Happy New decade everyone! Super exciting! 2020 is coming! It will be amazing! Better than 2019! Can’t wait to start the new year! Boom! In Australia, we ended 2019 with bush fires which raged into 2020, killing over a billion animals and keeping us indoors because of the air pollution. Masks were scarce and a necessity if you wanted to be out without choking, though the eyes still burned.
That was but a precursor of what was to come. “There is a flu like outbreak in China,” said the news. But China was far from Australia, or Dubai and India, so I wasn’t too worried about me or my family. We live in a small world, which we had gotten used to. Pop in to Hong Kong on your way to Mumbai, and I did! Lets have tea in London en route to Toronto, let’s surprise Mom in Dubai, lets do a Singapore celebration for #coter, it was all possible.
Until this little virus made its way to every country, shutting down the world. I looked for any unused masks from January but couldn’t find them. Stores were out of masks, sanitisers, gloves and cleaning products. We all had plenty of time to retreat, rethink and re-evaluate our lives. How many masks would nature have to impose on us till we realised we had to get rid of our own masks?
What is really important in our lives? I can’t think of anything other than groceries or essential medicines. The lack of freshly made cakes and muffins also reacquainted me with baking at home after decades. We were lucky, with the internet, lots of content to watch, listen and read, we bided our time indoors, as our hair grew out and the hair colour wore off. Video chatting apps kept human connections alive, as more challenges surfaced; locusts, storms, extreme weather, racial divide and the fear of the unknown.
“I can’t wait to get back to normal!” some say, as I bite back my words. “Normal wasn’t working! Which is why we are in this situation! It will be a new normal and don’t worry, we will adapt to it!” I think as I move on, very clear about what I will do. “Always have a Plan B,” I used to say, but now a Plan C and D should also be chalked out, in case a spoke hits our wheels. No more planning holidays, events, or even weekends with a contingency that things may not turn out as we thought, or hoped.
Walks and a coffee to go brought so much joy as we explored lanes hitherto unknown and expressed gratitude for having a roof, meals and the hope that something will stabilise this situation, because nothing lasts forever! So, take off your masks, all of them. Be true, be authentic, be you! If this ‘retreat for wellness’ has taught me anything, it’s that when we are real, life is effortless, avenues open up and we attract opportunities, love and support that we could never imagine.
Physical distances haven’t affected social connections and I feel closer to my loved ones, though I miss giving them a hug, which may not be possible now but I foresee it in the very near future! Until then, stay safe and real!