When quarantine first started, I felt lost.
I didn’t know how long this would last, as none of us do, and of course that’s where anxiety thrives. When quarantine first started, I didn’t have much hope for the future. I often didn’t know what day it was, and there were many times I didn’t care.
As quarantine continued, I started to find a little bit of hope. Humans have this way of adapting, that’s why we’ve made it this far as a species. Sometimes it’s for the better, sometimes it’s not, but today I’d like to focus on the better.
Before COVID, my outings would include things like movies, sporting events, concerts, and restaurants. I didn’t put as much stock in the seemingly smaller, daily moments, because I was constantly looking forward to the next big event.
Without those large events or a list of travels for the year, I’ve learned to slow down and appreciate more of the everyday.
In knowing myself well, I think some of these smaller things may have slipped through the cracks, unnoticed. Things like picking raspberries in the yard for our breakfast cereal, or hearing my son laugh hysterically while in the hammock with my partner. It’s not to say that these memories wouldn’t have been special before, but they are more in focus now.
There have been bigger, beautiful, creatively crafted moments, too. My partner set up a projector in her back yard, and we’ve had movie nights after dark. We even did backyard camping…
…and made s’mores with the fireplace.
May we have done these things anyway? Would we have gone to the movie theater instead of watching one on a projector, or picked travel over backyard camping? I’m not sure. Perhaps we would have done both. But when the choice was taken, we didn’t simply bury our heads in the sand for the entirety of our quarantine thus far, we got creative and made positive memories to look back on.
The world is starting to open up, but our world, with at-risk individuals, will remain in quarantine until there are better treatments, and a vaccine. Then again, I don’t find myself in any sort of hurry to get back to “normal.” I’ve found joy, even bliss, in the slower life.
If there’s one lesson I want to take with me into the post-COVID world, it’s slowing down and having gratitude for creative, quality time.