Lessons in lockdown: Making every day count

Lessons in lockdown: Making every day count

Date: March 2, 2021
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By Juliet Rusawu

Harare, 2 March: Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.  As in every other year I set my own goals and resolutions for 2020.  When Covid-19 struck I thought it was just another pandemic that would come to pass within a short space of time.

Reality struck me when Zimbabwe recorded its first case on 20 March 2020 immediately followed by the first death in the same month as well as first lockdown. Events occurred so rapidly that I could not comprehend the situation.

I had to make arrangements for Ryan my son to come back home from university and my daughter Grace from boarding school. At the same time I was preparing to work from home and organise for best internet service provider.

As the lockdown continued the virus also became sneaky and unpredictable. We learned as we went along. I had many reservations about working from home. The “what if” syndrome dominated: what if the Internet failed; what if load shedding hit hard? At that moment we were going through an institutional audit. My biggest fear was how this was going to be remotely coordinated. Slowly things started to take shape and I learnt that the best way out is always to go through.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment” (Jim Rohn). Working from home taught me a high level of discipline. I learnt how to separate personal time and work time. During my first days of working from home I used to find it difficult to ignore  a dirty corner of the house. I would end up in that corner.

Having one or two teams missed calls made me realise that I had a major responsibility at work and needed to diligently prioritise my duties. It reminded me of Steven Covey when he once wrote that “the key is not to prioritise what is on your schedule but to schedule your priorities”

As the lockdown continued my fears and uncertainties eased. I stopped counting the days. I made the days count. Gender Links HR wellness sessions helped me to cope. I lived, adjusted and worked in the new normal. The worries; the ‘what if’ questions fell away as I embraced the new environment.

The Institutional audit proceeded well and was successfully concluded. I had one major activity to look forward to at work and that was the so much talked about Summit. All my time at Gender Links colleagues always shared their amazing summit experiences which made me look forward to it.

In 2020 I attended my first ever COE summit. During the summit I got a greater appreciation and understanding of Gender Links’ work. Councils shared best practices with judges hammering, encouraging and giving recommendations to local authorities.

In 2020 I reached some serious understandings in life. I grew and I matured as a person. I made new conclusions about love and humanity and the purpose that we’re put here on earth.

I’m thankful to God for taking me through 2020 and bringing me out on the other side, whole and still intact. God picked me up while discipline helped pave the way forward. As I look back to the lockdown period, I now realise that it was part of my journey.

To every season, there is a reason. This too has its reason. I appreciate my colleagues Priscilla and Tapiwa for all the morning check calls and the encouragement to sail through. Now I can face any situation with courage.

(Juliet Rusawu is senior finance officer in Zimbabwe)

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