The lockdown opened up many opportunities for me.
It is a lockdown on your movement not a lockdown on your life.
People reacted differently under such circumstances. It was very revealing when your basic freedom is taken away from you.
I was afraid of allowing certain things to happen to me; Losing my momentum on my daily goals, losing my fitness as yoga classes were canceled, losing my patience, losing my passion for life, losing my sanity, feeling bored, becoming lazy, and dull-witted, etcetera.
It is not my nature to let them happen as I would fight against these possibilities but still, the fear was in me. I sensed it out there. At the shops, I encountered some staff who were just matter of factly doing what they had to do and going through the motion with malaise and no sense of vitality in their eyes. It did not do good for the general state we are in.
Yet, I met salespeople who were enthusiastic and making the best out of the situation. Unlike the ‘walking dead’. One lady persuaded a friend and me to take a look at the lastest collagen drink in a pharmacy that was allowed to stay open. She gave a running commentary of its effectiveness down to its specific ingredients and dose.
For good measure, she threw in enough sample drinks for each main box to make the purchase more cost-effective. She nailed the deal as we agreed to buy. The joy was palpable on both ends and an otherwise lackluster day ended happily.
For many years now, the world has been going at breakneck speed to achieve more progress in our lives. The rich were getting richer, poor much poorer and there was no time for introspection. Everyone was too busy with progress, defined by themselves.
Back home, construction was ongoing for years. My overseas friends used to say Singapore is in a state of “Construction in progress”. It is the same in many countries. More luxurious apartments at sky-high prices, more housing flats with smaller spaces, more train stops, more retail malls with more of the same chains, more people, less time.
Covid-19 crisis threw a spanner in the works. In a short interval of under two months, a lot has changed for people all over the world and many countries cope with this crisis differently.
Fighting boredom on an individual basis is up to you. You could just sleep away, sip beer, watch Netflix endlessly but this is a precious nugget of time and not a small one. It could be a time for re-education, developing new skills and interests that could be your second career, unleash new ways to survive on your own, resist and change bad habits that have plagued you for years, and so on. Many personal gains to work on.
How has it changed me?
For many years, my leisure time was spent on things that do not make me grow with the times. Like going to many movies just to kill time without really being selective. Like going to the supermarket with no intention to buy anything and it did not burn enough calories anyway walking around in the mart. Like looking for things to fret.
It lacked purpose. Being in lockdown, I decided to work on things that were in limbo. Like improving my website design which I learned to make for my business but was not good enough. Like getting my e-commerce off the ground instead of leaving it online in a pathetic state just because it is buried in the cyberworld and the chance of being discovered is zilch.
I discovered writing and the medium was one platform I got started and was glad that I did. With time away from work as dentists were restricted to emergency treatments only, many of us turned to read to get information and that was how I stumbled upon the medium. It is a new lease of life as it tested my writing ability which I am still trying to convince myself that all of us have an innate ability to write if only we believe and get started.
When yoga lessons were suspended, I worked on some of the moves that would oil my joints and relieve muscle tension and found that they were good enough. I could end my membership, saved some money, and a lot of time. Yoga practice has become my daily ritual.
Walking around my estate also opened my eyes to what my neighbors did to their beautiful gardens and the facade of their spacious homes. Even their choice of lightings was a pleasant sight to behold. The estate is always undergoing changes as the world changes. New cafes, ice-cream parlors, quaint shops have sprung up over the months or years without my knowledge and I was missing the good life.
All these years, I have never paid much attention to Social media, digital marketing, reading, etc as my life was pretty routine. It was work, home, time for my elderly siblings, outings, some volunteer work, travel, and some interests like Toastmasters Club and yoga activities.
During the lockdown, I explored the world of digital marketing. That was a real eye-opener. I have extended the learning of my website which was the basic foundation, to dive into digital marketing which is a hot topic.
With Youtube, I discovered many instructors who generously shared their ideas and dreams. My website started to have a direction, my eCommerce website became functional (though digital marketing may monetize it if I apply correctly)and my creativity is piqued.
The lockdown reminds us to be mindful of certain consequences if we did not want a repeat. Good hygiene, proper social distancing are all good practices in today’s world. We also started to attend webinars and learn to host or join a meeting on zoom or teach a senior how to use zoom which would help family members and friends to keep each other in communication.
Life after Covid-19 is certainly going to be a better one. Taking life a little slower, learning steadily that every adversity can be overcome and that human beings can choose to be resilient if they want to.