Life in the last 19 days, is one that I have never lived before or had ever imagined living.
Now that we have finished singing pæans of praise for work from home, the hard reality is sinking in.
And it is hard work. Yes, we save commuting time.
And we are with our families. Yes, I hang with my kids at night and talk to my parents. But do we need to spend this much time, and that too every day?
And we are eating healthy. Yes, I am cooking more than I have ever cooked before. But does every meal have to be amazing?
And we have time for our “hobbies”. Yes, all those “other interests” that we wrote while filling the interview forms a lifetime ago. But did you ever regret not learning more than those 3 songs on that keyboard?
And we are more connected than ever. Yes, Whatsapp groups, Zoom housie (GOD!!!), extended family meetings. But do we really want to video chat with those whom we barely see not-even-once-a-year? (Zoom is laughing all the way to the bank).
And we are buying groceries. Yes, because it is available. But do we really this much cheese? Or pasta? Or even atta, for that matter?
Of course, my doorbell never rings, which is a good thing I think, but I miss wondering which fool has showed up at my place at this inopportune hour!
Of course, I get the news, but I miss the smell of fresh newsprint, the rustle of the pages and Dilbert.
Of course, office work is happening, but then what else would I do for a good part of the day? What I am really missing is the buzz of the office. The random conversation. Complimenting a colleague on her earrings, discussing a movie I saw, getting an opinion on a tricky email I need to send and most importantly, observing what the others are doing!
Of course, I am having my two cups of black coffee as I work, but I miss the smell of a coffee shop. The sound of the machine, the chatter of the women, the cacophony created by the millennials and just…people watching!
Of course, I am working out every day, but I don’t know for how much longer I can run in the 50m length of my terrace or say how much I am really enjoying my strength workouts.
No, I don’t miss the traffic, but the empty roads are eerie. The silence is deathly. A feeling of isolation fills the air. A strange feeling, as neither is my life is in danger, nor is the world at war but I need to be in quarantine.
The uncertainty of not knowing how much longer this will continue is unnerving. Yes, we are adapting, because that is our only recourse. But let’s not pretend that it is amazing. Fine, it was a novelty for a week. But this lifestyle for 2 months?
I miss casualness. The random time that we “wasted” travelling, waiting in a queue, making polite conversation which gave us a breather between the “real stuff”. When our brain switched off and went into idle mode in snatches. When everything was not so purposeful, deliberate and hyperfocussed.
I miss chaos. My constant rant was, that everything is moving too fast and I want to jump off the rollercoaster…That time is flying and I want to breathe! Now I have time to breathe and to meditate. Guess what, I don’t want to do it! Even after doing all the chores, everything seems to be in control, as per the plan now, as we have more time than things to do! Am I rambling? That’s because my mind is in a jumble!
This virus hits us at exactly the spots where we are weakest and exposes exactly those ills we had lazily come to tolerate.
It making us question us. What do I want do to do with this time?
It makes us wonder. What was I doing with my time until now?
It forces us into a corner. Is this really the best way that I can spend this time?
Are we doing what we are doing because we want to, or because there isn’t anything else to do?
Who am I?
Today, I can choose to be who I want to be.
The story that we will tell about this moment will be one of the most meaningful periods of our lives. We learn more about ourselves in these hard periods.
Opportunities present themselves all the time, but life-altering ones often come up during times of great change. The virus is a test. We have the freedom to respond.
This seems apt…
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
– Carl Jung