From Dependency to becoming truly independent.
Pre-Covid times I had come to depend on others, particularly Staff, and helpers at home and at our Offices.
Housekeeping, Cooking, Driving, Setting up meetings, reminders and followups, taking care and playing with my grandson(which I missed very much, until the beginning of the pandemic – the first public Curfew), Spending time with family.
I would run from meeting to meeting, and always running late, and carrying that guilt of not being punctual. Not being able to complete tasks on time (part of my DNA!).
I always longed for “Time and Space” for myself, with no intrusions, uninterrupted by people or phone calls. Never “had the time” for attending, remedying family issues, challenges.
Now, I am sure many of have learned to be as independent as possible. I mostly drive my own car (not any more dependent on a Chauffer), mostly manage my calendar, and tracking tasks. Wash vessels when required. Whatever we had taken for “Granted” changed.
On arrival of the COVID Pandemic in late February, life changed, and I am sure it was an unexpected and uncertain times for all of us since then. Lockdowns and social distancing meant ‘Stuck at Home”. Not being able to go to Office meant “Work from Home”. Not being able to school meant “Learn online”.
All doctors started recommended that we take lots of Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D supplements. Also means we were not eating good nutritious food, having switched to eating out, processed food, eating at street-side eateries. We started eating home made food, and hopefully that has helped a lot of us. If only we mostly were eating home made food, may be we did not need the supplements? Well, it is what doctors recommend, that is what we have to do. No second word about it.
Now the “Time & Space” for myself should be about well-being, doing light exercises, walking, sleeping enough, eating well, Breathing exercises and meditation. This was all ignored by many of us, or at least diluted to a certain extent. Now, this is what occupies my “Time & Space”. When I was inefficiently busy, and had no personal time, I longed for it. With the sudden Lockdown, and until getting used to the new routine, I realised that I now “Time & Space” for myself, but for a couple of months, I did not know how to deal with it. The same “Time & Space” I longed for, was now annoying and restless. I desperately wanted to go out, meet people. Mobile phone and Internet has been a saviour.
Of course it has given us time to step back, reflect and recalibrate our lives.
I cannot Imagine a Pandemic like nCOVID happening before mobile phone and internet, and I grew up in those times. Life and Work would have completely halted without the modern technology. Human beings are highly innovative, and may be we would have found different creative ways of handling such a hypothetical situation.
The meetings at work have become zoom calls or google calls. Mostly back-to-back. Stuck to a chair and staring at the computer screen or the mobile device. I am sure most of you will agree that while it has been a great boon in the Covid Lockdown times, it also creates Screen overtime fatigue.
I travelled a lot, because my work needed me to travel to different parts of the world. I used to love traveling during the first 4-5 years, until I could only afford Economy. Walking through the cabins when you board the aircraft, I would envy the business class cabin. Later I got to travel Business class, and I would envy First Class Seats. Eventually I was used to traveling First class, and that is when I became more reluctant to travel – Irony of life. Also I never could sleep in first class seats as well as I could in Economy class seats.
There was another twist in the waiting – the nCOVID Pandemic. Now, not having been able travel since February, I so much want to travel again, but not possible.
The Pandemic has been severely damaging to the world. It is funny, that many times I feel it has been a great leveller, and may be Nature’s way of understand the realities of life, and not lead an artificial life, full of misgivings.
Things many of us aspired for, does not mean too much at such times of calamity. I am sure we are all optimists in our own ways.
Let the lights of Deepavali bring us new wisdom and character.