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How is everyone’s new year so far? I understand that things are not going so well in some parts of the world. It’s as if the year is becoming an extension of the last two years. I certainly feel for you. A couple of weeks ago, I read a commentary from a local online news portal about how the pandemic has robbed the youth. I do agree with that. Experiences outside of the home and the screen shape our lives. Missing out on life-enriching events for close to three years now “stunts” kids’ growth and development. Even more so for the Alpha babies (Alpha Generation) who were born just before or during the pandemic. My 2nd nephew is turning four this year, and he spent the past two years of his life stuck at home, except for walks on their rooftop, or visiting his family. Speaking on behalf of adults, I feel we are as robbed by the pandemic as the youth. We deal with all sorts of responsibilities daily from caring for family members, working, to household chores. When lockdowns hit, almost all forms of hobbies and social activities were put to a halt. With pandemic compounding the issues surrounding these commitments, there was no way for us to release or de-stress.
One way I dealt with languishing was to have something to look forward to. For many people, the looking forward part is the “end of the pandemic” or anticipating “the light at the end of the tunnel” or “when things start to go back to normal”. While I won’t ask you to break away with those coping mechanisms, I think it will also be healthy to realize that we don’t know when this will end. That means we can’t wait around forever for the “light at the end of the tunnel” or “when things get back to normal”. By doing that, we are holding off life experiences, which aren’t guaranteed to us given the evolving situation. Instead of waiting for things to happen, we need to have the courage and initiative to make them happen. We do it with what we can, where we are, and with what we have. We move within our means, as actionably possible. We need to have other things to live for aside from waiting for this crisis to end.
Whatever goals you want to achieve doesn’t have to be grand. Some examples could be: Enquiring about that Masters’ Degree/certifications (online classes) that you put off, volunteering, or donating for the causes you care about, re-visiting the sports activity that you’ve been meaning to try, getting into conversations with people in your field of interest. If possible for you, travel with all the necessary precautions in place. I know it feels as though the world stopped when this crisis hit. However, there is still a lot going on that needs our help, contribution, or participation. As for me, my future is as hazy as the end of this pandemic, so what I a striving for, for now, are TINY STEPS (remember the quote mentioned above) to keep life going.
What life experiences were taken away from you these past two years? How do you intend to bring these experiences back into your life? It is only the second month of the year, and I hope this serves as a gentle nudge to you that you can take back your life through your means, and have the power to thrive and put your hopes into life if you chose to.
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