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How the coronavirus saved me from a life of busy

Pertinent lessons in faith, letting go and simplicity learnt from a Covid-19 survivor

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On the 19 March I had the symptoms of the Coronavirus which I shrugged off because I was too busy at work. I convinced myself I was just run down and I self isolated as a precaution and carried on working from home. This was a mistake. Through my need to be productive, in control and always winning in life I worked over the course of the week through the crushing headache, muscle pain, fever, loss of smell and taste, lethargy, chest cold and cough. It was only until I couldn’t breathe that my life came to a halt. I had to go to the hospital, alone.


In that moment of my life passing before my tear filled eyes, I was upset that it came to this. No extra hours at work or that excellent strategy could save me now. I had to delve deep inside of me, pass the prized assets, the accumulation of stuff, and that wonderful summer’s dress to something more profound and ancient to help me through this devastation. My faith in something bigger than me. My faith that if I let go of control, I will land safely. My faith in prayer and others’ prayers. My early lessons in faith and prayer that was first initiated by my grandmother came flooding back just like a fleece blanket had been thrown over me to keep me warm and protected. With this faith woven security blanket I walked into the hospital more mentally prepared for the unknown.


During the course of my solo road to recovery – physical and mental – I faced the coronavirus head-on with my ‘get the job done’ masculine energy, but I also asked it gently with humility, “why are you here?” “What are you trying to teach me?” This was the most difficult question I have asked in my life. It spoke to me and it was showing me in the most painful way. For years I was consumed by being busy, achieving, doing, being present for the fear of missing out and working through ailments rather than seeing them as signs to slow down, to recharge, to sleep early, to show self-love and bake those vegan, sugar free brownies that I’ve always wanted to, but I never had the time. Correction, I never made the time.


Now that we are all generally working from home, spending quality time with family, appreciating nature, cooking and baking for the love of it – as the restrictions ease – let’s not rush back to our old life.


We have proven that we can be productive when there is a work – life balance without the frustration of peak time commute. We are in a better position to negotiate and paint a better life now that we have experienced the joy in simplicity.

The coronavirus has saved me from a life of busyness and has shown me the beauty of slowing down. I am sharing its teaching with the world in a poem that I wrote called ‘The Antidote’ which I hope many can learn from and start to embrace the slower and simpler things in life. This brings real freedom and connection.


The Antidote

It came many years ago
silently tiptoeing around me
I could feel it
gripping hold
I loosened it
“I’m too busy
now is not the time to show.”

Busyness consumed me
Time became a commodity
Food became nothing but fuel
Sleep became a luxury
My thoughts owned by a social media mogul
And this is what I call free?

Like an old friend
it came knocking again
this time
not taking no for an answer.
It finds a seat
and holds my body to ransom.

I resist
I’m holding on to the carousel
It’s spinning
I see others have fell.
I tightly hold on
I take the risk
but I’m falling.

On my knees, I plead
“What do you want?’
It shows me in the most painful way
Everyday
A lesson
A teaching
Then a divine intervention.

“Time is precious – slow down
Sleep is healing – bed early
Food is self-love – experiment now
Think your own thoughts – serve sincerely”

From helplessness
I have hope.
From pain
I have strength.
From quietness
I have creative scope.
From isolation
I made a friend.
From divinity
I have the antidote.

And just like that it leaves
more than a surprise.
A mark.
A change.
An opportunity
to stop and breathe
and re-write life.

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