Being in a lockdown means uneasiness, concerns, doubts, boredom, anger perhaps. But it also brings with it the opportunity to develop new habits, especially by correcting old ones. So, what habits am I talking about?
The habit of keeping a journal
I’ve been keeping a journal for many years now, but during the lockdown I began to write in it more often, to note the small things. Here is an entry from mid March.
“Quiet days at home, writing, and reading about the plague that ravaged London in 1665. Mother is at home these days… The coronavirus is killing hundreds of people every day, mostly elderly, mostly in Italy, Spain, France, Iran… but in China things seem to have calmed down. We are staying home except for trips to the store. I’m not going into the city anymore. Aprind here, it’s almost a holiday atmosphere as neighbors with otherwise busy work lives are spending time with their kids. The kids are the least concerned of all, of course, riding their bikes, playing football, enjoying the unexpected break from school they have. The attitude of most here is that the virus is happening to others far away. I think a single case in the area would make parents much more prudent. It’s hard for people to fear what they cannot see.“
The habit of not picking my nose
This rather shameful habit of mine may surprise you, but before the pandemic I quite often found myself picking my nose now and then as I was writing on my computer.
But with the whole idea of not touching your face after touching surfaces, my hand seemed to have registered the danger and now I have not been nose-picking for months.
The habit of talking on the phone
I am not a phone person. So much so that often it’s hard even for my mother to reach me by phone. I broke up with at least one girl over the years because of not answering her messages fast enough.
But then spending day after day at home and not venturing into the town anymore made me more open the idea of talking on the phone. I had quite a few interesting and pleasant calls during the lockdown.
For example, did you know that in some parts of the world, people have a hard time growing roses in their garden because monkeys come to eat the buds?
The habit of using less toothpaste
I usually try to lead a minimalist life and not waste anything. But with the lockdown, I tried to reduce trips to the supermarket. I happened to have just one tube of toothpaste in the house, and so I dozed it carefully so it would last me as long as possible, one pea drop of toothpaste at a time. That seems to be enough for even for adults, using too much toothpaste is unhealthy anyhow.
The habit of thinking about others more
I am a self-absorbed person. Thinking about others usually requires some effort on my part. In the last few years, I’ve been trying to become more social and more concerned with others, but still it’s something I have to work on.
This unhappy pandemic has reminded me, as I’m sure it has many others, that we live in an interconnected world and that we depend on people whose existence we seldom concern ourselves with, such as the garbage collector or the delivery guy or the supermarket cashier.
The habit of being more aware of my mortality
I often think about death. But this pandemic has given death a more concrete form, and reminded me that youth will soon be gone and then I’d better be prepared because things won’t get any easier.
Most of us alive today have not known war or experienced other calamities, and so this pandemic will make us ponder our fragility.
And, by doing so, will make us focus more on the things that we must really do, not those that we think we should do or those that we would like to do. But those that we really must, that if we leave undone, we would regret on our deathbed.
The habit of…
I could go on, but it has begun to rain, and I have written quite enough already. I will put away this screen now to listen to the rain music…
See you next post! 😷
Image c) MindMeister