My New Normal: My own personal...

My New Normal: My own personal experience of how my life has changed since 2020

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By Rabia Khan

Since 2020, my life has become more disciplined. Initially, I was sleeping most of the time but then I began to feel the unhealthy side effects of staying in bed for too long. It was an effort initially to wake up at dawn, but my eyes never opened. I decided to start yoga exercises in the morning because I had time. I did not have to rush to college or work, or do other errands. I began to also plan a proper menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I tried to avoid fatty foods and carbohydrates. Ordering outside food was out of the question, which was good in a way because I always cribbed about how unhealthy and oily takeaways were.

The best thing for me was the mode of payment became cashless. So there was no rushing about trying to go to the ATM or bank. Online payment became the way, and it felt like a breather. All you needed was money in your account. Google Pay was the best option. The internet became our biggest source of information and help.

We all became more conscious about hygiene. I made it a point to wash all vegetables and fruits and any other stuff bought from outside thoroughly.

It meant cleaning and cleaning. We wore masks. Refrained from shaking hands, even if we had to shake hands, we would come home and wash our hands with renewed zest. Shopping for sanitizers became second nature. I kept buying food and storing it. It became a thing with everyone. It wasn’t as if there was a famine but there seemed to be a sort of panic.

We also became more aware of people dying; friends lost loved ones, and people known to us were losing their lives, so it was very depressing. So I began to value friendships. I called up people, friends, and relatives I had not spoken to in a long time. I felt better doing that. Otherwise, I would have felt cut off from humanity because no one was able to meet anyone.

I took up playing indoor games. I started reading more. I watched more television, but it was a nice change because I got a chance to sit back and relax, and think about where my life was heading. Things got back into a proper perspective.

Basically, I reinvented myself.

One thing I noticed is that men learned how to manage their homes. They helped with the cooking, the laundry, and cleaning, and fathers helped with their kid’s education. It was all so sudden but we all somehow managed to get our lives together, living cooped up under the same roof for months on end. Nerves were, of course, frayed but everybody finally realized that throwing tantrums didn’t help at all so everyone got their act together because this was the only way they could not get on each other’s nerves.

Living together was like literally breathing down each other’s necks initially. There were heated exchanges but eventually, one got resigned to what was happening and took the peaceful route, since that was the most mature way of living. Fights would only make living with each other worse. There was nowhere to go so folks learned a lot of self-control and tolerance and then it became easier. Now it has carried into day-to-day life, this kind of temperament that has sympathy and empathy. Well, at least we learned to be more careful of other people’s feelings.

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