class. No matter how privileged you are, how substantial bank balance you have, you are still prone to it. The real and the only wealth you possess is your health and it can give you the best returns. Invest in it. (And in a dishwasher too!)
2. The real meaning of fear:
The last time I was gripped by fear was when my father was fighting with a chronic disease. Subsequently, with time, I contained myself and became resilient, if I may say so. However, the initial month of quarantine proved really tough for me. With a constant fear of losing my loved ones, and unable to meet them for an indefinite time, took a toll on my mental health. I would break down often. With so much negativity around, I was already depressed when the employment termination of many friends and colleagues at my workplace added to the misery. There was an incessant worry of keeping myself, my family, and our jobs safe.
We had booked our tickets to Italy for 17th March oblivious of the events planned for the coming days. (We thanked God 1000’s of times for saving us from the disastrous situation as it was the most affected country in entire Europe). What if we landed there, what if we were stranded, what if our return flights were canceled. Many unanswered “what ifs” piled up leaving me distressed. And I realized what real fear feels like.
3. Significance of gratitude:
I practice gratitude every day and this period has strengthened my belief in the significance of having an attitude of gratitude. Many little things in our day to day lives that go unnoticed otherwise, started to seem so valuable. I cannot thank the Almighty enough for the roof over me, a plate full of meals, our jobs, and for shielding us from this monster. A big thanks to all my friends and family for supporting and assuring each other that this too shall pass. I can’t thank the medical staff for working overtime, teachers for going an extra mile for our children. Immense gratitude for all the essential employees for working heroically. I am thankful for the technology that kept me sane, distracted, connected to my family back home, and helped me to an extent in coping with this phase.
4. Value of blues and greens:
I would call it the biggest learning during the lockdown. We do not have a balcony in our flat so the huge windows have become my favorite spots where I can enjoy the rising sun and try to catch a whiff of blooms. But can it replace the freshness you get outdoors? Caged at home all these days, one thing I craved the most is spending time in the lap of nature. I learned to value the blue sky, cherry blossoms, and the greens around like never before because sometimes, even these can be the privileges.
5. Live one day at a time:
Since December 2019, I and my husband had been working under tremendous pressure at work hence we planned a few weekend getaways. We had applied for leaves and were all set to enjoy our much-needed break which came crashing with the outset of Coronavirus. And I realized, the clock will keep ticking, it’s we who have to squeeze time and value it. I learned to live one day at a time, take one step at a time and make the most of every single moment. “Har pal yahan jee bhar jiyo, jo hai sama, kal ho na ho”, holds so true, isn’t it?
6. Minimalism living is possible:
In the last four months, every one of us survived with the limited resources that were available. Due to the lockdown and restricted mobility, the buying access was confined to online shopping, that too only for the grocery items, people had no option but to go minimalist. Another reason was financial instability, for many. This has definitely helped us control impulsive buying and curb the need to shop. And it was not difficult. Be it grocery, household items, clothing, or any other items we thought were a necessity, were not really needed and things were quite manageable with the least. Adapting and embracing a minimalist lifestyle is doable and saves not just money but also space, time, and energy we spend in their maintenance. In short, don’t be a miser but don’t be a hoarder either.
7. Connect and check on your kith and kin more often:
These strange times have taken a toll on most of us. Everyone is drained out emotionally, mentally, and physically. Things are tough for everyone but people are understanding, so it is time to be more generous, kind, and use our privileges for helping others. Check on your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, household helps more often than ever. Offer help, and support them in whatever way you can. Just be there. Practice physical distancing not emotional. Lend an ear if they need it. Connect on video calls, messaging apps, and help each other in sailing through these testing times.
8. Life is not a race:
Many of my friends enrolled themselves in various courses. Some are learning a new language, some are trying their hands-on art, some are honing their cooking skills. And here I am. Doing absolutely nothing to upskill me. In fact, I barely get time to write on my blog. Still, I am totally guilt-free because I know this is the best I can do. If you are enthusiastic about learning a new skill and can manage, why not! But if you do not desire, let it be. Don’t let the societal pressure take over you or knock you down. Life is not a race, so don’t stress yourself more.
The world is a different place now. Everyone has different coping mechanisms and is trying to adjust. Life is unpredictable but this too shall pass, sooner or later and we will have tales to tell to our future generations. I hope the lessons all of us learned during this lockdown stay with us forever.
Until next time,
Take care and stay safe!