In the last couple of years, it hasn’t really felt like Christmas was in the air in November or even early December. This year, it’s even worse. The travails of 2020 have subdued many of us. Because we are just grateful to be alive, we aren’t too bothered about the yuletide or whether we’ll get to do our favourite things during that time. However, the realisation that the bills are no respecter of COVID-19 and other sundry challenges is enough to jolt us from the state of inertia if we ever dare to remain in it for too long.
Months of inactivity meant that finances took a huge hit. Plans were shattered and the attendant vulnerability that accompanies lack of cash seeped in. The result: a desperate attempt to remedy the situation and buy back lost time from a year that started so promising but ended up a huge disappointment for most people.
You only need to take a walk through the streets to see the lines of pressure etched on people’s faces. In Lagos, the worsening traffic situation is testament to the increasing numbers on the road every day; people who are out of their homes in the wee hours to see what they can make of the day even when they do not have jobs.
I feel the pressure to put in an incredible amount of back-breaking shifts especially as the year winds down. There’s a part of me that is determined to grab as much as I can from 2020. Actually, I am not one of those who anticipate a new year to the extent of abandoning the current one. I remain present until the year is done, and this time around I am even more inclined to stick to this modus operandi.
Not that I have been lethargic with my work output in the past, but these days, I have been in machine mode, stretching myself to ludicrous limits that has me barely getting four hours of sleep daily. I know…it’s not healthy. It will take its toll if I don’t slow down. The days go by in a haze; one minute, it’s 5 am and I have to dash out of the house, the next it’s nightfall and I am hitting my bed knackered.
The meetings, the reports, the tasks, the deadlines, the commitments—they are like a rollercoaster, they won’t stop coming—and one is left with no choice than to attempt to keep up with them.
Again, for me, a lot of my grind stems from gratitude. I am a witness to the blows the pandemic has dealt people I know and I feel quite fortunate to not have it so bad. To be employed in these times, to earn a living is a miracle, maybe that’s why I may be overcompensating.
I am certain many can relate to this. You are not oblivious of the passage of time and how much of it the pandemic has taken away. You also know it’s not yet Uhuru because the second wave of the virus spread appears to be in full swing. You think, “What if we are forced to go into another lockdown?” There are too many uncertainties, so you throw everything into work, trying to accomplish as many things as you can just in case things go south again.
We are all about hustle nowadays. Nothing much matters to us beyond work and that’s dangerous
We press and grind and study and engage in side hustles and attend endless Zoom meeting and develop a ton of strategies. And trust me, I am well aware of the weight the economic situation has placed on young people, in particular. But at some point, when we have overworked ourselves and have no life outside of the grind, we begin to lose the essence of who we are.
We start to sink. We begin to drown as I suspect I am getting close to at this time.
Why am I writing this?
Maybe it’s to remind me and every other person who’s caught in the unhealthy work web that there’s so much else to do beyond work. And when I remember that work no dey finish which literally translates to there’s no end to work or tasks. As you complete one, another is waiting, I am inclined to relax a little more than I am currently doing.