In the beginning of this year, the Covid-19 came to show us that we do not have any control of our lives. It has shown to us that everything can chance overnight. In one day, we were living our ordinary life, working and gathering with our friends and family. In another, we were just forbidden to leave our homes and have social contact, many people lost their jobs, lots of plans were postponed and even canceled. We have become insecure about the future, without knowing what is going to happen and when we would be able to meet up again.
During this period, many people have struggled with anxiety, depression, and changes in the mood; All of us have been suffering in different ways and scales. However, this period of self-isolation has also taught us to face life and take back the control. There is a dialog between Frodo and Gandalf in the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring that I took for life and it fits well in this period:
Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
My personal experiences and learnings
When the isolation began in Dublin, I had just flighted back from France, so I had to be two weeks in quarantine without seeing no one. I was alone and I knew it would not be easy. Thus, I decided to change my routine and my mindset. During these weeks, I meditated, prayed and kept my mind the most positive as it was possible. I change my playlist on Spotify from rock and roll and metal to happy and cheering music. I just watched romantic comedies and light films. I read inspirational books and articles and I kept in touch with my family and friends as much I could. In addition, I stopped reading news.
I must tell you that it really worked! I did not fell any fear, any anxiety or sadness. On the contrary, I felt great. During these two weeks, I felt connected, grateful, healthy, and happy. I started to appreciate everything. I knew that all of that was happing for a good reason and I felt faithful.
Sometime later, I was back to work as well as I started to have online English classes. As life started coming back in track again, I almost fell back into that my old mindset. Guess what? I felt bored and the inevitable lack of friends. I felt anxious, sad and, of course, all these feelings affected my productivity, my focus and concentration. I did not feel any desire to study or to do my activities. All that I wanted was that life would turn back to normal again. I eagered to go out and gather with my friends, go to the gym, have swimming classes, and move on with my life. Only that I was stuck in a rut.
Then, the government of Ireland decided to keep the quarantine and stablished five phases till all establishments can be opened again, which it will be in September. It broke my heart. I felt hopeless, helpless and angry. How could we live like that for any longer?
Time to act and take control
There is something in life that I know for sure: everything is for the good! With this mindset, I decide to act upon and change my lifestyle. I could not just lay down on bed and wait for time to pass. I am not allowed to give up on my dreams and goals and just blame the Covid-19. After all, I am the person responsible for my own life and what happen to me. It is me who decides how to deal with all the situations.
All these feelings helped me to understand that I need to change some aspects in my life to be a better person and achieve my goals. It is my choice to decide if I am going to give excuses or if I am going to do what is possible and necessary now. I do not need to wait for “life to become normal again” (what is probably not going to happen soon) to exercise my body. I do not need to wait to have presential classes to study and focus on my studies. And I do no need to wait till September to see my friends. Life is happening and time is precious. We must take control and do what we can to improve our lives. After all, living is about learning how to adapt, and this is crucial to survive.
I am not trying to be motivating or sound like that. What I am saying is that we need to take action in this present moment. It sounds like a cliché but is useful: Every cloud has a silver line! We always listen to successful people telling us not to be afraid of crises as it is when great opportunities rise. We are living in a very turbulent period; it seems that we lost control. Therefore, we must work on to take it back.
The crucial question is who do you want to be when all of this is over: the one who cried or the one who took the opportunity to sell more tissues?