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.
Corona has certainly made us change and adapt to a lot of things that we took for granted previously Luv. Running with a mask and Teams and Zoom meetings are the new norm, but there are so many other aspects where so many people have been negatively affected. It’s really been tough, but I do believe that we will get through this and we will come out of it stronger. I’m glad that it also afforded you the time to take a step back, slow down, send your novel for editing and letting it go. That was a big step and I am so proud of you 🙂
Sumi Singh says
They say change is uncomfortable and that’s certainly what Corona did to the world. I believe we shall overcome it. Yup we are 24/7 online which doesn’t make one more productive! And yes lots of people are suffering, all we can do is assist where we can as we have done. Thank you my darling for being my sounding board on every decision I make. I love you… always and forever.
One thing is for sure, which all of us has experienced and that is Reflection! It gave us that opportunity to appreciate the things we took for granted. What is happening is not an isolated case of Oh it just happened here in cape town or jhb etc. This is a life changing experience and it affects every single person around the globe. I can talk about this forever and the sad, very sad reality is to see how many people are jobless and with no food and that are starving. This is a time for us to be grateful – it is a message from God. Yes i had to take a pay cut, but still i could save more than what i would otherwise and i still have other resources, which many people including my extended family dont have.
And yet, we should have the courage to say, we’re struggling in our own way. And in every struggle we have to find solace, we have to find new perspective and make the best of this situation. You have sent your novel in for editing, and that is maybe something that you would have dragged your feet on otherwise but you did now and that is a positive step you’ve taken – well done and i keep fingers cross 🙂 Let go of the Fear!
I have decided to make writing “real”. my real by registering for online writing courses and joining ROSA and West Coast writers group – Thank you for giving me that lead. Things happens for a reason and instead of sitting around worrying about something we cannot change, let’s make a change.
As for running, aaawe man what a joy it is to run again – a bit restricted yes, but we’re slowly getting back and I’m also too happy to try and lose the few k’s i’ve gained ugh.;)
Same storm, different boat right
Keep on inspiring and motivating others like myself 🙂
Sumi Singh says
We have much to be grateful for at this time if we have a roof over our heads, food on the table and enough to take care of our families. My family in Pretoria too have been hard-hit by this pandemic and as much as I hate what is happening to them, I never stop praying that this pandemic ends soon, I help where I can, and I guess that’s all we can do right now.
Yes, I should have sent my novel for editing last year already, but in this writing journey, I have learned to crawl before I walk. There is so much to learn, so many mistakes I’ve made along the way, experience I have to rack up before I get my book published. Every step is a learning curve for me and I’ve had to let go of perfection as it doesn’t exist.
Congratulations on signing up for online writing courses. As far as I am concerned you are an amazing writer already! I’m so glad you’ve joined those groups – each is different in their own right as you will find out in time to come. Writing is an isolating craft and without the support, our work may take longer to get out there. Once again I extend my hand to you if you ever need someone to chat with about writing. I have been there, am still wading my way through it all.
We are defs on the same page when it comes to running! It truly is the only thing that keeps me sane when writing or life gets me down.
Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate them 🙂
Hmm I’m not entirely sure why it says “anonymous”? – Kami
Sumi Singh says
Sorry for that! I’ve been having lots of problems with my website, let’s blame it on that 😉
Fantastic, Sumi! Yes, it’s been a period of reflection for many of us, I can’t say I’ve learned any lessons, as I’ve done so much reflection over the last few years, however, what it has reinforced I’m in the ‘right place’ for me. Lovely post :>)
Sumi Singh says
Thanks, Lynne 🙂 I am glad you are in the right place at this time. Stay safe and healthy!