The announcement of the total lockdown had come like a thunderbolt shattering my hopes and blowing my heart into splinters. It had been a lingering fear, a fear that lurked somewhere in my brain dogging my every step. It had happened in neighbouring countries and it seemed its incursion into my country was inevitable. But in my characteristic doggedness, I held on to hope. Every passing day, I prayed that my country be spared by the ravaging virus so that I could complete the projects I was working on.
At least, that innocent was my thought then. And this is the why.
I’ve always been a very busy person all my life and I even prided myself on being one. I worked on at least three different jobs a day without pausing for as much as enough time to comb your hair. I left home very early in the morning and came back very late at night spent out. Yet I must rise very early again the following day so that I did not relapse to the realm of the lazy uninspired people who waddled to work 7am and scurried back home before 4pm.
However, around November 2019 I experienced some rather unpleasant changes. I realised that waking up in the morning had started taking more effort than usual. At times, it took the persistent intervention of my spouse to drive me out of bed. And while at work, I discovered that concentrating had become so difficult. I battled with just a single task for the whole day without making much headway. Yawning and stretching decimated my time at work and I felt awful.
To say the least, I was so disappointed with myself.
Then came along December and its Covid-19 ‘gift’. And by March, it had become a pandemic with schools and other institutions locked down in most countries of the world. My country isn’t an exception. So, I was forced to work from home (I’m still working from home), and to my utmost surprise, I got jobs done so easily and every morning I felt thoroughly refreshed.
Under lockdown, I now have quality time for myself and my family. I chat with them, rest and still do my work without getting overwhelmed.
Then, it dawned on me that I had all along mistaken self-torture for being hardworking, and being busy for being productive. I had been at the verge of burnout just before the lockdown was imposed and the lockdown was actually a blessing in disguise. It came to heal me and show me the right path in Post-Covid time. It has opened my eyes to the need to care for myself and to create time for my family.
But how am I surviving?
Technology, I realised, has started fighting this war for mankind long ago. I mean since the computer, and especially the internet were invented. I can’t stand imagining what fighting coronavirus would have been like without these two.
Today, thank God for technology, it is so easy to explore the internet to solve many of the problems that a total lockdown would have automatically visited on the people. With just a click of the fingers, the schools have been moved online, so I’m able to teach via many applications that have been developed for video conferencing and virtual classroom. I’ve since discovered that I had not been exploring my talents and potential.
Another potential problem neutralised by technology is cash flow, and buying and selling. Being cash-strapped or unable to buy your essential needs is capable of giving the most stoical person a scary nightmare. But with the top-notch online payment services available, what could have been a critical problem is solved by just pressing a few buttons on your smartphone.
Over all these are the lessons I’ve learnt:
(1) You can be always busy without being productive if you don’t prioritise your wellness.
(2) You are at your best only when you take care of your wellness.
(3) Tough situations help you unlock your hidden talents and potential.
(4) Every cloud has a silver lining; when you’re faced with a challenge, look very closely, there are opportunities lurking within.