Count your blessings- here is what the pandemic taught me

In mid March, it seemed like the worst nightmare ever and one that dint look like its ending.

Work from home was not fun, I missed dressing up, putting on make up, my shoes and driving to work. I had just moved closer to my workplace and was looking forward to the flexibility of travelling to work and ending my day when I was ready and not because it was time for the office cab to leave.

I missed the gym, something I had started to like. And I missed the weekend movies and eating out- something thing that we all love doing as family.

Initially it felt like a passing phase, if we practise social distancing stringently , this will go away. All those who are sick will get cured and we will be free. This was a illusion, which we all realised over time.

No maids or cooks (this did not impact us as a family as we only hired a maid for mopping and this wasn’t a mammoth task that we couldn’t manage), no takeaways (this was a big blow for a foodie like me who loves eating out on weekends), no online deliveries ( seemed like the world had come to a standstill for someone who is always ordering stuff online).

Its been more than 2 months now and we are in Lockdown 4, with many restrictions having been eased down. Pune continues to remain a red zone with a rapid increase in cases, we do not risk going out unless we have to buy groceries or veggies.

Don’t we get used to things after a while? Not that we start loving it but it doesn’t seem as depressing, it just seems like this is how life will be for a few months now.

With all thats happening around while its easy to get sucked into negative thoughts , there is merit in seeing the positive side of things. What do you do when things are beyond your control? Do you just sulk and curse your luck or learn to take it in your stride and focus on how you can make this time productive and positive for yourself?

Its easier said than done, but over 2 months I have realised there are multiple things to be thankful for. Here’s what worked really well for me during this time:

  1. Getting back to reading- I have always been an ardent reader but after Angel’s birth I have slowed down considerably. Its always about having to make a choice between what do I want to do with my limited time and I always choose blogging or something else over reading. But with the new situation and being at home the whole day especially on weekends , I managed to get back to reading. Not with the same fervour but I did read some books over the past 2 months. Ships that sail, The Purple Line, Life is calling, The Bestseller she wrote – all by Indian authors and very different themes. The Bestseller she wrote by Ravi Subramanium was fast paced and kept me at the edge of my seat, The Purple Line was about 6 women and their stories told through the lens of their gynec, another sensitively written book by Priyamvada Purshotham, though it was slow paced. I am tempted to pick up the Harry Potter series and devour it again, last I read it in college but this one never disappoints.
  2. Blogging more regularly- Since the past 2 years my blog has been sought of abandoned, I am not writing as much as I used to. Serious blogging needs one to be disciplined, very regular and keep visiting other posts, read and share, interact with other bloggers. This needs time and effort and with my job getting more hectic I wasn’t able to do this. Weekends is when I wanted to devote all my time to Angel, also recoup from the weeklong fatigue, writing took a toll. But I have been writing every week now and much to my surprise I am seeing my old blogger friends and readers actually come back to my blogs, I have also started reading others posts and this has been really good for me and my blog. While I am nowhere close to where I was in the past, this pace suits me.
  3. Fitness- I used to love going to the gym, it had been a couple of months since I started and it was not an easy journey but the thing with fitness is – once the bug bites you, the mark is sure to stay. With the lockdown, my strength training took a severe hit. I did not have any weights at home and I was sorely missing the treadmill. Not wanting to wait it out, I started running. This was really tough, left me breathless and with severe aches the whole day, but with time I got better. I still havent really developed a love for running and am very much a gym person but who knows? I also started doing some abs workouts for the waist and yoga (yoga is one thing I had never imagined I would do!), we did a very intense abs workout for 2 days this week which left my elbows bruised but I am going back to that workout soon as I really liked it. These are things I never imagined I would do but looking back it feels good that I am keeping my fitness mojo intact. And thanks to my superstar mum who gives me company, we keep motivating each other “just 5 more to go, you can do it”, it helps having someone who pushes you to be a better version of yourself.
  4. Watching Harry Potter with Angel: I always had this dream of reading Harry Potter with Angel when she grows up, discussing the book and watching the movies, someday visiting the Harry Potter museum in London. I thought she should grow up a bit more to fully appreciate the nuances but on a whim I decided to start off with the first movie. I had to do a lot of explaining by pausing the movie and it took us a few sittings to complete it. She couldn’t make sense of it completely but we moved on to the second one. This time I told her the story before we started and we continued pausing and explaining things in between and it worked wonders. After the movie was done, she insisted on telling the story to my mom and did that very well. We completed “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and are now watching “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” but here is where Lord Voldemort came in and Angel totally freaked out. I am not sure we will progress beyond this point but lets see whats in store. I am glad she enjoyed what she watched and we often discuss Hermoine , Hagrid and other characters and I get challenged on “why would Harry die if he saw the Basilisk with his glasses on?” HP fans know what I am talking of!
  5. The miscellaneous things we were taking for granted: Being a family of sea food lovers and someone who eats chicken and fish at-least 3-4 times a week, it was difficult when all online delivery stopped. We order our meat from Liscious which has fresh seafood, chicken and delivers as per your convenience. But then all of a sudden with the lockdown announcement, all online deliveries stopped. We were on a complete vegetarian diet for almost 3 weeks and it was not as bad but I missed my meat. And then online delivery of food items started and I was overjoyed! Essential items were also being delivered, though at a much slower pace and this was a breather. With soaps and shampoos getting used up and our local grocers having run out of stock , I had started using shampoos as body wash! And Amazon started online deliveries for all items last week- this was a welcome sign, I had loads to order and not just for sake of it. Broken stuff that needed to be discarded, new supplies of things that were not as easily available in the market, a few new home clothes (something people like me who go to work ignore cos we are hardly at home but with the lockdown and those 3-4 pairs of ragged T shirts and shorts, you are bound to rethink of your wardrobe) .These simple things that we often taken for granted as they are abundantly available, but a situation like this makes us realise that we need to value stuff.
  6. Work that keeps me engaged and pays my bills: People often grumble about office and not having enough vacation but its times like these that make us realise we need to be more thankful about our jobs. With people on furlough in various companies and having heard of some of my friends working for different organisations who have not been paid their full salary, its a blessing to not be in such a situation. Work keeps me engaged the whole day, with a virtual environment its even more important to talk to each other. People have been going through varying emotions with the pandemic but I have seen its work which has helped many stay sane and give them a sense of normalcy. The same goes for me, at end of day I am exhausted but with a sense of fulfilment.
  7. Friends who really matter: A simple text or call to check in on me, “am I doing ok? How is Angel? How are we coping” there have been a few people, some of whom I never spoke to much but it made me reflect on ” who actually matters? There have been some bitter moments too, outbursts, tiffs with a few friends, its a difficult state we all are going through. But it has made a us reflect on things we often brushed aside, it made me value certain friendships more.

Is this really the new normal or are we yet to see the worst? Will we come out of this soon or is this going to last for long? I doubt we have ever faced this degree of uncertainty about our future but its also made us realise there is a superpower somewhere, who calls the shots. I doubt we will come through unscathed but the scars are something we will remember for years to come and hopefully they help us become better versions of ourselves.

What are your reflections over the past 2 months. How are you holding up? Do share in the comments sections, I would love to hear.

14 thoughts on “Count your blessings- here is what the pandemic taught me

  1. Good to know that you are taking things in your stride Akshata. Being positive is the only thing which will see us through these tough times. Great read! Loved seeing the picture collage. Love to Angel!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m in total agreement. Life has changed and even though it’s returning back to normal, this will be a new normal. Sundays are my only day off and with the complete lockdown, I can’t go out even to buy things. I miss having take-out and really missed the pleasure of online shopping during the lockdown. But since one app was delivering chicken, I finally learned how to cook it. No more SWIGGy for the sake of eating chicken when the craving hits! Gratitude lists are what will get us through these days. You are right – we have it much better. I’m so glad that you’re turning Angel into a Potterhead too 😍♥️
    P.S: I’m so glad that you returned back to blogging ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to hear about your cooking chicken Shwe!! Though I am ordering in sometimes, gave in to the cravings. And thanks to friends like you for welcoming me with open arms to the blogging world!

      Like

  3. You guys are lovely! Also, very great realizations. I enjoyed reading your posts. Looking forward to do read more in the future. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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