travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz

Little Life Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic

June 20, 2020
Little Life Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic
We all sorely missing the outside world, but the truth is there’s really no place like home. And at home, where I first learned how to walk and talk, I am learning new things about life and myself than in any other place I got to explore in the past. Ninety days of Community Quarantine due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, and I am continuously learning little life lessons that help me navigate through the “new normal”. 

(edited this article and removed some personal/private references)

I always see myself as flexible and resilient, especially after taking a different path and career. I have been blogging full-time for 5 years (blogging professionally for almost 10 years). Although I have long said goodbye to the corporate world and traditional office set-up, I am aware that the Coronavirus Pandemic could greatly impact my life and my community. 
Nourishing Real Connection
When the Community Quarantine was announced, I made a list of things I wanted to do – from revisiting old habits, taking up new courses, and making a “When I Die” list.  I am just always in constant competition with myself, and I feel the need to be productive and useful. I thought time is gold, especially during crisis when everything was suddenly put in a halt. 

During the first few weeks of the lockdown, I dedicated my time to decluttering and fixing our stuff. I look at my belongings and other gazillion things in my room (most of them I previously bought thinking they were “essentials” – just like the newly delivered pairs of boots I bought for my next winter trip). What good are all these when at this point, we only need the essentials? The Community Quarantine made it clear what is truly essential – in terms of material things and like what the Little Prince said, invisible to the eye. 
I am successful at becoming a morning person and dedicated my time to building new habits like exercising, meditating and talking to my plants.   Supportive friends gifted me with seedlings and I managed to keep the two alive. I felt like I was entrusted with life or a relationship that I must care and nourish. Just like that of a friendship. 

Now, I expanded the plant family with new indoor plants. We learned about Botany in High School, but it is just recently that I got to really experience how amazing it is to see (plants) lives grow. I love looking at them when my eyes feel tired. They are good to my body and my soul – allowing me to spread more positivity.

I learned that I feel happier whenever I spend for other people. This is one of the things I learned from the online course I took up during the start of quarantine. I ordered food and gifts for friends and relatives to let them know I think of them – especially those who are living solo. 

Healthy Meals and Ways

Every day is like a battle and going out to the market is like stepping out of the warzone. My gears are face mask, eco bag, and a market list.

Little Life Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic

I learned how much more affordable fresh meat, fruits and veggies are, especially when you become a “suki” that vendors would give you extra discounts for your favorite Australian Grapes (at Php 200/kilo) and Lemons (for Php50/3 pcs).  We eat more vegetables and greens at home.  
Going to the market has become one of my workout exercises (outdoor walk). 
The Best Form of Service
We learned to be more creative with our meals. More importantly, I learned how much love a mom/dad/partner puts in cooking for his/her loved ones. I think it is the highest form of service. I am lucky to grow up eating home-cooked meals everyday 
Little Life Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic
But even if we have all the means, skills, and passion to cook everyday, I still find myself ordering food through different apps or online. I love discovering new food or service. It is my own little way to help the economy moving and small businesses and workers make a living.

Time Affluence
Time affluence is more important than any care packages one could ever receive. Because of the lockdown, we found ourselves at home spending more time with our family. and with ourselves. I am curious about the little ones’ version of the Pandemic story. But we do make sacrifices to protect the people we love. I am happy that my life decisions allowed me to spend more time with people who matter. 
Spending time in times of crisis can also mean everyday Telegram or WhatsApp messages. I am blessed to have kept friends who were with me during my darkest and highest days. In between everyday sharings of trivial things and virtual hugs, I appreciate healthy discussions about issues and world news where I learn from different views, with respect and understanding. I am thankful to have friends who truly, genuinely care. 
Little Life Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic
Most of my friends, I do not get to talk to everyday, but they are with me during life’s trials and successes. I sorely missed hanging out with them, and I hope soon we will get to spend time at our favorite coffee shops and restos. 

Me-Time, Self-Awareness and Continous Growth

I learned to value my me-time and I need it to be able to give love and support to others. I indulged in different things – virtual plays, and online concerts, as well as learning more about my favorite artists in a personal level. I admire people because of their views and what they do/create.

Little Life Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic
There are, however days when I also feel different emotions – uncertainty, impatience, and (sometimes) boredom. Sometimes, I think that the lockdown is a blessing for it gives us a sense that everyone is in the same page now. I didn’t feel like I am missing out on events, or travels, or experiences. I always reflect on my self, wants and needs. But just like everyone, I have my own insecurities.
We lost people and loved ones because of the Coronavirus; and although it was sad that we were not given a chance to grieve and  visi, the challenges only strengthened our faith in God. I am thankful to have this faith that teaches me to become a better person and citizen.  
I learned that I haven’t lost my sense of adventure and that I can explore new ways, new ideas and new things which I am hopeful would cultivate new skills and help me as I navigate through life.  From blogging to livestreaming, I sometimes get surprised by the things that I can do. Things that I was once scared to try.
Little Life Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic
I learned that an emergency fund is essential, and I am thankful to have learned that early on in life. I am more careful in spending my money now. But I admit that most of my purchases are for the home. 
I learned that you should not be ashamed of your hustle. Continuously grow, innovate and keep your integrity. 
I learned that, just like in the airline safety guidelines, you need to put your mask on first, before you must help others. Help yourself first. 
I learned that health is wealth, indeed. Waking up everyday, seeing my family is a big blessing.
I learned that kindness, real connection, savoring moments, good mindset and good habits are the things that truly make us happy. 

Ninety – plus days and counting, and I know I still have a lot to learn about myself and life. 
I am lucky to have experienced the 90’s, celebrated the turn of the century, and now, surviving the new normal. In the coming years, I would remember this crisis from the feeling of nostalgia.

Thank you for indulging me in this post. I hope you find this article helpful, or at least, it makes you think.  We will all survive this, with a help from little life lessons. Little things make a big impact.
What have you learned from this pandemic?
Share your thoughts. I also want to learn from you. 

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