What the Pandemic Has Taught Us

0

Soooo…about that pandemic. It sure came in like a wrecking ball, right? Hands down it has been one heck of a ride since March, and it’s not even over…yet. For many, it has been emotional, challenging, exasperating, baffling, all-encompassing, and exhausting. Now, it hasn’t all been bad, so as we continue to try to stay afloat, let’s reflect on these unprecedented (cringe) times and what this pandemic has taught us:

1) I think I am not alone when I say I am very tired of the word “unprecedented.”

Barf. It has been used so much that I just can’t help but make an ugly face when hearing it.

2) Taking off a mask is way better than taking off a bra at the end of a long day at work! (But the bra is surely a close second).

FREEEEEEDOM! I feel like skipping or dancing or running a marathon after that mask comes off.

3) Extra time with our children and to just slow down has been really nice.

The day my son returned to school this August (although we will see how long “in-school” actually lasts), I unexpectedly cried. A wave of emotion I can’t explain took over my entire body as the bus pulled away; he and I had been attached at the hip for five months, just like the “old days” when he was a lil’ walking, talking, pooping machine. Over quarantine we did it all together; e-learning (sigh), trips to the park, Scooby-Doo binge-watching, baking, science experiments, anything, and everything.

Tears rolled down my face and I did a walk of shame from the bus stop. What am I going to do?! I asked myself. But after an hour or two, I remembered what it was like to have some “me” time…and it was glorious! Ultimately, he loves school and I can work and get some personal space again. It is a win-win.

4) Memes will never get old, and in fact, they just keep getting better.

I agree that America survived quarantine with memes, Tiger King, and delivery food service. It’s hard to pinpoint just one favorite meme, but I sure do love the one of a large shirtless man hanging from a rope and sitting on top of the COVID-19 ball (mimicking the Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” video). That Coronavirus sure did come in like a wrecking ball and disrupt or decimate every single aspect of all of our lives. The upside is that we can all laugh about how absolutely CRAZY 2020 has been. COVID-19, mandatory masks, school closings, remote working, murder hornets, hurricanes…oh my! What’s next?!

5) We are all much, much stronger than we ever envisioned.

And each day we continue to get stronger because we don’t know what the heck is going to happen next; we just know it is inevitable life will continue to throw us twists and turns. I think at this point, after all, we have endured, we’re all buckled up and ready. Bring it 2020! But brace yourselves, y’all, because 2021 is not necessarily going to necessarily change much or solve 2020 right away. Fingers crossed though…

6) Rediscovering yourself and having time to look around and slow down is pretty cool.

One thing I noticed and loved about quarantine was how many people I saw enjoying the outdoors. There were way more bikers, walkers, and runners outside than ever before. That was an awesome scene; people reaping both the mental and physical benefits of staying active.

7) Making a new “normal” is never boring.

Ok, so yes, we don’t know what each new day will bring, but we are embracing being comfortable with being uncomfortable, and that is a victory. We have all increased our resilience in some capacity.

8) Life will never be the same.

And that is ok. (We don’t really have a choice, so let’s be positive and choose to make it ok).

9) We learned to check on our extroverted AND introverted friends.

We not always ok and we are all needing some love. Whether we all realize it or not, we as humans are wildly connected and ultimately crave bonds and meaning. And for the introverts…quarantine meant they were stuck at home with others, so there’s that…

10) Life during a pandemic is like a box of chocolates…

You never know what you’re gonna get. Each day can bring roses or lemons. Pandemic life is not always, or ever, going to be filled with certainty, stability, or uninterrupted sleep, so there’s that. Some days it’s like biting into your favorite chewy caramel chocolate, and others it’s unknowingly choosing the nasty orange-flavored one that makes you cringe.

But you know what? Just keep going…it’s what we have truly learned to do.