Cheers! We are now at Level 2, that just means a step away to our old-gold COVID free world! I often ponder how much this Pandemic has affected us, how much it has taught us and how much there is that we have known of ourselves and of our lives whilst continuing to battle a global mission to save the World! When life has almost all come to a halt, our major life goals have taken a backseat and the complexities of human survival have boiled down to staying in our bubble and practicing good hand hygiene, we surely have ample amount of time up our sleeves! Time which can either be spent well or just splurged away complaining how this whole situation has ended up messing up our lives; when we all know that we all are in the same boat!

With all this time in hand, it is normal to be overwhelmed! All the energy floating around the house needs to be constantly channelized. Self-discipline and self-motivation to achieve feasible goals need to be realized, and also, it’s no less important to contemplate over what this Pandemic has taught us! Giving us so many one-time life experiences and lots of amendments to our definition of ‘Normal’, to a point that ‘Abnormal is the new normal’, I am sure we all have our lessons learnt. So, this time around I wanted to write about some of my ‘Pandemic lessons and realizations’. Here they are:

1. What’s needed: optimistic or opportunistic?

You must have heard about the ‘half glass of water’ anecdote. So, it’s about three different personalities of people; the optimist, the pessimist and the opportunist and they are all asked about their perception on that half glass of water. While the former two get busy defining it as half full or half empty, the opportunist simply picks up the glass and drinks the water.

While I find this anecdote amusing, I really related myself to this situation during these times. Pessimism is off my list (thanks to my amazing husband who has made me the positive person I am today), so between the other two I feel its purposeful to grab this opportunity, take your positive thoughts and change them into actions. The time you have, make the most of it, spend it doing things you could have only wished you could have done if you had time! (In the cover picture is me at Long Pond, letting all that serenity sink into my soul!)

While it’s important to be easy on yourself during these tough times, plan things which are impactful, de-stressing rather than mindless hours of social media usage (I don’t know why that’s the only thing that comes to my mind when I think about wasting time :D). While this approach could be very wide ranging for different people, find out what it is and do it (like I have this funny thing about watching cartoons but now that I had time, I really used it to reconnect to my childhood!). Use this time, to do things you only wished you had time for! Be the opportunist.

2. Don’t take anything for granted

More than everything else, we couldn’t agree more on this one. Could we have even slightly pictured in our heads that this is what 2020 would be to humanity? No, right. This teaches us that nothing in life should be taken for granted. We have to be mindful of what we are doing to our Planet, our country, our society, our relationships and to ourselves. We cannot undermine the fact that to be happy, we have to be around happy people, with nice neighbors, living in a peaceful country and on a sustainable planet where resources are being used judiciously, not exploited!

All the facets are inter-related, you take one for granted, and the entire circle falls out of place resulting in small to big disasters!

On this note, learn to cherish things while you have them. Your grandparents, parents, life-partner, friends and family; being on the best terms with them is your simplest and easiest way to a happy and fulfilling life. Trust me, all other measures are not that easy, it could be quite draining and more often than not are less effective. So, reach out to people, make your relations sweeter, talk to them, use this technology to cut short the communication gaps, talk your heart out and feel the difference it makes! After all, we all now have time!

3. Does the rat-race really take us to a happy place?

Realistically speaking and not being pessimistic, the average life span is around 75-85 years of age. Most of you reading this I believe would be 25 years or above, so think about it, life is just about 50 more summers! Do we really want to live that running in the rat-race, do we really think our jobs are what define us as people? The power of great professions, for example, the health-care professionals at this time and their absolute need for society are huge but we really need to take things easy on ourselves, run a well-paced race which cannot just take us distances, but also give us the opportunity to enjoy it all along. The spirit of taking people along, supporting someone in need and cutting out negative competencies from our work-culture, in short, giving our brains a detox from the ‘crab mentality’ best described as ‘if I can’t have it, neither can you” can spur the human race with the harmony our World needs badly!

Those are my thoughts, which I have been pondering over the 3 months I have been away from my Chemistry lab! Now, that I am back to work with permission from the Department, I am definitely going to think more about my Chemistry but these lessons are there to stay for sure. With my expected graduation extended, I too have many plans disrupted but let’s just say there’s nothing to complain about! I hope you enjoyed reading this blog, would love to hear from you about your life lessons from this Pandemic!

~ Seerat