There Were Bright Spots

In Lifestyle by Jill CrosslandLeave a Comment

“The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world” – Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

I was fortunate back in February 2019 as a solo entrepreneur with a fully functioning home office I could quickly pivot to Zoom consultations and services efficiently provided from my office to client businesses. The Covid lockdown was also an opportunity to purge, organize and even do a bit of decorating.

I took a deep, deep dive into Amazon for which a future support group may be required, and I do expect a handwritten thank-you card from Jeff Bezos. No matter what I purchased somehow a book ‘accidentally appeared in their signature brown box. My choices were scattered in different times and different parts of the world which seems appropriate as we couldn’t travel. Favourites include:

Barack Obama’s Promised Land

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

I came across Shoe Dog in my TBR pile. Phil Knight’s very interesting memoir was not what I expected from the founder of Nike.

We all binged Netflix and Prime especially mandatory was The Crown and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel (an instant mood enhancer). Along the way I also discovered Ricky Gervais’s After Life, Fleabag and if you like rumpled, hungover Irish types solving crimes on the rainy streets of Galway, Ireland – Jack Taylor with Game of Thrones Iain Glen in the title role.

Sleep was invasive for many of us.

“All our patients are suffering from shifts in their sleep patterns due to their fears about getting the virus, concerns about loved ones, not being able to go to work, not having social contact with others,”

Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, FAAN, associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep.

The solutions came down to finding what relaxed us best and seeking help if needed. Health, Love and Your Productivity shares some meditation apps.

My spouse and I gave up our gym memberships which answered the ‘should we, shouldn’t we set-up a home gym’ question with treadmill, elliptical and weights purchased. At least we will emerge from the pandemic relatively fit. 

I’m no ‘sour dough’ bread maker but do create a decent evening meal. More time provided a good opportunity to enhance old recipes and discover new ones. Herbs came into play, as did fresh lemon or grating orange zest on chicken thighs, roasted with Italian sausage, potatoes and fresh rosemary.

I discovered Spaghetti Carbonara was actually simple to make, an adult version of Mac & Cheese and a decent Carrot Muffin recipe to which I added chopped walnuts.

Daily schedules took the biggest hit last year, leaving many feeling somewhat adrift. By rewriting mine early on, then sticking to it some structure, some feeling of control was returned. At the same time, I was easier on myself. If I needed a break, I would take it, where once I would have pushed on ignoring the mental messages. Scheduled phone calls with friends and colleagues did not find me sneaking looks at my email instead I settled down a cup of coffee in hand to talk and more importantly to listen. I was also mindful of the time spent with Mia, my now 13-year-old Australian Shepherd. If she wanted an ‘unscheduled’ walk at 10 am, what the hell, let’s go.

How much of this will follow me into a post-Covid life is yet to be determined. We are used to a world of smells, the buzz of people and being out and about; it will be a relief to get back to those stimulations.. What I know is reflecting has turned into the reset phase with new company branding and website in the works. My 2019 trip to London and Edinburgh is being dusted off. While not unscathed by the last 18 months I am moving forward – excited about what lies ahead.   

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