We entered several weeks of a stay-at-home directive from the government, as countries around the world battled the worst crises seen in recent times and I digested the enormity of this development.
Several systems had to be put in place along with the already existing ones. Lifestyle changes had to be thought out. Dependency on any help had to be reduced. Plans had to be worked before calling them workable.
Apart from this the usual life moved on. There was office to be gone to by my husband while the rest of the country was asked to stay at home. There were things to be taken care off in terms of distribution of masks and hand sanitisers made under expert direction by our prison staff and inmates as a service to the nation, to all frontline staff.
Routine stuff also had to be done like two tummies’ to be filled and sink loads of utensils to be washed. There was the regular, routine cleanliness drive which had to be taken into an overdrive. Door handles and knobs had to be given their now daily alcohol spa treatment. A phone call jolting my son in the far away continent, had to warn him of the progress of the virus and the quick developments in our own country and ask for an hourly cleanliness bulletin. Much to his annoyance, of course! Finally, after two such calls, he declared to me that his room was like a nuclear war bunker and I needn’t worry! To add to all this, my routine morning sniffle as the dust from the atmosphere, each morning decides to playfully tickle my nose, had my family ask me at least half a dozen extra questions.
Thus, in between the clouds of routine, extraordinary, chaotic, usual and change – I saw a silver lining. There seemed some bright illumination which was lighting up the sombre clouds and making it bearable.
Like the unfolding and unchartered territory of the lockdown being faced by the administration wherein each moment is throwing up a new challenge and the lists of issues which need tackling keep increasing or modifying, so is my list of silver linings. However, I pick my favourites!
- Self-control over all kinds of anxiety as we pause and tell ourselves, quietly: It’s Ok, we are better off than so many others. So, what if the things aren’t organised into shelves or piles, the house isn’t orderly like before – at least it looks lived in! My list of gratitude in the corona times is simple but valuable.
- Connections – of all kinds,
- with family was always there in my life but I know it’s happening more even in mine as with others.
- there is more value for each other’s work.
- along with a realisation that being apart from each other through the day is essential in daily life for survival, literally.
- routines are good.
- everyone in the family needs space of the mental kind.
- friends are our lifelines without whom our lives would be like this lock down.
- phrases like “Let’s meet up for a cup of coffee” have acquired a whole new meaning.
- “Sorry I’m busy” – will be a statement a majority of us will not utter for a very, very long time after we are ahead of this crisis.
- Self-realisation – Like for many others in the corona times, it has made each pause, and take stock:
- What were we running after?
- What were we running for?
- What were we running with?
The answers are simple, evident and only require us to be human beings to understand and figure it out. No fancy degrees required.
- What are we running after? Wealth, fame, success, again answers will be innumerable. With corona wrecking our lives, now, my guess is many will deny this outright, others will roll their eyes in “maybe but cannot be sure” expressions, some more will dispense more ‘gyan’ via a soliloquy. The answers are simple, whether we like it or not, admit it or not: we were all at the start line of this race called Life but to run it the way most of the world was running it was Our Choice. Though we had allowed ourselves to stand as competitors, we still could have run that race on our terms, because it was ‘Our Life’ and why did we allow someone else – individually or collectively – to write the rules for it?
2. What were we running for? Family, satisfaction, passion, ego, again answers will be innumerable. With corona wrecking our lives, now, my guess is many will deny this outright, others will roll their eyes in “maybe but cannot be sure” expressions, some more will dispense more ‘gyan’ via a soliloquy. The answers are simple, whether we like it or not, admit it or not: when at the start line and before the starter pistol goes off, like in a race so also in Life’s race we have a million things whizzing through our minds but even if we did start the race there is always the Choice of slowing down or dropping out of it – again Our Choice! For it’s not the contest or the pursuit with its goals which should be faulted but the methods to do it. We often slow down in life only when it gives us a jolt. Why can’t we exercise restraint and caution amid our ambitions, purposes and/or aspirations? For the race is never for anyone – despite our excuses & rationalizing – it is always about our individual desires and craves.
3. What were we running with? Our expertise, knowledge, skill, intelligence, again answers will be innumerable. With corona wrecking our lives, now, my guess is many will deny this outright, others will roll their eyes in “maybe but cannot be sure” expressions, some more will dispense more ‘gyan’ via a soliloquy. The answers are simple, whether we like it or not, admit it or not: in Life’s race as you run on with your power and focus, turn around and look to your left or right. There are many others who are doing so too with the same drive and determination. To what end? To what culmination? We need to learn and absorb that unlike a running race where the prize is known, in the race called Life, everyone may be running but our goals and wants and desires and drives and plans and purposes are all different. ‘One size fit’s all’ rule does not apply!! So instead of blindly running your race, consider who you want to run it with – Our Choice again! Wisdom, may be a good, sustaining companion to consider.
In the midst of chaos, we got this virus,
In the midst of this virus, we are hoping to get some calm!
…………….and our very own silver linings!