As my alarm bell rings in the morning, I realize that I must get up, make my son ready for school and pack his lunch. It is just 6:30 AM, and my eyes are longing for some more sleep. Soon, I realize that I must drop him off at the bus stop, and the desire to sleep more can only be fulfilled on Saturday. I come back home, finish household chores and dress up to leave for the office. Life during the pre-pandemic period was like this for most of us.
We used to be away from home for about 10-12 hrs. And reach back home exhausted. When we blamed traffic on the road, at times, back-to-back meetings and the list are endless. Then around mid of March 2020, we witnessed a shift in what we used to call NORMAL and, in some months, NEW NORMAL was a new term. We stopped getting up early to go to the office, we stopped dressing up well to be presentable in office set up, we stopped cooking in the morning and packing our lunch boxes, if I keep jotting down, there were many things we stopped doing abruptly without a slight hint or a change that we encountered in a phased manner. Suddenly life was different; people staying away from families got back to their hometowns and stayed with family for months together. Earlier, visiting hometown used to be once or twice in a year, aligned with festivals, but now people are staying together for more than one year. Craving for homemade food, being with family, sitting over a cup of tea or coffee with parents, and talking to them every day used to be a dream. During the pre-pandemic period, I have come across people in the office talking about going home for a week, and their sparkling eyes were enough to explain the joy. We all must realize that the Covid-19 pandemic brought with it certain things we always longed for, and we seldom think from this perspective. We continue to spend time with family, talk to friends and boost their morale in times of need, we eat together as a family, we get to spend time with children and play with them. As human beings, we do not look at this part of the story and feel delighted about life.
Not only this, but we are also getting time to hone new skills and pursue our hobbies that we were unable to due to a time crunch earlier. If we think of it, the time we used to spend commuting is now available to us; most of us had planned to learn many difficult things to spend time on in the past. We are getting time to learn new skills, learn painting, singing, dancing, etc. Pandemic also forced us to think that we need very little to stay happy. Not visiting malls, not going to restaurants, not buying expensive clothes did not change anything majorly; instead, it made us think that we can be happy and content with very little in life. Also, in the past, we used to make plans for the future at times, even something that we should have worried about after 6 months; in the current scenario, we do not even plan for next week and have started living in the present. We all have started appreciating that everything happens when it is destined to happen, and we now only think on a broader scale.
Indeed, many of us lost our near and dear ones last year, and the loss is irreplaceable. However, to sail through this phase, we have to be mentally strong. We all must be indebted to what we accomplished in the last year. This phase forced us to have faith in people we had never met in the past, an ambulance driver, a nurse, a doctor; everyone seemed to give hope. People cooked for infected families and helped them in the best possible manner. The pandemic reinstated the fact that human beings will stand for each other no matter what. I am sure the feeling we have about the current scenario is far better than what we had in March 2020. Thus, we all must celebrate good things from the past year. Imagine the turmoil we will go through if one day we will again go back to the way we worked earlier, leaving the comfort of home, the time we are spending with family, the traffic on the road…as I write this, I already feel chills down my spine! Hence, as they say, let’s be happy in the present moment as it will be just for the moment. However, we must cherish great memories with family and friends to celebrate the past.
At last, I will sum up with:
“Be happy, not because everything is good, but because you can see the good side of everything!”