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  • Writer's pictureGenieve Hanley


Updated: Jul 20, 2020

Over 2 months home.

I judged myself. I pressured myself. I overwhelmed myself. I let myself go.

I often counted the seconds, minutes, hours, days and weeks that felt most times, like I was wasting them. I could do so much with this much needed free time, but managed to pull off what I thought was so little. I felt like a dead beat, honestly. Little income (my primary business had to close), little freedom (curfews, lockdowns and sheer fear), little space (I have a 5 year old!) and little headway (not much being done with so much and so little on my plate at the very same time). But in retrospect, this (torture) was probably one of the best things that has happened to me in a long time. It slowed me down completely and gave me the opportunity I didn’t know I needed to put some very important (and not so important) things into perspective. Now that it seems to be almost over (St. Kitts & Nevis is one of the very few countries in the world now dubbed ‘Corona-free’), I feel recharged, repurposed and realigned. Or at least, I am getting there. Here are a few things I learned (and learned again) during this historic time:

1) It’s a pandemic not a productivity contest. For naturally driven and entrepreneurial-minded people, I find the inclination is always to push the hustle when time opens up. Like every clear, wide-open spot in our schedule should be filled with a mission or quest for more knowledge, more skills, more growth, more income, more accolades, more feats, more results. But do you know how refreshing it was to do less instead of more? To do nothing? To lie around in my pajamas all day and effortlessly set my greatest aspiration to be completing my binge of all four seasons of ‘Money Heist’ on Netflix? #majorgoals right!?! It was a struggle at first wrapping my head around the trauma of having my life’s usual ‘hare’-like efficiency slowed right down, without any notice whatsoever, to excruciating turtle pace. But eventually my body and mind adjusted and I began to appreciate and embrace the opportunity to just relax and be idle for once.

2) I have more money than I thought. The way I value money now and how it can stretch has definitely shifted. $100 worked as hard and covered as much during the pandemic as $1,000 would for me on a regular day. I’m applying this newly acquired outlook/skill going forward and I now therefore consider myself rich (lol).

3) I (still) can’t fold fitted sheets. I used to think that it was a lack-of-patience or a “I don’t have the time” issue. But it appears that I just can’t.

4) Being a mom is hard. (As if we didn’t know this already!) But with all ten million obligations I have to my little girl, adding homeschooling to the mix as the ten-millionth-and-one duty, oh and having to keep her well-entertained 24-7, had me on the mutha%$*#& edge. It's safe to say, I survived.

5) My friends and family are A-Grade. From my siblings who braved the storm, in long social-distancing lines outside supermarkets, to get me groceries; to my mom who constantly sent me random care packages including homemade passion fruit juice and dish-washing sponges I like (I live closeby); to my dad who lent me his weedwacker (see next point); and my best friend who made me laugh via voicenotes throughout; and all others in my circle who checked in in all the right ways; I got reminded that I’m surrounded and supported by some damn high quality, irreplaceable people! Thanks y’all!

6) Cutting grass is not an inherent skill. This ability doesn’t come built in automatically with every human. We do not all know how to do this, and we do not all do it well if and when we try. I’ll just leave this at that. If you follow me on Instagram, you’d know more. @genievecjh

7) Drag culture is really everything. It adds hope, humor and humanity to what can be a pretty cold world. Thank you Ru Paul for happening to have Season 12 of Drag Race running during this Corona nonsense. PS - I was Team Gigi & Jaida from the very start so I’m pleased with the outcome.“Look over there!”

8) Weighted blankets are therapeutic. A friend of mine was very thoughtful to send me one during this critical time. I’ve always wanted one, after seeing so many rave reviews in Amazon haul videos (which I obsess over). Now I finally have one, I get the hype. I found it lives up to the claims of easing insomnia, reducing anxiety, relieving feet and back stress and improving sleep quality. I feel like I'm waking up from a coma in the mornings every time I use it. Epic! Click here to find the exact one I have in my recommended buys.

9) I don’t know how to long-divide. My daughter, Zendi, learned the concept of division during her Math classes in quarantine and it dawned on me, that I forgot how to do long division. And no, I did not attempt to relearn. I will use my calculator. *rolls eyes*

10) The internet wins every time. The memes. The quickness. The instantaneity. The power. The obsessions. The shade. The realness. The fake news. The actual news. And of course, the blurred lines between all of these things. A lot of times, I just kept off it. This was a smart choice.

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