It is one of those mornings yet again where I am desperate to write, not knowing what to write though. However, I have always found that when you set out for a task, no matter how obscure it initially appears, you always do find a way around it. So here I am trying to make this read worth your time.
The lock-down if it has had any businesses flourishing are the content writers and the zoom, house party and such other apps. The social distancing really got you, and so online proximity was all you were left with. For a while, you didn’t quite know what to do with yourself. There was a constant itch to connect in whatever way possible. It’s a good thing to connect, but this lock-down albeit forced you to connect and be with yourself. It almost left you bare and stark, where you couldn’t hide behind or depend upon work, friends, outer entertainment or daily rigmarole to define your day and your life. You were mostly on your own, save the social media, with all the time splayed before you.
Some found it or are finding it difficult, getting bogged down, restless and bored. While others are sailing smooth, in fact enjoying, catching a drift of their dream life. The point is not if someone should enjoy social isolation or not or how much. The real deal is to know, are you enough for yourself, do you enjoy your own company and at best your spouse’s?
Essentially and eventually that is our fate as human beings…no matter how socially connected you are today, you’ll be on your own by the evening of your life. Your family and friends will be available only so much, your spouse might not even be around. The only thing you’ll have is yourself and the only thing that will keep you sane and happy is your adaptability. I saw it first hand with my grandfather and I see it every day with my grandmother-in-laws, and they have been inspirational.
It would be a gross inadequacy to think this as grim pessimism, to worry about a future before its time. What I am saying is far from it. In fact this lock-down has given us a huge opportunity to reflect upon ourselves today, in the sunny noon of our lives. And it couldn’t hurt to take a meaningful leaf out of it. In real terms it’s about self-sufficiency. Just as the country was in its first week of lock-down, P.M. Mr. Modi made a statement that this pandemic indisputably shows the need for the country to be self reliant to produce and provide essential goods to itself. And that’s pretty much the crux when applied to an individual. Have skills, passions, interests that define you independently, find joy in yourself and nourish it.
Interestingly, around the second week of lock-down, I read another news piece that dating sites were having exponentially high traffic. No surprise there, with all the time and nothing else. People do like connects, virtual or real. It’s pleasurable and exciting. Who can deny that? And then I loved this quarantine joke which was doing rounds, the man says, “Hey this quarantine isn’t working for me. My wife and I have almost become friends and I almost told her about my girlfriend :)”. I think this would be the most ground breaking outcome of quarantine in interpersonal relationships.
I truly wish this joke is more than a joke with real place in people’s lives. It doesn’t imply in the least that couples have or should have affairs and discuss it at home. It implies the strength of spousal friendship, the buddy bond you share with your spouse. A hope and relief that each can look at the other as an individual apart from the filter of marriage. A marriage would be such a happy space if spouses could be friends first. If you could hang out with each other, open your minds and hearts, talk like adults and acknowledge the grey shades of life instead of cowering and escaping the truth. Any friendship thrives on trust and non-judgementality, in a delicate and complex relationship of marriage, you need it by the pounds to maintain that balance.
With the luxury of time on hand, the good fortune of being well, the lock-down might be such an opportune time to reassess and redefine your relationships both with yourself and your partner. A time to give your life a make-over.