Everyone knows the saying: ‘Man Plans, God Laughs’. But how many of us know that it is a super old Yiddish proverb? Well, now you know, so you’re welcome. This is exactly what happened to me (and the rest of the world) back in March. Last four months have definitely been one of the more memorable periods of my life (as I am sure for many others too). Not only did I learn a lot about my physical and mental health, spent quality time with my family and enjoyed my mum’s cooking, but I also watched the world go through pandemic and fight for equality.
Back in March, I flew to Lithuania with the intention to spend three weeks with my family, see all the doctors I needed for my health and return home back to London. Little did I know, that after about a week the world will go to full lockdown. Lithuanian government announced quarantine on the 15th of March and the only time we were able to leave the house, was to buy food.
I have spent around two months at my brothers and it was very calming and stress-free time. I was able to focus more on my mental state, start daily exercises that really help my posture, back and neck, and had some extraordinary conversations with my brother.
Once new Covid_19 cases started to subside and Lithuanian government eased quarantine restrictions, I was finally able to see the rest of my family and start my visits to doctors. My time with my family gave me grounding that I had lost over the last nine months. My mum’s cooking gave me nutrients that my body was nurtured with since I was a baby. Time in nature gave me tranquility and strengthened my sense of freedom. All doctor visits proved that my body is fighting for me to be healthy and it’s up to me to decide, what road I want to take when it comes to physical and mental well-being.
I am going to be very honest here. The pandemic of 2020 was actually a good thing for me. I know it might sound selfish, but that’s my personal experience. I was able to stop, rethink my priorities, rest and enjoy the love from my family. I know that many people around the world lost their lives, loved ones, jobs and so many other things. This was (and still is), a terrible tragedy that forever changed many of us. For me personally, those changes were more positive than negative. I will try and do my best to keep this momentum going and to continue prioritizing my well-being over anything less important.
Fight for Equality
Some call it a second pandemic, some call it protests, some call it riots, but I call it fight for equality. To be very frank, up until the protests in the US started, my knowledge about racial inequalities was limited to TV, movies and several names in civil rights movement from 1950’s/1960’s. The amazing power of social media started to wake up so many of us who were asleep. The more I followed what was going in the US and then spread to other countries, the more I wanted to educate myself and people around me. I had conversations with people close to me, I had conversations with people on social media. It led me to understand that I, as a white woman, have been living a life of privilege.
Now, to those who still don’t understand the difference between Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter, I ask you to imagine a very basic and simple scenario that everyone can relate to. If you have two plants in your home and one of them gets infected by insects, what do you do? You don’t stop watering and caring for the healthy plant. You do however, pay more attention, fertilize, put it in the sun and care more attentively after the one that’s ill. Now, apply the same for black people, just remember, that their mistreatment stems back from hundreds of years of abuse, inequality and injustice.
I fully understand that whatever I learned over these couple of months, is only a tip of the iceberg. I will continue to educate myself, call out those who are unfair and just try to be better. In order to change systems, we need to start with ourselves and those around us.
Most of the cooking skills I have are from my mom. Obviously, throughout the years I picked up different techniques, recipes and ways to make a nice meal. However, regardless how good you get at cooking, your mom’s or nan’s cooked food is always the best. All the foods and smells you remember from your childhood, stay with you forever. Even after thirty years, I still remember the taste of pancakes my nan used to make or a salad that mum made every Christmas.
Over the last four months I enjoyed so many dishes made by mom! My taste buds definitely got a big treat out of it. The love for food never left me, but I definitely abandoned it during my darker times. Today, as I am writing this blog, I am super excited to get back to my kitchen, create recipes, grow my own food and share this passion with you.
If there is one thing I learned over the last few months, is to not plan your life out and expect everything to happen the way you want it. My priority is my health (both physical and mental) and people that I love. Continue to grow, learn, love, enjoy life, cultivate gratefulness and acceptance.