How a tip from my grandma helped me reflect on a post-pandemic me

If I were to think of a collocation that has bombarded us a zillion times over the past year, it has to be ‘post pandemic’

We have become obsessed with discussing the fallout of the pandemic – from analysts under glaring halogen bulbs facing TV cameras, to family members huddled around the dinner table. We are all busy evaluating and postulating on strategies to fit into a post-pandemic world. And rightly so – with the horrors of the countless waves that countries have faced, we are still looking to transition to some semblance of stability. Nowhere has there been a greater impact, than in our personal lives as we have juggled careers, sickness, and even death.

One morning as I sipped my coffee with a newspaper in hand, I had an epiphany. Like the others, I had also been thinking about life post the pandemic and had spent a considerable amount of time mulling over things outside my control. But I had left out a very critical subject: me! Could I use the same time to think through and assess what a ‘post-pandemic me’ would look like? 

How had the pandemic changed me? Did I still look at the world the same way as I did before? How had my priorities changed? As my mind turned into a maelstrom of deep and complex questions, I dove into the recesses of my mind to figure out a few of these answers. Here are a few things I have come to realize in the process:

We are grateful for just being alive!

I was often filled with a sense of helplessness, after hearing about the thousands of lives being claimed by the pandemic. This manifested itself as sadness that hung around me like a large dark cloud, threatening to pour down at any moment. I also experienced a sense of survivor’s guilt at times. I could not help but wonder how each life lost to the virus, had represented a hundred dreams dreamt, a hundred plans made and a million hopes held. While feeling the pain of those that had lost their loved ones, I also realized an important thing about life: nothing that I complained about mattered if I had no life to live. Being alive is the most beautiful gift of all, and yet is also the one which I am the least grateful for. When I now start to complain, I think of how lucky I am to be alive. I have an opportunity to try and touch others lives in some positive way. 

The freedom to step outside, even for a brief moment, can make a huge difference in your routine life.

I am a married woman and a consultant by profession. My days are often a juggle between responsibilities at home and at work. Amidst this usual mayhem, I have my moments of yearning: for an outdoor stroll in the garden or a rendezvous at Marine Drive. But unfortunately, I have had to deprioritize the need to take time out and satisfy my yearnings. Every single time, either caught up in a “to do list mode” or just out of plain laziness, I have failed to follow up on this need. There were other things that always seemed more important. I now realize how valuable it was to have the freedom to step out when I wished to. I have realized the magic that a whiff of fresh air or few minutes spent with nature, can weave into an otherwise routine day.

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