For starters, most of us are still working from home. Some loving it and others cannot wait to return to the “office”.

Many of us have the luxury of our family around us as we persevere and work through the challenges brought on by COVID-19.

In the beginning we were frantically looking for the best masks and most effective sanitisers, and of course maintaining COVID-19 protocol with social distancing and we continue doing that because we are all being responsible (I hope). Now, we are either getting those around us that are over 60 years of age registered for the vaccine or registering ourselves. All the while, checking for that all important SMS to come through confirming the appointment for the long-awaited vaccine.

Think of our journey since March 2020 and what a long way we have come. We have all grown and developed and become better versions of ourselves. You have learned things about your colleagues that you did not know in the past. You are on that Zoom call and suddenly you hear a child in the background or a dog barking. “Zanele has a dog?” Now that was a complete surprise as you did not figure her for a dog person. Everyone is guilty of trying to check out the setup your team members have as their home office.

What surprised us most was our level of resilience. Many of us lost friends, colleagues, family and community members due to COVID-19. Resilience rose tall and strong, providing a backdrop for us to support those in need. Taking care of our well-being through new healthy eating habits, exercise, adequate sleep, loving and being loved all became central to our livelihood. These are the aspects that have kept us going and will continue to do so. I hope you put time aside to reflect on the last 14 months. You will see how much you underestimated your strength and endurance. It has been a rough road, one that none of us thought we would travel on in our lifetime, but we did it.

Religious celebrations still took place under weird circumstances as many of us shared it with just our immediate families. Some of my friends pretended that it was the best time ever – as they didn’t have to put up with extended family and thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet. While others yearned for the boisterous atmosphere that comes with being around an overcrowded lunch or dinner table. Delayed gratification I say – it will be so much sweeter when it does happen in the future. Responsible behaviour brought on by COVID-19 is here to stay – so don’t put those masks and sanitisers away just yet.

We had an overseas holiday planned that had to be shelved. Just for a bit longer. Now I look forward to it with more anticipation. I really believe that everything we do is with an abundance of appreciation, especially if we are fortunate to still have our health, happiness, and our loved ones around us.