When the pandemic first began, I had endless thoughts on all the things I would do when the pandemic was over. I am sure you did too--and if you are reading this, chances are we had a conversation at least once that included, "When this is all over, let's. . ."
Yesterday, I was full on riding the corona-coaster and not enjoying that ride. For me, weekends have been hard. I thrive with a busy, scheduled day, mostly because my mind is such a busy wild place that structure keeps me moving forward. The weekends in this time of Rona have lacked that structure--and I know for some that is a gift, but for me it feels vastly unproductive and then in turn squandered.
And I cannot stand squandering time.
But now that I am half-vaxxed, with my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine under my belt, I am starting to see some glimmers of future hope. Mike and my mom are half-vaxxed, too and our friends are on the same path towards full vaccination. Most importantly, Target seems to be continually well-stocked on paper towels, so I think there is some hope ahead, friends.
Last night, I had wine with friends--inside, unmasked, but keeping some distance. One was vaccinated and the other had recovered from COVID. I felt a little normal.
But, I don't think there is every going to be a point when I can fully say: "Well, this is over so we can. . ."
Even last night, we had to have a discussion of our Rona status before we gathered. And even as I write this, I wonder, how many of you will read this and judge my decision? Rona-shaming is something we are all guilty of and frankly, I don't see that going away.
While I'd love for this virus to go away and I'd love even more to wave a magic wand and bring back those beautiful people who have died during this pandemic, there are also things I never want to give back.
Like, the way my kids have become best friends and how they laugh and play together. They are almost 15, 12 and 8--and I can honestly say their love and friendship has grown to levels I never knew was possible for siblings. They've always been the greatest gifts to Mike and I and now, I know they see what gifts they are to each other. I am never giving back those relationships--their bond will carry them through their entire lives--and the lives of their own future children and beyond. I can hear their future grown up voices saying,. . "During the pandemic my siblings and I. . ."
And I am never giving up the importance of having endless time with my husband. COVID-19 grounded his travel, brought his office to our house and stopped me from my galavanting around a variety of offices and off to Manhattan. It stopped social events--but it gave us each other. More often than not, we are up way past reasonable bedtimes talking--and laughing--and it reminds me so much of our early days on the phone all night long. I am not giving this back. Instead, I am reminding my children when they choose life partners of their own, how time together is absolutely the reason you choose a spouse. I married Mike because I wanted every moment with him. I am not going back to the time when we found our ourselves pulled away from one another.
I am not going back to traveling and galavanting as much. It is weird for me to write that--I love to travel and explore. I am a person who used to prefer being anywhere but home (as long as I had my husband and kids in tow). And I do miss it, sort of. But, I also have found that I needed this grounding and I needed to truly feel what it was like to stay in one place. Staying in one place has given me the gift of being able to grow so much as a writer and as a professional. I've written in this blog for 65 days in a row. I've picked up so much amazing new work and stretched and strengthened my relationships with my existing colleagues. I love the work I do--and I truly adore the people I do it for. I am not losing that sense of staying put--I've moved forward so much just by being so present here.
And I am never giving back the incredible connections I've made with friends during the pandemic. The text message threads I have are beautiful parts of history. These threads are absolutely the most honest, hilarious, heartbreaking, beautiful records of a time in history when the world seemed so dark. But, friends, it is never that dark as long as we have each other and a Bernie Sanders meme to ground us.
And I am not giving back my pink hair. Or my obsession with gardening. Or my husband's amazing obsession with restoring the exterior of our home. Or my curated collection of matching sweatsuits and yoga pants. Or my knotted headbands. Or curbside pick up and grocery delivery. Or my family member's Hulu login. Or my obsession with clear organizational bins from the Container Store.
I don't know who I will be exactly most-pandemic, but I know I won't be alone and I know there will be enough paper towels for all of us (maybe).