A well deserved break, a vacation or one of those long weekends doing nothing (that type you can stay all day without even taking a bath) is something I should crave (Yes I said it) but will I let me? This February, from writing four different professional exams, five different essays and my boss waiting on me to finish the last chapter in his third book (I volunteered!). Big deal huh? I’m poised to plan a week youth program in my sister’s foundation then carry on with my year plan because I am still behind. Way behind!
It only get cheesier, with three carryovers in my Spanish and French classes in tow, ten target books for the month(I’ve not even read nor reviewed any, Wehdone sah!)
When did I become this kind of robot? Every appearance of breaks, holidays threatens me, making “the Forbes” under 30, such enormous delight it would give me! Sometimes, I feel like I am over doing it, but greatness doesn't come cheap. Does it?
More money, more abilities, sharp skills or traveling. What drives me? I have no clue but I just keep going, I keep locomoting.
Going to bed by 10pm is the plan, but I stay up either reading or doing something else then I end up getting little or no sleep, running on caffeine and repeat.
I hurry myself at everything like I’m in a marathon. I fear just one break, someone will overtake me so I hardly chill. Career growth was a high for me. I know the Bible says: “a man that warreth does not entangle himself with civilian affairs” (my motto). I'm not that man.
Covid-19 would be a delay for me so thoughts of its arrival in Nigeria wasn’t even contemplated but before I could say Jack, first case was announced. Crap!
Being alone and idle has always been a challenge for me. There is this voice that always beckons on me to breathe, relax or take a break but I neglect it and get more activities to distract myself or just listen to loud music to shut that voice because it's an enemy of progress.
Still and quiet, it seemed harmless but there is another voice, the loud voice always telling me to do more, achieve more, keep going and never rest. It became clear to me that I cannot be by myself, I was running from me. Probably I should have listened to the still small voice.
“The world has been shut down!” I heard this on the news. Shutting down when it's not even Christmas? What the hell!
God you said this is my year oh, so what is happening?
Fast forward. I woke up by 6am and started dressing up for work as usual when Aaron my gateman asked me:
"Oga, where you dey go? Police dey outside oh say make we no go anywhere”
That's when I realized the lockdown had started; I hardly gave the Covid-19 news any attention. Damn it!!!
I parked my Benz and strolled into my sitting room with my bag slung over my shoulder. I sat down with nothing to do for the first time in years. I checked my emails and everything had been postponed, like everything! A million questions flooded my mind. I was having a nervous breakdown.
Suddenly the voice came at me, the one I always evaded. It was this moment I knew I was not alone in my sitting room. I live alone but this person standing in front of me looked very much like me but he was way more.
This is my honest thought about this unprecedented, strangely different and difficult circumstance we are all forced to adapt to.
The journey is a short one (I am being optimistic!) but it seems never ending; the farther we travel, the longer the way home. What started as "a happy day off" is gradually crawling into an indefinite worrisome holiday. World leaders are confused, economies are falling, think tanks are endlessly brainstorming, ventilators are running out, patients are increasing, news headlines are the same globally, deaths are on the rise from hunger, depression and the virus. There's absolutely nothing exhilarating about this situation!
Nobody in the world knows what to do; we are all just t-r-y-i-n-g to survive!
Oh, no! Motivational speakers, bloggers, vloggers, podcasters all have the answers; they have the map out of this maze. You doubt me? Google "Use this period to..." You'll see one too many of them.
But really, everyone is currently in the "self management" sorry, self-isolation- corner trying to earn some scores. It is a stressful time for all of us - adults, elders and children - that's why I'm stuck in this wonderland trying to figure out who really needs a long exhausting list of chores disguised as "How to be productive this season".
What if this is the time of our life when productivity means inactivity?
Okay, this doesn't sound usual. I'll let you in on a more believable thought.
What if Covid is a secret code for Chill? Chill like rest, relax and worry about nothing. Forget I said that. Conspiracy theorists wouldn't allow us the liberty of liberal interpretation. You can decide what you want but I'd rather you take my advice. Covid means Chill.
Chilling; it is an engaging and strategic mental activity, not a lazy job and it is always essential not seasonal.
Like many clueless others out here, I can't dictate what should be done (different strokes for different folks) so this is not a "To-do" or a "Use-this-period-to list". This is a chill list.
1. The pursuit and the chase
2. Running around in circles and squares.
3. The alongs - tagging along, singing along, clapping along, reading along, dancing along, dropping along and coming along.
4. Busy schedules
6. Long late nights that you do not enjoy
7. Multitasking. I mean you have a whole day doing nothing, spread the work!
8. Heaviness and everything that clutters your mind.
9. "Fun" activities you'd rather not engage in, conversations you'd rather not have and places you'd rather not go.
10. Instagram feeds that choke your security, WhatsApp chats and groups that drain you
Tweets that trigger you.
If you can succeed at chilling, you can succeed at anything. (Wow, I sound like a seasoned motivational speaker. Don't I?) Covid is a chill season, I know we just met and you don't trust me but trust me. Nobody really knows what to do. The entire world is just trying out things but you're insisting so here's a To-do/Use-this-period-to list:
1. Read the Bible, like a story!
2. Watch good movies
3. Discover new artistes and songs
4. Clear your wardrobe
5. Play games
6. Discover new authors
7. Make phone calls
8. Explore other forms of art
9. Learn a language
10. Read your mails
11. Journal (I mean, Dear Diary)
12. Delete songs you do not listen to or pictures you don't like.
13. Contacts you do not need anymore.
I'm really just saying DO NOT USE Covid to find, hang on or go back to something that kinda looks like the love of your life. This advice is much unsolicited. I just feel a certain type of way about it in particular to be honest but whatever you decide is fine. Really!
I'd rather you take my advice but different strokes for different folks. I understand. Most importantly, do not lament or grow weary from the "ghosts of unachieved goals or unrealized dreams past". This isn't the time. There's never a time for that on the clock.
If I have the opportunity to say a final thing, it's definitely USE THIS PERIOD TO LEAVE YOURSELF ALONE. We all imagine what the first day after the pandemic would look like and we can actually twist and turn it into what we'd love to see.
Stay safe and keep praying for our ailing world to be healed.
Written by Zizi ❤️ and Geenat 🙃