The virus has changed the way we live, and the past 30 days have brought home a new way of life. Living in a lockdown is a reality that none of us have experienced or dreamt of (except maybe in a dystopian sci-fi novel). But we are still alive and kicking. And while the lockdown does hurt the economy and millions of workers around the country and cities, it has revealed a positive side as well. Here’s my take on how living in a lockdown has impacted me.

Family time – The single most valuable benefit that the lockdown has bestowed on me is that time with Family has become deep and immersive. During life in the days Before Corona family time was confined to meals – everyone eating lunch with his or her choice of Netflix drama streaming on the phone. Other than this “together time” office, school, football classes, household chores were all activities done within different community groups with the immediate family taking a backseat.

The long drawn confinement at home has yielded me the luxury of being with my family, doing chores together and bonding together in ways that were not earlier envisaged. From distribution of work (I did the dishes in the morning!) to lining up for groceries (today is Papa’s turn) to submitting an online assignment, being together in close proximity has been a boon.

The essence of togetherness is brought home with startling clarity as I realise that I am blessed to have a loving family.

Time management – livingin the lockdown has brought home another truth, namely that if I don’t manage my schedule well, time will slip through my fingers as easily and quickly as sand. So I have realised that my time needs to be structured. This is to ensure that working from home coupled with domestic chores, staying fit and pursuing my writing, all need to be compartmentalised to ensure a sense of achievement and satisfaction at the end of the day.

Of course, I can also think about what a long day it has been and post work just flop in front of the TV. But that will do nothing to further my ambition, fuel my dreams of launching my book or even allow me to pursue my favourite pastime of all – reading.

Managing your time during the lockdown is essential to ensure that you live your life on your own terms and not give into the seduction of lazing around.

Spending slowdown– A penny saved is a penny earned during all times, especially during an extended lockdown.

It is gratifying to see expenses slowing down considerably – no swiping of the card at the mall, no pizza delivery and no spontaneous purchasing of trifles all contribute to money being saved.

What’s not to like ?

We are the World – The iconic anthem of the 80s is a sign of the times today. We are the world, the country, the city, the neighbourhood. Everyone is together in this fight against the pandemic. It is now more than ever that I realise we are all together in this predicament and we need to think of others – the vegetable vendor who brings me my food (sir, I have been up since 4 am and haven’t had the time to drink water since), the cleaners who work silently to keep my building spic and span every day, the masked watchman who keeps his unending vigil in these trying times, all are my support system. I am deeply indebted for their services and their unflinching perseverance to keep the ball rolling.

A quiet thought reveals itself to me – there is no I. We are all one.

Gratitude – Most of all, a sense of gratitude has dawned on me during this lockdown. Feeling bored? I think of the mini army of doctors and nurses who are working round the clock to make the city safer. Grumbling because I can’t go out? I worry about those without a roof on their heads who are at the mercy of the virus. Feeling blue because my freedom is curtailed? I feel ashamed when I recall encountering a small girl the other day, selling garbage bags, pleading me to take some (appallingly I didn’t because I had just bought some from her friend!).

This lockdown may last for another week or weeks or months. But I have had the good fortune to have gleaned these insights from these difficult times; namely that there is an upside to every situation. What matters is how I choose to react to it.

And I choose to live with Love, Discipline, Awareness and most of all Gratitude towards my community, country and the Universe.  

image: courtesy Scroll.in