“Even the darkest hour has only sixty minutes” — Morris Mandel
With less than thirty days left as we count down the days to New Year 2021, we’re pausing to look back at the past eleven months – which are probably the longest and darkest that most of us have known in our lives.
A single cough or a sneeze turns one into a pariah. We struggle with masks or those who mostly choose to wear them incorrectly. Job and salary cuts, location changes, social adjustments, lack of house help, mental, physical and emotional stresses are but the tip of the iceberg – triggered by the outbreak of a global pandemic that has profoundly transformed our lives in ways which we could never even have imagined.
There’s also a silver lining to these dark clouds. Technology has enabled a lot of us to work from home. Children are safe – even though online schooling comes with its own share of challenges ! We’ve become more mindful of ourselves and each other, tried to be more self-reliant , discovered old friends and invested in relationships.
Here’s a quick look at how our lives have been transformed in this past year. Some changes may stay – and some may slowly fade away from our lives after having served their purpose. But all pretty much for the greater good – we’d say!
Prevention Is The Only Cure
The new mental checklist before stepping out these days is.. “phone, wallet, sanitiser, keys and face masks!!” The mask or lack of it is the single most important change this pandemic has brought upon us. As it is the most important weapon in our fight against the spread of the Covid 19 Virus. From metallic to embroidered masks, to masks with slogans, brands, political affiliations – in many different materials, designs, cuts. We continue to experiment and evolve in our choice of masks – in order to live safely without compromising on our style quotient.
WFH – The New Normal
Home is where the heart is. For a lot of fortunate ones – it is also where our office is. Initially, this unplanned relocation was all about trying to find a comfortable and peaceful nook from where one could be as productive as possible. There were some mildly bothersome fallouts especially with ringing doorbells and bawling babies during work calls that led us to realise that the starry-eyed dream of a work from home gig has its downside. Now, redesigning a specific area at home to create a workspace is key. With furniture that marries comfort with aesthetics. Art for your wall. Desktop accents for a feel good factor. To ensure one’s work effort is as efficient as possible without any hindrance from the ‘outside’ world.
Becoming A Plant-Parent
Stuck at home with not much to do – and with fresh produce not easy to come by especially during the highly challenging lockdown phase – some wise ones amongst us decided to nurture plants and herbs in our balconies and windowsills. Today our tiny urban oases are not just a wise way to spend time but also a great money-saving hack (if you have a penchant for gardening). It’s also a perfect setting to unwind by oneself or with loved ones. Or a great way to just be – spraying fresh water on green leaves or feeling the earth as it nurtures life in our space.
Going Out By Staying At Home
We’re now heading out for an evening at the pub or going to the movies – right here, right now and all at home. Even better when family and friends transit between social bubbles and drop by. That’s when watching the latest blockbuster with colas and butter popcorn at one’s elbow or creating a quiet table for two or an evening session with beer and cricket are well worth the effort that we put into it. Each meal is now ‘Instagram-worthy” by simply putting effort into not just the cooking but creating the right ambience with music, table settings and mood-lighting.
A Centred Mind & A Centred Heart
Juggling work along with a job losses and salary-cuts, household chores and cooking, working with kids and home schooling. Almost all of this without adequate support or domestic help continues to be a challenge. With fluid lives and lack of boundaries – it is now essential to prioritise oneself for long term mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. Even taking some time out to meditate or to read a book, introspect and simply breathe, head to a stretch of empty roads for a walk is something that promises to pay rich dividends.
Giving More & Getting More
The impact of the Corona Virus Pandemic is the biggest crisis ever for small businesses – and especially our artisans and crafts persons who are still struggling to make ends meet due to lack to of earning opportunities in the real world.
At WorldArtCommunity – we’ve offered the benefit of our online platform to our artistic partners and encouraged their artistic skills and small craft businesses. We’ve been pretty much first off the block when it comes to production of hand-made fabric masks that are ethical and sustainable – enabling new and creative earning opportunities. Additional support has been forthcoming in the form of our Festive 20 Sale this Diwali which brought back joy to our artisans. A special word of thanks goes out to our discerning and mindful consumers who continue to shop for artisanal everyday essentials with us and are truly #vocalforlocal.
We believe these changes to be an integral part of our lives for the moment. And there is hope as we look ahead to a lifestyle which is less about material specifics and more about sensitivity towards what’s happening in our lives. While there is already speculation about how things will change post the pandemic – we’re still in the space of just being. Of just working with what we have. Of taking it step by step. One day at a time.
With faith, compassion, courage and wisdom.