“This has been a period of self-reflection. I’ve realised that I used to put value on the wrong things. I valued people based on their looks, possession, education level, mannerisms…This Covid-19 pandemic has taught me that none of that matters. What matters is that everyone is alive and well.
I recently came across a post that read, “When the house is on fire, we don’t tell people to watch their tone when they yell for help.” This spoke to how judgemental I was. I couldn’t hide from it because it was deep in my soul. I’d heard of how financial planning is important but I took it for granted. I've learnt that saving and investing are prudent because we don't know what the future holds.
I also learnt that it is okay to sit and do nothing. I was always doing something because I felt as if I was missing out or not doing enough. At first, I felt guilty just sitting still. Then, I began enjoying it. Hopefully, this stays with me. I also discovered that I enjoy cooking. I wouldn't have said I did.
Finally, the saying “God is in control” has been overused so much so that it sounds cliché. But I’ve seen for myself that God controls the universe. We may have our plans but they can be taken away in the blink of an eye. So, I've said to myself, “how about surrendering to God and trusting His perfect plan?”
“Just like everyone else, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such a sudden and long disruption of my normal life. But with new experiences come new lessons and fresh perspectives of old ones. My biggest lesson during this pandemic has been that life should be simple.
Before Covid-19, I had planned to propose to my soon-to-be wife in a grand way, and do a wedding later on. But this pandemic has made me realise that love can be simple. We changed our plans and have now settled for an intimate, less-expensive wedding with 15 guests.
As an entrepreneur, I also realised that work can also be made simple, as long as productivity is attained. Working from home has saved lots of overhead costs. At first, I was concerned that my business would run to a standstill. However, as some doors closed, new ones opened.
It has also occurred to me that keeping fit doesn’t have to be complicated. A home is a perfect place to eat well and exercise effectively. I’ve developed a routine for exercising, something I never achieved before because of the perception that I had to go to a gym to exercise or wake up early morning to go running."
“At the onset of the stay-at-home orders, I was determined to do a lot of stuff. Because nobody knew how long we were going to be indoors, I stockpiled books instead of food. I had every intention to read. Guess what? None of those books have been read to date. I realised that I’m a good procrastinator. Sometimes I chide myself with the proverbial saying ‘that there is no hurry in Africa.’
I’m taking this discovery very seriously because the plans I had like starting a food outlet and horning my upholstery skills have just remained plans! I'm a great chef. My specialty is chapati. Cooking is the most useful skill my dear mother passed on to me.
I’ve also rediscovered a passion for gardening. I have grown vegetables and I’m studying how to get rid of the pests, organically.
I prided myself on being a loner but this season has made me realise the importance of human connections. I can actually miss people, I thought myself incapable of such!
Most importantly I’ve had time to babysit my cousins who are four and seven years old. They have taught me patience, resilience, and persistence. Through them, I’ve gained a keen interest in child psychology because they are shrewd and creative.
The four-year-old comes up with crafty ways to cheat the system and have her way and the seven-year-old has detailed stories of her adventures with her dolls—Kendi, Kaitlyne, and Makena.
It would be nice to know what goes on in the minds of these little people.”