Updated: Jul 27
These last few months have been a roller coaster ride for all of us, with the pandemic creating havoc, and disrupting our “NORMAL” lives. These times have brought with it stress and uncertainty about our health safety, about our careers and about the future itself. In such unimaginable times there are a few things I’ve learned from my daughter (NORAH) who is just over 3 years, And here’s me sharing it…
Lesson 1 - ACCEPT IT
So recently in one of our video calls with family, Norah was asked why aren’t you going to school, do you miss your friends and she responded ‘Coz its corona na; mmmm… if you go out virus will catch you and you’ll have stomach ache and vomiting; fyi she learnt the symptoms from a cartoon series called – Kiki Panda (and me too ). She has realized there is a problem, understood and accepted it.
What I learnt:
The first step towards finding solution to any challenge (I don’t like to think of it as a problem ) that we face, is to accept that there is a challenge rather than make it a reason to impede our progress…
As the saying goes ‘Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.’ Or to put in Norah’s words “It ooookay papaa”
Lesson 2 - Be Adaptive
Before corona (BC), Norah had her own routine like many of us do in these modern times. Wake up in the morning, brush teeth, get ready for her play school, have some of her favorite chocolate cereal or some fruit; and once back have a bath (Oh how she loves her bathtub ), sleep a little, play with her toys and go to the park or cycle around the neighborhood in the evening.
Now with the unforeseen changes to our routine, she has adapted like we couldn’t have ever imagined – Still wakes up early in the morning (Ok, not as early as before ), brushes her teeth, puts on her day clothes – that’s usually a frock and her hat (loves dressing like a queen), then gets her books or sometimes uses our wardrobe to write alphabets or numbers or just do some drawing… Even making us play ‘School-School’ with her being the teacher and we (Me & my wife) the students.
What I Learnt:
While our routines have been rattled, we should adapt and try to plan our day the same way we did BC. That’s, change into day clothes, login to your office laptop or read your books if a student in a corner of your home, check and respond to emails, get some work done, get on a zoom call with your team / colleagues / friends and just discuss on work, check how they are adapting / learning or just have the ‘water cooler talk’. While you do your office or school work, don’t forget to take breaks the same way we all do at work – be it having a few sips of warm coffee or spending time with your family, play an online game or just do some basic exercises or the ever favorite scroll through social media feeds.
As an old proverb goes ‘The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water moulds itself to the pitcher’ or as Bruce Lee says – BE LIKE WATER MY FRIEND, BE LIKE WATER…
Lesson 3 - ACQUIRE NEW SKILLS
So, it’s been over two months since Norah’s school have been closed and we aren’t doing the usual “weekendy” things that many families might be accustomed to be, especially in the cities; like going to the beach or the mall or play areas or Norah’s favorite – the Zoo. But that has not put her off nor disheartened her, rather she has started to acquire many new skills be it ridding her scooter in the corridor (Yes she has ridden it over my toe a few times ), built structures with disposable glasses, like the one which is apparently her Birthday cake, in the making!
Or even helping her mom by washing vegetables, like in the below video… (Ok, please ignore my voice in the background )
What I Learnt:
Looking at the positive side, we have some extra time to spare (Now that’s surely never been the case with almost all of us) as we aren’t spending time traveling to and fro office or Schools or Meetings. Let’s utilize this once in a life time opportunity to learn and acquire new skills by trying out new things, maybe learn how to code, or create interesting presentation or do a few of the many free online courses, or cultivate a hobby into a professional skill like planting, painting or even writing (That I’m attempting here ).
From the words of Leonardo Da Vinci “Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Let's not get bogged down by the situation; and keep learning to keep our minds as sharp as the sword of a soldier ready to go into a battle.
Lesson 4 - Be hopeful
The most surprising thing for me is that even during these extraordinary times, Norah hasn’t thrown any tantrums to go out (Ya gets moody sometimes, but that’s acceptable from a 3 year old ); rather she says “When corona is over, we will go to the Zoo, ok?!”.
What I Learnt:
Yes, we are in obscure times; yes, we are in a phase of life that most of have never experienced in our lifetimes, but we have to keep up our spirits up and always stay hopeful.
As the great Martin Luther King Jr. says “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
… Signing off and not sounding to cliché but let’s remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel. And this experience will determine if we come out as winners or we come out wondering ‘I wish I would’ve…’
Now if you have read this far, thanks for that ; and would love to hear your experiences, as life is nothing but the experience we gather of our own or through others!