Working from home during lockdown has taught me so much.

I have a few thoughts on lockdown that I wanted to share. 

Lockdown and COVID-19 have wrought havoc on global economies and businesses of every size…and, while I didn’t love losing a large portion of our clientele, I have come to recognize and even love the lessons that lockdown has left me, if you’ll bear with my love of alliteration.

When lockdown initially struck, it was sudden and I really was unprepared, predominantly emotionally, for the fallout, and, for the first two months (bows head in shame) I admit, when I wasn’t working all hours, washing dishes, cooking, feeding kids, running Zoom meetings and home schooling…that I binge-ate and binge-TV-watched and Reddit-indulged myself into a meme-and-carb-induced coma. 

But eventually I arose from amidst the crackling chip packets and chocolate wrappers, like the phoenix rising from the rubbish, to pull myself together and face (thanks @mareikebrase) my inner awkward and uncomfortable places that I had, until that moment, hidden from myself by shopping or coffee-shopping or meeting-til-I’m-dropping… and I ‘did the work’ and ‘went there’ and found what I was trying to avoid and all the awkwardness that comes with looking internally…

And so, I can finally say, like Alanis Morrisette…Thank You Lockdown. 

I’m actually thankful for lockdown…it’s been a tough few months, but it was necessary; here’s what I’m grateful for:  

Peace

I’ve always been driven by a spirit of busyness, rushing from meeting-to-meeting, task-to-task and then rushing home to rush through kids and home chores…just thinking about it makes me feel like I need to be somewhere and I’m already late. 

But during lockdown, the forced stillness that came with having nowhere to be, caused that mist to lifted from me, and replaced it with a glow of peace and quiet that has descended on me and settled clear through to my bones. 

It took a few weeks, but I feel I am better at listening, I can even sit still for moments to watch the sea, play dolls with my girls, practice my piano…breathe. 

#ThankYouLockdown for peace.

Family

For the first time in my life, I am home with my family all day, every day. As an extrovert I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to handle not seeing others for the duration of lockdown, but what I found instead is the beauty and joy of spending every waking moment with my little family. 

My daughters have blossomed in front of my eyes, my relationship with my husband is at an all-time high…all because I’m a present, available and able to give these relationships the time and attention they need to develop and grow.

 #ThankYouLockdown for family time.

Home Schooling

Who knew that I would actually love homeschooling, even though it meant that my work day ended at midnight; the joy of teaching my youngest to read, or helping my oldest navigate maths or verbs cannot be communicated adequately through mere words. 

I am a teacher at heart, and being able to see what my kids are learning and be involved for these brief months, has been a real gift.

#ThankYouLockdown for homeschooling.

Health

Thanks to coronavirus we all started eating healthier: hello vegetables, salads and fruit! “Come on kids, you have to eat healthy or the coronavirus will get you!” Hello healthy minds and bodies and stronger immune systems…we’ll send them for therapy when they’re older. 

#ThankYouLockdown for healthy eating habits.

Fitness

I have never had time to go to the gym – see first point above! But with the narrow exercise window forced upon us I found myself…believe it or not…going for a morning run! Something I haven’t done in years. Oh how I belly-ached about the 1-hour allocated to us (sunrise and sleeping in factored in), but eventually I stopped resisting and started running (ok it’s more like a shuffle which makes me only slightly faster than the pensioners strolling in my dust). 

And…the biggest surprise of all, is how much I’ve enjoyed it. So much so that I’ve carried on with the habit, even after the exercise time limit was lifted. 

#ThankYouLockdown for helping me find my fit self.

Going Global

As a Cape-Town based agency I’ve spent months of my life travelling up and down SA and the world to meet clients and prospects face-to-face; as I used to believe this was the best way. Now that it no longer matters where our offices are based, and with every single business around the world now comfortable with Zoom or Google Hangouts, we are happily growing our global base with customers who are keen to take advantage of our exchange rate.

 #ThankYouLockdown for making us global.


So yes, lockdown has been hell, but it’s also been a little bit of heaven.

I hope that you’ll share your lockdown lessons with me, using the hashtag #ThankYouLockdown. 

Stay safe and keep well.

Dylan Kohlstädt

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