I, like just about everyone else, look forward to the day we are staring at this virus thing in the rear view mirror, both literally and figuratively. These last few weeks have taken it’s toll on us physically, mentally, and philosophically. We have seen some of the worst in people that harbored a “me first” attitude, and the best in people that have provided an outpouring of support for others. We have complained about our environment and we have also laughed about it. It has given and taken, all at the same time.
So what’s next? It is never going to be the same. You can forget about that. We will finally open our doors to a world that, while looking the same, has morphed into something quite different, and it will be how we handle that change that will determine what our tomorrows are going to look like.
If this isolation has given me one thing, it has been the time to think. Time to reflect on a lot of things, good and bad. It has forced me per se to examine what is important to me and what is disposable. Amazingly, I find that I have gained a lot more then I have lost, and there are a lot of things I want to keep.
I love the additional texts, emails, and phone calls I have enjoyed throughout this. The smile that a simple “I was thinking about you” or “just wanted to see how you’re doing” brings to my day. Funny how, during better times, we tend to assume the other guy is OK without taking the time to check. Human nature I guess. We tend to focus more when things have or can go wrong.
I have gained a new appreciation for the touch and presence of others. I never realized how much I needed that. Just saying hello to the mailman at a proper distance is a plus. I am even less impatient standing in a line. Where before I saw an inconvenience, I now embrace a sense of comradery.
I find I don’t miss the instant everything, or at least that I can live without it. My Amazon orders, as well as most others, are taking a lot longer the get here. What a revelation it was when I suddenly realized that I have never ordered anything from Amazon that I had to have in two days. I use Chewy’s for my dog food. I’ve learned to order it a lot earlier then I used to. My world didn’t grind to a halt. I just had to shift gears.
I am going to be sorry to say goodbye to cheap gas, ironically just as I will be able to use it again. I will never take getting a haircut for granted again. I will not grumble while getting up a little earlier on the days I go to the Humane Shelter. I miss visiting the nursing home. I didn’t really understand how much going there meant to me until I couldn’t go. I will even (slightly) miss the motivation isolation has forced upon me to tend to the things that must be done. A lot of ‘stuff’ has been handled in a more timely manner then the norm. I suspect I will again let myself find places to go instead of facing them.
Overall, this has been a learning experience for me, or more correctly, a refresher course. My folks went through times that I think were much more extreme then anything we are experiencing now, and still maintained an attitude that things could be worse and would get better. I hope I have the good sense to take from this experience that which has made me more tolerant, more understanding, and more compassionate. That out of this will come an understanding that I am only as good as an individual as I am as a friend.
Sacrifice can teach us a lot about appreciation, even while messing with our sense of values. Right now, all our attention is focused on the destination, but I believe our memories will be inspired by the ride.