I’ve been quiet on my blog for a while. Like the rest of the world, I took time out to figure how to deal with the corona pandemic. In South Africa, we had a lockdown period of 43 days at stringent Level 5. For the most part, I enjoyed spending quality time with my family. But on the other, I missed my freedom, my friends and running outdoors.
Watching the news on confirmed cases rising daily didn’t make things easy. I limited my time on news channels and focused my attention on things I could control. I found ways to stay fit within the confines of my home doing yoga and pilates which I enjoyed.
During the lockdown, I thought it was the perfect time to get things done because of hours saved from not commuting to work. But I battled to balance working from home with domestic chores. Each invaded the other and my productivity wasn’t high. My writing suffered the most as I wasn’t in a good space to create. I didn’t force myself to either.
I took that time to invest in myself. I signed up for free webinars on writing, investing, and entrepreneurial opportunities. I reflected on where I want to be in the next ten years. My life before the lockdown was fraught with stress – sitting in 2-hour traffic every day to and from work, never having time to relax, running races every weekend, writing at night and over weekends. I was hitting my breaking point fast. Lockdown for the most part removed me from the rat race. At last, I got the much-needed rest I needed.
When the lockdown was relaxed to Level 4 the first thing I did was go for a run in the outdoors. A new reality we faced was running with a mask that is not conducive to exercise. The first time I ran with a mask my heart rate shot up, leaving me no choice but to adjust my pace. However, I’ve trained myself to run with a mask now and I’ve adapted to it. I lost most of my fitness during this time but it was wonderful starting from scratch to build up again. Although I miss races to challenge myself, running alone affords me the space to listen to my body, to run the way I want and feel, and not because of a race goal. The joy of getting out there, in the fresh air, even in the midst of winter is a blessing for me.
Soon I started writing again. Something completely different from an idea I’ve had for a while. I even sent my finished novel to a professional editor. This was a huge step for me because it means I’m so much closer to getting my novel published. And although this should be an exciting time, a part of me is fearful of the outcome. Will my book that I’ve sacrificed so much time, effort, and tears over be good enough? Will I ever know if I don’t try? What I do know is that all my efforts can’t be in vain. I believe in my novel, so I’ve had to step out of my own way and let it go.
I’ve also been planning my finances better. I am fortunate to still be working and so is my husband. I am so aware of how many people are suffering at this time and my heart breaks for them. Lockdown allowed me to see how much money I wasted on things I didn’t need. I cut my spending to a bare minimum, I saved, consciously making the effort to learn about money and how I could use it wisely. This is a new skill for me but one I know will stay with me forever.
Most importantly, I’ve listened and heard the universe speak to me. I was open to suggestions, opportunities, and ideas. I know that the space I’m in now wants me to change, to make radical decisions, to leap, risk it all and not look back. A few years ago I wouldn’t have had the courage to do so, but now I am ready.
In a time of corona, I hope you’re okay, healthy, and safe. What have you been up to? How have you coped during this time? Drop me a comment, I’d love to connect with you.