- You can’t take anything for granted.
There was a time when sitting down for a morning coffee at the local cafe, dancing in the night with friends in crowded rooms, and planning travel to distant destinations were common things for a young person to do. Then it became common trying to recognizing people just from their eyes and hair, swerving from oncoming foot traffic to maintain a six foot distance, looking forward to grocery runs as they were one of the activities that changed the least. In one swift email back in March 2020, we were told the university would be closing and that all activities would resume online, including graduation. Fast forward one year and it has become a privilege to go on neighbourhood walks and to have a job that can be done remotely. Just like life, circumstances and things can be taken away at any moment, so the optimal mindset is to always expect change, while being grateful for all the little things.
- It’s ok to chill out.
There is only so much to do when stuck at home, and it can easily feel like not much is getting done when each day feels relatively the same. But I have realized that busyness does not equal productivity. On the contrary, to use time and energy the most efficiently during work hours requires amounts of resting hours as well. Silence and boredom give space to think and reflect on motivations and perspective, allowing for a fresh outlook and newfound creativity to inspire further work. Even though I have an itch to continually achieve and do, I am trying to also be ok with waiting for regular activities to return and enjoy the down time while it lasts!
- I’m more extraverted than I thought.
Thank goodness for video calls and the internet – imagine the isolation everyone would have felt even more of without them. I always thought I was more introverted, content with staying at home and entertaining myself, until I realized I was going on walks not just for exercise, but to just be around people. Social belonging is a huge factor in happiness and stress reduction, so it is easy to feel down through lockdowns. Although in some ways I have found technology has made connecting with others more convenient, seeing faces being turned on and off the screen and hearing distorted voices due to bad wi-fi just isn’t the same. And hugs! Weird to have to change greetings keeping a six-foot distance. I wonder if handshakes will become obsolete?
- Creating is important for the soul.
What quarantine hobby did you take up? I remember when lockdowns started in Canada, people were baking, painting, crocheting, singing, cleaning – and many still are today. I believe that every person is a creator in one form or another, with an innate drive to make something, anything – art, food, music, space… Despite being very excited to graduate, I ended up taking a UX course for fun to learn about the process of designing digital interfaces. And after feeling the vacancy lockdown after lockdown I decided to revive this blog which has been fun so far.
- Don’t have too much faith in the government.
Pretty self-explanatory. How ill-prepared the majority of governments of the world were to handle this crisis has made me very doubtful of their efficacy and competence. It makes me wonder about how future problems especially those stemming from environmental damage and global warming will be handled, if at all.
Not to end on a negative note, I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and finding the silver lining of the pandemic situation wherever you may be. It has been a difficult year affecting everybody in different ways, and I recognize I am very fortunate to be able to take this time to learn new things and reflect on the important things in life.
(Art by maureenkat on Redbubble.com)
Thanks for reading,