It has been almost three months of lockdown and one begins to get antsy and anxious about what tomorrow will look like. Also, we are almost at the mid-mark of the year with June fast-approaching and not bringing as much clarity on whether what used to be deemed as normal will be docking at the station of our lives.
The last 3-4 months for me have been a cyclic spin of different kinds of emotion. Initially, there were moments of panic and anxiety as I could not comprehend how I was not going to be able to move or leave my four-walled room to go to more open spaces. A couple of weeks in and a lockdown and then later the head of state announcing extensions, I began to talk to myself into a pile of calm. I had no control whatsoever of what was going on out there and the only thing I was going to have to do was to accept the situation and carve a life around this. Alas and a light bulb realization that I was the actual reason my life seemed to a mad rush to an unknown destination with time and urgency biting hard at me. Indeed I suffered a major burn out at the start of the year that opened the door to all sorts of illnesses and possibly, lockdown was God’s way of saying “Hush now my girl – calm yourself down!”
Many weeks on and lockdown is slowly being released and with my new lease on life, I’ve been pondering on what my new normal will look like going forward. With the next 6 months, these 5 thoughts came to mind:
1. Peace; Perfect Peace: I have learnt that even in tumultuous storms or when the mountain is on fire, holding your peace high will be the greatest point of making very sane decisions. At the start of the lockdown it was helter-skelter world-over with us running ourselves close to insanity figuring out even things that did not need figuring out. I remember I couldn’t take my eyes of my social media pages because I was seeking out the perfect opinion and in some instances involving myself in arguments that left me bile-mouthed. It took me one snap of the finger and shutting everything down to realise that I needed to hold my peace high to be able to make decisions for me that were going to keep my head above the water the entire lockdown. I have never looked back because not only do I feel peace right now, but it’s written all-over everything I touch and do. This will be my carry-on for the rest of the year. I cannot make sane decisions when my mind is at war; when my spirit is bleeding and when my body is engaged into fight mode. I plan to hold my horses and look for peace through it all. For me that means praying more, moments of meditation, switching the world off even for a moment, reading a good book, petting my dog etc…. I don’t care what it is BUT looking for peace is now of paramount importance.
2. No Hugs; No Handshakes; Sneezing Calls Attention To Yourself: Hugs and handshakes are a big “no-no” thanks to the global pandemic that has shaken the entire globe. I find myself cringing every time I see someone extending their hand out to someone or even a hug.
Weird but this happens nowadays even when I am watching a movie – as if the movies were all made during the Corona times. Imagine, I come from a tribe where hugs are the order of the day BUT moving forward, this has a STOP sign to it.
There will temporarily be no hugs and handshakes and you better not sneeze in public lest you have everyone running away from you!!!! Our new normal now is a simple “hello” and that’s about it.
3. Listen More: One of those evenings as I sat under the deep blue sky, watching the orange haze of the sun disappear along the horizon; giving way to the beautiful glow of the stars – I realized that everything around me had quietly but loudly and clearly spoken tons to me. Being the person that I am, everything around me is LOUD! My mind is loud and my life too is silently loud. That evening under the stars taught me that it is very possible to hush the loud around and listen more. I want to learn to speak less and listen more and to listen with my heart. This reminds me of these lyrics:
Listen with your heart listen to your soul
Inside you’ll find the answer To take you to the place you need to go
Listen with your heart listen and your heart will let you know
No matter where you are the truth is never far
Just listen and your heart will lead you home – Diane Waren and Cece Winan’s Listen with your Heart
4. Complete What I Started: At the dawn of 2020, I set out to achieve a couple of things by December, 2020. I am not one to make resolutions because most of the times it has been a complete fail and disappointment. 3 years ago, I made it a mission to set targets and actually document them. Well, this wasn’t exactly my brilliant idea – it was my mother’s. Every end of year, we go back to that big blue book where we all write what we hope to achieve and then do the ticking and evaluating……and somehow I make my own small personal checks. So, at the dawn of this year, I embarked on a couple of ventures and projects but somehow, nature took its own course and caused the most of the first quarter to come to a halt. As mentioned earlier, I also fell ill and was in bed for a while. Well, I have had to find ways to keep on track with my plans through it all. Moving forward, all my energies will surely be focussed on ensuring I get to the end of what I started and with God leading the way, I surely know this can be done. Are there times I want to give up and put my hands in the air, yes! Are there times I doubt myself? – Almost every morning! Are there voices that keep saying I can’t? – oh yes, many of them. Am I going to give up, NO, NEVER!!!! I must complete what I started.
5. Burning Bridges: You know how they say we should not burn bridges that we have crossed before in our lives? I doubt whoever coined that phrase realized that some bridges actually need to be burnt, the ashes scattered, and the memory of their existence erased and forgotten. Never to sound alarmist, pessimistic or negative – there are some people, places, experiences etc. that need to be let go of and forgotten. There are things we hold onto and yet, in so doing – we bleed a lot more, we don’t grow, we waste time, and we don’t see our value. Burning bridges is something I have slowly and surely learnt to do and will have to continue to do as the year progresses. One of those days, as my very sick and close to limp body lay down – it hit me hard on the head; almost to concussion level that I needed to get a light and torch a couple of bridges I had crossed over the years. Some of these were possibly the reason I was laying sick in bed and weary as if I was carrying the weight of the world on my head. God said it to me – loud and clear – “let go my daughter!! You are carrying everything I have told you to toss my way”. I have slowly gathered the courage to lit the match and have tossed it to burn those bridges.
“Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge” – Don Henley