Tuesday 1 December 2020

Welcoming 2020 December

Hi readers, 

It is with great disbelief that I welcome December. I feel as if 2020 had been placed on pause somewhere around the beginning of March. I returned from my last trip abroad on 28 February, straight into planning for my next trip in mid-March. However, as I travelled through Mauritius during that last week of February, I watched the international news in horror. At that point, Italy was starting its steep trajectory, an entire hotel in the UK had been locked down and quarantined, and as travelers, we were  subjected to several health checks at the airport. Looking back, it became clear that those incidences were just a precursor to something I could never have imagined possible, a total lockdown for the entire globe. It heralded the start of something straight out of a sci-fi or apocalyptic movie: empty streets, empty airports, grounded planes and isolated, shut off continents and islands. 

People retreated into their homes, some glued to the grim news reports on television; others just trying to make sense of a warped reality. And even while it was happening, I had the slightest belief that we would recover and that within 6  months or so, we would start emerging from this horror. Well here we are, 9 months later and in the midst of a resurgence, praying that we do not fall victim to the second wave which has the majority of the northern hemisphere in a deathlike vice grip. There are moments when a semblance of normalcy rears its head, like a visit with family members or dinner with friends. And swiftly, I am reminded of our current circumstances, as I instinctively feel the need to sanitise, or need to pull the mask back up after eating. I have never before minded crowds, now I try and avoid it like the plague, as I am constantly mindful of being a 'carrier' when engaging when older and more vulnerable members of our community. Prior to the pandemic, I always had sanitising hand wipes in my bag, waterless sanitiser and I would not just touch surfaces as a general rule. I am therefore no stranger to sanitisation, in fact its a norm (for my own protection), however the possibility of contracting the virus and being asymptomatic, and then infecting others, is my biggest fear. 

We are now approaching the end of what can only described as an unspeakable year, and I have never been as happy to see the end of exams as this year. I feel as if this is a major achievement for this year, as schooling has really been one of the most affected areas. Being able to complete the school year and write exams (in whatever shape or form) is an accomplishment indeed. My youngest has missed the social engagements and he has mourned the loss of his soccer training and matches; especially since he suffered a bone break at the beginning of the year and was still recovering when lockdown hit. During lockdown we spent 24 hours a day with our families, confined to the four walls of our homes; trying to remain positive and sane. My young adult sons weathered online university like troopers; the eldest completing his final postgrad and my middle pushing through second year. I cannot imagine the isolation they must have felt; attending campus is more than just an educational experience for them; it is also the place to engage with friends, develop long lasting friendships and provide and find peer support. More than anything, having lost their social engagements with peers affected them way more than having to continue their learning online. Now friendships were being reduced to video calls, birthday wishes being sent via voice notes and milestones celebrated virtually (even a graduation ceremonies). 

This year has taught me what is truly important, how critical it is to live my purpose and to trust in Divine guidance. Everything I had planned for this year went out the window, and at first it totally threw me off course. By nature I am a solutionist, I am best at strategising and finding new ways forward; and for a while, I operated in survival mode. There was no solution, no alternative, no strategy that would work for our current situation, and I had to dig deep to arrive at a place where that was ok. I had to do some heavy inner work, introspect and find the place that would allow me to surrender even further to the Divine. I am strong in my faith, and yet this pandemic has unearthed another layer. It has brought about a humility coupled with immense gratitude for the privilege of just being me, each and every day. I have uncovered a depth of strength within, which has been highlighted by the trials faced during this time. It wasn't pretty, and I am thankful to my family for rallying during what seems like a nightmarish year. We have been supportive with each other, with the usual disagreements; but each member of the family has had to practise compromise, kindness, patience and tolerance toward the others. This applied to sibling relationships, parent-child relationships and marital relationships; with the understanding that this situation is not a walk in the park, for any one of us. And whilst we are not out of lockdown yet, we have emerged from the past 9 months in good shape and with a renewed mutual respect. 

It is therefore understandable that as lockdown regulations were relaxed, people rushed to find some normalcy. I really missed my nearest and dearest, but even as lockdown relaxed, I am not yet engaging and visiting as often as I would like. It is still crucial to maintain our safety measures, and follow COVID protocols, as nothing has really changed. The virus is still transmitted in the same way, people are still dying and we still need to adhere to protocols. In fact, other parts of the world are still living in 'military states' with curfews and stringent lockdown laws in place. It is therefore incumbent upon each of us to remain responsible, to monitor ourselves and in need refrain from social engagements, to protect others more than just ourselves.

I have not shopped much recently, but in the hope of spreading the love wanted share the pieces sent to me by iera Designs, (Islamic Era Designs), a new modest clothing line. The ladies behind the business are passionate about hijab, beautiful pieces, quality and would like to make it accessible to all. My favourite piece is this beautiful marble print dress, which can be dressed up or down. It's lightweight and the fabric drapes beautifully, creating a modest silhouette. I felt comfortable, elegant and completely at ease while wearing this stunning piece. I have paired it with a light silkblend scarf from Rana Scarves which is  perfect for those sweltering Summer days.


Outfit Details:
iera Designs dress
Rana Scarves silkblend scarf
Mimco Crochet bag
Forever New Heels

Caio for now,
RuBe xoxo

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