The thought of working from home thrilled me to no end; I have always ascertained that half the things we drive to work for, half the meetings we sit in, can be resolved by an e-mail at best. Truth be told, though South Africa as a country and its work culture is not ready for this. But it is here now, so we had better learn to swim or sink.
I am an introvert so the thought that I will be under lockdown, did not conjure up images of a prison for me, or zero movement, or limited liberties. What it said to me was I climb out of the rat race and I choose what I will do with my 24 hours. In the “wise” words of a certain Tbo Touch (whatever has become of him) we all get 24 hours so let’s see if we will flourish.
A few things have changed in this lockdown for me, some expected – some not so much.
Needless to say, in 2020 BC (Before Corona) I am an exercise junkie, I wake up every day at 4h30 to make the 5h00 gym session. The first time I experienced any type of anxiety over the Covid-19 Lockdown measures was over the fact that the gyms were closed. I know this sounds juvenile, almost like the need to walk one’s dogs (we thank God for the township mutts who walk, feed and bathe themselves). I work out not for the illusive six-pack but for my mental health, I use my hour in the gym as a time to meditate, strategise and plan my day.
No big deal – my fool proof plan was to do yoga every day in my garden (I had it figured out, call me a woman on a mission). One little glitch in the master plan is that every time I take the yoga mat into the garden, my spawn, the 7-year-old and the 2-year-old, are sure to follow, picture perfect, Instagram ready, ncooooh inspiring scene, a mommy with her cubs in downward dog.
What I forgot to mention though is we do not finish a pose without talking through it or without the 2-year-old trying to climb on my back, which defeats the purpose of why I work out but we soldier on.
This is the biggest change in 2020 AC (After Corona). Anyone that knows me for any length of time will tell you I don’t cook. I have found myself tinkering with utensils I didn’t even know I had (bless my mom’s soul) ‘cause wow who knew one needed more than six pots? However I still do not own a grater (as I make a mental note to buy one post corona). I cook three square meals a day. I am still wondering if I will keep it up for a full 21 days – I mean we are only on day seven. My qualms with cooking have always been that there are more important and vital things I want to do with my time (like attend a pilates or yoga class or read) or whatever else stoked my fancy that month. Everything else trumps cooking, but here I am. Without the manufactured business, I actually enjoy cooking. No one has died from food poisoning yet (hoping the husband and the kids are not grinning and bearing it).
I work from home now. In the first few days I responded to one or two e-mails but no ‘real’ work that normally took up half my day. I realized quickly how much my self-worth is tied to work, because all of a sudden I started questioning if post-corona my job will still be there. Needless to say I am not essential service. But I’m over this need to be valued or appreciated because of my output. On the seventh day it’s almost like I am back in the office – the phone is ringing off the hook, reports are needed left right and centre. I am essential. Reality is the world as we know it is changing, truth is people will lose their jobs. We have been hurled into 4IR headfirst, we cannot even resist this because it is born out of necessity.
Here is another shocker. In 2020 BC the marriage is functional, we have schedules to take care of, kids work out, go to church, eat together (wink wink eat together). Shocker – my husband is not an extension of me but a human (what else would he be) in his own right. We now spend 24 hours, seven days a week together, and by together I mean together, there is no distractions of schedules.
We are now getting reacquainted with each other. I probably have wanted to kill him more in this time than in all the years we have known each other, and I bet it is the same with him. I see the quirks I don’t see when I am at work, he sees me and by God he is stuck with me. We have been forced to go back to the bare necessities of life, a no trimmings, take me as I am type of situation. Marriages will come out better after this period, but in those with shaky foundations the cracks will show.