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“It’s not a bad idea to occasionally spend a little time thinking about things you take for granted. Plain everyday things.” ~Evan Davis
Let me go back in time. Not too long, but only six months ago when the virus outbreak hadn’t occurred yet. I was cursing the traffic, complaining the beer in a bar was not chilled enough, and hating that the supermarket next to my house did not have my favorite deodorant.
Soon after, due to the global pandemic, my country was under lockdown like many others. When I was indoors, I realized how beautiful and blessed I was to have the life which I otherwise assumed was regular and usual. Little did I know that I was taking things for granted and complaining about the most trivial problems.
When I look back now, I notice many special areas of life whose importance I failed to understand earlier.
I had the choice to go wherever I wished and do whatever I wanted. As long as I did not do anything illegal or break any rules, of course.
I had the freedom to live life like I wanted to. No holds barred, and no questions asked. It was my life and my choice.
Yet, if I had to drive too far, I would whine about the miles I had to cover. During the lockdown, I needed a valid reason to travel that distance and face cops who most certainly wouldn’t allow me to get there.
Staying indoors has taught me that losing control of the fundamental aspects of your life makes you uncomfortable. These are the things we consider usual and expected. We only realize the value of them when they vanish.
Life and technology have evolved by leaps and bounds over the years. In fact, life today is drastically different from what it was a decade ago. Back then, you needed to carry a digital camera for photos, self-driving cars hadn’t hit the road yet, and group messages were not even a thing.
Now, we enjoy so many benefits from the comfort of our couch. You can order food, get your car washed, or send a package to your friend without stepping outside your front door. When the delivery executive arrived ten minutes late, I would mentally curse the company for making me wait.
During the lockdown, I would wait a whole day for the same service. The comfort of technology and the services various businesses provide are priceless.
3. The fun outside
No matter which city you live in, you have umpteen opportunities to have fun and relax. I had the option to watch any movie I like, go bowling no matter how bad I was at it, or enjoy the adrenaline of a kart race.
Even though I had very many ways to have fun, I compared my city with others. I complained, “Damn, my city has no options to enjoy nature. I have to go miles away for a trek.”
When I was locked in and resorting to board games, I realize how fun-filled my city actually is.
4. The human interaction
When I went out with a large group, it would take a toll on me. Being an introvert, I preferred only a certain level of interaction. Beyond that, I would choose to be by myself than socialize. The smiles seemed artificial, and the handshakes appeared unnecessary.
Today, when I come across a passerby, the smile lies hidden behind the mask, and a handshake is out of the question. Earlier, we called the people around us a “crowd,” today we call our situation “isolation.”
The memes on the internet, which say that introverts feel no difference locked indoors, aren’t true. Both introverts or extroverts need at least some form of interaction to feel connected with the rest of the world.
What I Learned from the Lockdown
The world around you is full of things to relish, cherish, and enjoy in the present.
I am not saying you must stop chasing your goals and enjoy today alone. I will continue pursuing goals like before, and so should you. But while you are on this journey, don’t forget to pause and experience the happiness around you.
Some of the things of your day to day life seem normal and expected. For example:
You expect to find all you need in a supermarket
You expect the pizza to arrive within thirty minutes
You expect the mechanic to show up and fix your broken vehicle
Over time, such expectations make you lose the value of little things in life. Don’t take such things for granted. You never know why and how they can be snatched away from you. You only feel the pain when you lose the privilege altogether.
Everyone shows a common reaction when things go well. Someone gives a toast, people clink their glasses, and everyone dances to the music.
But you cannot always control the world around you to work in your favor. The market can collapse, a natural calamity can occur, or a virus outbreak can happen.
The global pandemic due to the coronavirus made my life harder. But, on the positive side, it has made me stronger.