Day 30 of Lockdown 🔐
On 3rd December last year I was asked to take over as the lead of a project that is at least a year (but more likely two years) overdue. It was a type of project that I’d never done before.
I was excited about it, but also thoroughly terrified at the same time because it was something that I had no training or significant experience in. My task – Develop a Master’s Degree in Engineering Management.
When I started doing homework on what it entailed, I was told this project would take me about a year – but certainly at the very least nine months to complete. When I reported that in a meeting with Faculty supervisors and other project stakeholders on the 15th January this year, the Dean of my Faculty announced to everyone present in the room “If anyone can lay a Golden Egg, then Bronwyn can lay a Golden Egg”
I wanted to melt on the spot and disappear into the ground. My anxiety levels went up by 100%. The pressure. Either, he knew that I wouldn’t say No, knowing that if I believed that I could help out even a little bit, I naturally would. Or he really actually has so much confidence in me and saw potential in me, that I just was not able to see myself.
But what was I gonna do…. nothing to do except get started.
And so today, only five months after I was given the task, I just laid that Golden Egg
Day 18 of Lockdown 🔐
Made homemade pizza with a three ingredient pizza dough recipe
Only 150g flour, 150g plain yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
And then another hit today is Eckhart Tolle’s book called The Power of Now. Was feeling down before I started reading that today, and then later felt inspired enough to even put on my training shoes and I ran a few laps around my house (about 2km worth of laps) to get exercise!
Eckhart teaching is so profound and do-able. In a nutshell he says – “Just don’t think about it. Just be” 😁
A wise man indeed
I have so much to say, but it also feels like I have nothing to say, because I’ll just be saying what everyone across the globe is feeling. So I won’t say the words – I’ll just send everyone my love. There will be an end to all of this. And a new beginning for us all.
It’s funny that I had a conversation with one of my best friends about something unrelated to COVID19 situation and I was telling her how unfair life feels. And although we weren’t talking about COVID19, her words were so comforting and so highly relevant to our lives in the time of Corona. “This too shall pass”…. she said. And so it is, and so it will. And then she added “and then we go out and get smashed on tequila for old times sake, and cry a little over all the frogs”. Now that sounds like a marvellous plan! Good friends are really the medicine for a person’s soul.
And yes although this time has been marked by some setbacks, for example, I missed running my 10th Two Oceans Half Marathon yesterday – had the race taken place I’d have gotten my blue number – essentially I have the choice about how to feel and how to deal with it. For everything that really is out of our control, we can take our power back by accepting and moving on.
And then focus on the good stuff in the present moment.
And I got some good news this morning. An ex-colleague and friend was diagnosed with COVID19 and sent me a message to let me know that he has recovered, and been confirmed and cleared by the South African Department of Health. Interestingly, he had no symptoms and was only tested because he had been in contact with someone else who tested positive. Be that as it may, today was a day for feeling hopeful. And significantly today is Easter after all, a day the traditionally symbolizes resurrection. The human spirit has the capacity to recover from setbacks.
More good news is that I’m slaying a current project I’ve been tasked with, which is to develop a brand new Master’s Degree in Engineering Management. Something I’ve never done before, and I was told it would take at least nine months, but actually, unbelievably, I might be able to deliver the complete set of paperwork by this Wednesday – which means it’s taken me less than five months 😄
And though our lockdown has been extended in South Africa for a further two weeks, which means we have an additional two weeks on top of the initial planned three weeks as it would have ended next Friday, the good news is the kids and I are fine. We’re legally compelled to strictly remain in our homes until end of April, unless we buying groceries or going to doctor or pharmacist but I’ve managed to restock all our supplies and we’ll be able to go on. I know that everyone in my country is not as fortunate. I’ll blog about this another day.
Finally, another good news, happy story was Andrea Bocelli’s online concert that he was kind enough to share on YouTube tonight. It was truly moving. So amazing, so beautiful, so inspirational and motivational. Music for hope indeed.
Day 8 of Lockdown 🔐
So we’re just over one week into lockdown and in general I would say that it’s going ok in my household. We’re all in relatively good spirits. We still have enough supplies – we have no real reason to complain. Some days I look at Table Mountain from my window and I wish I could go outdoors for a hike or a run, but mostly I’m just satisfied. And I’m grateful that we are safe.
It’s been eerily quiet on the news front – there don’t appear to be so many new cases Of COVID19, compared to the spike we saw last week. Everyone says it’s the calm before the storm. I hope this isn’t true, but I think it might be.
I finished my first beading project tonight. Rather pleased about that. A rosary! Want to make a blue one next, and then a green one too. In another past lifetime I used to be a staunch practicing catholic, but I can’t call myself that any longer. In fact I’d rather not be labeled as anything to do with religion because I’m just not very religious any longer. I have a relationship with my maker, and that’s good enough for me.
Despite this however, I find it comforting to make rosaries. Interestingly, I also find it extremely comforting and reassuring when I hear people praying the rosary – in my mind there’s and association with praying the rosary and a safe space. I don’t believe I’ll ever pray the rosary again myself, but I have memories of people who are important to me like my mother and grandmother praying the rosary in my formative years and I think that may be why.
Anyway, now I just think that rosaries are so very beautiful and I particularly love making rosaries with seed beads. So here is the red one I made. My plan is to make a the other two, hopefully before lockdown ends. And then I just need to find some catholic people to give them to!
I’ve also been productive this week in terms of work. Spent most of my time on curriculum development, but also a lot of time strategising and gathering data. I’ve concluded that despite my ability to continue teaching online, it will be grossly unfair and unethical if I do – thus, I’ve abandoned thoughts of doing that. My students do not all have access to either data, a device to study with or even a safe and comfortable place to study. Even in this modern day and age, that is the reality.
I don’t yet know how or what next, but this is a signal to me of a gap that I have to start working towards closing. But that’s a topic for another day.
All signs of the times… the world as we know it and understand it is going to change. I don’t think any of us can anticipate how for sure, but what we can be sure of is that it will.
I’ll end on a lighter note…. also sign of the times, I have been invited to my first online birthday party tomorrow! Isn’t that weird but exciting? Although I wish it was a contact party, I know that’s not possible right now and so I’m so very glad that my friend decided to do something. So curious to find out what he has planned.
We are adapting, finding new ways of doing things. And since no one knows what the new ‘normal’ is, the cool thing is that we can make it up as we go along….. I think I’m gonna get dressed up for the party, with perfume and everything – why not uh!
Day 4. Lockdown 🔐
I’m not complaining, but I’m pretending to be complaining ok. Pretending that this struggle is real.
I have my minions with me every day. 24hrs a day. No drinking copious amounts of alcohol and I have to cook at least one wholesome meal a day, …. something with frikking vegetables (Note to self – cheese toast with french fries is not a healthy meal for kids), like everyday. 🤦🏾♀️😄
Things are just going on. More than just going on, there’s something that seems to be developing on the horizon in terms of my career – something about e-Learning, but it’s too early to tell if it important or not. Basically I’ve been communicating with my students and asking them what THEY think we should do. This is something almost unheard of in HE circles. But I’ve never been a conformist, so that doesn’t bother me.
What bothers me (pretend frustration) is having to cook every day, and then of course (feigning even more frustration) doing household chores with the kids. The struggle is real …. not.
I am grateful. So very very very grateful. So tomorrow, like today, we’ll work a bit (school work and work work) and feed the cats and water plants in the garden, wash the dishes, clean the bathrooms and do either laundry or ironing, maybe a little Netflix and then talk. Just talk. Simple life. Best life. ❤️
So my plan is not to do a day by day synopsis of lockdown, but today was yet again another interesting day. On day two of lockdown, despite our social isolation I feel more connected to the world and all my friends than I have in months.
We’re in a new world. Strange unfamiliar territory. There is an enemy out there, but we can’t see it. It might be lurking just around the corner, or it might only be in the neighbourhood 15km away – I just don’t know. I haven’t left my house for any reason for over a week, and I was surely expecting to feel like I have cabin fever by now, but the truth is I don’t feel that way. Not at all. Instead, I feel … SAFE.
My life has slowed down. Literally, after years of chasing my tail, and some or other deadline, I’m in a place now …no correction, We are all in a place now, where no matter how fast we go, or how efficient we think we are, we are not going anywhere – at least not for three weeks. So trying to rush anything won’t make a stitch of difference. There’s a strange sense of relief and comfort in that. We don’t even know if this lockdown will actually even be over in April…. We just don’t know. Strangely, there is reassurance in the fact that we all do not know, because not knowing for sure means that logically we can’t plan anything for sure. The universe says Be Quiet and Rest.
So that’s what I ended up doing. I’m working a little bit. I’m reading a bit and playing Catan Online. I’m doing some household chores, and preparing meals with my kids – the three of us were all in the kitchen this afternoon cooking. We’re having meals that have been prepared without the usual rush, and we taking more time to eat. That feels nice. Really nice.
From my interactions with friends this morning, it dawned upon me that what we’re all feeling today is ‘acceptance’. We’re staying in touch with each other and we’re sharing what we are doing to pass the time. We are also sharing information that we have that will help us all adjust to this new way of life. I realised that a healthy way for the kids and I to get through this time is to set up a new routine. One of my friends, Roberto sent me some pictures of a mini golf course he set up in his front garden, and he said he would start doing that every morning – and that made sense to me. To make sense of this whole situation we have to do what will make sense for us. So during the day, we’ll allocate times to do specific tasks together, and the other time can be free time. A new way of thinking, a new way of life.
So as I sit on my bed tonight reflecting, I smile thinking about this new way of life – how I’ve been in lockdown today and I’ve had more meaningful engagements with people today than what I did last Saturday when I wasn’t in lockdown! People are reaching out to each other. I’ve had proper heartfelt conversations with my high school friends, previous classmates from university, colleagues who are also friends, friends from my Meetup group, my business partners who are also good friends, my two best friends, my brothers and my parents. I even had two group whatsapp calls today. I feel supported, I feel important, I feel connected, I feel loved. I feel like I am part of Gaia. It’s a good feeling, it is indeed.
I don’t think I’ll do a day by day synopsis of Lockdown. But this is Day 1….. so it’s significant. I started beading again