Warda Nero is one of our wonderful cleaners at HQ in Cape Town and has been at BroadReach for the past 4 years. Her favorite value is We are Compassionate because at BroadReach we care about each other outside of our BroadReach walls too. This is the story of her learnings since COVID-19 hit – and a pretty inspiring one at that. Read more below.
2020 started off with hopes, plans and expectations, little did I know what was to transpire – one single event that would change the world and my life forever.
As 2020 started to find its rhythm and I was progressing through my day-to-day life, I saw updates of a virus that had hit Wuhan City, China and the effects it was having. In my mind I thought, China is far, this shouldn’t affect me.
Updates became more frequent, then daily, of how the virus was spreading to other countries who were enforcing strict lockdowns, it was like a movie.
South Africa’s first COVID-19 case was recorded, then came another and another and before I knew it the President was addressing us – telling us what to expect, what to do and what not to do, and to stay home as far as possible. It was all too surreal, my life and the country came to a standstill on 26th March 2020.
I felt confidently ok, I was healthy, my children were healthy, South Africans by nature are strong, we would overcome this, it was only 30days – or so we thought
As the country started what would be the first month of many more months of hard lockdown, my daily routine changed. I no longer needed to be at work 5 days a week, I was worried about my employment, I was worried about what I’d do if anything unfortunate should happen. The world became quiet, things came to a standstill at a specific time every single day, it was a bit scary and surreal but also offered some uneasy peace.
I no longer had free access to my family and parents, the kids were home from school and schooled at home, life in the blink of an eye was to be lived within the four walls of my home. The freedom I once enjoyed was now confined, filled with words like essentials, sanitize, social distancing and masks. I felt trapped at first not knowing how to manage it all.
As the 30 days became 60 and then 90, I realized I needed to do things differently – not only for my own sanity but for that of my kids too. Some days were just about getting to the next day without killing anyone and then trying again the next day.
I kept on reminding myself this too shall pass but for things to pass I had to make some changes.
My kids and I collectively decided on things we always wanted to do but never thought we had time to do. We came up with a plan on how we could navigate these during lockdown. We agreed upon a chore list, me time and family time to balance and manage our time and responsibilities. We purposefully decided to be more present in each moment. I started investing in self-care for myself and the kids.
The weeks that followed saw me making feverish plans to start the ball rolling and before I knew it, a few months had passed and; I passed my learners and am awaiting to go for my driver’s license test, I have completed multiple certified courses in office administration online, I have registered for an Occupational Health and safety course, I am registered to complete an Office Management course through the Institute of Business Studies, I have learned to be more vocal about my needs at work and at home in positive way, and I have become more selfish by choosing positivity and happiness everyday but to also understand it is ok to have an off day.
I have my hair done regularly, I go for massages, I started investing in myself. Small things which I always deemed a luxury and not needed were now small luxuries that had a positive affect on me and how I interacted with those around me. My desire to improve my life both at home and at work has given me the confidence to try more things.
All these changes came with obstacles which I managed to turn into challenges that I could overcome – I come from a family of go-getters, leaders and trail blazers, every glass for us is always half full, never half empty.
2020 tested my strength, my faith, and my perseverance.
2020 made me stronger, more faithful, grateful, and made me understand the value of time and my presence.
2020 taught me to consciously inhale and exhale.
2020 has taught me that we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and that life should be lived fully, which has a different meaning for everyone but if the result is inner peace and happiness, it is growth.
And… I’m still learning, I yearn for more opportunities and challenge my colleagues to do more and strive for more each day, making the best lemonade out of the variety of lemons COVID has brought into our lives.
I choose growth, happiness, success, faith, love and positivity.