There really is a light at the end of this long dark tunnel we have been in since last March (2020). Covid-19 vaccines are rolling out (my 2nd shot scheduled for the end of the month! yeah!) and soon we will be cautiously free to socialize with friends and family again.
You’re probably thinking, as I am, “There’s a lot I want to get back to.” Once a bulk of people are vaccinated and the CDC says it is safe to move about, I want to join groups and meet new people. Travel to see family and friends and the beauty of our country along the way. Work out at a gym (sans mask). Enjoy all the local town festivals that have been postponed. Pop into a restaurant whenever I feel like it.
What have I learned from this pandemic time? What will I keep in my life?
A more intentional (i.e., slower) life pace, time for reflection. My calendar was so packed with activity before; a free weekend was an unusual gift. And busy-ness became an addiction. I looked at my May calendar a few years ago… “What? No travels this month???!!!” So, I plugged in a 5-day visit to my niece in South Carolina. Travel will still be important–it is where I find new energy, learning, and perspective. AND I have also gained an appreciation for something I have never felt drawn to—quiet times at home.
Meditation. I was a ‘sometimes’ meditator before, however during the last year, 10-15 minutes of meditation daily kept me out of the wallow pit of anxiety, fear, and hopelessness. Ten Percent Happier offered daily free guided meditations designed to deal with stressful times and I got hooked. The practice has helped me learn to be more accepting, compassionate (for self and others), roll with the punches, and focus on the here and now.
Appreciating all the ‘behind-the-scenes’ workers. The checkout clerks, the stockers, the delivery drivers, the restaurant workers, the woman who cleans the grocery cart handles at the Giant. All the people who have given my life a tiny semblance of normalcy. I now make a point of greeting them and saying thank you rather than being caught up in my own swirling mind. Maybe the meditation is helping with that presence?!
Family Zoom calls. Because we live far apart and haven’t connected as often as we’d like. The pandemic made for some great story sharing, which I hope we will continue. I like seeing everyone and hearing about their lives.
Hand sanitizer. Never on my radar screen before, and now like everyone else I have a bottle in every room, car, purse. Granted I haven’t been out much in a year, and when I am, I’m wearing a mask. Unusually, I haven’t been sick at all in over a year. Not even a sniffle. A squirt of my ever-present sanitizer must have something to do with that.
Natural nails. (yes, I know, such a privilege ‘problem’) I had gel nails for the last 15 years. After a career in the Army where the only nail color authorized was “natural,” I loved to choose bright colors according to my mood and the season. “Hot Chocolate” for January. “Red Diamonds” for Christmas. “Surf Blue” for summer at the beach. “Brilliant Rust” for fall foliage. “Petal Pink” in April for cherry blossom season. It took me 3 months after the shutdown meant my last mani to get back to the worn thin, dry, brittle, peeling and split nails that were the reason I used gel. Finally, a year later of tender loving care–healthy pink glowing natural nails. Gonna keep those!
What are you keeping in your life after a year of pandemic?
Photo credit: Tim Mossholder on Unsplash