Pandemic. Light At The End Of The Tunnel. What I Learned About Myself

I remember when it all started in March 2020. The weather was just getting nicer and spring was around the corner. There was so much to look forward to, after long gloomy West Coast winter. I was planning to visit my elderly parents in Poland in summer. I started following the news, and it was very obvious that Pandora box was opened now, and it was getting grimmer per minute. One just couldn’t help but wonder when we are going to have the first case of COVID-19 in my city of Vancouver. When it was finally confirmed, everyone around me was getting increasingly paranoid, including myself. The idea of living in isolation for indefinite period of time left me feeling uneasy. Soon, I found myself taking my temperature every morning and evening for several months until my poor thermometer gave out.

I remember the first month of quarantine, I had all kinds of cravings, particularly snacks and the news. What I didn’t realize at the time, I was addicted to both. I was like the worst case of addict, consuming the news and junk food. Driven by anxiety, I attempted self-medication, a self-subscribed bag of chips with guacamole and cheese, followed by the large dosage of CNN coverage. I don’t normally suffer from anxiety, but political climate of our times, pandemic, and life in isolation created ideal conditions for a perfect storm. After one month of living this frenzy life, I knew then, I had to find a healthy way of living in the new circumstances, or I will end up feeling hundred years old before my time. What am I going to do?

First, I decided to get active, going for longer walks and loose weight. I had quite a bit of pounds to shake off, at least twenty to begin with. I joined Noom, and I started to learn about my bad eating habits. I learned I was a fog eater, indulging too much. I was also an emotional eater, eating to numb any uncomfortable feeling rising in my mind. I really loved Noom app, with very enlightening articles that were very funny and real at the same time. One could tell, people who created the program were experts behind loosing weight, they understood how our mind works, and incorporated humour in their writing. That really got me going, and reading good informative articles helped me to shift my mind about what healthy eating is. Do you live to eat? Or do you eat to live? I chose the latter.

Denying yourself your favourite snack, avoiding certain food and starving yourself are not good strategies for weight loss. So, I really gave Noom a go, and lost 25 pounds from June till September last year, and I was able to keep it off for many months. I had a slip at the beginning of spring 2021, and gained five pounds, but I know I can deal with loosing that. So, I am back at keeping attention to my food intake. Anyone who is struggling with eating right, I do recommend Noom. I should mention here, that I don’t work for Noom and I have no gains from promoting this company, but I do think it is a great program and it keeps it real. You decide what you eat for entire day, there is no gimmicks, no special pills, no food replacement and I found the app affordable. You pay for subscription if you want to have an access to articles and your weekly coach, otherwise it is free to use.

Secondly, I wanted to learn new business methods and joined FBA Masterclass with Tom Wong. I attended his first information session in summer of 2019 and I recall I was really excited about the opportunities and Tom was really great teacher and mentor. I enjoyed his humility, kind heart and willingness to work with others. I haven’t been dreaming big in life, as I didn’t see many opportunities, but in the last year I find I changed my outlook on money and my own worth, and come to realization we create our own reality, indeed. We can accomplish great things in life, if we put our minds to work. I see this very clearly, that nothing is a coincidence in our journey, but our life is a printout what is in our brain, our beliefs drive our reality, whether they are hidden in our mind or we can see them on the surface of our consciousness.

I have observed the trend on media with many opportunities of earning and generating our own income. Tom’s approach to FBA (filled by Amazon) business is very much rooted in reality and hard work. You don’t get rich overnight, and it takes a lot of perseverance and dedication to be successful, but the one most important thing in life is to never give up. Although I had to pause my entrepreneurial venture for the time being, I have learned tons about how selling every day objects on Amazon works and I have seen how it had changed many people’s lives. I will continue my entrepreneurial journey this coming fall. I am not giving up!

So, these are some of the things I have focused in early months of pandemic, keeping up with the healthy lifestyle and learning something new, something that would challenge my old way of thinking and my lifestyle.

I also had some silly ways of dealing with the pandemic, when I dressed up for no particular reasons, and I would go for nature walks, dressed in funky shoes, and fake leather pants, while everyone around me was wearing sweat pants and runners. I felt like I was a strange duck, overdressed for the occasion, but it was my own way of dealing with the pandemic. My European upbringing was rooted in the love of fashion and elegant clothing. I think it’s a way of expressing our individuality. You don’t need a reason to dress elegantly, other than desire for beauty.

Seeking beauty in each moment, I find there is so much poetry in the mundane. I will post some images here of the real flowers I found them on this restaurant table when I was zipping quickly on my coffee break to pick up my mobile order at Starbucks store in my area. I had to stop and snap a photo, I just couldn’t resist the sight of it.

Today, I woke up in the morning and I felt so nauseous and had a headache. I didn’t know why I was feeling this way, until I remembered I just started master cleanser and it’s common to feel this way at the start of the cleanser. As a result of it, I slept today almost till noon. I was happy I did, because I usually get little bit over six hours of sleep. After my morning nap, I felt so much better, and decided to walk to Shoppers Drug Mart to get some fresh air. Once I entered it, I remembered I always wanted to get Anais Nin’s perfume but I have been denying myself the pleasure of it for a long time. But today, I remembered it again. I thought, I am going to treat myself to Anais Nin’s perfume, but how am I going to justify spending $100 on perfume and out of the blue? It wasn’t my birthday, I only came to pick up red lipstick, which was only a motivator to get out of my apartment for a walk. Anais Nin is my favourite diarist, so I thought that’s a good enough reason to drop that money, I work so hard for.

I saw this message on social media the other day:

At every moment of our lives
we all have one foot
in a fairy tale
and the other in the abyss

I thought how true this was, and this applies to everyone. We all want to dream our lives into something beautiful, even if it consists of small moments of beauty, but that is what life is, it consists of those small parts that contribute to life lived well. Sometimes, we forget and stop believing, but I think it’s important to keep believing and never give up.

Now that pandemic is closer to the end, what would you like to reflect on? What did you learn about yourself during this time? Did you pick up new hobbies, new realization? Please comment below.

I should also add that I started blogging. I always loved writing, it feels like breathing to me, but to my own surprise I started writing poetry suddenly. Check my last couple of poems here: My Ma Said I Was A Strange Duck and At The Ferry Terminal.

The caterpillar grows wings during a season of isolation. Remember that next time you’re alone. Mandy Hale

“Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
‘Ride,’ Pleasure said;
‘Walk,’ Joy replied.” — W.H. Davies

Published by Marianna Maliszewska

“I cannot live without love. Love is at the root of my being.”― Anaïs Nin.

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