Earlier this evening I was talking to a long-time friend. Our discussion centered around mental health and practicing self-care.
During the conversation I started reflecting on shifts that had occurred over the last year. Friendships are different. Social life is different. Entertaining is different. Relationship with family is different. Work environment is different. And so on and so forth.
In many ways, as I explained to her, Covid was a bit of a hard stop. One day life was “normal,” the next day it was not. No real easing into it. No planning for what was to occur. Just one day you wake up and the whole world is on Covid fire.
Upon reflection during the conversation, I began to wonder if Covid, with the hard stop, brought to the surface things we had allowed to simmer under the surface, consciously and unconsciously. Did all, or most, of our psyches push it all at once saying, “Hey, this is no way to live life! Time to adjust for the better!”
I know for me, there have been things, in terms of relationships, that a year ago I would have had similar feelings, but rationalized them, denied them, and shoved them back into the closets of my mind. Now, I’ve realized one, that is no way to live, and two, I don’t have to put up with it anymore.
There are also things that I had wanted to do, but had kept procrastinating, that I’ve started doing (but procrastinating is still very much alive and well, for good or for naught). I have the draft of my book finished, with trusted friends’ comments. I finally got to travel to Iowa to see a friend’s lovely new home and town, along with some great hiking and fantastic food. I took my mom around southern Ohio to see a mural I didn’t even know existed and had a so-so hotdog at a famous Huntington, WV, hotdog house while swinging along the Ohio River watching the barges float by. I gave square foot gardening a try, and loved it. And, I bought a pressure canner and canned some green beans without blowing up the house.
Interpersonal relationships have also shifted or been enhanced. I am very much enjoying being with my husband so much. It seems as if we have been making up for our year apart, being more together this year. Getting to have lunch together and walk breaks have been icing on the cake. I’ve been baking more for neighbors and friends. And I’m not taking things I had put with in the past from my children any longer.
Two other things I’ve brought back into my daily life, which I hadn’t realized how much I missed it this last year. Those two things are reading and writing everyday. I met my 2020 book goal and am well on my way towards meeting my 2021 goal. For writing, every day I write this blog, even if just a few words, and I’ve started on a short story or two based on a couple of long running dreams.
Has there been a shift in your lives as well brought on by the full Covid stop? I’m very interested to hear about your experiences and epiphanies if you care to share.