Not just the acads and the pandemic
We also suffer from other othings.
After our last online small group discussion for the week, I intentionally took a break from my academics. I immediately called my mother because I promised that I will assist her in visiting her doctor. And I tell you, it was not an easy decision.
I have been writing about trying to make sense of life, relationships, and everything in between since the start of the pandemic. I have also written a couple of articles on common struggles in our time such as loneliness and pan-academic stress. Many of us have made some small experiments on adapting to a remote-everything world. We have been trying to make boundaries in our homes, readjust our schedules, and think for alternatives for most of the things we usually do.
Almost everything became more challenging and it is insensitive to say that it is only me who is going through a lot. I was in an online small group early this week when my sister called me about an emergency in our house. I honestly did not know how to respond properly. Should I leave our graded synchronous activity? Should I attend to the emergency need? Common sense says to attend to the more urgent and more important thing. Another thing that makes me more anxious is the overflow of inboxes. The stress and anxiety this time are aggravated because we are in an online-everything world and just a small mistake or delay would be negatively translated to the receiving end. These are just some of the angles of other experiences in this pandemic, particularly the things that involve the self and our relationships. And I refuse to categorize them as just minor details in life. Because of the societal issues exposed by the pandemic and our attempts of being efficient and productive, we missed on our personal and relationship issues. These things must still be confronted and dealt with.
Simply put, I took a conscious decision to take a break in my academics to rest and to process life apart from the weeklong hustle. It is not an assessment of the things that went good and bad. It is not some form of productivity stuff — it is being more mindful with things that also matter. How am I as a person? How is my relationship with my parents? How am I as a friend? Am I communicating properly my thoughts and feelings? It is pursuing the life outside of the mundane life. And while I pursue that life, I also cultivate the sense of gratitude and the kind of calm that prepare me for understanding and extending compassion to others. I always try to get back my life back into balance. However, just like in some of my online quizes, I am only given with limited attempts.