The events of year 2020 took us all by surprise. The world turned upside down within few weeks. Suddenly what I had known as the “normal” living ceased to exist, and the new reality had taken it place. Things that I had taken for granted, as going for a walk to the mountains or beach, visiting my family and friends in other countries, or even going to a grocery store was not the same anymore.
Note that I will not give any comments or opinions about the vaccinations in this post. I believe every living creature has its own opinion, and I will leave it at that. I will, however, write about my experiences during the last two years.
The first lockdown had a feeling of panic, curiosity and “what is next”-kind-of-a-feeling. Suddenly my work computer and things from my office had moved in into my living room, turning my safe place into a mix of a place to rest and a place to work. My mind was constantly working by looking at the computer. My furball gang was excited thought, because there was yet another computer to sleep on, and I had yet another computer to clean from the fur and cat’s pawns.
In general working from home was easy to adjust to. There had not been a stress of getting up early, driving in the traffic to the office, and then return in the similar traffic back home. It had been rather exciting turn of the events. Especially, that I had thought that this situation would have lasted for just few weeks. I suspect many of us had had the same thoughts. Let’s admit, even now, two years into the pandemic, we still appreciate few things of working from home (but not seeing your colleagues every day is very daunting).
The things had started to change when my island had gone into a full-lockdown. There had not been a living soul allowed to enter the island, and definitely no one had been allowed to leave the island. We had not been allowed to leave our home without sending one message a day. The holiday island with planes leaving two airports in the Republic of Cyprus constantly, had turned empty and quiet. The skies had become empty. The beaches had not seen a tourist. My plans of travelling had disappeared.
Our lives had turned quite isolated and “online” within the few weeks.
All online meeting applications had recorded a steep increase in new users, Netflix had increased its number of movies, documentaries, and tv-shows, and, not to mention, new chat applications had increased in numbers as well. Even, my daily exercising had also “moved” online. Les Mills on Demand online application, that included all their exercising programs and I could put any program on whenever I wanted without pre-booking my spot for the gym days before (at the end of the year, 2020, I was 7 kilos lighter!).
With pandemic lasting months after months, my favourite hobby, traveling, had been reduced to almost zero during the first year. The first year of the pandemic had been a very confusing year to travel as well. In-between the lockdowns, the rules of the travels had varied from country to country, and the most annoying part of the pandemic, the travel restrictions varied from day to day (unfortunately, they are still changed very often). I had managed to travel only once in 2020. The months in the year 2020 had been the longest time I had been without travelling. Talking about “travelling rehab”!
My times of searching for new destinations, ticket offers, searching for local travel agents to organize new crazy adventure for me and The Other Me, had to be put on the “shelf” and my need for searching had to find a new outlet. Not to go crazy in this situation, I had come back to my all-time favourite hobby, books. I had always loved reading. My mom had affected me with the love of reading when I was in my primary school. There were times when I was found by my parents reading a book in the middle of the night with a flashlight.
Instead of spending my free time on watching mind-numbing tv-shows or movies, finally, all the books that I had bought for years, and I had had never time to read, were undusted. I turned my “addiction” of searching for flight tickets into a search for new books.
For all my life I had been reading more or less the same genre of books, like criminals, travel books, cooking books. However, my friends and their friends have been the best source to take me out of my reading “comfort zone” during the pandemic (a huge thank you to one and only Agata for feeding my book reading hunger regularly:)). I have discovered an entirely new world of books:)
Regularly Amazon and online bookstores have been delivering packages with books written by Nobel prize winners, known authors and those who were not known to me. I have bought books that I would never buy before. These packages contained books about history, novels and even few science-fiction books. Once, I even bought one of those “self healing” or “self helping” books, but s it turned out, I am not the biggest fan of such books.
After two years of pandemic, my bookshelf looks small with all the books waiting to be read and my apartment is filled with boxes of read books. The reason is that whenever I finish reading a book, it is neatly packed into a special box, to make space for a new book on my bookshelf. The Other Me is trying to convince me to slow down with buying new books, but the excitement of finding something incredible is hard to resist.
To give you an inside to my book-shelf; in 2020 I read 14 books, in 2021 it was already 30 read books packed into the box, and this year, I have already finished reading 3 books. Let’s see whether this year I will manage to break my 2021 record…