I was very much used to my back-to back-schedules so this new normal was hard for me to adjust to. I relished in the cycle of waking up at 6am just to get to the gym in time for the first morning class because I would not have enough time the rest of the day. I loved that my week was filled with work, dinner dates with friends and family. I knew that I had to slow down, to take a breather. Maybe this was the universe telling me – okay bel, slow down.
When we had to stay home, I worried about my business. I worried about my employees. I worried about not being able to be productive while at home. I worried about what this new normal might turn out to be and for how long it would stay. I worried about the people who would be affected by this new normal. I thought about how businesses and individuals who would have their income streams drastically hit by this. I worry a lot, as you can see.
Because of you, I spend more time at home. I am able to make time for things that I did not used to have time for. I now have 24 hours at home, 7 days a week – kinda. I am able to get my room reorganised to the delight of both my mom and kakak. I also have the time to finally learn how to cook. I can now add chicken rice, mee hoon kueh, sang mien and more to the list of dishes I can cook independently. I am finally not saying, “Okay, next time. Next week. One day I will find the time to learn Kakak.” To my kakak who has been telling me that she is leaving for home soon after 10 years with us, this makes her really glad.
Because of you, I spend less time on the road. I have stopped travelling. I am able to spend more quality time with the people I love. Working from home, I save hours usually spent commuting from place to place. I spend more time on video calls with friends. I have better conversations, more frequent check-ins and literally having them a call away now has allowed us to stay connected. This is all I have during this time. You taught me the importance of slowing down. You showed me that better connections can be forged even during this time – if we all make the effort to. You taught me not to take for granted time spent together with the people that we love. You showed me that it is such a privilege to be able to stay right beside them, to give them a hug, to share a dance, a laugh and a meal together.
You brought a whole new meaning to what home means to me. I have since created new work spaces and felt a little more inspired. I get to spend more time with family and will make more time to keep this new normal an ongoing cycle even after you are gone. I will not miss you because of the inconvenience, stress and hurt you have brought. I acknowledge your mark in changing the landscape of our society and our mindsets towards life. Here’s to life after you with all that we have learnt through you.