It is hard to believe that the lockdown started 75 days ago – I think this has felt like a year or two for some of us. I remember thinking to myself when packing up my office at Chartered, how are we all going to suddenly adjust to this new way of living and working – mentally, physically and emotionally? We didn’t have much time to process any of this. Our survival instincts kicked in as we headed to the grocery stores and pharmacies to satisfy our basic human needs for a month or two.
Here we are, 75 days later, resilient human beings that have adapted to this ‘new normal’, as they say. We embraced the unknown, and, in some cases, were pleasantly surprised by the silver linings that we discovered: more time with family and loved ones, less stress by not being on the roads in Joburg and fighting the traffic, more productivity in our work, perhaps a new appreciation for our colleagues and our jobs, an opportunity for new and innovative ideas of working and living smarter and finally, having the time to start that new hobby or complete our long outstanding DIY project at home.
Looking back, lockdown, in all of its suddenness, has been the reset button that came to place us on a better path of living and being. A lesson in what really matters and counts in life! We all took the time to relook at our budgets, asking ourselves how we can spend wisely going forward. I am hoping that we also took this as a wonderful opportunity to identify those bucket wheel items that are most important to us, that we will regret not pursuing, as now is the time to really live and do all that we want to do!
The more I speak to family and friends, the more I realise that we are all a little overwhelmed by the idea of adapting to what we were used to, not so long ago. Ques at grocery stores will now be replaced with ques at Sorbet Salons, hairdressers, barbers and bottle stores (ah a new founded appreciation for these luxuries that we previously all took for granted!) However, apart from the physical return to life and the rat race, I can only hope that we take the mental and emotional balance that we have discovered (which the lockdown has afforded us), into the real world of living and working. I hope we don’t go back to our old ways and bad habits, sadly losing this lesson. I hope we have all found our new lease on life and a higher appreciation for the little things, that looking back, were actually the big things that got us through the dark days of lockdown.