Ghana officially issued a Stay at Home directive effective Monday, March 30th, but I started my own mini-lock down on Saturday, March 14th, shortly after the first two cases were announced on Thursday, March 12th. I’d been obsessing over this virus and thinking about my risk to the virus for weeks, so I went into straight up lockdown mode when the announcement was made.
For a week, I really didn’t go anywhere, but then my little boy started to go crazy so we visited a cousin and her kids who live close by. I also did a little grocery shopping. After two weeks, still before the official lock down, I ventured outside my community to visit my mom. It felt like Accra was still a bit too active. It didn’t feel right to me. I stayed with my mom for a couple of days but I was quite eager to head out of Accra. The busy-ness I encountered in Accra scared me, to be honest, and so I decided that I was going to put myself and my household into proper lock down. Two days after I decided this for myself, the President initiated the official lock down. It was required!
I’m an introvert, so staying at home like this isn’t a problem for me. I also live in a pretty quiet, secluded part of the Eastern Region. It’s a village really. Accra is only 15 minutes away but it seems farther than that. Where I live is idyllic and perfect for me. So this lock down should be a breeze for an introvert like me, who’s surrounded by nature, peace and beautiful views.
Yeah, well, I also have a 6-year old who’s the complete opposite of me! His level of energy could very possibly power our entire community. It’s like he was bit by an energy spider of some sorts, seriously, like some Spiderman level stuff. I live with an energy superhero! Energy just courses through his veins. He never, ever naps, I kid you not. From the moment he’s up at 6:30am, it’s nonstop until 6:30pm. Like all superheroes, he does have a weakness though – his weakness is for all things TV. Plant him in front of a TV, and that’s it, he sits quiet as a Church mouse, fascinated by everything on the screen. If you sit and watch with him though, his energy goes up again, and he will talk your ears off. You leave him by himself in front of the TV and he’s deathly quiet, riveted by what he’s watching. It’s very fascinating to be honest.
I have the key to turning off the energy and getting peace and quiet, but I don’t use it. In fact, I do the opposite. He’s only allowed to watch TV once a week, on Sunday, after online Church. I think it would be irresponsible of me to let him watch TV 24-7 just because it’s the only thing that keeps him quiet. It’s tempting but irresponsible. It would do nothing for him and his development.
Instead, we do homeschool, outdoor activities, games, and so I get no sleep or me time! That’s how it’s been for a while. I’m a full-time, anal, schedule-oriented, tutoring, TIGER MOM!
For two years, I’ve had dreams of being productive, writing tons of books, having a very vibrant and successful blog, doing reading tours, signing big contracts for my work, my name flashed across TV screens. I left my job to do all that, and it never materialized. Sometimes I feel very disappointed in myself that I’ve wasted the two years since I left work, and then sometimes, I look at this kid who’s reading level is pretty high for his age, who’s smart and intelligent, and I’m like nah man, you’ve wasted nothing.
I had PLANS for sure, I had such beautiful plans, and then God said, I have a different path for you. God completely changed my life from what I thought it would be. It happened just like that. For two years, instead of penning that bestseller, I penned a different story, a more meaningful one I believe.
I really admire housewives who try to get back to work. To be honest, I admire all housewives, full stop. When you’re in this mode of full-time parenting for a long while, you really aren’t eager to do anything else, even when you know you have to. I told a friend a few days ago that for two years, I’ve been like a housewife, a full-time parent, and I completely forgot that I was meant to be the breadwinner too!
This pandemic has reminded me of my broader responsibilities. Full-time parenting is great, and it has been a blessing, and it was required at the time. But now, with this looming crisis, I realize I just can’t hide away at my hilltop and be a full-time parent forever. I have a responsibility to secure our future. COVID-19 has burst my bubble and reminded me that the future out there may be challenging and pretending it doesn’t exist won’t help.
It’s been a great two years, wonderful parenting and bonding time, building my home, taking care of my mental health (sleeping does wonders for you!) and growing spiritually as well. It hasn’t all been roses though! It’s also been a period of incredible pain and stress, more pain and stress in the last two years than I have ever experienced in a very long while. The highs have been high and the lows have been incredibly low, but overall, I would couch it as a period of growth because I am still standing and God never left me.
Now, I know I need to take that next step that I’ve been wavering on and not pursuing seriously. Honestly, I have tried before though. I haven’t been in my bubble completely. I’ve tried writing, I launched the website last year; I’ve tried consulting; I’ve done some book readings and writing events; and I’ve been working on my business materials. So I haven’t been a complete recluse, hiding away from society in my little village. I’ve made attempts that I won’t just write off. Every effort counts!
I’m just making a more concerted attempt now, and I believe I’m in a better mental and spiritual state to do so, because I finally have the right perspective regarding the last two years. Previously, I felt like a failure. It gnawed at me that I hadn’t finished my book, hadn’t sold my book for a nice check, hadn’t made that movie, all my dreams of seeing my name in a Hollywood movie (written by Boakyewaa Glover). It ate at my very soul, but now I’m truly okay with the past and my progress. I am actually grateful for the last two years, all the blessings and all the challenges. As a writer, that experience can now be fodder for an incredible story.
So COVID-19 woke me up. I am not going to say anything cliché like we need to look at the bright side of this virus. Nah man, it’s a horrible virus, the death toll is staggering. Those are not just numbers, those are people! So don’t take my words to mean I have seen a silver lining in this pandemic, I’m simply saying I am AWAKE. I’m ready to step out of my cocoon and do something meaningful and impactful with my talents.
I’m not just a parent, I am more than that, and I’m ready to embrace my full self!
Now, if only I can get the Power Rangers theme song out of my head, then I would really be ready!