Thriving or Surviving the Shutdown?

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Happy Easter! I hope that you are well and alive. More than ever before, it is so important to check up on each other just to be sure we are not only surviving but thriving during this new era we have found ourselves in. Do everything you can, find reasons to stay alive. This, you must do, because life is for the living.

Soon it will be two or three months since our lives almost came to a shutdown because of COVID-19. In the past days, we have slowly found ourselves adapting to a new normal. Change in life though inevitable, is tough to deal with. So our lives are slowly shutting down yet, deep inside us there is a burning desire not to shutout. Somehow, we must keep doing what we ought to do. I know the temptation to spend long hours in bed is high at such a time. The urge to stay glued to your TV or laptop watching your favourite movie or series is irresistible. It’s so hard staying focused when there is a new episode of Money Heist, and the world is going crazy with constant updates. We are all suffering from ‘fear of missing out’i.e FOMO.

City Hall Park, Cardiff

A conversation on Facebook saw my friends discuss their struggles in the past few weeks. “What time are people waking up again? I sleep, wake up to make lunch, eat then it is dinner time. Sometimes, if I am fortunate, I take a quick shower and study ‘social media’ on my couch and all of a sudden, I realise it is tomorrow,” remarked Wairimu Karuku.

Of which I responded. “I feel you. The struggle is real across borders. I am trying my best. I wake up at 10 am, the earliest I have so far. I enjoy a leisurely shower that takes me almost an hour, then put on my make-up, wear my best dress for the day, complete with my high heels then I head for my brunch for about two hours as I go through the various social media platforms catching up with the world. I must confess that, I am unable to keep up with conversations in chat groups. I keep finding myself three to five hours behind, and yes, I am lagging behind in every conversation, understandably so. I am in over twenty groups, six of them, people type, day in day out. There is always someone causing chaos, or there is some fight going on. The negative energy in those groups is more harmful than COVID-19 itself. Please guard your heart during these tough times.

BUTE Park in Cardiff

Later, I get to my emails and respond to those that need urgent feedback. I do my best to create time to study. My concentration span now lasts for two hours only, so I leave the house to go for a walk for about an hour. We are currently in Spring, and the weather out there is awesome. It is such a waste of good weather staying indoors all day. We now have longer days, heaps of sunshine until 8.30pm. Perfect temperatures with flowers sprouting to colour the world. The air smells good, really good and there is a promise of greener gardens in the next few days. I really wish I could stay out longer. This COVID-19 is stopping my reggae.

I come back home to catch up with my housemates, then cook if it’s my cooking day. Before I know it, it is 10pm, so I force myself to study at least between 10pm-1am then go to bed until 11am the following day. Such has been my life these past few weeks.

Most of us are struggling with staying at home, though we may not openly admit it. With the lack of schedules, timetables, calendars, we are feeling drained and confused. I can tell, that is the situation with many of us. Both men and women are struggling with increased weight after a few days of overeating and not being able to leave our houses for exercise. Worry not, you are not alone, we are all sailing in the same boat. I am afraid we now have people sending alerts that have found themselves drinking more alcohol than they have done in the past. I am also particularly concerned about the increased cases of domestic violence that are being reported to be on the rise. There are also reports of increased cases of anxiety, negative emotions and panic attacks; we therefore, risk mental illnesses and depression. With such frightening alerts, we are all longing for normalcy. But, what if, we are being prepared for new normality? What if life won’t return to what we thought was our status quo? Guard your wellbeing, be kind to yourself.

The Beauty of Alexandra Gardens in Cardiff

It is possible to make the best of our lives throughout the uncertainty. This shutdown situation may have taught you one or two things about yourself. While it looks and sounds like a year of trouble, it could be a new journey towards self-discovery. The world is wondering whether extroverts will still be alive should this situation go on for another two to three months.

For those who know me in person, you might easily dismiss my first finding. But here we go. The nature of my previous jobs and the many other engagements that I undertake on the sidelines, means that I spend my time around people and groups of people. As such, sometimes, I indeed have minimal time to be on my own. Therefore, I have to make calculative efforts for my “me time.” No wonder some have been calling me to ask, “So, how are you coping being on your own? That must be tough, right?”

See, here is the shocking revelation. More than ever before I realise I am totally in love with my company. I love it. Never mind that at any given moment, I am not sure which day or date it is, I am just enjoying life under my terms.

I now realise that I have enough time on my hands, and therefore, I am back to loving the simple pleasures in life. Things like cooking, cleaning the house, folding my clothes and putting them in the respective wardrobes and shelves on the same day that I do my laundry. This task has never been my cup of tea, and for the better part of my life, I learnt how to outsource this service. Somehow, I never find time for this. Indeed, when push comes to shove, anything under the sun is a possibility.

Now is the time to get out of your cocoon and do something new with your life. Read books that are lying untouched on your shelves, schedule time with your mentors, declutter your house, reach out to that long lost friend and schedule a call with them, try out new recipes, try out new baking recipes, try out new dance moves on you-tube, learn some new lyrics. Do something new in your life. Create some new awakening. Do it for yourself.

I am looking forward to your experiences. What have you been up to? Please do share your experiences with me. Will you?

#IAmChevening #MyCheveningJourney 

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Patience Nyange

I believe in a just society and I am a strong believer in Ralph Waldo Emerson words: “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate and to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

10 thoughts on “Thriving or Surviving the Shutdown?

  • 13th April 2020 at 11:31 am

    Hey beautiful ,this is so inspiring and informative I love reading your stories …stay safe and enjoy spring …let me start baking

    • 13th April 2020 at 1:50 pm

      Dear Emma,

      Thank you for passing by.
      Looking forward to seeing you post-CO-19.

  • 13th April 2020 at 11:50 am

    This season requires flexibility and embracing the new journey. Not knowing what/ how tomorrow will be sucks! But I am discovering life’s little Pleasures. Minimal movement means the city is deserted. I now enjoy walking when in town. Spending time at home has made more aware of my household needs and the wastage. No problem, I just do my laps around the estate. We have to thrive even in this season. Keep Safe Patience.

    • 13th April 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Ruth,

      Such a pleasure reading from you. Thank you for sharing your experience and so good to hear that you are having a great time embracing the new journey, discovering life’s little pleasures. Enjoy the rest of the season.

  • 14th April 2020 at 9:52 am

    The flowers. I love. So beautiful. I am coping well. I think, when everything is back to normal, say like in the next 2 years, we might actually look back and miss this time that we took to rest our bodies and our thoughts (Human beings and life being twisted, haha). Stay safe. We miss you over here.

    • 14th April 2020 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Adeline,
      Thank you for your feedback.So good to hear from you. Yes, keep safe and stay at home. Take time to pause and relax. Watch your favourite movie and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.

  • 14th April 2020 at 5:28 pm

    Very encouraging. I also wake up at 10am. Go through my social media take late lunch not forgetting to take my rosary to pray for the world and a walk from 4pm to 6pm

    • 14th April 2020 at 6:57 pm

      Thanks for sharing your story. So good to hear that you take time to pray for the world. It is something we should all do.

  • 15th April 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks for sharing. We miss and love you. Stay at home.

    • 15th April 2020 at 11:25 pm

      Awww! So good to hear from you. Thank you for passing by.
      I miss and love you, always. #StaySafe #StayHome


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